SOCIAL STUDIES DEPARTMENT
The Social Studies Department at Edison High School provides a three year sequence of mandated core courses and also offers a series of vibrant electives. In the required sequence, students undertake two years of study in United States History and then another year in World History. All of these classes are closely aligned with the latest New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards. For the electives, students can choose from both semester-long offerings and yearlong AP courses. The Program of Studies offers a more complete description of each of these classes.
To encourage students to continually link eras and identify historical cycles, the required curriculum content is delivered around recurring themes. Students in the two United States History courses, for example, will consider the nature of America’s role in war, the forces continually altering patterns of daily life, the ability of the government to change the course of events, and the struggles of various groups that find themselves outside expected protections.
All courses in the department also hone the essential skills that reside at the heart of the social studies discipline. Referenced throughout our curriculum guides are the skills prescribed by the new state standards, the Partnership for 21st Century Skills, and new NJSLS. In each chapter, for example, students will be asked to compare present and past events, using history as a guide for interpreting today’s world. Similarly, students will write “cohesive and coherent” passages, read complex primary sources, and conduct research using modern technology. These skills are captured in major projects assigned during a student’s first two years and then again in the culminating “Junior Project” of their third year. This milestone project requires that students thoroughly research a topic, read multiple sources on the subject, write extensively on their findings, and then present to an audience using traditional public speaking and more modern technologies. Students also sit for district prepared midterm and final examinations. Each will include an objective portion that covers the relevant content and a written component that captures the broader themes of the course.
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