Social Studies

We live in an increasingly complex world that demands nuanced thinking. Every day in social studies at Drew, you will develop your critical reasoning skills while cultivating a sense of global awareness and social responsibility. You will hone key analytical skills and adhere to rigorous academic standards as you prepare for success in social sciences and humanities courses at the college/university of your choice. You will develop a thorough understanding of historical and cultural developments across multiple world areas, and the desire to observe, analyze, and act according to your knowledge and principles in the contemporary world.

Graduation requirement: Four years of Social Studies.

Social Studies Curriculum

List of 11 items.

  • World History 1

    • 9th-grade full-year course
    • This course is required for graduation
    Investigate the histories of China and the Islamic World, beginning with the origins of the earliest Chinese kingdoms and ending with examinations of contemporary China and the Middle East. You will apply critical reasoning and analysis, develop research methodology, and hone your writing skills to construct historical ideas that are attentive to context, nuance, and complexity.
  • World History 2

    • 10th-grade full-year course
    • This course is required for graduation
    Explore the foundations of contemporary Western Civilization through a detailed study of Early Modern and Modern European History. You will investigate the connections between culture, politics, and socio-economic development in early modern and modern European history. You will refine your reasoning skills and develop an understanding of significant aspects of European history.
  • U.S. History

    • 11th-grade full-year course
    • An honors version of this course is available
    • This course, or its honors equivalent, is required for graduation
    Survey U.S. history with the English settlement of Jamestown and follow the development of the United States until the onset of the Cold War. You will interrogate a variety of historical texts and refine your historical and critical thinking skills as you use a historical lens to understand the past and present of the United States.
  • American Cultural History Since 1945

    • 12th-grade one-semester course
    • This course, or American Political History Since 1945 Honors, is required for graduation
    • 12th-graders must also take one one-semester academic electives offered in Social Studies
    Examine the cultural history of the United States from the end of World War II until the present day using mass culture as a lens. You will identify, interrogate, and analyze power structures throughout history, applying historical methods and a comprehensive understanding of diverse narratives of the past to better understand the world and your place in it.
  • American Political History Since 1945 Honors

    • 12th-grade one-semester course
    • 12th-graders must also take American Cultural History Since 1945
    Utilize politics as a lens as you examine the history of the United States through a case-study-based tour of the U.S. between 1946 and 2001, with a specific focus on the role of government in society.
  • Art & The State

    • 12th-grade one-semester course
    • 12th-graders must also take American Cultural History Since 1945 or American Political History Since 1945 Honors
    Investigate the role that art, architecture, and visual culture play in the development of nations. You will explore how art and ritual help to shape the thinking and behavior of citizens, and how artists subvert power structures through artistic acts of protest.
  • Economics

    • 12th-grade one-semester course
    • 12th-graders must also take U.S. Cultural History Since 1945 or U.S. Political History Since 1945 Honors
    Explore the basic principles of traditional economics, gain familiarity with the vocabulary of the discipline, and build an understanding of simple supply and demand graphing and topics directly related to understanding modern society, such as unemployment and labor markets, currency values, money supply, and fiscal policies.
  • Good Governance

    • 12th-grade one-semester course
    • 12th-graders must also take U.S. Cultural History Since 1945 or U.S. Political History Since 1945 Honors
    Examine successful governance around the world through a survey of basic political theory that includes diverse approaches to education, public health, public policy, and family law in this comparative government course.
  • History of the Bay Area

    • 12th-grade one-semester course
    • 12th-graders must also take American Cultural History Since 1945 or American Political History Since 1945 Honors
    Engage deeply with the history of your home by examining the history of the Bay Area from pre-colonization to the present, covering selected representative events rather than generally surveying the entire history of the area.
  • Race and Gender Studies

    • 12th-grade one-semester course
    • 12th-graders must also take American Cultural History Since 1945 or American Political History Since 1945 Honors
    Delve into the major questions and theories of race, gender, sexuality, and class as social categories and examine the processes through which people are categorized and how these processes shape individual experiences of the world.
  • 20th Century Global History

    • 12th-grade one-semester course
    • 12th-graders must also take American Cultural History Since 1945 or American Political History Since 1945 Honors
    Examine 20th-century global history with an emphasis on political, economic and cultural trends across human civilizations, and the ascent of “modernity.” You will turn with a critical eye to the continued development of imperial relationships, their decline and collapse, and the cultural and economic relationships between developed and lesser-developed countries.

List of 5 members.

  • Photo of Jon Zeljo

    Jon Zeljo 

    Social Studies Department Chair
    University of Virginia - M.A.
    Duke University - A.B.
    Year Appointed: 2019
  • Photo of Kevin Erspamer

    Kevin Erspamer 

    Social Studies Faculty
    Harvard College - M.A.
    Bowdoin College - B.A.
    Year Appointed: 2019
  • Photo of Adrianne Francisco

    Dr.  Adrianne Francisco 

    Social Studies Faculty
    415.430.3745
    U.C. Berkeley - Ph.D.
    U.C. Berkeley - M.A.
    U.C. Berkeley - B.A.
    Year Appointed: 2017
  • Photo of Joe La Sala

    Dr. Joe La Sala 

    Social Studies Faculty
    University of Michigan - Ph.D.
    UCLA - B.A.
    Year Appointed: 2019
  • Photo of Robert Nelson

    Robert Nelson 

    Social Studies Faculty
    415.409.3739
    University of California - M.A.
    University of Maryland - B.A.
    University of Maryland - B.A.
    Year Appointed: 2014

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