Social Studies Course Descriptions
The study of the past and how it applies to the future is at the root of the social studies curriculum at Randolph-Macon Academy. The social studies curriculum is also tailored to challenge and encourage students to grow in their breadth of knowledge, skills in finding and applying information, and in honing the ability to think, write, and speak clearly.
World History II
World History II surveys the history of civilization from the Renaissance to modern times, with an emphasis on cultural development and the outstanding personalities who have shaped human progress. From the start of the Renaissance to the revolutions that make up the modern period, students will gain a better understanding of the forces that have shaped modern cultures around the world.
Honors World History II
Honors World History II covers the history of civilization from the Renaissance to modern times, with an emphasis on cultural development and the outstanding personalities who have shaped human progress. Honors World History II places a special emphasis on critical thinking, reading, and writing skills concerning the political, social, and economic developments and ideas that have shaped the past and are shaping the present time.
United States History
United States History is usually taken in the junior year, and provides an in-depth study of America’s history from its beginnings to the present day. U.S. History is the story of an evolution—of the physical landmass as the country spreads across the continent; of the changing composition of society; of the revolutions and transformations in institutions, industry and government; and of the ever-changing role of America on the world stage.
Advanced Placement United States History
This course has two purposes: to teach the main lines of American political, social, and economic history, and to develop the analytical skills necessary to develop a sophisticated understanding of the process of historical continuity and change. In addition to the enhanced course content, students learn and practice expository writing in order to prepare for the Advanced Placement exam, which is required of enrolled students. Students completing both semesters with a “C” or better can earn six college credit hours with dual enrollment at Shenandoah University. Students must earn a B or higher in a 10th grade level history course and in 10th grade English or equivalent to qualify for this course.
United States Government
United States Government is a full-year course taken in the senior year. This course provides students with an in-depth look at the foundations and functions of American government. Major themes and topics of study include the history of American democracy and government; the Constitution and Bill of Rights; citizenship; political parties and the election process; Congress and the legislative process; the Presidency and the executive branch; the federal bureaucracy; and the Supreme Court, the lower federal courts, and major landmark decisions.
Advanced Placement United States Government and Politics
This course involves the study of general concepts used to interpret American politics and familiarity with the various institutions, groups, beliefs, and ideas that constitute US politics. In addition, the course provides students with frequent practice in writing analytical and interpretive essays such as thematic essays in order to prepare for the Advanced Placement exam, which is required by all enrolled students. The pre-requisites for the course are a B or higher in United States History and the most recently taken English course.
Advanced Placement Modern European History
This is a college-level course open to juniors and seniors, surveying events in Europe from the end of the Middle Ages to the present. This course is intended to educate the student in relevant factual data, covering intellectual, cultural, political, diplomatic, social and economic developments. It provides the student with the necessary skills and abilities to analyze and interpret a variety of historical sources and materials, for success in higher academic scholarship. The course includes extensive instruction in analysis and interpretation of a wide variety of primary sources. Throughout the year, students will learn how to interpret and evaluate various historical media including primary sources. The Advanced Placement Test is required to receive credit for this course. The pre-requisites for the course are a B or higher in World History or United States History and the most recent English course.
This course surveys the works of the Great Thinkers from Antiquity, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, the Age of Enlightenment, and Contemporary Times. Students examine, discuss, and debate such great figures as Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Euclid, Michelangelo, Newton, Einstein, Locke, Beethoven, and Gandhi, along with a host of other Great Thinkers. The course is facilitated by a team of faculty members who are experts in their individual fields. Each quarter covers the following academic disciplines of the specific period studied: History & Geography, Philosophy & Religion, Political Thought, Literature, Mathematics, Science, Music, and the Arts. The course is seminar-based and emphasizes student discussion and participation throughout. This course enables each student to understand from where and how our modern thought evolved and how each generation talks to the next, and assists the student in becoming comfortable in the world of knowledge and ideas.
World geography is a one semester course highlighting the diverse geographic aspects within a global perspective. Focus will be on the six themes of geography: location, place, human environment interaction, movement, culture and region. In addition, the study of broad regional elements will help understand key geographic relationships and concepts.
20th Century Warfare
The world in 1900 was poised on the threshold of one of the most remarkable periods of change in human history. This class explores the clashes between nations and how these were affected by industrialization, the rise of mass politics, the collapse of monarchical orders and the coming of mass urbanization. Some focus is placed on strategy, tactics, and weaponry.
This 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 learn about the explorations and discoveries made by psychologists over the past century, the differing approaches to biological, behavioral, cognitive, humanistic, psychodynamic, and sociocultural perspectives, and the basic skills of psychological research.