Social Studies

Graduation requirement: three years

We live in an increasingly complex world that demands nuanced thinking. Every day in social studies at Drew, you will develop your intellectual curiosity and a confident voice to share your discoveries. You will learn the skills and knowledge for historical inquiries and approach your investigations with compassion and empathy for those involved in events, movements, and ideas. Specifically, you will acquire processes for recording observations, analyzing and interpreting data, forming arguments and publishing your results to an audience. By working on your critical reasoning skills, you will feel confident to act according to your knowledge and principles in the contemporary world.

Social Studies Curriculum

List of 7 items.

  • World History

    This course will serve as your introduction to history classes at Drew as we delve into global history, focusing on the modern era. To narrow this extremely broad course of study, we will build understanding thematically by examining the foundations of societies, power, economic systems, expansion, turning points, and conflict. Discussions, projects, analysis of primary and secondary sources, historical writing, and the development of critical thinking skills will guide our exploration of these themes. We will continually reflect on how what we learn is relevant to our lives today, emphasizing the many ways people throughout history, and their choices, shaped our contemporary world.
  • U.S. History

    From the very first Americans and the geography of the land they inhabited through the importation of Africans to the emerging European colonies, concepts of identity and location serve as the focus of this course. The rebellious events that lead to the founding of the nation and the documents that created it are explored through the lens of those earlier actions. The dividing issue in the US Constitution threads through the Abolition Movement and the Civil War. The policies of Reconstruction permeate the 20th century and relate to the racial conflicts we are dealing with today. To investigate these events and ideas, you will analyze a variety of primary and secondary sources--letters, cartoons, journals, scholarly articles--and refine your critical thinking skills and intellectual voice. You will also complete a variety of research projects that incorporate student choice and independent work as well as many forms of presentation and the production of final learning outcomes.
  • U.S. History Honors

    Honors classes explore similar topics as the corresponding course but at an accelerated pace with additional depth, resources, and assessments. Department recommendations based on independent, self-regulated learning and a genuine interest in the skills and knowledge of History and Social Studies. Students are expected to perform more complex, self-driven assignments, relying on self-initiated one-on-one tutorial consultations. Prerequisite: department approval.
  • History of the United States Since 1945: Honors

    1945 was a pivotal moment in United States history due to the significant geopolitical, social, cultural, and economic consequences of World War II. To examine the postwar period and its reverberations, you will explore varying definitions of American freedom, national identity, and the struggles to expand rights and access to power. You will investigate these throughlines by paying particular attention to issues of race, gender, identity, class, and culture.

    This course will be centered on discussion and collaboration to aid in the development of historical thinking, analysis, and writing. You will debate, assess sources, engage in interdisciplinary projects, research, write, and go through the process of oral history making from interview to publication. From Footprints on the Moon, to social movements, to the rise of the New Right, you will develop a deeper and more complex understanding of the United States since 1945 and be able to make important, relevant, and empowering connections to the present.

    Prerequisite: department approval.
  • Global Revolutions

    With the understanding that the choices and actions of individuals and groups lead to historically-significant turning points, this course will examine and compare significant political, social, and technological revolutions from around the world. In this project-based course, you will use primary source documents and secondary analysis to investigate the causes, methods, and effectiveness of change movements. Through the Brown University Choices Curriculum, you will participate in debates, simulations, and mock trials to understand the multiple perspectives of political revolutions such as the Haitian Revolution, the Iranian Revolution, and the Cuban Revolution. You will also examine the wide-ranging impacts of social and technological revolutions. You will practice the historical thinking skills necessary to unpack complex texts. Course assessments will allow you to demonstrate mastery of both class content and skills through discussions, debates, and written analysis including both reflective writing and formal research papers.
  • Contemporary U.S. History and Economics

    This course will begin by surveying recent U.S. history (1945-present), focusing on how the events of this period have shaped our contemporary lives. Later, you will hone in more specifically on the major themes of economics, personal finance and government. After an introduction to microeconomics and macroeconomics, you will examine broader issues such as income inequality, as well as more specific ones like the 2008 financial crash. In addition, you will look at how individuals can effectively navigate our current economic system by investigating topics including personal debt and investing. Ultimately, you will use a similar investigation of governmental systems to determine how those processes affect--or don’t affect--the economic status of the nation.
  • Intro to Ethnic Studies

    Ethnic studies is the study of power around the axis of race and ethnicity, gender, sexuality, class, and nation. In an Ethnic Studies course, you will learn how social, economic, and political inequalities were created and how they function in our world. Ethnic Studies emerged out of the 1960s Civil Rights Movement to include the narratives and histories of BIPOC--Black, Indigenous and People of Color. In other words, the field of Ethnic Studies emerged through the political organizing and resistance of marginalized communities. Additionally, you will learn about the fight for liberation and ways we can all be allies for BIPOC. To assess your progress and comprehension, there will be formative and summative assessments. Assessments will be in the form of creative projects, group projects, dialogue/discussions, socratic seminar, reflective and formal writing.

List of 5 members.

  • Photo of Talia Di Manno

    Dr. Talia Di Manno 

    Social Studies Faculty
  • Photo of Kevin Erspamer

    Kevin Erspamer 

    Social Studies Faculty
  • Photo of Talia Krahling

    Talia Krahling 

    Social Studies Department Chair
  • Photo of Erin Pederson

    Erin Pederson 

    Social Studies Faculty
  • Photo of Julie Rivas

    Julie Rivas 

    Social Studies Faculty

Become part of the Drew Dynamic!

Drew knows and believes in teenagers. We engage each student in a process of intellectual discovery to develop an individual voice, the confidence to express it, and the empathy to understand its impact.
© 2018 Drew School. All Rights Reserved.