• Course Offerings and Descriptions for Social Studies at PAHS
      Social Studies Disciplines

    ·        AP Psychology

    ·        AP U.S. History

    ·        AP U.S. Government

    ·        African American History

    ·        Contemporary World Issues

    ·        Economics

    ·        Human Geography (1/2 year course)

    ·        Introduction to American Government

    ·        Latin American Studies

    ·        Psychology

    ·        Sociology (1/2 year course)

    ·        U.S. History I

    ·        U.S. History II

    ·        U.S. History I Honors

    ·        U.S. History II Honors

    ·        World History

    The College Board’s Advanced Placement Program (AP) enables students to pursue college-level studies while still in high school.  Through more than 30 courses, each culminating in a rigorous exam, AP provides willing and academically prepared students with the opportunity to earn college credit, advanced placement, or both.  Taking AP courses also demonstrates to college admission officers that students have sought out the most rigorous course work available to them.

    AP Psychology-The AP Psychology course is designed to introduce students to the systematic and scientific study of the behavior and mental processes of human beings and other animals.  Students are exposed to the psychological facts, principles, and phenomena associated with each of the major subfields within psychology.  They also learn about the ethics and methods psychologists use in their science and practice.

    AP U.S. History- The AP U.S. History course focuses on the development of historical thinking skills (chronological reasoning, comparing and contextualizing, crafting historical arguments using historical evidence, and interpreting and synthesizing historical narrative) and an understanding of content learning objectives organized around seven themes: Belief Systems, Geography & Environment, Identity, Peopling, Politics & Power, Economy and America in the World.    

    AP U.S. Government- The AP U.S. Government course provides students with a learning experience equivalent to that obtained in most college introductory United States Government and Politics courses. This course will give students an analytical perspective on government and politics in the United States.  Students will become familiar with the variety of theoretical perspectives and explanations for various behaviors and outcomes.

    African American History- This course examines the continent of Africa and its Diasporas in Europe, Asia and the Americas, with special emphasis on the African-American and African-Caribbean experience.  This course seeks to integrate analysis of race, class, gender, culture, migration, immigration, economics, politics, history, the arts, literature, community, Nation-building and globalization issues throughout the duration of this course.  Students will be able to analyze primary and secondary sources from diverse sources to evaluate historical content and appreciate the struggle of Black people everywhere for self-determination, equality, respect and civil rights.

    Contemporary World Issues- In this course, students will analyze governments, economies, peoples, and cultures from around the world.  Instruction emphasizes the structures and policies of the Unites States and how they compare to other systems in the international community. Students apply critical thinking skills to examine current events and contemporary issues, including human rights, the strengths and weaknesses of globalization, America’s role in the international economy, the severe environmental threats facing many regions around the world today, how religion is often used to facilitate and justify violence, and America’s “War on Terror” and its impact on the Middle East and the Islamic culture.

    Economics- This course will introduce students to the basics of economic principles.  They will explore different economic systems including the American free enterprise system, analyze and interpret data, and consider economic applications in today’s world.  From economics in the world of business, money, banking and finance, students will see how economics is applied both domestically and globally.

     Human Geography- This class is a half year course. It combines economic and cultural geography to explore the relationships between humans and their natural environment, and to track the broad social patterns that shape human societies. Featuring communities around the world that are grappling with major socioeconomic change, the programs help students understand present-day events within the scope of clearly recognizable trends, and realize the impact that government, corporate, and individual decisions may have on people and places near and far.

     Introduction to American Government- This course is an introduction to political science, American government and politics and is structured to promote political and analytical understanding and thinking regarding American politics and government. Areas of concentration include principles, institutions, problems, processes, theory, philosophy, and ideology.

     Latin American Studies- This course is designed to offer students an opportunity to explore the diverse regions of the Caribbean, Mexico, and Central and South America through their history, politics, language, and culture of its people.  The course will explore the histories, artistic movements, social organizations, and political institutions that have shaped Latin America in the past and continue to define its present.

     Psychology- This course is a general survey of the important concepts in psychology with traditional theories and modern developments. It includes, but is not limited to, such topics as the history of psychology, the biological foundations of behavior, learning, memory, problem solving, sensation and perception, states of consciousness, motivation, emotions, personality, intelligence, gender and sexuality and abnormal behavior.

     Sociology- This is a half year course. It examines the nature and scope of sociology, its terminology and concepts; studies sociological perspectives, social processes, social institutions, development of society, and characteristics of social life.

     U.S. History I- This course examines the major turning points in American history beginning with the events leading up to the American Revolution, the origins of our constitution, reform movements, Manifest Destiny, the Civil War and Reconstruction, the impact of the frontier, the changing nature of business and government, and World War I through the roaring 1920’s.

     U.S. History II- This course begins with the Great Depression and continues on with World War II, the growth of the United States as a world power, the Cold War and the struggle to achieve class, ethnic, racial, and gender equality. The course extends to the modern day. Contemporary world issues such as globalization, economic interdependence, terrorism and world cultures will also factor into our analysis of international conflict and cooperation.

     U.S. History I Honors & U.S. History II Honors- Honors United States History are designed as survey courses, beginning with the Washington administration and continuing to current times. This course provides students with a framework for studying political, social, economic, and cultural issues and for analyzing the impact these issues have had on American society. This course demands greater independence and responsibility and concentrates on the development of higher level thinking skills. The honors courses in U.S. History I and II are designed to help students perform at a higher level and to develop the critical skills of analysis, synthesis, and evaluation in a more rigorous and reflective academic setting.

     World History- World History is a year-long required survey course that explores the key events and global historical developments since 1350 A.C.E. that have shaped the world we live in today. The scope of Modern World History provides the latitude to range widely across all aspects of human experience: economics, science, religion, philosophy, politics & law, military conflict, literature & the arts. The course will illuminate connections between our lives and those of our ancestors around the world. Students will uncover patterns of behavior, identify historical trends and themes, explore historical movements and concepts, and test theories. Students will refine their ability to read for comprehension and critical analysis; summarize, categorize, compare, and evaluate information; write clearly and convincingly; express facts and opinions orally; and use technology appropriately to present information.