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Global Studies

Our Social Studies courses add another dimension of our "whole Earth approach," a curriculum designed to create connections and cross-disciplinary instruction between our history and science curriculum strands.

Inspired by Dr. Maria Montessori’s “Cosmic Curriculum,” the first two years of our required four-year sequence lay a foundation of understanding the relationship between human and natural systems. In the context of studies of the origins and evolution of the Universe, students will learn about the development of Earth and its living systems, and the origins and development of human experience in this context. 

A common strand in our studies of human history will be an exploration of how geography, geology, and the bioregion that human communities are situated in have shaped culture, politics, and economics, and in turn, the impact that these human activities have had on the environment. Another focus will be systems thinking—understanding each concept and new piece of information as connected to and in the context of other aspects of the human and natural systems. Grounded in this understanding over the first three years of our required four-year sequence, students will explore how to apply this understanding to current issues in our community as part of a capstone experience in their Economics and Government course.  

Global Studies I

Global Studies I is the first part of a two-year course sequence that provides a meaningful overview of human history in direct relationship to the current challenges of political, economic, and environmental sustainability. This course sequence prepares students to demonstrate their understanding of world history and geography through a thematic approach and detailed case studies. New York State content standards are explored thematically to help students deeply understand the structures and processes that shape our current world system. In the first trimester, students explore both the role of historical narratives and human belief systems and how they help humans understand their origins and roles within their present environment. In the second trimester, students study culture through the lens of geography to better understand how our environment influences who we are.  This will include a case study to show the historical development of civilizations and how human societies have evolved from a complex evolution of human environment interactions. In the third trimester, students explore the origins, ideas, and development of political and economic systems through historical analysis of specific global regions.

Global Studies II

Global Studies II is the second part of a two-year course sequence that provides a meaningful overview of human history in direct relationship to the current challenges of political, economic, and environmental sustainability. This course sequence prepares students to demonstrate their understanding of world history and geography in multiple ways, including by passing the Global Studies Regents examination. New York State content standards are explored thematically to help students deeply understand the structures and processes that shape our current world system. In the first trimester, students investigate the Age of Encounter, deducing the essential aspects of empire and cultural exchange. Students will then analyze the concept of “geographic luck” and its implications for development.  Lastly, students evaluate the Industrial Revolution and the short and long term impacts, specifically the relationship with Imperialism.  In the second trimester, students begin to evaluate the colonialism.  This is followed by an exploration of the modern era and its network of political, social and cultural revolutions and conflict. They both consider and experience the role of individuals in making social change. In the third trimester, students conclude their study with the theme of reorganization. They participate in a model United Nations, learn to see our current world of sovereign nation-states from a multitude of national, political, and cultural perspectives, and develop a systems-level analysis of the current world, including recommended courses of action for sustainability through a regional planning expedition.