In the Sixth Form, history becomes a global experience. Each class offered is a world history based course. Students are able to choose a topic or time period in history that interests them from a number of options. This progression of courses offers returning students an opportunity to examine exciting topics of world history in relation to the development of the United States. Furthermore, the courses are designed to engage students in topics that interest them, helping to develop a strong foundation in history.
Age of Exploration
The end of the 15th century saw a major shift in the Atlantic World after the voyage of Christopher Columbus. This class examines the development of the Atlantic World through an “Age of Exploration.” With an emphasis on new relationships, trade, communication, and eventually the institution of slavery students will study how Europe, Africa, and the Americas became one region that revolved around the ocean. Students discover how Europeans shaped the Atlantic World through a variety of writing assignments. Ultimately, students will be able to engage this unique time period and begin to understand how changes during that time shaped the Atlantic world that exists today by looking at both the European as well as the Native perspective.
This course investigates the first great civilizations of the world and the impact they had on humanity. The fall and winter terms focus on Egypt and the Fertile Crescent, as the study the region’s geography, religion, and government. In the spring, the class will focus on the rise of Greece and the beginnings of classical history.
Government is a class that sets out to understand the origins, maintenance, and role of politics in world societies. The class will begin with a study of political philosophy including Plato, Machiavelli, and Thomas Paine. Special attention will be paid to modern governments, including the rise of extremist governments in the Twentieth Century, specifically communism and fascism, and the establishment of modern theocracies in the Middle East. Particular attention will be devoted to studying the relationship between the constitutions of various world governments and the populations and political systems they represent.
Greek and Roman History
The Greek and Roman history class is a study of the founding of Western civilization. Beginning with the Minoan people, the class examines all aspects of Greek culture, including religion, philosophy, warfare, architecture, and government. The class then moves onto a survey of Roman history, following the development of Rome from the Republic to the Empire, finishing with a brief examination of the forces behind the fall of Rome.
Japanese History studies the history of Japan from prehistoric times to the present day, with a strong emphasis on early modern and modern developments. The class focuses on several key themes including change vs. tradition, the idea of a Japanese identity, and interactions with the rest of world. Much of the work in class is based on short writing assignments, which foster critical thought and careful analysis and allow the students to find what interests them. Additionally, the class is composed of a combination of discussions, lectures, and assessments based on class work, quizzes, and class participation.
Medieval History is a course that covers European history from 400 to 1500 C.E. All students write a research paper on heraldry and produce a coat-of-arms of their own design, using elements of heraldry they learned during the research to complete these projects. There is an emphasis on note-taking and discussion as we tie themes from the medieval era to events in our own time.
Middle East History
Middle Eastern history explores the political, economic and cultural development of the region from the Middle Ages to the modern day. The course includes a study of the fundamentals of Islam and its relation to Judaism and Christianity as well as the political, physical, and human geography of the region. The course also traces the rise and expansion of Islamic empires and eventually the creation of modern nation-states in the Twentieth Century in addition to the significant conflicts that followed.
Modern European History
For much of the past 500 years, European nations and their western allies have been the dominating forces in world history. From the intellectual strength of the scientific revolution to the high tension of world wars, the rest of the world has either been interested in or controlled by European nations, their ideas, and their economies. The course will pay close attention to the Enlightenment, the French Revolution, industrialization, imperialism, new political ideologies, and the turmoil of the Twentieth Century from the Great War to the Cold War.