World History: Revolutions

9th Grade: 4 weeks main lesson intensive; UC “a-g” approved course
Instructor: Mr. Pittis

This course examines three overarching historical themes relating to revolutions in the post-Renaissance world: the emergence of the modern rationalistic view of the world, the development of the concept of universal human rights, and the necessity of developing a personal moral compass in times of turmoil.

Topic Areas
  • Political revolutions and human rights
  • The Scientific Revolution and its consequences
  • The English Revolution
  • The Enlightenment and the French Revolution
  • Capitalism and Communism
  • WWI and the Versailles Treaty
  • The Post-Ottoman Middle East
  • Russian and Fascist revolutions
  • WWII
  • The Chinese Revolution
  • Communist containment
  • The collapse of the Soviet Union & its Empire
  • Gandhi and the Indian Revolution
  • The South African Revolution

Introduction to Research: Cultural Geography: Africa

9th Grade: 8 weeks skills track; UC “a-g” approved course
Instructor:  Mr. Baker

This course introduces the “five themes” of geography — location, place, human-to-environment interaction, migration, and region — on a global level. It also introduces students to how maps and other graphic forms present information. These themes and tools are then focused on the study of sub-Saharan Africa from a physical, cultural and historical perspective.

Topic Areas
  • Geography: Its Nature and Perspectives
  • Population and Migration
  • Cultural Patterns and Processes
  • Political Organization of Space
  • Agriculture, Food Production, and Rural Land Use
  • Industrialization and Economic Development
  • Cities and Urban Land Use
  • The African Continent
  • Regions of Africa
  • African Cultures
  • Natural Resources
  • European Incursion
  • Colonial Societies
  • Independence Movements
  • Post-Colonialism
  • Nigeria
  • Kenya
  • South Africa

Ancient Civilizations

10th Grade: 4 weeks main lesson intensive; UC “a-g” approved course
Instructor: Mr. Pittis

This course introduces students to the study of ancient civilizations through the various disciplines of archeology, anthropology, historiography, literature, and art, thereby developing an understanding of chronologically remote cultures and civilizations. Within this context of civilization in the early bronze age and its development in ancient China and the eastern and central Mediterranean world are studied. The unit concludes with an examination of the effects of the great Migrations of the Peoples on the Chinese and Mediterranean worlds.

Topic Areas
  • Terminology, Neolithic Age, and Agricultural Revolution
  • First Cities & Great River Valley Civilizations
  • Bronze Age
  • The Emergence of Literacy
  • Legendary Bronze Age China
  • Early Chinese Historiography
  • Bronze and Early Iron Age in the Mediterranean World
  • The Archaic Greek City States and the Flowering of Athens
  • The Persian Wars
  • Rome: Legendary Founding to World Hegemony to Decline
  • Romanizing of Christianity & the Christianizing of Europe
  • The Migrations of the Peoples
  • Visigothic, Vandalic, and Frankish Kingdoms

US History I: Colonial to Now

10th Grade: 16 weeks skills track; UC “a-g” approved course
Instructor: Mr. Pittis

This course provides a fundamental understanding of American historical development from the colonial period to the present and provides students with a comprehensive appreciation for how national political and cultural identity developed in English speaking North America, how sectionalism and the institution of slavery laid the foundation for the Civil War, the role played by immigration in the building of contemporary American society, and how the United States developed into a world power over the course of the 18th through 20th centuries.

Topic Areas
  • North American Colonial Societies
  • Labor and the Racialization of Human Bondage
  • Eastern Indian Wars
  • The French and Indian War
  • The War for Independence
  • The Confederation Congress
  • The Constitutional Convention
  • Jeffersonian vs. Hamiltonian Vision of America
  • The Federal Period
  • Louisiana Purchase, Trans-Mississippi Expansion & Manifest Destiny
  • The Age of Jackson
  • Abolitionism
  • Sectional Polarization
  • Bloody Kansas & Dred Scott
  • War Between the States
  • Reconstruction & the Election of 1876
  • The Spanish American War
  • Immigration & Labor
  • The Progressive Era & Roaring Twenties
  • WWI & America as World Power
  • The Great Depression & Migrations North and West
  • World War II, The Cold War & Vietnam
  • Civil Rights Movement
  • The 60s
  • Post Vietnam American Foreign Policy

Medieval Societies: Europe, Islam & Japan

11th Grade: 4 weeks main lesson intensive; UC “a-g” approved course
Instructor: Mr. Baker

This course examines what differentiates a medieval society from the social forms that preceded and succeeded it by examining the shared and unique characteristics of Japanese, Islamic, and European medieval societies. Particular focus is given to the types of fealty and hierarchical relationships that characterized feudalism. The course thereby provides the historical context for the emergence of the modern nation state.

Topic Areas
  • Characteristics of Medieval Societies
  • Emergence of European Feudalism
  • Islamic Westward Expansion
  • The Norman Invasion
  • NW European Secular States
  • Emergence of Japanese Feudalism
  • Japanese Feudal Society
  • Age of the Warring States
  • Reestablishment of the Imperial Authority

US History II: Towards Civil War

11th Grade: 4 weeks main lesson intensive; UC “a-g” approved course
Instructor: Mr. Pittis

This course examines the political and social causes of the American Civil War through the study of primary source documents, images, and other cultural artifacts. Within in this context, the course focuses on the escalating political and social polarization that arose over the issues of states versus federal power and the containment of slavery in the old South versus expansion of slavery into the western territories and newly emerging states.

Topic Areas
  • Federal versus Confederate Government
  • The Ratification Debate: state versus federal powers
  • The 3/5 clause & Fugitive Slave Laws
  • The Missouri Compromise & Growing Sectionalism
  • Nullification
  • Popular Sovereignty versus Free Soil
  • Bleeding Kansas & John Brown
  • The Dred Scott Case
  • The Lincoln Douglas Debates
  • The Election of 1860
  • Secession
  • Why the North won and the South lost
  • Reconstruction & its failure

US History III: Social Issues

12th Grade: 4 weeks main lesson intensive; UC “a-g” approved course
Instructor: Mr. Pittis

This course examines American social reform movements, beginning with an introduction to the origins of social reform impulses in the early 19th century before focusing on abolitionism, the women’s rights and the labor movement, and concluding with an in-depth examination of the Civil Rights movements. As in other history courses, lectures, primary source documents, images, and cultural artifacts serve as the primary course materials.

Topic Areas
  • Origins of American reform movements
  • Temperance
  • Abolitionism
  • Seneca Falls Conference
  • Labor versus Capital
  • Immigration
  • Women’s Suffrage
  • Civil Rights
  • Strengthening close reading skills
  • Research

Latin American History

11th Grade: 4 weeks main lesson intensive; UC “a-g” approved course
Instructor: Señora Gatica

This course examines the history of Latin America, exploring how the coming together of people and cultures created a Latin American identity that is distinct from its indigenous, European and Africa roots. All these historical phenomena are explored through primary sources, historiography, art, literature and a close look at the human experiences involved. Particular attention is given the social, cultural and political interactions between Latin America and the United States.

Topic Areas
  • Pre-Columbian Central and South America
  • The Spanish Reconquista
  • Arrival of the Europeans, The Columbian Exchange, & The Conquest of Mexico and Peru
  • Foundations of Spanish Colonial Society
  • Slave Revolts and Their Effects
  • Revolution & Independence
  • Mexican Independence
  • New State Formation: 1810 – 1910
  • Dissolution of Gran Colombia and Nation State Formation
  • Wars for Resources
  • Liberalism vs. Conservatism
  • The Mexican Revolution
  • Neocolonialism
  • The Cuban Revolution
  • Latin American Contributions to World Culture

Modern East Asia

12th Grade: 4 weeks main lesson intensive; pending UC “a-g” approval
Instructor: Ms. Yang

This course examines modern Chinese and Japanese history from the mid-19th centuries to the present. Initial focus is on contrasting the Meiji Restoration in Japan and Japan’s rapid development into a modern nation state with the final phase of the Qing Dynasty in China and its subjugation by the European imperialistic powers through such events as the Opium War and the establishment of Treaty Ports. Attention then focuses on the revolutionary struggles in China and the emergence of Japanese imperialism. The course concludes with an overview of the Peoples Republic of China and China’s emergence as a major world power.

Topic Areas
  • Cultural geography of China and Japan
  • Dynastic China
  • The Qing Dynasty
  • Meiji Restoration
  • Dissolution of the Qing Dynasty
  • Nationalist China
  • Japanese Imperialism
  • The Chinese Communist Party
  • WWII in East Asia
  • The People’s Republic of China
  • Chinese Democide
  • Chinese State Capitalism
  • China as a world power