MS History, Social Sciences and Humanities
The Buckley Department of Social Sciences is committed to imparting a global and historical understanding of humanity to our students. Our young people are faced with an ever changing world filled with numerous complex events. Globalization and the information revolution have forced students to directly confront difficult realities. Yet, our students demonstrate time and time again that they are able to comprehend and respond to their world in an informed and respectful manner.
Our Middle School program is focused specifically on global understanding and developing an appreciation for American history. That understanding begins in the sixth and seventh grades with the knowledge of global cultures, world geography, and current international events. These two courses are designed with a contemporary focus and seek to explore the world as it reads in the headlines of the day. A more traditional approach to history begins in the eighth grade with the introduction of United States history through the Civil War era. Overall a strong emphasis is placed on developing strong study skills, note taking, organization, and technology skills needed to succeed in upper school.
History 6: World Cultures and Geography
With the importance of geo-politics and globalization, it is more vital than ever that students comprehend their world and their place in it. Sixth grade geography examines the locations and cultures of our planet allowing us to better understand the world and get along with our fellow passengers on “spaceship Earth.” Among the objectives in sixth grade, students should be able to make interconnections with the world around them, comprehend cause and effect of local and global events, see the world in terms of the five themes of geography (location, place, regions, movement, and interaction) and apply geographical understanding to their everyday lives. This takes students through a brief overview of the physical and cultural importance of regions and countries across the globe. In addition, students will develop good study skills such as mapping, highlighting, outlining, note taking, summarization, test preparation, time management, and reading comprehension.
History 7: Global Studies
Since students have learned about the regions of the world in the previous year, the seventh grade curriculum centers on both historical and modern global studies. On a macroscopic level, students will spend time focusing on the conflicts between different regions and cultures and how they affect global interdependence. On a microscopic level, students will learn about the religions, cultures, governments, and ethnicities of different nations and how these have affected modern history. Studies will begin with a post-World War II analysis of the Cold War and move into development of many nations and regions of the world. The seventh grade course is also interdisciplinary and incorporates English-history units of study throughout the year. In addition, students will continue to reemphasize and build upon the importance of good study skills and time management. Many project-based assignments will assess a student’s ability to manage tasks that are independent in nature. Students should move into the eighth grade as competent and effective social studies learners, conscious of the world around them and mindful of their role as citizens in a larger world.
History 8:United States History: Colonial Times through Reconstruction
What are the foundations of America’s political, social, cultural, and economic heritage? How did those foundations shape our early history and eventually lead to civil war? These are some of the enduring questions that this course explores using both primary and secondary sources. The study of the course begins with the establishment of the English colonies and the events leading to the American Revolution. The development and problems of the young nation are investigated in the Early Republic through the Era of the Common Man. Finally, an intensive analysis examines the causes leading to the Civil War and the hopes and failures of its aftermath. Through this journey, students will critically examine documents such as the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, Bill of Rights, Declaration of Sentiments, and Emancipation Proclamation. Considerable emphasis is placed on mastering vital social studies skills, such as using historical sources, interpreting evidence, distinguishing between fact and opinion, and evaluating credibility. Historical reading skills focus on understanding context, word analysis, understanding sequence, analyzing cause and effect, and drawing conclusions. Finally learning how to research and write as a historian is emphasized throughout the course.
During this class, seventh grade students will learn about social/emotional development and their own relationships with peers and others. Factual information will be used to facilitate classroom discussion as students discover the values they hold and the sources of those values: family, religion, culture, and school. This course will help students develop better communication and decision-making skills, increase their self-¬esteem, and provide them with important information to help make educated choices in their lives (This course meets two times a week.)