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Social Studies

In Upper School social studies, students learn to interrogate and understand the ways that knowledge is created. They learn to see the study of the past not as an accumulation of names and dates, but as an exercise in interpretation. Students delve into primary sources and archival research, while reading the work of scholars in order to weigh varying understandings. Social studies courses analyze and critique traditional narratives, and in this process, students question their own assumptions, guided by teachers engaged with new developments in their fields. Furthermore, in history classes students make relevant connections to the present and to other disciplines, using art, literature and music to gain deeper insights and spark ideas.

In social studies courses, Upper Schoolers build their skills through writing, project-based learning, research and experiential learning. The wealth of electives gives Upper Schoolers ways to explore their interests, as does the emphasis on student choice in the required classes. Teachers frequently use the city as their classroom via field trips near and far. By the time Calhoun students have reached the 12th grade, they have learned to use the tools and skills acquired in their social studies classes to be impressive independent learners and thinkers. 

Sample Social Studies Courses:

  • The American Political System
  • Digital Storytelling
  • Introduction to Anthropology
  • Bioethics
  • Race & Housing
  • Global Mythology & Folklore
  • Medieval Studies
  • Education History Through Archives
  • Punishment, Politics & Culture
  • Understanding Nazi Germany
  • U.S. - China Relations
  • Adolescent Psychology