At Dublin, we conceive history as a science, that is to say, a body of knowledge in a process of permanent construction and evolution. In such a process, historians and other scholars exercise their subjectivity resulting in many historical visions, all of them different and sometimes contradictory. Taking this conception of history to the classroom implies having the students mimic the historian’s work. In order to do that, we make available to the students different sources (written documents, objects, images, artwork, oral accounts, etc.) as well as different historical interpretations. We think that by working with different sources and analyzing different interpretations, students will develop skills to think critically and question the information they receive. We want students to be able to view their world in complex ways, not to be satisfied with simple answers, not to be manipulated by media, government, or special interest groups. We want to produce responsible citizens who will seek to better their understandings and act upon their convictions.

Students follow a developmental path, learning about our oldest ancestors, following the rise of ancient civilizations in the 9th grade, examining the development of European culture as it interacted with other societies in the 10th grade, and then delving into the study of our own society in the 11th grade. In their final year, seniors have the opportunity to reflect on significant issues in the contemporary world, develop more specialized knowledge about other cultures, or branch out into other related fields.

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Course of Study

World History I

In World History I, students explore early human societies to pursue questions about the essential nature of humanity. The development of different religions and political systems in response to these questions leads toward a greater understanding of the modern world. Examining artifacts, myth, literature, and scholarship, students delve into ancient cultures and seek the wisdom of Mesopotamia, China, India, Persia, Egypt, Greece, Rome, and Islam. Students learn from primary source documents and artwork, as well as textbooks. Academic skills such as reading, note taking, organization, library use, and fundamentals of academic research are taught. In addition, this course encourages students to express inquiry and learning in creative ways. This is a student-centered course, emphasizing the role of each learner as the creator of his or her knowledge.

World History II

Western concepts of civilization, politics, science, economics and individual freedom continue to dominate world culture. What are the origins and functions of these ideas? Whom have they served? How and why has Western culture taken the path that has led us to our own moment in time? What are the strengths and weaknesses of this culture? What are the legacies and obligations of our role in the global community? This course traces the development of major strands of European culture, but also examines Europe’s interactions with other major world cultures between the Renaissance and World War II. Students do many different types of work in this course, from organizing and keeping a notebook to a major research project, from standard tests and quizzes to more creative forms of assessment.

US History

This course examines American history from the discovery and settlement of the continent by Europeans to the time of the Cold War. Major themes include the American Revolution as a civil war, the power of the Presidency, and ever-present tensions between the periphery and the center. One goal of this course is to challenge common myths about our country, to assess our own preconceptions about its founding and government. Reading comprehension and the development of the research paper are two major skills stressed in this course. Much will be asked of you here: an increase in the amount and the complexity of your reading, an improvement in your study habits, and a new responsibility for your own motivations as a learner.

AP US History

An intensive survey of American history from colonial times to the 21st century, AP U.S. History at Dublin School is designed to serve as the equivalent to an introductory-level college course. A chronological and thematic approach is used, one that weighs evidence and interpretations in historical scholarship to deal critically with the problems and materials of United States history. A particular emphasis will be placed on developing effective analytical skills: you will hone your ability to interpret maps, charts, political cartoons, and primary documents; to present ideas and evidence clearly and persuasively in discussion and in writing; and to engage in scholarly debate.

Students enrolled in this class should demonstrate strong reading and writing skills, along with a willingness to devote considerable time to homework and study. Along with sitting for the Advanced Placement U.S. History Exam in May, you will be expected to complete a major research paper with scholarly citations. AP U.S. History is open to highly committed and capable juniors and seniors with permission from the instructor and the Dean of Academics.

AP U.S. Government and Politics

This course is designed to consider the philosophical underpinnings and pragmatic realities of modern American democracy. We will examine the various institutions, groups, beliefs, and ideas that shape the United States government, as well as the language in which we interpret them. Topics of special importance include the development of political equality for the individual, and the ways such equality influences perspectives on contemporary issues of civil rights and civil liberties. The question of popular sovereignty in modern American electoral politics through political parties, interest groups, and public opinion will also be explored in depth. The course is taught with college-level texts and corresponding expectations of the students enrolled. Preparation for the AP exam is an integral part of the course.

Current and Recent Electives Offered

  • Advanced Study: Latin American History
  • Advanced Study: Economic Theory
  • Advanced Study: Ancient Greece
  • Comparative Religions
  • Nuclear Issues
  • Global Human Rights
  • Psychology
  • Anti-Semitism, the Holocaust, and Genocide
  • History of Ancient Greece and Rome
  • European History: 1945-2012
  • History of Islam
  • Modern East Asia
  • Vietnam and the Cold War
  • Poverty in America
  • American Civil Rights
  • Economics