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July 7, 2011
by: Jenne Smith


The Humanities curriculum at IDEAS Academy will consist of three separate course offerings: American Studies, Global Studies and an individualized Global Issues course. Students will earn one social studies credit per course as well as .5 English credits per course.  Students will earn additional English credit each year through Academic Writing (.25) and Communications (.25), totaling one full English credit. The social studies credit will be founded upon extensive historical analysis, research, interpretation and application. The English credit will be offered based on the standards of writing, listening, reading, speaking, research/inquiry and vocabulary development.

The American Studies program will be comprised of three trimester units and will be taught in a chronological format with a special emphasis placed on social and cultural history with the basic idea of discovering how social issues and structures have shaped the culture and history of the United States. This course will also contain an overlying theme of progress and democracy.  Students will have the opportunity to engage in a rigorous analysis of the experiences and agency of ordinary Americans and apply this knowledge to the traditional historical context they already have. Finally, students will determine how modern historical events influence current American life and will ascertain where we are headed as a country in terms of policy, reform and rights. 

The Global Studies course has been designed to reflect a conceptual narrative of world history and current world studies, rather than a composite area studies approach. In other words, the course will not be a chronological survey of world history; rather, it will be a conceptual understanding and evaluation of past and current global events and issues. Students will gain a global perspective centered on a purpose or organizing idea, such as Revolution and Reform, or Imperialism and Colonization.  Through this narrative study, students will develop a deeper understanding of world globalization processes throughout human history and will engage in critical and integrated thinking.

The Global Issues course is designed specifically for students who have already completed both American and Global Studies. These students will have the opportunity to choose a current global issue to analyze, interpret and apply potential solutions to. Like the Global Studies course, this course will allow students to develop deeper understandings of world globalization and will require critical and integrated thinking; however, this course will further emphasize current issues and problems we face as a world today and student success will be dependent upon extensive examination, exploration and problem solving related to one or two topics of the student’s choice.

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