Academics

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
    You’ll 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.
  • World History 2

    • 10th-grade full-year course
    • This course is required for graduation
    You’ll explore the foundations of contemporary Western Civilization through a detailed study of Early Modern and Modern European History, investigating the connections between material culture and economic development, the emergence of industrial society, the rise of the modern political ideologies and “modern” identities, cultures, and subcultures.
  • 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
    You’ll begin this year-long survey of American history with the English settlement of Jamestown and follow the development of the United States until the onset of the Cold War while developing an understanding of the ongoing issues that animate American discourse.
  • U.S. Cultural History Since 1945

    • 12th-grade one-semester course
    • This course is required for graduation
    • 12th-graders must also take one of six one-semester academic electives offered in Social Studies
    Using mass culture as a lens, you’ll examine the cultural history of the United States from the end of World War II until the present day. You’ll analyze how mediums such as newspapers, music, art, television, theater, and literature both communicated and created history.
  • Economics

    • 12th-grade one-semester course
    • 12th-graders must also take U.S. Cultural History Since 1945
    You’ll explore the basic principles of traditional economics, gain familiarity with the basic vocabulary of the discipline, and build familiarity with simple supply and demand graphing and topics directly related to understanding modern society, such as unemployment & 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
    You’ll begin with a survey of basic political theory and move on to case studies of successful governance around the world, including 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 U.S. Cultural History Since 1945


    You will engage deeply with the history of your home, examining the history of the Bay Area from pre-colonization to the present and covering selected events deeply. You will examine how San Francisco gained its reputation as a “wide open town”, how it became the birthplace of both reactive and radical politics, and how the area has welcomed and rejected immigrants. Moving into the 20th century, you will engage with the transformations brought by Prohibition, the Great Depression, and World War II, and how civil rights movements, labor unions, radical organizations, grassroots activism, and anti-war campaigns have shaped the political and social life of the Bay Area. From the Beats to the Hippies, from the 49ers to the Black Panthers, the Bay Area offers a fascinating glimpse into how broader historical trends played out on a local scale, and how the local can change the national. You will incorporate the incredible resources of the area into the course through student-driven research and class trips.
  • Honors American Political History Since 1945

    • 12th-grade one-semester course
    • 12th-graders must also take U.S. Cultural History Since 1945
    Using politics as a lens, you’ll 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.
  • Intro to Education: Building a School

    • 12th-grade one-semester course
    • 12th-graders must also take U.S. Cultural History Since 1945
    You'll examine what it takes to build a school in today’s complex educational landscape through exploring the purpose of education and the different educational philosophies that have emerged historically in the United States. You will apply these different theoretical perspectives to the creation of the planning, governance, and sustenance of an actual school.
  • Race and Gender Studies

    • 12th-grade one-semester course
    • 12th-graders must also take U.S. Cultural History Since 1945
    You’ll 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 U.S. Cultural History Since 1945
    You’ll 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.

  • Dr. Ian Livie 

    Social Studies Department Chair
    415.430.3767
    University of Southern California - Ph.D.
    San Francisco State University - M.A.
    U.C. Berkeley - B.A.
    Year Appointed: 2009
  • 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
  • Justin Morgan Johnson 

    Social Studies Faculty
    415.430.3768
    Cal State East Bay - M.S.
    U.C. Berkeley - B.A.
    Year Appointed: 2018
  • Dr. Grace Leslie-Waksman 

    Social Studies Faculty
    415.409.3766
    Yale University - Ph.D.
    Dartmouth College - B.A.
    Year Appointed: 2014
  • 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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