Courses Offered

Social Studies

The general goal of the Social Studies Department is to produce a "good" citizen. A good citizen is one who is able to contribute to the improvement of his/her society. Such a student should develop critical thinking skills which will make it possible to analyze the thoughts of others and to synthesize his/her own thoughts. A student should have the evaluative tools at hand which will provide him/her with guidelines for making good decisions. Finally, a student should have the willingness to contribute his/her talents and to recognize the talents and contriubutions of others.
More specifically, the goals of the Social Studies Department are:
to provide a student with the opportunity to examine the values and beliefs held by individuals and groups;
to develop the student´s ability to think critically about important issues which face contemporary American and world societies;

to help students produce a body of tested principles and generalizations about human relations while helping them understand the limits of such generalizations;
to furnish opportunities for student creativity so the individual´s talents can be developed;
to help the student clarify his/her substantive values;
to encourage students to appreciate the progress, accomplishments and even failures of humans and to develop a corresponding spirit of tolerance for the ways in which different groups and societies have established their histories;
to use library and classroom resources to find, assimilate and apply information;
to write and speak for a variety of audiences and purposes in a clear and concise manner. 

DEPARTMENTAL REQUIREMENT: Three years: World History 10; US History 11; and Economics/Government 12


World History 10 (P) is a required course for all sophomores. The course exposes the students to the traditions and history of various cultures. Content consists of The Emergence of Western Civilization, The Middle Ages, The Transition to Modern Times, Revolution and the Rise of Nationalism, and the World Wars. Students who transfer to Garces Memorial after the freshmen year are not required to complete World History.


US History 11 (P) is a study of United States History from the Age of Discovery to the present day. Through discussion, accented with a minimum of lecture, students are required to become highly involved in the class. Students are expected, after instruction, to demonstrate levels of cognitive, affective, and critical thinking skills when discussing course content and must be able to tie together the different periods of history.


US History Advanced Placement is a more challenging and fast paced study of United States History from the Age of Discovery to the present day. Through discussion and lecture the students are expected to become highly involved in the class. Students are also expected to demonstrate high levels of cognitive, affective, and critical thinking skills when discussing class content, and will be expected to tie together the different periods of US History. This Advanced Placement course requires an increased work load, which will include not only the content presented in the textbook but also numerous outside readings and written assignments. Thus, students are expected to assume greater individual responsibility for course content.


Economics (P) is offered the first semester. This course introduces the student to the study of various economic philosophies and systems. Attention is devoted to the study of goods and services, consumer labor, public finance and the role of government, money, credit and banking in the United States and the world economy.


GOVERNMENT (P) begins with a unit on the foundation of American government. The course discusses the various ways that political parties, elections, interest groups, mass media and public opinion influences government in promoting civil liberties, protecting basic freedoms and assuring equal justice for all. Students discuss public policies and services as they pertain to foreign and domestic policy and national defense. The class concludes with a discussion of our interdependent world as it relates to comparative government and economic systems.


The purpose of an Advanced Placement course in Macroeconomics is to provide students with a thorough understanding of the principles of economics that apply to an economic system as a whole. Such a course places particular emphasis on the story of material income and price determination. The course also develops the student’s familiarity with basic economic concepts, economic performance measures, economic growth and international economics. The course will cover topics generally covered in a college course.


The purpose of an Advanced Placement course in US Government is to 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. The course also requires familiarity with the various institutions, groups, beliefs, and ideas that constitute United Statespolitics. The following areas will be explored in this course: the constitutional underpinnings of the US government, political beliefs and behaviors, political parties, interest groups, mass media, public policy, civil rights and civil liberties.


Advanced Placement European History is a yearlong course. In this course students acquire a working knowledge of the basic events and movements that occurred during the time period from 1450 to the present. These events and movements are explored through three themes: intellectual and cultural history, political and diplomatic history, and social and economic history. In addition, students will learn how to analyze historical documents and how to explore their historical understanding in writing. THIS COURSE FULFILLS THE GARCES MEMORIAL ELECTIVE REQUIREMENT AND IS ACCEPTED AS A COLLEGE PREPARATORY ELECTIVE BY UC/CSU.


The Advanced Placement Program offers a course and exam in psychology to qualified students who wish to complete studies in secondary school equivalent to an introductory college course in psychology. 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 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. This is a rigorous course and requires students to submit regular written reviews of research, give oral and group presentations, engage in outside readings, projects, and have extensive participation.


This class offers a year-long (10 credits) study for any student interested in actively participating in student government. ASB and class officers are encouraged to take this class and have priority registration. (If you are an officer and do not take this class, you will have to meet two times per week during lunch for the entire year.) Besides student government, students will learn meeting skills, goal setting, activity planning, time management, problem solving, public relations, communications and listening, personal leadership and responsibilities. THIS COURSE WILL FULFILL THE GARCES MEMORIAL ELECTIVE GRADUATION REQUIREMENT..

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