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Lower Merion School District

Off-Canvas

Social Studies Electives

Students may select from the following Social Studies electives in addition to the core Social Studies courses.

Economics or Economics H

Honors Course Symbol
  • Length/credit: 1 semester - 0.5 credit
  • Grade(s): 10, 11, 12
  • Course Number: 02070102
  • Course Number: 02070203

This one-semester course is an introduction to fundamental micro and macro economic concepts. Major topics include supply and demand, prices, market structures, financial markets, money and banking, monetary and fiscal policy, government regulations, and comparative economic systems. There is an emphasis on economic literacy, and a major goal is to develop an understanding of the vocabulary and analytical techniques used by economists. Honors level students will have increased rigor in their study and application of learning as well as undertake considerable reading at an advanced level.

AP Economics

AP Course Symbol
  • Length/credit: 1 year - 1.0 credit
  • Grade (s): 11, 12
  • Prerequisite: It is recommended that interested students have grades of “A” or “B”in the current honors or AP level Social Studies core course and recommendation from a member of the Social Studies Department
  • Course Number: 02070604

AP Economics covers introductions to both Microeconomics and Macroeconomics. Microeconomics is focused on helping students develop a thorough understanding of principles of economics that apply to the functions of both consumers and producers within the economic system. It places primary emphasis on the nature and functions of product markets and includes the study of factor markets and the role of government in promoting greater efficiency and equity in the economy. Macroeconomics gives students a thorough understanding of principles of economics that apply to economic systems as a whole. The course places particular emphasis on the study of national income and price-level determination and develops students’ familiarity with economic performance measures, the financial sector, stabilization policies, economic growth, and international economics. This course prepares students to take both the AP Micro Economics and AP Macro Economics exams.

IB Economics-SL (offered at Harriton High School only)

IB Course Symbol
  • Length/credit: 1 year - 1.0 credit
  • Grade(s): 11, 12
  • Course Number: 02070305

The Standard Level IB Economics class provides students a solid foundation in microeconomics and macroeconomics. Basic economic terminology is emphasized, and students become familiar with analyzing economic models, graphs, and data. While the course focuses on the central economic questions of “What?”, “How?”, and “For whom?” students apply economic theory to the real world issues of economic development, market structures, the environment, and the impact of technology. Students are required to prepare commentaries linking the material in the classroom to contemporary situations described in published news media. This course is offered depending on enrollment and may be taken by non-IB students. All students enrolled in this class are required to complete all International Baccalaureate assessments.

IB Economics-HL (Part 1) (offered at Harriton High School only)

IB Course Symbol
  • Length/credit 1 year - 1.0 credit
  • Grade: 11
  • Course Number: 02070405

This course is the first year of the two-year Higher Level IB Economics class and provides students with an in-depth study of microeconomics and macroeconomics. Basic economic terminology is emphasized, and students become familiar with analyzing economic models, graphs, and data. While the course focuses on the central economic questions of “What?”, “How?”, and “For whom?” students apply economic theory to the real world issues of economic development, market structures, the environment, and the impact of technology. Students are required to prepare commentaries linking the material in the classroom to contemporary situations described in published news media. This course is offered depending on enrollment and may be taken by non-IB students as well. Please note that taking Part 1 of this course does not guarantee that Part 2 will fit into your schedule the following year. All students enrolled in this class are required to complete all International Baccalaureate assessments.

IB Economics-HL (Part 2) (offered at Harriton High School only)

IB Course Symbol
  • Length/credit 1 year - 1.0 credit
  • Grade: 12
  • Prerequisite: IB Economics-HL (Part 2) HL
  • Course Number: 02070505

This course is the second year of the two-year Higher Level Economics class and will expand on the economic foundations covered in Part 1. There is a further analysis of such topics as cost theory, market structures, Veblen and Giffin goods, multipliers and accelerators, inflation measures, Philips curves, Laffer curves, Lorenz curves, comparative advantage, Marshall-Lerner conditions, and trade issues. This course is offered depending on enrollment and may be taken by non- IB students as well. All students enrolled in this class are required to complete all International Baccalaureate assessments.

Global Citizenship or Global Citizenship H

Honors Course Symbol
  • Length/credit: 1 semester - 0.5 credit
  • Grade (s): 9, 10, 11
  • Course Number: 02020512
  • Course Number: 02020503

This course invites learners to become positive forces as global citizens. This curriculum’s student-centered approach combines academic learning with experiential service experiences. Students study poverty, gender equity, income inequality, human and civil rights, environmental sustainability, globalization and interdependence, as well as, cultural diversity. This course requires 30-40 hours of community service per semester. Because these service opportunities are informed by academic study, they increase intercultural competence and global awareness in both practical and scholarly ways.

AP Human Geography

AP Course Symbol
  • Length/credit: 1 year - 1.0 credit
  • Grade (s): 11, 12
  • Course Number: 02120104

This course enhances understanding of how humans interact with the world around them. The course focuses on the systematic study of patterns and processes that have shaped human understanding, use, and alteration of Earth’s surface and the tools geographers use to study how humans interact with the earth and the consequences of those actions. During the course, students interpret maps and analyze geospatial data, understand and explain the implications of associations and networks among phenomena in places, recognize and interpret the relationships among patterns and processes at different scales of analysis, define regions and evaluate the regionalization process, and characterize and analyze changing interconnections among places. Essentially, students study “where stuff is and why it’s there.” The course includes class discussions, geography activities, practice exams, essay exams, and geographic fieldwork. The course prepares students to take the AP Human Geography exam.

Modern History Through Media or Modern History Through Media H

Honors Course Symbol
  • Length/credit: 1 semester - 0.5 credit
  • Grade(s): 11, 12
  • Course Number: 02020402
  • Course Number: 02020403

This course is designed for students interested in modern history and the influence of the media. The course covers the 20th century to the present. By viewing, creating, and analyzing various media, students explore the impact of the media on the unfolding events of world affairs.

Philosophy and Modern Culture or Philosophy and Modern Culture H

Honors Course Symbol
  • Length/credit: 1 semester - 0.5 credit
  • Grade(s): 11, 12
  • Course Number: 02080102
  • Course Number: 02080103

This course is a study of philosophical questions and their application to modern life. Students study great thinkers and the ways in which their viewpoints are relevant to the modern world. Issues such as the role of science and technology, theories of knowledge, and moral philosophy are discussed. Contemporary readings and films are used for illustration. The honors course involves significantly more reading, writing, and research than the college preparatory level.

Psychology or Psychology H

Honors Course Symbol
  • Length/credit: 1 semester - 0.5 credit
  • Grade(s): 11, 12
  • Course Number: 02060102
  • Course Number: 02060203

This course, open to juniors and seniors only, is an introduction to the field of psychology with special emphasis on applying course content to students’ life experiences. The content spans a wide range of topics such as learning, development, the brain, personality, the senses, psychological testing, and psychiatry. The course seeks to help students develop healthy and realistic personal attitudes as they approach adulthood. Included in the course is a moderate amount of reading, writing, experimental projects, and class discussions. Honors level students have increased rigor in their study and application of learning.

AP Psychology

AP Course Symbol
  • Length/credit: 1 year - 1.0 credit
  • Grade(s): 11, 12
  • Prerequisite: It is recommended that interested students have grades of “A” or “B” in the current honors or AP level Social Studies core course and recommendation from a member of the Social Studies Department
  • Course Number: 02060304

Advanced Placement Psychology is offered to juniors and seniors who wish to complete studies in secondary school equivalent to an introductory college-level course in psychology. The course is designed to introduce students to the scientific study of behavior and mental processes of human beings and other animals. Students are exposed to the psychological facts, principles, and phenomena associated with each of the major subfields within psychology. They also learn about the ethics and methods psychologists use in their science and practice. This course prepares students to take the AP Psychology exam.

IB Psychology-SL (offered at Harriton High School only)

IB Course Symbol
  • Length/credit: 1 year - 1.0 credit
  • Grade(s): 11, 12
  • Course Number: 02060305

The IB Psychology-SL class provides students with a solid foundation in the historical background of psychology as a social science. Students are exposed to the study of the behavior of organisms, both animal and human. They study various methodologies and philosophical positions as they have developed in modern psychology. Students are exposed to the utilization of the scientific method in the social sciences and its importance in the growth of the psychological sciences. This course may be taken by non-IB students as well. All students enrolled in this class are required to complete all International Baccalaureate assessments.

IB Psychology-HL (Part 1) (offered at Harriton High School only)

IB Course Symbol
  • Length/credit: 1 year - 1.0 credit
  • Grade: 11
  • Course Number: 02060405

The IB Psychology-HL (Part 1) class is the first year of the Higher Level Psychology class. The HL course expands on the foundational information covered in the SL course. In addition to the historical and theoretical background information, HL students produce an original research project following IB guidelines. This course is offered depending on enrollment and may be taken by non-IB students as well. All students enrolled in this class are required to complete all International Baccalaureate assessments.

IB Psychology-HL (Part 2) (offered at Harriton High School only)

IB Course Symbol
  • Length/credit: 1 year - 1.0 credit
  • Grade: 12
  • Prerequisite: IB Psychology-HL (Part 1)
  • Course Number: 02060505

The IB Psychology HL (Part 2) class is the second year of the Higher Level IB Psychology class. This class continues to expand on foundational information begun in the first year of the class. In addition, students study an assigned area in depth. This is the year in which their experimental study is completed, requiring 25 hours, 1500- 2000 words, and includes the use of inferential statistics as part of the analysis of data. All students enrolled in this class are required to complete all International Baccalaureate assessments.

Theology and Modern Culture or Theology and Modern Culture H

Honors Course Symbol
  • Length/credit: 1 semester - 0.5 credit
  • Grade(s): 11, 12
  • Course Number: 02090102
  • Course Number: 02090103

This course examines the religious beliefs and practices behind many of today’s world events. Students study the basic tenets of the six major world religions through examination of religious texts, recently published articles, documentaries, and student research; the human element behind the news is discussed by the class. The honors course involves significantly more reading, writing, and research than the college preparatory level.