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The goal of the Social Studies Department is to develop an atmosphere of inquiry and analysis in which the student can acquire an awareness of and an appreciation for ongoing human experiences.

Objectives:
  1. To develop necessary skills of comprehension, critical analysis, and expression that will enable the student to explore relevant social, political, and economic issues.
  2. To provide a broad historical background of human progress: social, political, and economic, which will lend perspective to contemporary issues.
  3. To promote a value system that includes a reverence for life and a sense of thoughtful responsibility and personal accountability.
Requirements:
Students are required to earn three credits in social studies with 2.5 credits predetermined in the freshman, sophomore and junior years. The remaining 1/2 credit and additional credits are elective with some requiring departmental approval.

Courses Available for 2021-22

List of 16 items.

  • SS American Government

    Grade 9
    Semester Course, .5 credit

    Students in this course will explore the political theories, institutions and processes that mold our government and shape public policy. Current events and trends are used as jumping-off points of discussion and as concrete illustrations of course concepts. Students will practice and apply critical reading and thinking skills, research skills, presentation and debate skills and group processing skills. Students are required to pass a Federal and Missouri Constitution test.

    Prerequisite: none
  • SS World History

    Grade 10
    Year-long course, 1 credit

    This is a two-semester chronologically organized study of geography and world history. This course will cover historical developments, events, and people who influenced and shaped world history from ancient times to the present. Students are expected to complete readings in and beyond the textbook, examine primary documents, write essays, conduct research, and participate in class discussions.

    Prerequisite: none
  • SS AP World History: Modern

    Grade 10
    Year-long Course, 1 credit

    This AP course will cover the events and people who influenced and shaped the major regions of the globe from 1100 to the present. It will explore the themes of interaction between humans and the environment, the development and interaction of cultures, state building and conflict, interaction of economic systems and the development of societies. Students are expected to complete reading in and beyond the textbook, examine primary documents, write essays, conduct research and participate in class discussions.

    Prerequisite: 3.5 GPA and department approval

    AP Exam: AP World History: Modern
    Taking the AP exam is required for this course.
  • SS American History

    Grade 11
    Year-long Course, 1 credit

    Students will survey the forces which have shaped American history and culture from its beginning to present day. An emphasis is placed on reading, examination of primary documents, essay writing, research, and active participation in class discussions.

    Prerequisite: none
  • SS AP/ACP American History

    Grade 11
    Year-long Course, 1 credit

    This course will examine the development of American life and culture, from Indigenous cultures to the present day. First semester will examine developments through 1877; second semester will examine changes from 1877 to present. Students will develop skills that will allow them to analyze sources, weigh interpretations, and create evidence-based arguments. An emphasis will also be placed on applying history to today’s world in relevant and meaningful ways. Students can expect the course to be reading and writing intensive.

    Prerequisite: 3.5 GPA and department approval

    AP Exam: AP United States History
    Taking the AP exam is optional for this course. Registering for college credit is optional for this course.

    UMSL ACP: HIST 1001 American Civilization to 1865
    HIST 1002 American Civilization 1865 to present
    Students have the opportunity to earn 6 college credits for this year-long course.
  • SS AP US Government and Politics

    Grade 11, 12
    Year-long Course, 1 credit

    Students will examine the development and differences in political beliefs, and how those beliefs impact our democracy and current issues. Students will learn by examining and analyzing multiple perspectives on such topics as: civil liberties and civil rights, social and public opinion will also be explored. A major emphasis in the course is for students to develop and defend their views on issues in a respectful, well-informed manner.

    Prerequisite: 3.5 GPA and department approval

    AP Exam: United States Government and Politics
    Taking the AP exam is optional for this course.
  • SS Current Events

    Grade 11, 12
    Semester Course, .5 credit

    This is a study of current events and the forces that influence them. Situations and issues throughout the world will be studied from a variety of perspectives and viewpoints. Students will practice and apply critical reading skills, critical thinking skills, research skills, presentation and debate skills, group processing skills and will be expected to actively participate in class discussion.

    Prerequisite: none
  • SS AP/ACC European History

    Grade 12
    Year-long Course, 1 credit

    In this course, students investigate significant events, individuals, developments and processes that have impacted Europe. Students will analyze historical evidence, use the skills of contextualization, comparison, causation, and continuity and change over time, and practice argument development through examining primary sources and writing essays. Active participation in class discussion is expected.

    Prerequisite: 3.5 GPA and department approval

    AP Exam: AP European History
    Taking the AP exam is optional for this course. Registering for college credit is optional for this course.

    SLU 1818 ACC: HIST 1100 Origins of the Modern World to 1500
    SLU 1818 ACC: HIST 1120 Origins of the Modern World from 1500 to Present
    Students have the opportunity to earn 6 college credits for this year-long course.
  • SS Geography and Culture

    Grade 11, 12
    Semester Course, .5 credit

    Students will be introduced to the five themes of geography: location (position on earth’s surface), place (physical and human characteristics), human-environment interactions (shaping the landscape), movement (humans interacting with the earth) and regions (how they form and change) through the study and evaluation of each of the continents. The course will go beyond maps and place a special focus on human geography, including where different peoples live, their customs, food, styles of clothing and how they impact the world around them.

    Prerequisite: none
  • SS Modern American History Since 1945

    Grade 12
    Semester Course, .5 credit

    This class will examine the development of American culture and society, with an emphasis on the 1960s through the 1990s. The course will focus on how pop culture and social changes have defined America, and time will be taken to connect those developments to today. Specific attention will be given to the changing identity of music, from rock to rap; the influential nature of TV shows and movies; and social movements that have developed, such as the women’s movement and African American civil rights movement. Students can expect to read primary sources from significant historical figures, but also examine key pieces of pop culture, such as TV shows and movies, song lyrics and short stories from these decades.

    Prerequisite: none
  • SS Honors Modern American History Since 1945

    Grade 12
    Semester Course, .5 credit

    This class will focus on the development of American culture and society, emphasizing the developments from the 1960s-1990s. It will examine the intersection of race and ethnicity, gender, and politics in American life and popular culture, including civil rights movements and trends in music, TV, and movies from the time period. Students can expect to read primary sources from significant historical figures, but also examine key pieces of pop culture (such as TV shows and movies, song lyrics, and short stories from these decades). An important component of this honors course is that students will be expected to read, analyze, and create their own interpretations of history through various forms of writing and presentations.

    Prerequisite: department approval
  • SS Psychology

    Grade 11, 12
    Semester Course, .5 credit

    This course focuses on the study of human behavior. As an introduction to the field of psychology, this course includes consideration of psychological principles, terminology, major theories, careers, methods of experimentation and practical applications. Special topics include personality development, problem-solving, group dynamics and motivation. Students will practice and apply critical reading skills, critical thinking skills, research skills, presentation and debate skills and group processing skills.

    Prerequisite: none
  • SS ACP Psychology

    Grade 11, 12
    Semester Course, .5 credit

    This course focuses on individual behavior and why an individual thinks, feels, and reacts to certain stimuli. Major emphasis will be placed on research methods, stages in childhood and adolescence, how the brain works, altered states of consciousness, psychological testing, and psychological disorders. Students will practice and apply critical reading skills, critical thinking skills, research skills, presentation and debate skills and group processing skills.

    Prerequisite: 3.5 GPA and department approval

    UMSL ACP: PSYCH 1003 General Psychology
    Students have the opportunity to earn 3 college credits for this year-long semester course.
  • SS ACP Sociology

    Grade 12
    Semester Course, .5 credit

    This course is an introductory course designed to familiarize students with various cultures and the situations resulting from people living in groups. This course covers such topics as culture, subcultures, social institutions, collective behavior, social change, social deviation, the family, religion, racial and ethnic minorities, poverty, and crime. The latter portion of this course deals specifically with the pressing problems of our society, their causes, and possible solutions.

    Prerequisite: 3.5 GPA and department approval

    UMSL ACP : SOC 1010 Intro to Sociology
    Students have the opportunity to earn 3 college credits for this semester course. ACP credit is optional with extra assignments.
  • SS ACP Social Psychology of Identity

    Grade 12
    Semester Course, .5 credit

    The psychological study of identity and gender addresses the questions of what it means to be a man or a woman. In this course, students will tackle such challenging and intriguing subjects through the examination of the biology and psychology of gender. With a specific focus on the psychological experience of being a woman or a man, students will investigate the development of gender roles and identities over the life span, stereotypic conceptions of masculinity and femininity, and their impact on our concepts of self and our life choices. Finally, students will consider women and men in their relationships and the different perspectives that women and men bring to these relationships as a result of growing up female vs. male in the United States.

    Prerequisite: Psychology or ACP Psychology, 3.5 GPA and department approval

    UMSL ACP : PSYCH 2230 Psychology of Gender
    Students have the opportunity to earn 3 college credits for this semester course. ACP credit is optional with extra assignments.
  • SS Honors Voices of Human Rights

    Literature or Writing Course

    Grade 12
    Year-Long Course, 1 credit

    (.5 credit English and .5 credit Social Studies)

    This is a cross-curricular English and Social Studies course. The course will discuss major violations of human rights around the globe over the past 40 years - with an emphasis on genocides. It will also cover violations in North Korea, Rwanda, Cambodia, Bosnia, and current conflicts. The overwhelming theme/response to all aspects of this course is outrage at how these violations could occur in the modern world and disbelief that this is the first time many are hearing about them. For each conflict studied, students will read and discuss texts, debate, engage and attempt to find solutions for these large scale problems. Additionally, a large part of this course will be the culminating research paper and presentation. This project will impact all aspects of academic growth, and it will be worth it.

    Note: This is an honors class, but ALL students are welcome- there is no test or academic minimum to receive honors credit.

    Prerequisite: department approval

CO-CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES

The following co-curricular activities are available in this discipline. For more information, please click the link.

Departments

Social Studies Department

List of 5 members.

  • Photo of Allyson Landherr

    Mrs. Allyson (Kassler) Landherr 

    Social Studies - Department Chair
    (314) 394-4077
  • Photo of Megan Hackmann

    Ms. Megan Hackmann 

    Social Studies
    (314) 394-4070
  • Photo of Allison Koob

    Ms. Allison Koob 

    Social Studies
    (314) 394-4038
  • Photo of Brandon Westlake

    Mr.  Brandon Westlake 

    Social Studies
    (314) 394-4197
  • Photo of Jacob Yorg

    Dr. Jacob Yorg 

    Social Studies
    (314) 394-4048
St. Joseph’s Academy is a private, Catholic high school for girls in St. Louis, Missouri, sponsored by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet. Our mission is to provide quality Catholic education for young women in an environment that challenges them to grow in faith, knowledge, and respect for self and others. Our community expects these young women to make a profound impact in the world.

St. Joseph's Academy

2307 South Lindbergh Boulevard
St. Louis, MO 63131
Phone: 314-394-4300
Fax: 314-965-9114
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