Social Studies » The Social Studies Department

The Social Studies Department

The Social Studies Department’s main goal is to help students develop the ability to intelligently evaluate the human experience and their role as contributing citizens.

Students of social studies will achieve more than the accumulation of historical facts and knowledge of current events; they will see improvement in both their critical thinking and literacy skills. Through independent learning inquiries, students are encouraged to relate their classroom experiences to their daily lives as global citizens.

It is the department’s belief that our study of history, social movements, and psychology helps equip students with a grounded sense of civic values for their future.

Courses offered by the Social Studies Department at CTK:

  • The Civics course for freshmen builds the framework for social science courses by fostering and expanding students’ knowledge of the government, politics, and ideas that serve as the foundation of our nation. We will encourage active involvement in the democratic process and help deepen the students’ personal understanding of what it means to be an American. The course will work to improve students’ reading, writing, and listening skills through analysis of current events, open discussion, writing assignments, and effective note-taking.
World History
  • In the sophomore World History course, students will learn about many civilizations, cultures, belief systems, and ways of life. Students will investigate history from the beginning of mankind to 1800 and if there is extra time they will dive into social justice projects and a more in-depth look at current events. Students will participate in independent learning inquiries and relate their classroom experiences to their daily lives as global citizens. This course will work to improve students’ reading, writing, and listening skills through analysis of current events, class discussions and written assignments. The World History course will be organized thematically with the acronym of RESPECT: Religion, Economics, Society, Politics, Education, Culture, and Technology.
US History
  • This US History course will start with an overview of the US before the Revolutionary War, then we will begin our first Unit with the American Revolution. We will continue to explore the history of the United States through the 1980’s. The course has three main thrusts: learning essential historical content, fostering the ability to think historically—including identifying themes, patterns, and trends of historical change—and finally, developing and refining essential reading, writing, speaking, and research abilities to convey this knowledge competently. Using the acronym RESPECT as an organizing principle, the course will use the following set of seven lenses to examine and compare each historical era: Religious, Economic, Social, Political, Educational, Cultural and Technological.
  • Students will use a number of the same methods that Historians use when learning about history. Students will pose questions about history, read and analyze primary source documents, take notes, write essays, participate in debates, and take quizzes and tests. Students will work individually, with partners, in small groups, and as one large class. Discussions are an important part of the class as participation is expected. As scholars, students learn more when they explain their ideas to others.
AP US History
  • Advanced Placement (AP) Unites States History is a full year survey course in American History. The course timeline begins in the Pre-Colombian era and concludes in the present day. It will be taught chronologically with an emphasis placed on major themes as they unfold throughout the nation’s history. The course is designed for students who wish to take the AP exam in early May or those who wish to complete an advanced study of American history. The AP US History exam presumes at least one full academic year of college level preparation. Course content is dictated by the College Board, the author of the AP exam, and will include all elements of the Illinois state standards for 11th grade US History.
  • The course is structured in such a way to maximize a student’s potential to pass the AP US History exam. In order to prepare for the AP exam, the course will emphasize the development of analytical skills and the necessary factual knowledge base. To develop their critical thinking and analytical skills, students will assess historical materials, weigh scholarly arguments, and place historical evidence in a relevant context. Persuasive writing and speaking skills will be taught and emphasized through the course. Historical material covered in class will be tied into current day issues in order to provide a sense of relevance and perspective.
AP Psychology
  • The purpose of the AP course in Psychology is to introduce the systematic and scientific study of the behavior and mental processes of human beings and other animals. Included is a consideration of the psychological facts, principles, and phenomena associated with each of the major subfields within psychology. Students also learn about the ethics and methods psychologists use in their science and practice.
  • Upon the completion of the course, students will be able to:
  1. Assess a variety of approaches incorporated in psychology, including psychoanalytic theory, behaviorism, humanism, the cognitive perspective, and the social-cultural perspective
  2. Explain the core concepts of psychology, and define key terms while incorporating these terms into their lexicon
  3. Describe how psychologists think, and employ this thinking in their everyday lives
  4. Apply the skills of psychological research both within the classroom and in their everyday lives
  5. Demonstrate proficiency on the AP Examination
Consumer Economics
  • This course is meant to provide the student with a basic understanding of consumer economics. It will cover such topics as budgeting, goal setting, savings and investments, insurance, consumer credit, and consumer banking. The course gives students the opportunity to learn many useful skills that contribute to achieving economic independence.