Boarding and Day · Co-ed College Prep · Grades 6–12 & Postgraduate · Hebron, Maine

History & Social Sciences

The history department at Hebron Academy supports the premise that students need to have an understanding of the past in order to comprehend the present. The department believes that cultural awareness is critical to future interpersonal communication skills as the world is becoming increasingly interconnected. Teachers foster student literacy within the writing and discussing of historical concepts as well as guide students as they formulate and support their opinions in all modes of communication.

At Hebron Academy, we are fortunate to offer an array of history and social science courses. The foundations of these courses, coupled with the passions of the teachers, intend to inspire students to learn about the world in which we all live and appreciate the factors which brought us to this point in time.

ADVANCED MODERN WORLD HISTORY (ESL)

This skills-based course is designed for students whose native language is other than English but who already have a firm foundation in the English language. Course work will increase student skills and confidence in the areas of academic reading and writing needed in high school and for college preparation. Students will gain a deeper understanding of how the English language works and gain more clarity in their language by exploring primary and secondary information sources. In addition, students will gain experience and improve their skills in formal presentations and speaking in a group setting. Students will learn the formats, structures, and vocabulary for academic writing genres such as essays, research papers, reports, and summaries.

AP PSYCHOLOGY

Advanced Placement Psychology is designed “to introduce students to the systematic and scientific study of behavior and mental processes of human beings and other animals. Students are exposed to the psychological facts, principles and phenomena associated with each of the subfields within psychology. They also learn about the ethics and methods psychologists use in their science and practice” (Advanced Placement Course Description in Psychology). The course is intended for strong students who are willing to challenge themselves to think and analyze at a college level in hope of earning potential college credit by scoring well on the AP Exam in May. By nature, AP Psychology is a survey course and will cover a wide range of topics, such as research methods, the biology of behavior, cognition, personality, and abnormal behavior. In addition to content the course will work on a variety of skills including research, writing, and synthesizing information. Students must seek department approval to enroll in the class.

AP UNITED STATES HISTORY

During the first half of the course, themes such as the development of the Constitution out of our colonial and revolutionary past, the evolution of the political party system, westward expansion, and the tensions leading up to the Civil War will be highlighted. During the second half of the year, we will focus on the impact of industrialization and urbanization, the development of America as a world power, and the tensions and adjustments of a multicultural society. Document analysis, analytical essay writing, and class activities such as debates or simulations, will be regularly employed to develop the themes under study. Students must seek department approval to enroll in the class.

ENTREPRENEURSHIP

The entrepreneurship class is designed to take students on an entrepreneurial journey that will introduce them to the tools and skills required to develop a business plan. By experiencing the trials at each stage of starting, building, and running an entrepreneurial venture, students will be better prepared for their own entrepreneurial experience. Students will create a business plan or roadmap for the company’s success. At each stage of the journey, the entrepreneur will have to make strategic choices that will either spell success or failure. At the completion of the course, students will have an understanding of how to start a company and the challenges that arise out of the entrepreneurial process.

HUMANITIES HISTORY

Ninth grade history and English classes are taught collaboratively in both combined and distinct classes. Students study the human achievements of three civilizations: China, Ancient Greece, and the European Renaissance. They delve into a variety of genres, including Tang poetry, Homer’s Odyssey, plays by Sophocles and Shakespeare, and modern Chinese fiction. Students actively participate in discussions with their peers to develop their understanding of texts, and they write in a variety of forms (personal narratives, poetry, fiction, analysis) with emphasis on clarity, voice, and detail. Students learn the skills of annotation, close reading, and explication as well as perform scenes, recite poetry, and investigate topics for MLA research papers.

INDEPENDENT STUDY - SOCIOLOGY

INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS (HONORS)

This course is designed to provide students with a broad introduction to the study of international politics and will focus on significant themes and debates in the arena of contemporary international affairs. The course will introduce students to a variety of theories and approaches that have been applied throughout history to understand how these actions have impacted contemporary issues. It also emphasizes case-study analysis, both as a tool for applying their knowledge of theory to the study of real-world events as well as evaluating competing political views. As so many of the topics studied in this course are the subject of ongoing debate and controversy in both national and international arenas, the course relies on vigorous classroom discussion and active debate as a means of understanding and evaluating all sides of each issue. The course uses a variety of texts and learning tools. Simulations, structured debate, documentary film analysis, and study of the daily news allow students to engage with the issues covered in this course.  Students must seek department approval to enroll in the class.

PSYCHOLOGY

This course will provide a broad overview of the field of psychology, a social science. This overview will include the investigation of various topics such as professions and advances in the field of psychology, psychological research, the brain and nervous system, sensation and perception, sleeping and dreams, conditioning, memory, social psychology, and abnormal psychology. The goals of the course are to explore the ever-changing world of psychology as well as encourage students to become more critical thinkers about themselves and the world around them.

US HISTORY: AMERICAN EXPANSION

American Expansion is a thematic course covering overarching topics beginning with the original 13 colonies through the growth and development of today’s 50 states. Topics will include major events in expansion such as the Louisiana Purchase to the Mexican American War as well as the foundational ideology of American expansion like American exceptionalism and economic opportunity. The course then shifts from expanding American borders to America’s expanding role in the world. The course will look at a series of events in the late 19th and 20th centuries that marked cultural and political change, taking America from a relatively isolated state to a major world power. Topics include the major events and important figures that helped launch America onto the world stage.

US HISTORY: MUSIC AND SOCIETY IN AMERICA

This course will be a history of American society and the effect music has had on the country’s socio-political landscape. Focusing on race, gender, sexuality, and political culture, this course will trace history through popular (and slightly less so) music. From the earliest days of the colonial period to the modern day, music has acted as a voice for the people. As part of this exploration, students will consider the ways in which music contributed to, and mirrored social change; why music has such a draw on emotion; how America has been inspired, reflected by, and criticized by this art form; what music means for our troubled times. Additionally, students will look at social change in the country, loosely based on a particular decade, and how music contributed to and reflected these changes.

US HISTORY: RACE, GENDER, AND ETHNICITY

One of the key foundational beliefs of the United States is that this nation is and has been a great “Melting Pot” of many different cultures, ethnicities, and religions combining to create a shared belief in what constitutes America. The purpose of this course is to look critically at issues of access and equality from the beginnings of Colonial America up to the present day to determine the validity of this idea. Major topics covered will include the origins of the Atlantic slave trade, the first Thanksgiving, American slavery, post Civil War Reconstruction, the struggle for women’s rights, race relations in the early 20th century, legal definitions of race, the civil rights movement, and modern race and gender issues. The overall goal of this course is to raise awareness of the struggle this nation has gone through from the earliest days to the present in terms of how we as a nation relate to each other.

US HISTORY: THE STUDY OF AMERICAN HISTORY IN 101 OBJECTS

The course uses Richard Kurin’s 2013 groundbreaking book, The Smithsonian’s History of America in 101 Objects, as a guideline to study important periods and developments in U.S. History. Students will explore objects ranging from gold flakes at Sutter’s Mill to WWII Japanese Internment Art, to Jonas Salk’s polio vaccine to Dorothy’s ruby slippers, to study the impact of the object, or how the object relates to a specific time period in U.S. History. This course also focuses on periods in U.S. History not covered in the text: the American Revolution and the founding of the United States, Manifest Destiny, the Industrial Revolution, the World Wars, the Great Depression, and the Cold War. Students will conclude the class by writing their own chapter, choosing a current object and writing a research paper explaining the origin of the object and its importance to U.S. history.  

WESTERN CIVILIZATION (ESL)

This skills-based course is designed for students whose native language is other than English and are at the beginning to early stages of proficiency. Course work will increase student skills and confidence in the areas of academic reading and writing needed in high school and for college preparation. Students will gain a deeper understanding of how to use primary and secondary sources of information while continuing to build vocabulary and academic English fluency. Students will learn the formats, structures, and vocabulary for academic writing genres such as essays, research papers, reports, and summaries. In addition, students will gain experience and improve their skills in formal presentations and speaking in group settings. Content, projects, and texts work in conjunction with ESL English Foundations with cross-curricular units.

WORLD HISTORY

This course offers a range of critical topics and concepts that have shaped and influenced world history and our global society. Topics studied in the course range from revolutions and their effects on society and culture to discussions of current events and how the methods and interpretation of both the reporting and recording of global issues impact our world view. Examples of topics studied are The Holocaust and crimes against humanity in the 20th Century, a comprehensive study of The Arab World with a focus on women in Muslim societies today and the influence of the Qur’an on their daily lives, and a critical  examination of imperialism and its overarching impact on international relations and cultural and political identity. Students develop an understanding of both the importance of global history and its relevance by learning how history is written, evaluating viewpoints, and understanding the force of historical expression.

WORLD HISTORY (HONORS)

This course offers a range of critical topics and concepts that have shaped and influenced world history and our global society. Topics studied in the course range from revolutions and their effects on society and culture to discussions of current events and how the methods and interpretation of both the reporting and recording of global issues impact our world view. Examples of topics studied are the Holocaust and crimes against humanity in the 20th Century, a comprehensive study of The Arab World with a focus on women in Muslim societies today and the influence of the Qur’an on their daily lives, and a critical  examination of imperialism and its overarching impact on international relations, cultural, and political identity. Students develop an understanding of both the importance of global history and its relevance by learning how history is written, evaluating viewpoints, and understanding the force of historical expression. Additionally, students read from a variety of texts and primary sources that offer insights into the events as well as opposing viewpoints with which to contend.  Students must seek department approval to enroll in the class.

WORLD RELIGIONS

This course introduces students to the value systems of major world religions and traditions. Students are taught to recognize key themes and universal elements of religion to identify and contemplate beliefs that are central to each tradition. Supplemental texts are used to present a variety of experiences within a particular religion and ways in which spiritual ideas are appropriated from different traditions to the greater understanding of another. The course values a free and open exchange of ideas. Students keep a journal in which they record and reflect on their reaction to readings and class discussion in order to continually deepen their understanding. In addition to writing critical essays, students express their comprehension of key concepts of Eastern and Western spirituality in various creative forms.