Welcome to Don Lugo's Social Science Department
If you are interested in taking AP Social Science courses:
- AP Human Geography
- AP United States History
- AP U.S. Government
- AP Micro/Macro Economics
Please speak to a social science teacher and your counselor. Learn about all the benefits of AP courses.
History in the Making
Students in grade nine or ten study major turning points that shaped the modern world, from the late eighteenth century through the present, including the cause and course of the two world wars. They trace the rise of democratic ideas and develop an understanding of the historical roots of current world issues, especially as they pertain to international relations. They extrapolate from the American experience that democratic ideals are often achieved at a high price, remain vulnerable, and are not practiced everywhere in the world. Students develop an understanding of current world issues and relate them to their historical, geographic, political, economic, and cultural contexts. Students consider multiple accounts of events in order to understand international relations from a variety of perspectives.
World History Honors
The honors course is differentiated from the non-honors course in that the expectations are more rigorous and the students are prescreened before being placed in the course. The course expectations differ from the non-honors course in that the students are expected to be ready for working at higher critical levels. There is a greater depth as opposed to a greater breadth. This will be seen in the classroom conversations, the class work, the homework, and the long term group/individual assignments. The students will be pre-screened by the counselors for eligibility, based upon previous grades, commitment, standardized test scores, aptitude, work samples and teacher recommendations.
The History-Social Science course of study is a guide to the eras and civilizations to study. These standards require students not only to acquire core knowledge in history and social science, but also to develop the critical thinking skills that historians and social scientists employ to study the past and its relationship to the present. It is possible to spend a lifetime studying history and not learn about every significant historical event; no one can know everything. However, the State Board hopes that during their years of formal schooling, students will learn to distinguish the important from the unimportant, to recognize vital connections between the present and the past, and to appreciate universal historical themes and dilemmas.
Students in grade twelve pursue a deeper understanding of the institutions of American government. They compare systems of government in the world today and analyze the history and changing interpretations of the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the current state of the legislative, executive, and judiciary branches of government. An emphasis is placed on analyzing the relationship among federal, state, and local governments, with particular attention paid to important historical documents such as the Federalist Papers. These standards represent the culmination of civic literacy as students prepare to vote, participate in community activities, and assume the responsibilities of citizenship.
Students will master fundamental economic concepts, applying the tools (graphs, statistics, equations) from other subject areas to the understanding of operations and institutions of economic systems. Studied in a historic context are the basic economic principles of micro- and macroeconomics, international economics, comparative economic systems, measurement, and methods.
AP US History
The AP program in United States History is designed to provide students with the analytic skills and factual knowledge necessary to deal critically with the problems and materials in United States history. The program prepares students for intermediate and advanced college courses by making demands upon them equivalent to those made by full-year introductory college courses. Students should learn to assess historical materials (their relevance to a given interpretive problem, their reliability, and their importance) and to weigh the evidence and interpretations presented in historical scholarship.
An AP United States History course should thus develop the skills necessary to arrive at conclusions on the basis of an informed judgment and to present reasons and evidence clearly and persuasively in essay format.
AP Human Geography
The AP Human Geography course introduces students to the systematic study of patterns and processes that have shaped human understanding, use, and alteration of earth’s surface. Students learn to employ spatial concepts and landscape analysis to examine human socioeconomic organization and its environmental consequences. They also learn about the methods and tools geographers use in their research and applications.
AP US Government
A well-designed Advanced Placement (AP) course in United States (U.S.) Government and Politics will give students an analytical perspective on government and politics in the U.S. This course includes both the study of general concepts used to interpret U.S. politics and the analysis of specific examples. It also requires familiarity with the various institutions, groups, beliefs, and ideas that constitute U.S. politics. While there is no single approach that an United States Government and Politics AP course must follow, students should become acquainted with the variety of theoretical perspectives and explanations for various behaviors and outcomes. Certain topics are usually covered in all college courses. The following are topics and questions that should be explored in the course:
1. Constitutional underpinnings of United States Government 2. Political beliefs and behaviors 3. Political parties, interest groups, and mass media 4. Institutions of national government 5. Public policy 6. Civil rights and civil liberties