History & Social Sciences

The History and Social Sciences curriculum at The Storm King School prepares students to be informed, perceptive, and engaged citizens of their communities and the world. In all courses, students increase their knowledge about the many peoples, cultures and events that have shaped human history.

Students are exposed to the moral and ethical issues that have faced other people in other times, in studying the struggles and triumphs that have marked human history and, in understanding the purposes that have divided people as well as those that have united them.

Classes Offered

The curriculum for the 8th grade history focuses on three themes: Knowing the Self, Investigating the Past and Understanding the Community, and use the Hudson Valley as a learning laboratory (Place-Based Learning) to explore these ideas. In general, 8th grade history covers the main topics of American History and Geography, and builds a strong foundation for the study of contemporary issues by placing modern events in context. Students will see important connections between events and historical periods, and understand geography’s role in our nation’s history. A primary goal in this course is to expand history from something students simply read about to something they experience.

This course provides academic support to students enrolled in the ASP program.

This course combines the study of art and history to better understand the achievements and shortcomings of civilizations and cultures of the past and present. Rather than study history chronologically, the course focuses on civilizations and cultures by focusing on a select group of regions of the world. By studying the art of those civilizations and cultures at the same time as studying their history, students will learn far more than the history those peoples chronicled in their writing and archives. Rather, students will gain unique insights into how the people viewed and interpreted the world around them.

The 9th grade interdisciplinary theme integrates global history with artistic and literary manifestations across time and cultures.

(Typically taken in sophomore or junior year)

This course will review the main events and issues of U.S. History.  We will gain a greater understanding of the impact of events and select people in U.S. History as well as the influence those events and people have on the U.S. and the world today. We will start the course by examining the birth of the new nation and the ideals and values so important to its founders.  Quickly, we will see how the Civil War so fundamentally challenged the union and still effects the U.S. today.  We will study the unique melting pot of cultures, ethnicities, faiths, and nationalities that continue to characterize the United States. We will take the opportunity to relate our study of the U.S. form of democracy and its constitutional system to the Presidential election and its process.  In the second half of the academic year, we will focus on new challenges related to two world wars and economic depression and the boom of technology and globalization.

This course supplies academic support to students enrolled in the ASP program.

The 10th grade interdisciplinary theme combines American history and American literature and may be the basic study for all sophomores.  

This course will introduce students to the main principles and concepts of economics. Students will gain a greater understanding of both micro- and macro-economics from their viewpoint of consumers and investors as well as their viewpoint of global citizens interested in and concerned about the global economy. The course will start gaining a better understanding of the fundamental philosophies and systems of economics and the principles of personal finances. Students will then look at several of the common aspects of economics to include supply and demand, business and labor, inflation, poverty, and unemployment. The course will take the opportunity to relate economics to the Presidential election, the issues, the promises, and the political positions and platforms of the candidates. In the second half of the academic year, the course will focus on the global economy: trade, commerce, foreign aid, and international development. Finally, the course will conclude by looking at entrepreneurs, small business, and advanced aspects of personal finance.

This course examines American as well as other government systems and ideas of government and justice systems around the world, not only from a traditional teaching perspective, but also the knowledge of students in the class from other countries explaining their cultures.  The class spends quite a bit of time on different Constitutions, especially the American.  Students love to act as members of the “Supreme Court,” and then they check and see if they made the same decision and why.

This course provides extra academic support to those enrolled in the ASP program.

This half credit course, offered during the afternoon activities period, examines American as well as other government systems and ideas of government and justice systems around the world.  It is an abbreviated form of the full credit course Government.

Psychology is a field of study that has applications to just about every field imaginable. Indeed, knowledge and application of psychological principles also contributes to improved mental health, friendships, family relations, and social structures. This survey course is designed to introduce students to a range of psychological topics. Hopefully, students will learn something of use to themselves, and some students may find these topics worthy of future study.

Advanced Psychology uses the David Myers AP textbook. The pace, number of topics, quantity of reading, and writing will be at a significantly higher level in the Advanced Psychology class. Eligibility for Advanced Psychology will be based on previous grades, PSAT and SAT grades and previous teacher recommendation.  Students have the option of taking the AP test.

Requires recommendation from previous year’s history teacher.

AP Art History is offered every other year unless there is significant interest. This course is a seminar art history course. It is taught following the AP art guidelines, and in preparation for the AP art exam in May. The course meets both a history requirement and an art requirement.