History is an opportunity for students to learn about the world around them and to seek answers to the question: “How did this come to be this way?” We provide an exciting and cohesive history curriculum that enables each student to develop as a confident member of their local and global communities, to provide learning experiences that develop skills, knowledge, relationships, attitude, and cognition, which are underpinned by our mission to help young gifted students grow.
Through in-depth discussions, Socratic seminars, research, and analysis of primary and secondary historical resources, middle school students study that culture is a system of shared beliefs, values, customs, and behaviors. Culture can be seen in physical objects and human activities, but much of culture is unseen. Study of the “seen” aspects of culture can lead to an understanding of the “unseen” aspects of culture. Students come to understand that throughout history, geographic characteristics have influenced patterns of human settlement and the development of civilizations. Technological advances that make use of available natural, capital, and human resources often enable humans to adapt to their environments and successfully meet economic wants. The result of human adaptation in a variety of environments is a rich cultural mosaic that continues today.
Students come to understand that political systems are the people, practices, and institutions that use power to help make and enforce societal decisions. Governments are the formal institutions that make, carry out, and enforce these decisions. Power in a government is organized and distributed through its structures and practices. In a democracy, governments operate through the active participation of citizens and are responsive to citizen needs. Students focus on how the political systems of ancient Greece and Rome laid a foundation for many democratic principles and practices followed today.
Students study that throughout history, civilizations have had to decide how to allocate scarce resources through their economic systems. Different types of economic systems have developed to determine what to produce, how to produce it, and how to distribute it to people. These decisions influence the political and social systems of a civilization.
Middle school students examine U.S. history evaluating to what extent American colonists were justified in rebelling against British authority and creating their own political system and analyzing American responses to inside and outside forces and how those contributed to the creation of national political culture. Students understand how geographic and economic expansion impacted the rights of diverse populations in America and how the U.S. resolved the political, economic, and social issues that led to and resulted from the Civil War.
Throughout our curriculum, comparisons are made to current times in order to answer the question, “How did this come to be this way?”