In United States history, 11th graders examine political, economic, social, and intellectual development from the 1700s to the present. They regularly use primary and secondary sources, both literary and visual, to add depth to their understanding of each period.
Students sharpen their reading, writing, speaking and thinking skills, especially through the strong emphasis on analyzing arguments, in general, and historical interpretations, in particular, with a careful eye to assessing reliability of sources. Students also learn to apply intellectual frameworks to analyze leadership and to judge accountability for key decisions, and they examine art from four periods of U.S. history in order to explore the changing philosophical and aesthetic contexts. Students hone their research, writing and presentation skills through a fall project focused on Supreme Court cases related to the Bill of Rights and a spring assignment emphasizing Cold War episodes.