Mr. Joyce’s Social Studies Course Descriptions

The grade 9 world history course uses a thematic approach to examine the development of civilization in the ancient world. Focusing upon civilizations in the Mideast, Egypt, Greece and Rome, the course’s themes are linked to current world issues, such as international terrorism and individual rights versus government authority. The course is also interdisciplinary, exploring not just what has happened in the past but also how past events affect us now; art, literature and the law will be used to provide a better understanding of the past and the present.

POLITICS AND LAW is a one credit elective course which explores how government power and individual rights are balanced under the American political and legal systems. The course examines the roles of both the political process and the legal process under the Constitutional system, examining such issues as free speech, civil rights, gun control, abortion, and freedom of religion. The course culminates with moot court arguments, wherein pairs of students will argue key Constitutional issues before a panel of student “judges.” The class is open to all grade levels.

 JUSTICE UNDER THE LAW is a one credit course and explores criminal justice and the American criminal trial system. The course focuses upon case studies of key constitutional issues such as searches, self-incrimination, cruel and unusual punishment, and the right to representation in criminal cases. The course also will explore through films and student simulations how attorneys prepare for and conduct criminal trials. The course is open to all grade levels.