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Social Studies

Social Studies

The principal objective of the Social Studies program is the development of young adults who are ready for career, college and community involvement; citizens who are knowledgeable about the world, our own society and its evolution.  In order to accomplish this objective, a four-year sequence of courses is offered. The courses have been designed to provide the student with knowledge about the world both past and present, to teach the skills needed to evaluate data and make decisions, and to provide the opportunity to reflect on the values that have shaped societies.

Staff Directory

Please access the district directory linked above in order to browse faculty members by department and location.

District Curriculum

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  • This course is designed to develop an understanding of the principal social, cultural, political, intellectual and economic themes in modern European history from 1450 to the present.  There is heavy emphasis on seminar-style discussion based on primary and secondary source readings and prospective students should be comfortable speaking in front of their peers.

  • The Advanced Placement program in American History makes demands upon students equivalent to those of full-year introductory college courses.  In addition to extensive daily reading, students will be required to write scholarly papers, research topics in American history and prepare for the Advanced Placement Exam in May.

  • Focusing on an interdisciplinary and conceptual study of art, literature, government, philosophy, and film, Humanities considers periods in world history and their rich cultural legacy to better understand what shapes human experience. Taught by an English teacher and a Social Studies teacher, the course meets for two periods. Frequent class discussion and a range of writing assignments help students to consider works from around the globe throughout the ages, from Socrates and Confucius to Nietzsche and Spiegelman. Full length texts include Antigone, Julius Caesar, Girl with a Pearl Earring, The Uncommon Reader, and Lord of the Flies. 

  • Perspectives on History requires students to read, to write and to think critically about film as text.  This semester long course proposes to examine imagination in feature films that are based on historical events and personalities, and evaluate “truth” in documentary film.  Students will engage in visual literacy by using the methods and approaches of critical reading, thinking, and writing and will examine the current research about film as historical narrative.  The course will include the art of film, learning to “read” the movies as texts in the study of history, and reading contemporary criticism by film critics and historians. 

  • This course is a survey of the history of the United States from colonial times to the present.  Major political, economic, and social movements are examined. Study and research skills are emphasized as are reading and writing skills. This course includes historical research and a research paper. 

  • The course in World History is the entry-level course in social studies at Wilton High School.  It requires students to engage in activities that promote the development of research, reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills; students will analyze events and issues in Modern World History from the sixteenth century to the end of the Cold War. Sections are combined with Freshman English for team-taught interdisciplinary work.

Social Science

  • UConn ECE/AP United States Government and Politics give students an analytical perspective on government and politics in the United States.  This course includes both the study of general concepts used to interpret United States politics and the analysis of specific examples.  It also requires familiarity with the various institutions, groups, beliefs, and ideas that constitute US politics. Students become acquainted with a variety of theoretical perspectives and explanations for various behaviors and outcomes.    There is heavy emphasis on seminar-style discussion and prospective students should be comfortable speaking in front of their peers.

  • The AP Macroeconomics course teaches students how to apply fundamental economic principles as the foundation for understanding macroeconomic concepts and issues, such as inflation and unemployment.

  • The AP Microeconomics course introduces students to the economic way of thinking. As consumers and producers in the resource and output markets, individuals and firms weigh costs and benefits, consider opportunity costs and apply marginal analysis to make decisions. Topics include production, costs, profit, and externalities in the competitive and monopolistic markets. AP Microeconomics is a one-semester course.  Most students will pursue their interest in the field by taking AP Macroeconomics during the following semester.  Students enrolled in these courses are expected to take two separate AP exams, both of which are given in May.  The AP Microeconomics and Macroeconomics course syllabi have been designed in accordance with the College Board Advanced Placement course specifications and guidelines.  In order to cover the required material and allow time to review both AP economics courses, the class pace and rigor will necessitate devoting considerable time outside of the classroom studying and preparing substantial assignments.

  • This full-year course will require students to engage in activities that promote the development of research, reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills. Students will analyze events and issues in American government and the wider world. The course is designed to provide a rich social studies experience by building capacity in students to develop questions that can frame and advance inquiry.  The class will also fulfill student’s state mandated government/civics graduation requirement.

  • Economics is a half-year course, which will cover the basic principles of Microeconomics and Macroeconomics.  Topics include:  economic decision-making, alternative economic systems, supply and demand, marginal analysis, market structures, money and banking, stocks and bonds, economic indicators, and the effects of government fiscal and monetary policies. 

  • This course is designed to provide students with a practical understanding of the law and the American legal system that will be useful in their everyday lives. Students will have the opportunity to hone their advocacy, conflict resolution, and critical thinking skills as they analyze and discuss some of the most important and interesting legal issues and controversies of our time. Students’ understanding of the fundamental principles and values underlying the U.S. Constitution, our civil and criminal laws, and the civil and criminal justice systems will be enhanced.

  • This challenging course is designed to be an introduction to the field of psychology.  Through lecture, hands-on activities, and film, the student will be exposed to a sampling of topics including an overview of psychology, learning principles and applications, memory and thought, mind and body behavior, emotion, motivation and stress, theories of development and sensation and perception, altered states of consciousness, personality theories, psychological ethics, abnormal psychology and social psychology.

  • The course covers the basic concepts and methods of sociology; analysis of our own culture and others; the way in which people are socialized; how society is organized into groups, organizations and communities; social inequalities due to class, race, age and sex; social institutions; collective behavior; and social change.  Students will do library research and carry out original studies.

Area Studies

  • This course will develop student understanding of the material culture and the social, economic and political institutions of the people of sub-Saharan Africa.  Students will use a variety of resources to investigate the diversity of sub-Saharan culture and geography, and to discuss Africa's role in the world today, including relationships with the U.S.  

  • Students will learn the physical and political geography of Asia.  Through a variety of readings, films, and Internet sources, they will study several Asian nations’ history, culture, government and economy and their relations with the United States.  Additional topics covered include traditional religious and philosophical systems, as well as current topics dictated by events in Asia.  

  • The course begins with the geography of South and Central America and concludes with a consideration of the contemporary political landscape.  Topics considered include pre-Columbian social organization (i.e. Incas, Aztecs, Mayans), the Spanish conquest and colonial period, independence movements, the role of the church, and U.S. involvement from the Monroe Doctrine to the present day with specific references to the history of American involvement in Nicaragua, Guatemala, and Chile. 

  • The Middle Eastern Studies course focuses on the region but will discuss its far-reaching impact on other areas of the world.  The course will cover the history of the region as a basis for student understanding of current events and the important role this region has played and will continue to play in our world.  The course will also include the region’s religion, art and literature. 

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  • Russian Studies will introduce students to the study of the Russian state by introducing them to the history and culture of Imperial Russia, the Russian revolution, and the ideology of Marx, Lenin and Stalin.  The course also examines the political, social and economic climate of the contemporary Russian state.