Director of Humanities
Dr. Nicole Chiesa
The Medford Public Schools Social Studies Department is committed to providing all students with the academic and problem-solving skills essential for personal development, responsible citizenship and life-long learning. The Social Studies Department’s curriculum goals for all grades are as follows:
- To provide authentic perspectives in all aspects of historical context
- To provide the educational foundation to prepare students to hold “the office of citizen”
- To recognize our binding heritage in a democratic vision of liberty, equality, justice, and the belief that a society can undertake to govern itself though the will of its people
- To promote and nurture respect among students for each other, their school, and greater community
- To develop awareness, appreciation and understanding of democratic values, precepts and practices
- To foster in students the knowledge, skills and commitment to strengthen their community, state, country, and world beyond their school years
The following are the Social Studies Department’s guiding principles, as outlined by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education:
- An effective history and social science education teaches students about the legacy of democratic government.
- An effective history and social science education incorporates diverse perspectives and acknowledges that perceptions of events are affected by race, ethnicity, culture, religion, education, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, and personal experience.
- Every student deserves to study history and social science every year, from pre-kindergarten through grade 12.
- An effective history and social science education teaches students to think historically.
- An effective history and social science education integrates knowledge from many fields of study.
- An effective history and social science education builds students’ capacities for research, reasoning, making logical arguments, and thinking for themselves.
- An effective history and social science education improves reading comprehension by increasing students’ content knowledge.
- An effective history and social science education incorporates the study of current events and news/media literacy.
- An effective history and social science education teaches students about using data analysis and digital tools as research and presentation techniques in the social sciences.
- An effective history and social science education develops social and emotional skills.
Students continue to expane their social science foundation as they embark on their high school career. Below is an outline of each grade’s curriculum, as supported by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Similar to the other grade levels, Medford Public Schools Social Studies Department has created clear and specific pacing guides for each of these grade levels with a continued emphasis on incorporating diverse, equitable, inclusive and belonging. Below is a brief outline of each grade level.
Grade 9: World History
Ninth graders will explore the history and geography of the civilizations and nations across the world. Students will examine world cultures and understand the role of interactions among regions and governments including immigration, religion, war, conquest,, and culture. There will be an emphasis placed on primary sources and the student's ability to develop research questions and conduct inquiries with these primary sources.
Grade 10: United States History I
Students will engage in an in-depth analysis of the history of the United States in the 17th, 18th, and 19th century and early 20th century. Exposure to events outside the United States and their impact on the development of the country will also be examined. Throughout the course, there will be an emphasis placed on primary sources and a student's ability to develop research questions and conduct inquiries with these primary sources.
Grade 11: United States History II or Humanities American Studies
United States History II
Eleventh graders will continue their exploration of the history of the United States and beyond in the 20th and 21st centuries. Students will understand how people of diverse backgrounds have worked to define the United States, how sectional issues have resulted in bitter conflicts, the ideas that have united the country, how the United States became a world power, and how citizens have fought to expand civil rights and defend democratic processes at home and in other parts of the world. In accordance with the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary requirements, students will be expected to complete the Civics Commonwealth Challenge Project.
Humanities American Studies
This themed based interdisciplinary course is grounded in American Literature and United States History. The course provides students with a deep literary and historical knowledge of the aspects of a diverse American heritage. The course will examine literary contributions and provide opportunities to more closely understand their connection to major turning points in United States History. In accordance with Massachusetts DESE requirements, students will be expected to complete a Civics Project within this course.
Grade 12: Multiple Offerings
- Economics (Honors and College Preparatory)
- Psychology (Advanced Placement, Honors, and College Preparatory)
- Government & Law: Mock Trial (Honors and College Preparatory)
- Advanced Placement Government & Politics
- Advanced Placement Human Geography
- Art and Ideas
- Successful Citizenship