Social Sciences Department
Students in the Department of Social Sciences explore societies in the past and present through a variety of disciplines. The courses we offer are World History from 1700 to 1919 for grade 9 and 1919 to the present for grade 10. In 11th grade students have a choice to pursue courses leading to the IB Diploma, the Lebanese Baccalaureate or an ACS Diploma. The teachers in the department aim to provide a dynamic learning environment which fosters inquisitive, creative and astute students. In addition to the academic content of the courses, we also strive for our students to develop solid reading, writing and research skills.
ACS / IB
*Students entering grade 11 in 2016 or after, in any of the diploma tracks, will be able to complete their social studies requirement by studying Economics, History, or Psychology. ACS Diploma students may elect to take TOK in grade 11. However, they, like the IB Diploma students, are required to take the second part of the class in grade 12.
Social Studies Courses
This curriculum is designed for 9th and 10th grade students to learn about the Modern World and how it came to be. The historical background of current conflicts will be explored. Each unit builds on the previous unit to allow students to understand the concepts of modernity, cooperation and conflict. The high school curriculum will have a strong focus on Middle Eastern history. The units will include lessons that have an inquiry based focus, and students will develop research writing skills. Students will be prepared for IB group 3 curricula and skill set, and will write a Mini-Extended Essay at the end of grade 10.
In 9th grade, students will study the following units on the overarching themes of Modernity:
- French Revolution
- Industrial Revolution
- Causes of World War I
In 10th grade the students will study the following units on the overarching theme of Conflict and Cooperation:
- Effects of World War I on the Middle East
- Causes of World War II
- The Cold War
- The Arab Israeli Crisis
- The Lebanese Civil War
Senior Seminar will provide students with an introduction to epistemology and a selection of the most important ideas in human history as well as the necessary skills for the next chapter of the student’s lives. Through readings (both primary and secondary), class discussions, documentaries, and films, students will engage in socratic seminars about current events, complete a Senior Thesis Research Paper, complete a Change Project, and learn about College Selection and Budgeting.
This course is the first of a two-year sequence that will prepare students to take the IB Economics Exam at the end of their senior year. Year 1 focuses on basic concepts of both Microeconomics and Macroeconomics with topics covered including economic systems, costs, supply & demand, unemployment, inflation, and aggregate economics, among others.
This course is the second of a two-year sequence that will prepare students to take the IB Economics Exam at the end of this year. The second year focuses on International and Development Economics with topics covered including free trade, protectionism, economic integration, balance of payments, exchange rates, and economic growth & development, among others.
The 11th grade IB History curriculum will focus on the Prescribed Subject of Rights and Protest; a study of the Civil Rights Movement in the USA and the anti-apartheid protests in South Africa. The world history topics explored are Democratic and Authoritarian States for which the USA, South Africa and Chile are studied. Students develop sourcing, reading and writing skills in addition to completing a major research assignment.
IB History II
After three years of world history, the students at ACS spend their final year studying the history of the region in which they live. The classes vary slightly depending on which program the students have chosen, but the time period studied is mainly the 20th century and the main topics are: The First World War and its effects on the Middle East, the mandate period, rise of independent nation states (Turkey, Iran, Saudi Arabia), the origin and development of the Arab-Israeli conflict, Abdel Nasser’s Egypt and finally the modern history of Lebanon. For the IB students this is the second year of the history course and the culminating assessments are the IB exams and research papers.
Psychology is the systematic study of behavior and mental processes. IB Psychology examines the interaction of biological, cognitive and sociocultural influences on human behavior, thereby adopting an integrative approach. In the core of the IB Psychology course, the biological level of analysis demonstrates what all humans share, whereas the cognitive and sociocultural levels of analysis reveal the immense diversity of influences that produce human behavior and mental processes. The ethical concerns raised by the methodology and application of psychological research are key considerations in IB Psychology. Cultural diversity is explored and students are encouraged to develop empathy for the feelings, needs and lives of others within and outside their own culture.
The course is broken into four parts: core, options, qualitative research methodology, and simple experimental study. Year Two in Psychology requires students to study 2 options; current options offered at ACS include Abnormal and Health psychology. HL students will also study qualitative research design.
The Theory of Knowledge (TOK) course is central to the educational philosophy of the International Baccalaureate. Students critically reflect on diverse ways of knowing and areas of knowledge. TOK encourages students to consider their roles as “thinkers” and to consider the complexity of knowledge in structuring human existence. The course is designed to link the other six discipline areas of the IB program demonstrating the integration of different fields of study into one’s means of “knowing”.
The LB Social Studies courses focus on the relationship between History, Geography, and Civics. Students will study social and economic developments, traditions, and norms within a range of cultures, with a specific focus on the interplay between History and Geography. Their skills of analysis, comparison, and critical thinking will be further developed through study of economic, social and political issues and the constitutions of different governments and social institutions.
The Grade 11 Philosophy course will complete the first year requirements of the LB Philosophy syllabus. In the first semester, students will understand the meaning of philosophy and identify its different schools to prepare them for the Grade 12 Philosophy course. This course will teach basic philosophical ideas regarding the Sophists’ concepts and the different interpretations expressed by the natural philosophers. In the second semester, students will start with the grade 12 LB Philosophy lessons.
The Grade 12 Philosophy and Civilization course is a requirement for the official program of the Baccalaureate in Life Science and Socio-Economic tracks. The program deals with philosophical questions concerning psychology and knowledge, with specific focus on: tendencies, the consciousness, the unconsciousness, perception, memory, imagination, and intelligence.