Social Studies

  • Course Guide Home


    In an effort to ensure that all of our elective courses are staffed, we are offering the following electives on an every other year cycle.

    Cycle 1

    (School year begins with an odd number)

    • Anthropology
    • AP US History
    • Gender, Time, & Place
    • History of the American West                                  

    Cycle 2

    (School year begins with an even number)

    • Ancient Civilizations
    • AP European History
    • Colonial America
    • Contemporary Issues
     

    157001 & 157002 (Year-long) - MODERN UNITED STATES HISTORY
    Grade: 9 
    1 Social Studies credit
    Prerequisite: None

    Modern U.S. History includes the study of domestic and foreign events and issues that shaped the United States from 1870 through contemporary America. Students will analyze a variety of primary and secondary sources, ask compelling questions, investigate significant events and change over time, discuss ideas from multiple perspectives, share their thinking across multiple written and visual forms of communication, and practice the skills of an engaged citizen.

    158001 & 158002 (Year-long) - MODERN UNITED STATES HISTORY (HONORS)
    Grade: 9      
    1 Social Studies credit
    Prerequisite: Departmental approval

    Honors Modern U.S. History includes the study of domestic and foreign events and issues that shaped the United States from 1870 through contemporary America. Students will analyze a variety of primary and secondary sources, ask compelling questions, investigate significant events and change over time, discuss ideas from multiple perspectives, share their thinking across multiple written and visual forms of communication, and practice the skills of an engaged citizen. Honors students will explore content more deeply and engage with more challenging texts and sources. A weighted grade is given.

    157011 & 157012 (Year-long) - WORLD HISTORY: THE MODERN ERA
    Grade: 10               
    1 Social Studies credit
    Prerequisite: None

    In this course, students will trace the development of world history from the Renaissance to the twenty-first century by concentrating on the specific periods, persons, and events of greatest significance to development. Study includes comparisons of past and present events as well as comparisons of western and non-western development to foster an understanding of the political, social, geographic and economic status of several nations in the world today. Students will analyze a variety of primary and secondary sources, ask compelling questions, investigate significant events and change over time, discuss ideas from multiple perspectives, share their thinking across multiple written and visual forms of communication, and practice the skills of an engaged global citizen.

    159011 & 159012 (Year-long) - AP WORLD HISTORY
    Grades: 10-12        
    1 Social Studies credit
    Prerequisite: Sophomore, Junior or Senior standing and Department approval

    AP World History works to develop a greater understanding of the evolution of global processes and contacts including interactions over time. The course highlights the nature of changes in international frameworks and their causes and consequences, as well as comparisons among major societies.  The course will flow chronologically while examining five major historical themes. This course prepares students to take the AP World History exam. A weighted grade is given.

    157100 - UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT
    Grades: 11-12      
    ½ Social Studies credit
    Prerequisite: Junior or Senior standing

    In this course, students closely examine federal and state systems, structures, principles, and historical foundations of government. Attention will be given to the role of economics, social structures, individual perspectives, interest groups, and foreign influences in American politics. Students will think critically about issues concerning the United States' government, the impact of decision-making on a variety of peoples and groups, and their own role as an engaged citizen. Successful completion of this course is required for graduation. In accordance with Missouri law, all Parkway students must pass examinations on their knowledge of the United States and Missouri Constitutions administered during this course. The course also includes the End of Course Assessment required by the state of Missouri. This course is also available as a completely virtual/online course.  Students who are interested should contact their counselor regarding the process for enrolling in an online course.

    159121 & 159122 (Year-long) - AP US GOVERNMENT & POLITICS
    Grades:  11-12       
    1 Social Studies credit
    Prerequisite: Junior or Senior standing

    This course is designed to challenge students who are interested in advanced studies in government.  Students study the history, institutions, branches, functions, electoral processes, and citizens' role in the governments of the local area, the state of Missouri, and the United States. The course includes an emphasis on the rights and responsibilities of citizenship, as well as a study of the principles and provisions of the Missouri and the United States Constitutions. The government of the United States is compared with the governments of other industrialized democracies as well as the political systems of Communist states and developing countries. Students investigate the rich diversity of political life, structures, institutions, processes, policies, and change over time across the globe. The course includes the End of Course Assessment and The Constitution examination(s), as required by the state of Missouri. Students must pass The Constitution examination(s) to meet state graduation requirements. This course prepares students for the AP US Government & Politics and the AP Comparative Government & Politics exams. Students have the option to earn college credit through the AP examination. A weighted grade is given.

    157350 - HISTORY OF ST. LOUIS
    Grades:  11-12     
    ½ Social Studies credit
    Prerequisite: Junior or Senior standing

    This course will provide an overview of the unique and diverse history of St. Louis. Students will follow the course of development of this small 18th Century trading post as it expands into a major metropolis at the turn of the 20th Century, and culminate with an examination of the city as it now exists. The course will discuss individuals who are important to the development of the city, but will emphasize the significant contributions (e.g. architecture, music, art) of the culturally diverse people who have made the city of St. Louis what it is today. The course will culminate with students examining and debating contemporary, as well as future issues that face our community.

    157360 - HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN WEST
    Grades:  11-12     
    ½ Social Studies credit
    Prerequisite: Junior or Senior standing

    This course is a comprehensive examination of the exploration and settlement of the trans-Mississippi West. Using eyewitness accounts, important secondary sources and media, the following topics will be studied: animals, the Indians, explorers, mountain men, miners, military, farmers, ranchers, the Western outlaw and women. In each case, the traditional stereotype will be compared to and contrasted with the historical reality.

    157370 - MEDIA IN AMERICA *not an NCAA “core course”
    Grades:  11-12     
    ½ Social Studies credit
    Prerequisite: Junior or Senior standing

    This course will examine the role of various types of media such as print, film, cinema, radio, television, newspapers, news magazines, campaign ads, and the Internet in shaping American culture and history.  The changing media and changing role of the influence of the media will be examined related to significant topics, periods, and events in history such as the role of colonial news in the American Revolution, enticing people to move west, stating the north/south case at the time of the Civil War, building the west, influencing views during war, as well as shaping today's issues and events in our own nation and abroad.

    157870 - COMMUNITY AND LAW ENFORCEMENT OUTREACH
    Grades:  11-12
    ½ Social Studies credit
    Prerequisite:  Junior or Senior standing

    This course will focus on generating balanced community-based dialogue and solutions to ongoing tension and conflict between community members and law enforcement officials. The aim will be to engage, inform, empower, and activate students as viable stakeholders in this cause. Historical inquiry will be a foremost priority and essential to understanding the societal forces that have generated present circumstances and tension-the notion of ‘lucky’ and ‘unlucky’ zip codes in the St. Louis Region, the history of racial segregation and violence, coupled with an examination of the rise of ‘law and order’, ‘War on Drugs’, ‘Just Say No’ and ‘Three Strikes’ political responses. With context thus established, a thorough debate on the intersecting issues of gun rights vs gun control will follow. To conclude the semester, students will be charged with generating, coordinating, promoting, and conducting (a) community-based solution(s) aimed at alleviating the tense relationship many citizens have with law enforcement and vice-versa. The ultimate product(s) will be open to student input, but some examples may include an Open House with Gallery Walk for invited community stakeholders, a panel discussion with a balance of experts, and/or a barbecue at a local park that includes members of the community and law enforcement officials.

    157571 & 157572 (Year-long) - AFRICAN-AMERICAN HISTORY & LITERATURE
    Grades:  10-12
    1 Social Studies credit
    Prerequisite: Successful completion of Modern US History

    This interdisciplinary course will focus on the study of African-American history and culture from the roots in Africa to the modern day. Through a blending of the study of African-American history and literature, this course serves to broaden students' knowledge of African-Americans regarding the broader concepts of race, class, and gender.  The historical survey will include African origins and Diasporas, slavery and reconstruction, all the way up to African-Americans in the 21st century.  A variety of literary pieces and historical texts from diverse authors and time periods serve as the foundation of materials for the course. Students will develop high level skills in literary and historical reading, writing, and analysis.

    Semester 1: Africa and the African Diaspora
    Students will explore the beginnings of African culture, history, and literature and how these spread throughout and further influenced the development of other cultures throughout the world.

    Semester 2: Africans in America
    Students will examine African-American culture, history and literature from the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade up until current day.

    157750 - CRIME AND THE LAW
    Grades:  11-12     
    ½ Social Studies credit
    Prerequisite: Junior or Senior standing

    This course studies crime in America and how our society deals with those who break its laws. Topics studied will include an examination of civil and criminal law, constitutional law, individual rights, theories of the causes of criminal behavior, the structure and function of the legal system, and examination of the penal system, and the roles of police, attorneys, and judges. The course will introduce landmark decisions, case studies, and guest speakers. This course will provide for individual research.

    157790 - SOCIOLOGY
    Grades:  11-12     
    ½ Social Studies credit
    Prerequisite: Junior or Senior standing

    Sociology is the study of human behavior in groups which range from two people to societies of millions of people. Students will gain an understanding of important sociological concepts such as culture, socialization, status, role and group dynamics. Students will use the tools and techniques of sociology along with audiovisuals, group discussions, and simulations to investigate and analyze human relationships.

    This course is also available as a completely virtual/online course.  Students who are interested should contact their counselor regarding the process for enrolling in an online course.

    157800 - PSYCHOLOGY
    Grades:  11-12     
    ½ Social Studies credit
    Prerequisite: Junior or Senior standing

    Psychology introduces students to the systematic and scientific study of the behavior and mental process of human beings. Psychology is a behavioral science, which studies the individual's personality, emotions, intelligence, interactions, creativity and motivation. Topics include an introduction to the field, experimental method, sensation, perception, learning, personality, memory and thinking, abnormal psychology, states of consciousness and psychological therapy.

    159801 & 159802 (Year-long) - AP PSYCHOLOGY
    Grades:  11-12     
    1 Social Studies credit
    Prerequisite: Junior or Senior standing

    AP Psychology introduces students to the systematic and scientific study of the behavior and mental process of human beings. Students will be exposed to psychological facts, principals, and phenomena associated with each of the major subfields within psychology. They will also learn about the methods psychologists use to explore the process involved in normal and abnormal perceptions, thoughts, feelings and actions.  This course prepares students to take the AP Psychology exam. A weighted grade is given.

    157830 - MODERN WARFARE
    Grades:  11-12     
    ½ Social Studies credit
    Prerequisite: Junior or Senior standing

    This course will take a look at some very important questions concerning the origins of war as well as the study of World War I and World War II, the Cold War conflicts, the Gulf War, and the War on Terrorism. Students will confront and discuss tough questions such as "Is war part of human nature?" "What reasons (if any) justify the use of war?" "What limits should be used in waging war?" and "Can there ever be an end to warfare altogether?" An in-depth look into the military history of our past century will challenge students to evaluate how war fits into our future world.

    157840 - PHILOSOPHY AND ETHICS
    Grades: 11-12     
    ½ Social Studies credit
    Prerequisite: Junior or Senior Standing

    This course is an introduction to the broad, essential, philosophical questions raised and theories proposed about human nature, decision-making, societal problems and issues, and the world. Students will become familiar with the specialized knowledge gained from research and discussion, communication skills, and personal attitudes needed to engage in philosophical discourse and apply these understandings to their lives.

    158700 - ECONOMICS (HONORS)
    Grades:  11-12   
    ½ Social Studies credit
    Prerequisite: Junior or Senior standing

    This course introduces students to basic economic concepts associated with our free enterprise/capitalistic economy. Basic principles included in the course include scarcity, production, distribution, consumption, supply/demand, inflation, recession, business, labor, and banking. Students will have the opportunity to learn through independent research and discussion.

    159510 - AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY
    Grades: 11-12       
    ½ Social Studies credit
    Prerequisite: Junior or Senior standing

    AP Human Geography is a college level introductory geography course. Students will be introduced to the basic concepts of human geography and apply the geographical framework for the analysis of current world problems, social organization, and environmental issues. This course prepares students to take AP Human Geography exam. A weighted grade is given.

    157760 - CONTEMPORARY ISSUES offered 2020-2021
    Grades:  11-12     
    ½ Social Studies credit
    Prerequisite: Junior or Senior standing

    This course will focus on modern issues in all areas of the social studies: political, economic, and social. The students will read from several sources, including a weekly news magazine. Current events will be studied with a historical perspective and projection of future possibilities. Both domestic and international issues will be examined. A large segment of class time will be devoted to discussion. Therefore, classroom participation during discussions will be expected.

    159501 & 159502 (Year-long) - AP EUROPEAN HISTORY offered 2020-2021
    Grades: 11-12     
    1 Social Studies credit
    Prerequisite:   World History and Modern US History, Junior or Senior standing

    This will be a rigorous course investigating the emergence of the ideas and institutions which shaped the modern world. Students will develop and demonstrate knowledge of basic chronology, intellectual history and an understanding of the major events, themes and trends from the late Middle Ages to the recent past. Together we will investigate the cultural, political, artistic, economic and social developments that played a fundamental role in shaping the world in which we live.  This course prepares students to take the AP European History exam.  A weighted grade is given.

    157590 - ANCIENT CIVILIZATIONS offered 2020-2021
    Grades:  11-12     
    ½ Social Studies credit
    Prerequisite: Junior or Senior standing

    The contributions of ancient civilizations are important to understanding of our world today.  This course will examine the political, social, religious and economic foundations of earlier societies, including a look at culture, daily life, artistic media, international relations, geography, and technological advances. Students will challenge themselves with primary source readings and classroom discussions.  This course will cover the early civilizations of Mesopotamia and India, as well as Egypt, Greece and Rome.  A closer examination into early societies will provide students with the tools needed to appreciate the link between ancient and modern civilizations.

    158340 - COLONIAL AMERICA (HONORS) offered 2020-2021
    Grades: 11-12       
    ½ Social Studies credit
    Prerequisite: Junior or Senior standing

    This course explores the social, cultural, religious, economic, and political growth in Colonial America from the first contact between indigenous peoples and European populations through the creation of the Declaration of Independence.  Units covered within the class will emphasize important components of society - Unit 1: Exploration; Early Colonies; Unit 2.  Colonial Economy; Unit 3. Life in the Colonies (a regional approach); Unit 4. Non-European Experiences; Unit 5. Revolt & Revolution.

    157360 - HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN WEST  offered 2021-2022
    Grades:  11-12
    ½ Social Studies credit
    Prerequisite: Junior or Senior standing

    This course is a comprehensive examination of the exploration and settlement of the trans-Mississippi West. Using eyewitness accounts, important secondary sources and media, the following topics will be studied: animals, the Indians, explorers, mountain men, miners, military, farmers, ranchers, the Western outlaw and women. In each case, the traditional stereotype will be compared to and contrasted with the historical reality.

    157780 - ANTHROPOLOGY offered 2021-2022
    Grades:  11-12    
    ½ Social Studies credit
    Prerequisite: Junior or Senior standing

    This course provides an introduction to the discipline of Anthropology with an emphasis on the subfield of Cultural Anthropology. It considers the major concepts and topics of Anthropology  including  a  brief  exploration  of  the  four  major subfields, the concept and characteristics of culture, and basic categories of study ranging from culture and survival (communication, social identity, economic systems), the formation of groups and the challenge of cooperation (sex and marriage, family and household, kinship, social groups), the search for order and the challenge of disorder (politics and power, spirituality and religion, and the arts), and finally the challenge of globalization (processes of change, global challenges, local responses and the role of anthropology).

    157850 - GENDER, TIME AND PLACE offered 2021-2022
    Grades:  11-12     
    ½ Social Studies credit
    Prerequisite: Junior or Senior standing

    This course is a study of the development of women's economic, political and social roles in the United States. Students will analyze, debate, and discuss primary source documents, photographs, films and other resources to discover and evaluate the female perspective.

    157820 - ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES offered 2021-2022
    Grades:  11-12    
    ½ Social Studies credit
    Prerequisite: Junior or Senior standing

    Students will explore the development of the environmental movement, its successes and failures, and the reasons for current environmental backlash. Units of study will focus on societal issues that impact wildlife preservation, air and water pollution, land use, population and energy options. Each student will examine and develop an understanding of environmental issues that provide a framework of knowledge into which they can integrate global information for a lifetime of continuous learning.

     159301 & 159302 (Year-long) - AP UNITED STATES HISTORY  offered 2021-2022

    Grades:  11-12       
    1 Social Studies credit
    Prerequisite: Junior or Senior standing

    AP American History emphasizes the changing nature of American society, politics, and economy and the cause and effect relationship between them. The students will learn the majority of significant factual information from reading the course texts and other challenging primary and secondary source materials. Class time is spent examining analytical and interpretive issues in American History--how and why the course of history unfolded as it did and how historical trends continue to influence our country.  By the end of the course the students will be familiar with the basic chronology of American History and the landmark events that shaped our present society, understand its principle themes, develop and extend basic geographic knowledge, learn to write clearly and effectively, and analyze, synthesize and evaluate primary and secondary sources. This course prepares students to take the Advanced Placement examination in United States History. It will also provide students with in-depth practice in the use of historical documents, historical analysis, and synthesis in historical writing.  The course will cover the curriculum suggested by the College Board for the Advanced Placement Test. A weighted grade is given.