Social Studies

Courses

The Gaylord High School Social Studies department offers all of the traditional social classes expected at a high school, plus more. Classes range from 9th-Grade American History to Advanced Placement Comparative Government, and even Psychology. Because of this selection, students have a plethora of choices in elective social classes.

American History

Grade 9         1 credit

The study of American History from Reconstruction to the present with an emphasis on mastering the following perspectives: Geopolitical - A historical perspective on the relationship between the U.S. and the rest of the world. Historical Sequencing - Gain an understanding of historical eras relating to the present time. Major Contributions - Gain an understanding of interactions and contributions of minorities in history. The students will be able to communicate effectively in both written and oral forms. Successful completion is required for graduation.

Civics

Grade 10           1/2 credit

Civic education is essential for active participation by informed citizens. Students will learn about the rights and responsibilities of the United States citizenship. The course explores the structure of the federal government, as outlined in the U. S. Constitution, and the basics of the American free enterprise system and United Stated foreign policy. Civic understanding helps students develop the skills to make informed decisions, to resolve conflicts peacefully, to articulate and defend positions, and to engage in the civic and political life of their communities. Civics will help students understand what is expected in their role as productive members of a democracy and how to participate fully in American society. This course is required for all sophomores. Successful completion is required for graduation.

Economics

Grade 10           1/2 credit

An understanding of Economics is becoming essential for citizens in our national and increasingly interconnected world economy. Productive members of society must be able to identify, analyze, and evaluate the causes and consequences of individual economic decisions and public policy including issues raised by constraints imposed by scarcity, how economies and markets work, and the benefits and costs of economic interaction and interdependence. This course will prepare students to master fundamental economic concepts, applying the economic way of thinking and tools (graphs, statistics, equations, concepts, topics) from other subject areas to the understanding of operations and institutions of economic systems. Students will study the basic economic principles of micro and macroeconomics, and comparative economics systems. This course is required for all sophomores. Successful completion is required for graduation.

World History and Geography

Grade 11           1 credit
World History and Geography is the study of history from ancient to modern times. The past is studied to understand the present, avoid repeating the mistakes of the past, and to prepare for the future. It will also focus on economic, political, and social factors that shape our modern world. The course includes content from ancient times to medieval history to modern times.

Law I

Grades 11-12           1/2 credit

This is a course that includes general or most common legal situations that a person is likely to come into contact with in today's society. Units of study will include basic information about our legal system, court procedures, policy making, rights and responsibilities dealing with the law.

Law II

Grades 11-12           1/2 credit
Prerequisite: Law I


This class should be considered by those who are interested in a law related career. Constitutional law, contract law, torts, family law, individual rights and responsibilities and career information are among the units in the class for those who wish a more in-depth study of the subject.

Sociology

Grades 11-12           1/2 credit

Sociology is the study of man and his relationships; with self, others, and social systems. A basic concept of sociology includes a discussion of the natural, social, and cultural environments. The units of study will include development of a personality and the social being, marriage, family, and social problems of race, poverty, old age, and crime.

Psycology

Grade 11-12           1/2 credit

This course is offered to college prep students as an intensive study of the mental processes and behaviors of living organisms. Emphasis is placed upon the different methods and philosophies, learning, cognition, child development, intelligence, personality, stress management and abnormal behavior. The influence of both heredity and environment (nature/nurture) on personal development is stressed.

AP American History

Grade 11-12           1 credit
Prerequisite: American History and Civics


This course is a comprehensive review of American History with an emphasis on original source material. Discussion and readings will be the focus of this course. The student should be prepared to take the Advanced Placement Examination in American History. Upon successful completion, students receive high school credit by semester, but depending on the college or university, credit may be awarded for completion of coursework and/or scores from Advanced Placement standardized national tests. Students must check with individual colleges or universities for credit standards. The cost of the national test is the responsibility of the student.

AP Government

Grade 10-12           1 credit
Prerequisite: American History


AP US Government is a college level class that follows the A.P. College Board curriculum. It is an intensive, in-depth study of the federal government from its origins and constitutional development to its current workings. Areas of study include U.S. government philosophy, the Constitution, political beliefs and behaviors, political parties and interest groups, elections, the media, branches of government, and public policy. Upon successful completion, students receive high school credit by semester, but depending on the college or university, credit may be awarded for completion of coursework and/or scores from Advanced Placement standardized national tests. Students must check with individual colleges or universities for credit standards. The cost of the national test is the responsibility of the student. This course meets the Michigan graduation requirement for Civics. Students will have the opportunity to test out of the Economics requirement after the AP Exam has been completed.

AP Comparative Government and Politics

Grade 11-12           1 credit
Recommended: World History and A.P. US Government


AP Comparative Government and Politics is a college level class that introduces students to fundamental concepts used by political scientists to study the processes and outcomes of politics in a variety of country settings. Six countries form the core of the AP Comparative Government and Politics course: China, Great Britain, Mexico, Nigeria, Russia and Iran. Areas of study include sovereignty, authority and power; political institutions; citizens, society, and the state; political and economic change; and public policy. Upon successful completion, students receive high school credit by semester, but depending on the college or university, credit may be awarded for completion of coursework and/or scores from Advanced Placement standardized national tests. Students must check with individual colleges or universities for credit standards. The cost of the national test is the responsibility of the student.

AP Psycology

Prerequisite: Sociology and Psychology           1 credit

The A.P. Psychology course is designed to introduce students to the systematic and scientific study of behavior and mental processes of human being and other animals. Students will be exposed to the psychological facts, principles, and phenomena associated with each of the major subfields within psychology. They will also learn about the ethics and methods psychologists use in their science and practice. A College Board test is expected to be taken in May. Before taking this AP course it is strongly recommended that a student take the general psychology course. The course will include: History and Approaches, research Methods, Biological Bases of Behavior, Sensation and Perception, States of Consciousness, Learning, Cognition, Motivation and Emotion, Development Psychology, treatment of Psychological Disorders, and Social Psychology. The readings, writings, and work are expected to be at college levels. Upon successful completion, students receive high school credit by semester, but depending on the college or university, credit may be awarded for completion of coursework and/or scores from Advanced Placement standardized national tests. Students must check with individual colleges or universities for credit standards. The cost of the national test is the responsibility of the student.

AP World History

1 credit

AP World History is a college level class that introduces students to basic themes and ideas in world history. The purpose of the AP World History course is to develop greater understanding of the changes over time in various global processes in different types of human societies. The course highlights the causes and consequences of global change within and among major societies. This is achieved through acquiring relevant factual knowledge and analytical skills needed to evaluate historical evidence. The discussions of explicit periods of history form an organizing principle to address change and continuity throughout world history. Upon successful completion, students receive high school credit by semester, but depending on the college or university, credit may be awarded for completion of coursework and/or scores from Advanced Placement standardized national tests. Students must check with individual colleges or universities for credit standards. The cost of the national test is the responsibility of the student. This course meets the Michigan graduation requirement for World History & Geography.