Academics

Social Studies

Social Studies is the memory, reflection and analysis of the human group experience. Without it, we cannot know who we are, where we are, or how we arrived. Civilization is not inherited but learned, and must be learned by each generation anew. Social studies locates us in the present by connecting us to our past so we can move into the future with wisdom, for only the truly wise can be “Men and Women for Others.” Therefore, rather than emphasize a mass of data, the Jesuit Dallas Social Studies Department focuses on those trends and processes of the social sciences that enable us to better understand our world and ourselves. The various disciplines of social studies require one to train and exercise all the essential aspects of intellectual activity: inquiry, reason, self-expression and communication. Together they enable one to become a truly educated individual. Above all, social studies teaches those habits truly characteristic of an educated person: those of skepticism, criticism, perspective, objectivity, and the ability to see not only the blacks and whites of the human experience, but also the various shades of gray.

Ms. Dea Ochs

Ms. Dea Ochs

Teacher, Department Head
Mr. Casey Profitt

Mr. Casey Profitt

Teacher, Department Head

Social Studies [500]

The four credit Social Studies requirements are World History, United States History, Social Justice and Public Policy, Government, Economics and one additional half credit (0.50) Social Studies choice course. In addition to the four Social Studies credits, all students are required the half credit (0.50) in Rhetoric and Civics.

RHETORIC AND CIVICS [519]

Credit: 0.50

Prerequisites: Freshman status.

Description: Rhetoric and Civics is a semester course designed to foster critical thinking. The course will focus on introducing students to the prevalence of argument in modern society (i.e. relationships, politics, law, media), the argument process, and the creations of argument. The course will introduce students to types of evidence, reasoning devices, research skills, organizational skills, and critical analysis. This course satisfies the speech requirement for Jesuit students. This class meets four days a week.

AP WORLD HISTORY [513]

Credit: 1.00

Prerequisites: Sophomore status; Qualification based on the following AP placement criteria: Students selecting AP World History must have achieved an overall GPA of 88 with a minimum Social Studies (Argumentation and Debate) GPA of 90; minimum Freshmen level English GPA of 90.

An evaluation on a rating scale from the freshmen English and Social Studies teachers will be obtained. To be ranked, a student must have an average teacher assessment of four or higher (on a five point scale); The selection factor on which students will be ranked is a combination of GPA and teacher recommendation ratings.

Students taking AP World History understand they are agreeing to take the AP test administered in the Spring.

Description: AP World History is a survey course that follows the overall scope, sequence and format of the College Board’s AP World History Course Description in preparing students for the AP World History Exam. The course is designed to foster critical thinking skills and habits of mind as students analyze the changes and continuities of human civilization across time and place. It seeks to look at the broad development of humanity at a more global level, and it focuses on many cultures and societies outsides those usually considered part of “Western Civilization”. The course assumes students are highly motivated with excellent reading and study habits and that they are willing to accept the challenges of a “college-level” course as high school sophomores.

WORLD HISTORY [514]

Credit: 1.00

Prerequisites: Sophomore status.

Description: This is a two semester survey of World History that follows the development of civilizations around the world from prehistory to the present with slightly more focus on Western Civilization. Students will explore how human-geographic relationships, political and social structures, economics, science and technology, and the arts have influenced life in these civilizations. Students will also focus on major changes in World History such as the development of agriculture, rise of the nation states, the industrial era, spread of democracy and the issues and conflicts of the 20th century.

AP UNITED STATES HISTORY [524]

Credit: 1.00

Prerequisites: Junior status; Qualification based on the following AP placement criteria: Students selecting AP U.S. History must have achieved an overall GPA of 88 with a minimum cumulative Social Studies GPA of 90.

An evaluation on a rating scale from the sophomore English and Social Studies teachers will be obtained. To be ranked, a student must have an average teacher assessment of four or higher (on a five point scale); the selection factor on which students will be ranked is a combination of GPA and teacher recommendation ratings. Students taking AP US History understand they are agreeing to take the AP test administered in the Spring.

Description: This course is structured to prepare students to achieve the greatest possible success on the AP U.S. History Exam in the Spring. This course is a survey in United States history from the early days of exploration to the USA‘s postwar superpower status. Its purpose is to help students gain insight and demonstrate an appreciation for the American phenomenon both internationally and domestically. Emphasis is placed on the historical, social, political, economic and intellectual issues, and how they relate to the maturation and development of the country. Success in this course will require students to integrate and apply knowledge gained from the synthesis of thorough lecture notes, participating in class discussion, completing all assigned activities, text readings and outside readings; independent initiative, motivation and dedication to academic success are assumed.

UNITED STATES HISTORY [526]

Credit: 1.00

Prerequisites: Junior status.

Description: This is a two semester survey of United States history from its New World beginning through the major events of the twentieth century and into the twenty first. Students will investigate the United States‘ struggle to define and practice its democratic ideals throughout its development and refinement. Students are required to write a major research paper and make use of interpretive and analytical skills.

AP GOVERNMENT [537]

Credit: 0.50

Prerequisites: Senior status; completion of World and U.S. History. Qualification based on the following AP placement criteria: Students selecting AP Government and AP Economics must have achieved an overall GPA of 88 with a minimum cumulative Social Studies GPA of 90; an evaluation on a rating scale from the junior English and Social Studies teachers will be obtained. To be ranked, a student must have an average teacher assessment of four or higher (on a five point scale); the selection factor on which students will be ranked is a combination of GPA data and teacher recommendation ratings. Students taking AP Government understand they are agreeing to take the AP test administered in the Spring.

Description: This one semester college level course in United States government and politics brings critical perspective to the study of general concepts used to interpret United States politics and the analysis of specific case studies. Through lecture, discussion, original source readings, focused research, and simulations, the course allows students to understand and appreciate the various institutions, groups, beliefs, and ideas that make up the United States’ political reality. The AP course is designed to aid the student to achieve the greatest possible success on the AP Government examination.

This class meets four days a week.

GOVERNMENT [538]

Credit: 0.50

Prerequisites: Senior status; completion of World and US History.

Description: This one semester course in Government introduces students to the structure and function of the American governmental system along with the nature of American politics. An investigation of the Constitution and its development opens the way to focus on how various governmental officials achieve and wield power. Campaigning and elections, policy making, and the media‘s role in politics are given explicit attention. How the three branches of the national government work together through balance of power and the checks and balances system, how the Congress makes law, the President executes law and the courts review law are all investigated thoroughly to enlighten students about the American government‘s responsibility to citizens and their own social and civic responsibility.

This class meets four days a week.

** An accelerated version of this course is offered during Summer Session to rising Seniors.

GOVERNMENT CLOSE UP TRIP TO DC [539] (Summer Only)

Credit: 0.50

Prerequisites: Senior status; completion of World and US History.

Description: This three week accelerated Summer Government course introduces students to the structure and function of the American governmental system along with the nature of American politics. During Week One and Two students meet in the classroom at Jesuit and investigate the Constitution, how the three branches of the national government operate and work together, campaigning, elections, and policy making. Week Three students travel to Washington DC as members of the Close Up flagship High School Program. Visit www.closeup.org to become more familiar with this one-of-a-kind opportunity for students to experience their government in action. This accelerated Summer Session course requires students to integrate and apply knowledge gained from the synthesis of text readings, ancillary readings, class and travel experiences and independent initiative. Additional tuition and fees required.

Number of students is limited.

AP MACROECONOMICS [547]

Credit: 0.50

Prerequisites: Senior status; completion of World and U.S. History. Qualification based on the Departmental AP placement criteria as stated for AP Government.

Description: This one semester college level course is an analysis of the economy as a whole. Students examine the organization and function of the economy through lectures, readings, and focused research projects demanding evaluation and synthesis. Topics covered include money and banking, national income, public finance, and international linkages. The AP course is designed to aid the student to achieve the greatest possible success on the AP Macroeconomics examination.

This class meets four days a week.

ECONOMICS [548]

Credit: 0.50

Prerequisites: Senior status; completion of World and U.S. History.

Description: This one semester course is taken in the senior year. Through lecture, discussion, research project, evaluative activities and diagnostics, and student presentations, students demonstrate mastery of essential economic concepts such as the operation of markets, national income, and money and banking. Special consideration is given to an extension of socio-economic issues and social justice issues.

This class meets four days a week.

** An accelerated version of this course is offered during Summer Session to rising Seniors.

CONTEMPORARY ISSUES IN SOCIAL STUDIES [558]

Credit: 0.50 (Senior Choice Course)

Prerequisites: Senior status.

Description: This is a one semester senior level elective designed to explore today‘s issues and conflicts, particularly at the national level. It is a self-directed participatory course with seminar style discussions and debates. Use is made of current articles, events, documentaries, videos, and other pertinent information.

This class meets four days a week.

AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY [562]

Credit: 0.50 (Senior Choice Course)

Prerequisites: Senior status.

Description: The purpose of the AP Human Geography course is to introduce students to the systematic study of patterns and processes that have shaped human understanding, use, and alteration of Earth’s surface. Students employ spatial concepts and landscape analysis to examine human social organization and its environmental consequences. They also learn about the methods and tools geographers use in their science and practice. The aim of an AP course is to provide the student with a learning experience equivalent to that obtained in most college introductory human geography courses.

This class meets four days a week.

SUSTAINABILITY & COLLAPSE OF CIVILIZATIONS [570]

Credit: 0.50 (Senior Choice Course)
Prerequisites: Senior status.
Description: This one semester elective course investigates the history of sustainability in human civilizations. It seeks to explore why societies fail and how they succeed, while helping students become more informed of the current sustainability issues facing the United States and the world at large. The material is presented seminar-style, and it uses the book Collapse by Pulitzer-prize winning author Jared Diamond as its core text.

This class meets four days a week.

AP PSYCHOLOGY [573]

Credit: 0.50 (Senior Choice Course)

Prerequisites: Senior status.

Description: The AP Psychology course is designed to introduce students to the systematic and scientific study of the behavior and mental processes of human beings and other animals. Students are exposed to the psychological facts, principles, and phenomena associated with psychology. They also learn about the ethics and methods psychologists use in their science and practice. In particular, the AP Psychology course seeks four primary goals: give students a working knowledge of the theories and key concepts of each of the major subfields within psychology; expose them to many of the contributing psychologists and significant research studies, both historical and current, that have shaped our understanding of behavior and mental processes; train them to apply psychological principles and understand connections between ideas and theories; and leave them with an appreciation of the scientific methods and ethical procedures that produce such knowledge.

This class meets four days a week.

PSYCHOLOGY [571]

Credit: 0.50 (Senior Choice Course)

Prerequisites: Senior status.

Description: This one semester elective course will teach students to apply approaches such as the cognitive, behavioral, biological, psychoanalytic, and humanistic theories to examine people and their responses to the world. Students will also examine topics such as motivation, emotion, theories of learning, definitions of abnormality, psychological disorders, and approaches to treatment. Additional areas to be covered include social psychology, group dynamics, conformity, theories of personality, and career opportunities in the field of psychology.

This class meets four days a week.

HISTORY THROUGH POPULAR MEDIA [572]

Credit: 0.50 (Senior Choice Course)

Prerequisites: Senior status.

Description: This one semester elective course is interested in the fact that many people in current US society get their history through media outside of print. That is, they do not read history so much as view it or play it. History comes to them in an ubiquitous flood of Hollywood films, History Channel docu-wars, evening broadcasts, and video games. Thus, a question arises: how valid are these media for conveying the past? Even more specifically, what about history, if anything, can be legitimately learned from such media? How reliable are these sources and by what criteria should such sources be scrutinized, criticized, and evaluated in terms of conveying the past to the present and future? This course is for students interested in the way alternative media, particularly film, conveys history. Students can expect to develop critical thinking and writing skills, as well as some sense of the larger controversies surrounding how the past can and should be communicated.

This class meets four days a week.

HISTORICAL CONCEPT OF WAR: THEORY, PRACTICE AND APPLICATIONS [580]

Credit: 0.50 (Senior Choice Course)

Prerequisites: Senior status.

Description: This one semester course examines the concept of war from several historical perspectives. First, students will examine “Just War Theory” to understand the arguments for war as a moral, or immoral, exercise of organized violence to achieve political ends. The course will then present different approaches to strategy, stressing Clausewitz‘s principles of war as outlined in Das Krieg, Machiavelli‘s The Prince, and U.S. Army Field Manual 100-5. The instructor will present an analysis of a specific war, applying the concepts of just war and military strategy. Students will then, in groups, produce a similar analysis of a war, and present that analysis to the class. Students must be prepared for this extensive group work and group presentation, as a major part of the course grade will be derived from this work.

This class meets four days a week.

MASS MEDIA AND CULTURAL STUDIES [582]

Credit: 0.50 (Senior Choice Course)

Prerequisites: Senior status

This one semester senior level course will introduce students to cultural and mass media studies. The course will emphasize the processes, elements, uses, and impacts of mass media including history, development, operation, and cultural effects of all types of mass media including books, newspapers, magazines, motion pictures, radio, television, sound recordings, computer media, and internet based media. The course will introduce students to various forms of cultural and media criticism methods including describing, interpreting, and judging media messages utilizing various critical theories. The curriculum is designed to develop students writing, critical thinking, speaking, and research skills in the context of mass media studies.

This class meets four days a week.

INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS [557]

Credit: 0.50 (Senior Choice Course)

Prerequisites: Senior status.

Description: International Relations as a field is the study of interactions between countries. Over time, international relations scholars have developed theories or frameworks for understanding the things they observe in real life. But these theories are only significant if they can explain the actual events that occur in international relations. As a result, the course will explore both theory and how it applies to real world policy issues. Issues discussed include proliferations of weapons of mass destruction, terrorism, free trade, US-Russia relations, Afghanistan, Arab-Israeli conflict, Latin America-US relations, global climate change among others current issues facing the United States in its interactions with the rest of the world.

This class meets four days a week.

AP COMPARATIVE POLITICS [565]

Credit: 0.50 (Senior Choice Course)

Prerequisites: Senior status.

Description: This one semester elective provides an intensive study of institutions, political and social structures, populations, beliefs, and ideas that constitute political life and activity in six exemplary countries, including Great Britain, Iran, Russia, China, Nigeria and Mexico. Students will master the comparative method of political analysis that will enable them to uncover fundamental principles of political organization through comparison of political systems. The course will also explore differences in political institutions, regime types as well as economic systems.

This class meets four days a week.

SLAVERY, CIVIL WAR AND RECONSTRUCTION [574]

Credit: 0.50 (Senior Choice Course)
Prerequisites: Senior status.
Description: This one semester course is an in-depth examination of the United States' most critical challenge: its struggle with slavery. Most importantly, this course examines how the legacy of slavery still impacts the United States today. This course examines both the historical and modern attempts to resolve the seemingly intractable issues of race-based slavery and the meanings of freedom and democracy. Specifically, the course will examine the origins of American slavery, the role slavery played in colonial development, and how slavery became a part of the U.S. Constitution. The course also explores the emergence of the anti-slavery and abolition movements, the development of sectionalism, the causes and execution of the Civil War. The course then sheds light on Reconstruction, the re-emergence of white supremacy, and their impact on modern society. This class meets four days a week.

CIVIL RIGHTS, THE GREAT SOCIETY AND VIETNAM: THE TUMULTUOUS YEARS [578]

Credit: 0.50 (Senior Choice Course)
Prerequisites: Senior status.
Description: This one semester course attempts an in-depth examination of the tumultuous years of the last half of the 20th century in America. Starting with a brief examination of American society in 1950, the course will study the Civil Rights Movement through the 50s, 60s and into the 70s. It will also trace the emergence of the Great Society programs of the 60s, the beginnings of the Vietnam War and the gradual escalation of American involvement, and the rise of the anti-war and counterculture movements. The pivotal year of 1968 will draw special attention, and the course will conclude with the developments of the early 70s and the end of the Nixon presidency.This class meets four days a week

THE RISE OF MODERN CHINA [575]

Credit: .50 (Senior Choice Course)

Prerequisites: Senior status.
Description: In the last several years China has evolved beyond being a large global exporter into a dominate diplomatic superpower. President Xi has made it a priority for China to become a green energy leader, invest in infrastructure in Africa, South America, and central Asia, and consolidate control over trade in the South China Sea. All of these changes are among the many ways China attempts to re-establish what it sees as its place in the world during the previous dynasties and before the "Century of Humiliation" by the West. In order to understand how China and its current leadership approaches issues and makes decisions, it is crucial to see modern historical events from the Chinese perspective. This course delivers a social, economic, and political backdrop of the second most influential nation behind the U.S. and addresses the core geopolitical issues concerning U.S. - China relations today. This course meets 4 days a week

POST 9/11 AND THE NEW MIDDLE EAST [579]

Credit: .50 (Senior Choice Course)

Prerequisites: Senior status.

Course Description: 9/11/01 changed both the United States and the Middle East dramatically. Jihadist groups compete to outdo one anther in recruiting both regionally and throughout the world. The chaos in the wake of the 2011 Arab Spring has allowed Libya to devolve into a non-state; Syria to spiral into civil war; the Russians to gain a significant foothold in the region; Turkey to clamp down on constitutional rights; and Egypt to experience a military coup. Why are Saudi Arabia and Iran engaged in proxy battles in Iraq, Yemen, Qatar, UAE, and Lebanon? Who are the Houthi, the Kurds, the PA, Hamas, Hezbollah, the Taliban, Mohammed bin Salman? This course is designed to aid the student in understanding the dramatic changes taking place in the 21st century Middle East, the rise of extremism, the conflicting goals of its numerous players, and the possibility of achieving stability in the region. This course meets 4 days a week

AP EUROPEAN HISTORY [583]

Credit: 1.0 (Year-long Senior Choice Course)

Prerequisites: Senior status

Course Description: AP European History is a survey course that follows the overall scope, sequence and format of the College Board’s AP European History Course Description in preparing students for the AP Exam of the same name. The course focuses on developing students' understanding of European history from approximately 1450 to the present. The course has students investigate the content of European history for significant events, individuals, developments, and processes in four historical periods. Also, students develop the same thinking skills and methods (analyzing primary and secondary sources, making historical comparisons, chronological reasoning, and argumentation) employed by historians when they study the past.

This is a year-long choice course; it will meet 4 days a week during both the Fall and Spring semesters.