As Social Studies teachers, we are committed to helping students build life long habits of scholarship, an ethical foundation in which to live and work, and a fundamental understanding of civic discourse. Imbued with a sense of civic responsibility and inspired with a deep sense of purpose, our students routinely engage in community service, meaningful study, and analysis of current events.
Philosophical Approach to Teaching and Learning
Our approach to teaching and learning centers on a synthesis of research on effective teaching methodologies, literature from the various branches of the social sciences, and the Approaches to Learning promulgated by International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme. Rather than focus on rote memorization, we emphasize the process by which communities construct knowledge and historical narratives. As such, students develop the skills necessary to evaluate the subtleties of historical bias and the frameworks upon which geographers and historians construct knowledge. Our goal is to help students build their own historical narratives based on their unique backgrounds, experiences in diverse environments and those common to humanity and our Republic. At the heart of this approach are rigorous academic challenges and authentic community based opportunities for students to practice scholarship and service to others. It is through these experiences that students find the inspiration to engage in a life-long discovery of what it means to be human.
U.S. Studies 7
During their first year at North View Junior High, students complete their middle-level introduction to American government, economics, and history. Students examine the roots of American government, the fundamentals of civic discourse, U.S. foreign policy, and comparative government. Students also study the principles of macro and micro economics. Lessons are developed to accentuate the learning experiences, including case studies and role plays. As the year progresses, specific IB Global Contexts will be consistently stressed to enable students to build a holistic view of knowledge.
Global Studies 8
During their 8th grade year, students study the fundamental concepts of geography and other disciplines within humanities. Among these are the five themes of geography, a critical lens by which students analyze and interpret the various ways in which humans interact with each other and their environments. In addition, students master the use of thematic maps, charts, graphs, and other analytic skills central to the geographic discipline. Through rigorous regional studies of the world, students develop an expanding awareness of diverse cultures, adaptive strategies, and environmental impacts of human activity on our ecosystems. Building on the ideas presented in other disciplines at North View Junior High, this course challenges students to develop a holistic view of knowledge as they continue to increase their sense of place and personal connection to their communities and larger world beyond.
9th Grade American History
(American History: Exploration to Great Depression)
This course is the first of a two part high school level American History. Students learn to evaluate historical bias, various narrative models, and thematic strands. Using a dialectical approach, students examine numerous interpretations of historical events and processes, enhancing their ability to appreciate history through a variety of perspectives. Assignments challenge students to consider modern day dilemmas with historically informed ideas about the past. Using numerous case studies, simulations, debates, writing assignments, and role plays, students continue to develop their interpretive and evaluative skills. In addition, students begin a broad study of research based analysis – culminating in their participation in History Day midway through the year.
History Day is a unique event that affords students the opportunity to pursue an historical area of interest independently. It is an intensive two month unit taught concurrently with Language A (English) classes. Under the guidance of their instructors and support services staff in the building, and tutors from the Minnesota History Center, students engage in an authentic research project using a wide variety of primary and secondary sources. This interdisciplinary unit includes instruction in the steps of the research process, writing an essay, completing a visual or performance project, writing an annotated bibliography, and presenting the information to the public. Students who have developed high quality projects often participate in the regional History Day competition sponsored by the Minnesota History Center. History Day is truly a culmination of learning that has taken place throughout the students’ experience in Humanities and is a rigorous preparation for the IB Personal Project that takes place in 10 th grade.