The Social Studies program explores the global political, economic, social, historical, and religious trends of our world. The curriculum is designed to examine the emerging trends of history and to achieve an awareness as to how they shape institutional, intergovernmental and interpersonal relationships in our world. Thus, the curriculum seeks to establish patterns of human behaviors, within their historical and geographic contexts, and to examine their impacts upon cultures around the globe in order to gain an appreciation for the complexity of our world. In addition, the curriculum attempts to leave the students with a sense of empowerment and a “call to action” to seek out a more just world.
In order to achieve these overriding goals, the students are asked to learn to think for themselves. To this end, the student activities have a concentration on communication and critical thinking skills. This includes, but is not limited to, a focus on writing, small group work, large group discussions, reflective writing, seminar discussion, note-taking, reading for analysis, persuasive argumentation, and the use of contemporary technologies to access, analyze, comprehend and communicate information about our world. Ultimately, the course work is designed to allow students to learn how to learn and to begin to appreciate learning as a life-long activity that includes a community much greater than themselves.
Freshman, sophomore, and junior Social Studies courses are integrated with English and religious themes in Collegio.
All seniors will be required to take a Senior Seminar second semester. Below are the Senior Seminar courses and in bold are the ones that offer Social Studies credit.
- Disease and Social Responsibility is a capstone seminar course designed to empower students to become agents for change. The course employs an interdisciplinary approach, including scientific, socio-historical and ethical methodologies, to understand the proliferation and treatment of infectious diseases in the context of diverse global cultures and economies. Building on students’ broadening experiences of service through high school, they will explore justice work through advocacy for the larger human family. Can be taken for Social Studies or elective credit.
- Economics, Ecology and Ethics explores the dynamics of these three complex fascinating areas and their effects on the future of our nation and planet. E-3 is a capstone seminar course designed to empower seniors to become men and women for the planetary community. The Global Water crisis will be at the heart of our exploration, examining it through the lens of these three distinct, yet interrelated disciplines. Can be taken for Social Studies or Theology credit.
- Themes in Literature: Reconciliation will examine the issues of forgiveness and reconciliation as students encounter them in their own lives and in the larger world. It will begin by addressing the need for self-forgiveness, move to forgiveness among family and friends, and culminate in the study of group to group forgiveness and reconciliation with an emphasis on Native American issues. Students will read a variety of literary works that deal with topics related to forgiveness and reconciliation and will study theological teachings on these subjects. Recognizing the necessity of forgiveness and learning the process of how to forgive will be key aspects of this seminar. Can be taken for Theology or English credit.
- From Shadow to Light: A Literary Exploration of Self and Society will focus on three main themes: personal corruption and the ways inordinate attachments affect the individual, corporate/social corruption and the ways individuals contribute to this, and how an individual and a society grow toward wholeness as defined by the “Grad at Grad.” Students will explore each of the themes through personal meditation based on the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius and reading & discussing literary works. Central questions: In spite of societal and personal pressures to do otherwise, how does one go about making choices that are consistent with his/her conscience? How can an active reflection practice help one make good choices? How do one’s individual choices affect the greater community (and vice versa)? Can be taken for Theology or English credit.