As well as fundamental understandings of historical events, the history curriculum facilitates in-depth development of skills in chronological and spatial thinking, historical research and interpretation, academic literacy and writing, as well as interdisciplinary learning.
This four-year program is made up of one year of world history, two years of US history, and one year of Government and Economics. Students will learn to interpret the correlation and causation of events; analyze the impact of a historical event on a region’s – or the world’s – economy, politics, society and technology; think and write critically about historical events; and explain how they have affected the modern world.
Ninth through twelfth-grade students are sophisticated learners who are developmentally capable of abstract reasoning, critical thinking, and creative problem solving. At the high school level, a comprehensive curriculum of fundamental social studies content builds on prior knowledge gained in earlier grades to challenge students to be knowledgeable and engaged citizens. The four strands of economics, geography, history, and civics and government are interwoven into the Grades 9-12 social studies program to help students further develop the essential base of knowledge and critical-thinking skills required for responsible civic participation at local, state, and national levels. All social studies content at the high school level is aligned with standards addressed by national social studies organizations. All Alabama high school students must earn four credits in social studies for graduation. Requirements stipulate that students must successfully complete the one-credit World History: 1500 to the Present course, the one-credit United States History I: Beginnings to the Industrial Revolution course, the one-credit United States History II: The Industrial Revolution to the Present course, the half-credit United States Government course, and the half-credit Economics course. These required courses contain the fundamental content that must be learned in order for students to become responsible citizens and active participants in local, state, national, and global societies. In addition to the courses required for Grades 9-12, local school systems may offer elective social studies courses. These may include, but are not limited to, a study of psychology, sociology, contemporary world issues and civic engagement, and human geography. Content for these four elective courses, designed to enrich the development of civic responsibility, is included in Appendix A of this document. High school students learn best in an effective instructional environment that provides opportunities for authentic learning through analyzing and debating complex issues, conducting social studies research, participating in civic affairs, and developing historical-thinking skills. Students also benefit from differentiated instruction that includes student presentations, use of primary sources, written analyses of information, collaborative group activities, simulations, and interactions with electronic and print media.