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Social Sciences and History

Social Science Department

The capacity to reason reflectively and constructively concerning the problems of man and his world will be the major goal of instruction in the social sciences. Sub-goals will include providing students with opportunities to acquire depth and precision of understanding in handling concepts and ideas rather than additions to the store of facts. In addition, social science courses will develop the ability to think abstractly, critically, and reflectively with social science data. The social science curriculum will also concern itself with respect for the facts, open-mindedness, and participation in group action of a kind that reflects a desire on the part of the participant to seek solutions to social problems.

Requirements for Graduation: U.S. History is required of all students during their junior year unless they earned this credit in grades 9 or 10. Students who have not earned a full credit of World History prior to entering MSMS need to do so during the junior year unless enrolled in U.S. History.  If a student requiring World History credit is enrolled in U.S. History junior year, it is recommended they take World History senior year. Additionally students must earn a ½ credit in World Geography, Mississippi Studies, Economics, and American Government prior to graduation.  There are a variety of ways to meet this requirement.  American Government is reserved for the senior year.

Objectives

  1. Within the study of social sciences, students will be equipped:
  2. To understand the broad sweep of both ancient and contemporary ideas that have shaped our world;
  3. To understand the fundamentals of how our economic system works and how our political system functions;
  4. To grasp the difference between free and repressive societies; and
  5. To demonstrate this understanding through informed and committed exercise of citizenship.

United States History: Imperialism to the New Frontier
United States History: Imperialism to the New Frontier (Research Focus: Tales from the Crypt)
World Geography
Mississippi Crossroads I: 20th Century Mississippi Cultural Expansion
Modern European History
University Western Civilization
American Government
Economics
AP University Psychology
African American History
Special Topics in Social Science

Detailed Description of Social Science Courses

SS 600 – United States History:  Imperialism to New Frontier
This course surveys United States History from 1877 and fulfills the US History graduation requirement set by the Mississippi State Department of Education.  Pursuing a student-centered inquiry approach to History, the course includes, but is not limited to:  The Rise to Industrial Supremacy, the Age of the City, the Populist Movement, American Imperialism, the Progressive Movement, America and the Great War, the New Era (“Roaring Twenties”), the Great Depression, the New Deal, the Second World War. The Cold War, the Affluent Society of the 1950’s, the Korean War, the Civil Rights Era – the Early Years, and the Vietnam War – the Early Years.  The course will develop primary and secondary source analysis skills.  Additionally, courses will include writing that focuses on the production of clear and coherent works, including, but not limited to: writing arguments focused on discipline-specific content and writing informative/explanatory texts, including the narration of historical events.

SS 601 – United State History: Imperialism to new Frontier (Research focus: Architecture)
This course surveys United States History from 1877 and fulfills the US History graduation requirement set by the Mississippi State Department of Education.  Pursuing a student-centered inquiry approach to History, the section includes content covered in SS 600.  Additionally, this section includes a study of the development of American architecture.  Surveying the variety of architecture styles prevalent in the United States through the first three centuries of the nation’s development, students consider these styles as representative cultural expressions which suggest historical responses to aesthetic and cultural conflicts and offer historical insight and understanding.  Field studies are included in the course.  The course will develop primary and secondary source analysis skills.  Additionally, the course will include writing that focuses on the production of clear and coherent works, including, but not limited to: writing arguments focused on discipline-specific content and writing informative/explanatory texts, including the narration of historical events.

SS 603 – United States History:  Imperialism to New Frontier (Research focus:  Tales from the Crypt)
This section includes the award-winning “Tales from the Crypt” research/performance project.  Students conduct primary and secondary research on an individual buried in Historic Friendship Cemetery.  After completing a research paper, students develop dramatic vignettes performed during candlelight cemetery tours in the spring.

SS 605 – University History of the United States II (College credit)
University United States History II offers qualifying students an opportunity to receive dual credit in United States History from MSMS (the U.S. History requirement) and from Mississippi University for Women (His 110).This course surveys American History since Reconstruction. It explores the political, social, cultural, and economic forces at work in creating modern America. Special attention is given to Americans’ experience in war, civil rights for African-Americans, and the changing status of women.

SS 610 – United States History: 60’s – Decade of Change
This course surveys United States History during the 1960’s. Course topics include, but are not limited to Johnson’s “Great Society,” the Civil Rights Era – the Later Years; the Vietnam War – Intensification and Resolution; the Watergate Crisis. The course will include use of a textbook, lecture, outside readings, current even materials and research projects. This course does not fulfill the Mississippi State Department of Education U.S. History graduation requirement.

SS 612 – World Geography
This course focuses on the study of world geography through current world problems.  Students study the world’s major regions and the United States’ role in world affairs while exploring how culture influences the decisions of world leaders and how economics, geography, and history have influenced the political systems of the world.  Students also explore the relationship among people, places and environments; the concept of regional identities; the global competition for natural resources; and the modification of our physical environment.  The course includes the use of current event materials and a variety of research tools.  This course meets the ½ credit Geography graduation requirement.

SS 615 – Mississippi Crossroads I: 20th Century Mississippi Cultural Expression
This course will examine the sources and themes of 20th century Mississippi artistic and cultural expression as they emerge from and contribute to a social, historical, political, and cultural milieu.  Topics addressed will include the music, history and traditions of the state – including, but not limited to: writers, blues, country, visual arts, politics, agriculture, civil rights issues, race/ethnicity, and more.

SS 625 – Modern European History
Course includes, but is not limited to study of the Black Death, the Renaissance including art and music, the Age of Exploration, the Reformation, the English Civil War, Scientific Revolution, French Revolution, Napoleon, Imperialism, and WWI.  The course will include use of a textbook, lecture, outside readings, current event materials, field trips, and research projects.  This course meets the World History requirements set by the Mississippi State Department of Education.

SS 626 –University History of Civilization (College credit)
History of Civilization offers qualifying students an opportunity to receive dual credit in World History from MSMS (the World History requirement) and from Mississippi University for Women (His 102).This course surveys the history of civilization from approximately 1300 until the present with an emphasis on the West regarding crucial events, individuals, and institutions. Central goals are to develop the talent to read historical material effectively, formulate clear and coherent arguments, think constructively about historical issues, and transmit ideas through written material.

SS 650 – Economics and Entrepreneurship
This is an introductory course to the basic principles of macro- and microeconomics and major concepts in entrepreneurship. The first half of the course will focus on important economic concepts and themes, such as (but not limited to) scarcity, supply and demand, production, national income, inflation, GDP, the cost of living, monetary policy, and personal finance. The goal is to equip students with some of the necessary tools to make sound economic decisions and be better consumers, employees, investors, and citizens. The second half of the course will build on the first half and introduce students to principles of entrepreneurship. These tools are meant to instill in students the possibility and feasibility of starting their own business.

SS 655 – American Government (Seniors Only)
This course will include a thorough study of the constitution and the amendments as well as the three branches of government. The course will focus on political decision making and include selected Supreme Court decisions as well as other documents illustrating the processes of government. The course will include the use of a textbook, lecture, outside readings, and current event materials.

SS 665 – African American History
This course examines the History of persons of African descent in North America from the colonial period through the twentieth century.  Pursuing a student-centered inquiry approach to History, the course includes, but is not limited to: African cultural heritage, slavery, the Civil War and Reconstruction, the era of Jim Crow segregation, the Civil Rights Era, and African American contributions to American culture.  Additionally, this course will include the “Eight of May Emancipation Celebration” research/performance/community service project.  The course will develop primary and secondary source analysis skills.  Additionally, the course will include writing that focuses on the production of clear and coherent works, including, but not limited to: writing arguments focused on discipline-specific content and writing informative/explanatory texts, including the narration of historical events.

SS667 World War II
Course Description: World War II was a conflict like no other in human history. The purpose of this course is to provide the students with a broad view and comprehensive understanding of World War II as a global event. This class will study the causes, the course, and the implications of World War II, this greatest of twentieth century conflicts.  It will deal with the war’s causes, conduct, and consequences. It will cover the war from the perspective of all the major belligerents, Axis and Allied. It will handle most of the geographic areas involved, the major diplomatic, political and military events, and some of the key figures of the war.  It covers the time period of 1918 to 1950, with an emphasis on the years 1939-1945.

SS 690 – Special Topics in Social Science
This course is based on individual student interest and may be offered on a one-time or rotating basis.  It may concentrate on a specific topic.