Social science courses at MVS aim to develop effective learning techniques and practices for studying the human condition. Students investigate individuals’ and civilizations’ role in influencing social and cultural development; the mechanics and dynamics of cultural chance; and value structures and concepts. Our social sciences program develops students’ critical learning skills of research, analysis and communication. Through developing a sense of inquiry into mankind’s ideas and ideals, our students gain a better understanding of their world and how to be a compassionate global citizen.
Along with the courses listed below, there are a number of elective courses available which vary from year to year, including:
- World Civilization (Grade 9)
- US Government and Politics
- Global Economics (Grade 10)
- American History (Grade 11- AP Optional)
World Civilization is a yearlong course that surveys humans and the development of civilization from Neolithic times through contemporary history in the 21st century. Designed to educate and enlighten students’ appreciation of other ages and cultures, the course stresses historical events and cultural developments that helped shape our world today. Emphasis is placed on the formation and interaction of cultures and the development of a global perspective on both local and international events. Students will compose original papers based on independent research of relevant topics.
To be prepared to fully exercise their civic responsibility as citizens, students need to be informed about the organization, structure, and operation of our American governmental system. Topics include the history and evolution of our federal democratic system; how our government functions through a system of checks and balances; the purpose of the Constitution; the importance of civil liberties and civil rights; and the election process. Students learn about the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government, how the bureaucracy serves the country, and how major Supreme Court cases affect our rights and liberties. Students research, prepare, and present to the class on relevant past and current issues. A topical public speaking unit enhances students’ speech-making skills. This is a one semester class.
How do fundamental concepts like supply and demand affect our lives? How do business owners make decisions on how to run their business? What is the role of government in the economy? How do investment markets work? Global Economics is a survey course of microeconomics and macroeconomics with an emphasis on the growing influence of the international and global marketplace. A unit is dedicated to budgeting and investing. An in-depth research project and presentation on a student chosen international economic topic is also required. This is a one semester class.
In this year-long course, students learn about United States history by studying the development of the social, political, intellectual, technological, and economic institutions from the Pre-Colonial period to the present. Although primarily taught chronologically, specific topics will be pursued more in-depth within these parameters. A heavy emphasis is placed on the development of research, analysis, and writing skills. A major research project will be developed in a series of steps, culminating in year-end mini-thesis presentation.