The goal of Stevenson’s history and social science curriculum is to enable students by systematic study to acquire the knowledge, skill, and judgment to continue to learn for themselves; to participate intelligently, justly, and responsibly in civic life, and in deliberation about local, national, and international issues; and to avail themselves of historical and cultural resources historic sites, museums, parks, libraries, multimedia information sources wherever they may live or travel.
A sound curriculum taught by good teachers in well-managed classrooms gives students the opportunity to understand themselves and others in time and place. Students learn to read, listen, write, frame relevant questions and reasoned arguments, engage in discussion and debate, conduct research, and interpret and present evidence and data.
By becoming skillful and competent in history and social science, students come to understand the foundations, principles, and institutional practices of the United States as a representative democracy. They learn traditions and ideals of other nations and cultures. They learn how different people, in many circumstances, used their intelligence and the resources available to them to establish and sustain their way of life.
By learning how others have discovered, identified, and tried to contend with questions of human affairs in their time and place, students have the chance to understand them, to see matters from their points of view. With such insight and understanding, students can conduct their own lives and further learning thoughtfully, knowledgeably, and with the consideration for others that marks responsible citizens.
Guidelines for the History Curriculum
- Chronology and Cause. Students will understand the chronological order of historical events and recognize the complexity of historical cause and effect, including the interaction of forces from different spheres of human activity, the importance of ideas, and of individual choices, actions, and character.
- Historical Understanding. Students will understand the meaning, implications, and import of historical events, while recognizing the contingency and unpredictability of history how events could have taken other directions by studying past ideas as they were thought, and past events as they were lived, by people of the time.
- Research, Evidence, and Point of View. Students will acquire the ability to frame questions that can be answered by historical study and research; to collect, evaluate, and employ information from primary and secondary sources, and to apply it in oral and written presentations.
- Society, Diversity, Commonality, and the Individual. As a vast nation, the overwhelming majority of whose population derives from waves of immigration from many lands, the United States has a citizenry that exhibits a broad diversity in terms of race, ethnic traditions, and religious beliefs. Students should are expected to learn of the complex interplay that has existed from the beginning of our country between American ideals and American practice in the pursuit of realizing the goals of the Declaration of Independence for all people.
- Interdisciplinary Learning: Religion, Ethics, Philosophy, and Literature in History. Students will describe and explain fundamental tenets of major world religions; basic ideals of ethics, including justice, consideration for others, and respect for human rights; differing conceptions of human nature; and influences over time of religion, ethics, and ideas of human nature in the arts, political and economic theories and ideologies, societal norms, education of the public, and the conduct of individual lives.
- Interdisciplinary Learning: Natural Science, Mathematics, and Technology in History. Students will describe and explain major advances, discoveries, and inventions over time in natural science, mathematics, and technology; explain some of their effects and influences in the past and present on human life, thought, and health, including use of natural resources, production and distribution and consumption of goods, exploration, warfare, and communication.