We live in a complex world, where students experience both the benefits and challenges of continual change as they navigate their paths to adulthood. As active citizens, they will need a framework from which to appreciate and evaluate who they are in an individual, societal, cultural, and global context. History provides an important part of that framework.
The History Department at SEM is committed to a program of studies basic not only to a college preparatory curriculum but to the broader goal of learning for life. We encourage each student to explore the fundamental philosophies and institutions that have shaped human political, economic, social, and spiritual development by studying the history of our community, our nation, and our world. Through elective courses, the curriculum is expanded to give students in-depth exposure to specific time periods and regions. Honors and Advanced Placement sectioning gives qualified students the opportunity for learning on a more intensive level.
SEM is an international school, and it is especially important for SEM students to understand global perspectives, consider multiple cultural viewpoints, and understand how social/economic/political/cultural structures develop and change over time. Our diverse course offerings create opportunities to deepen understanding of non-western civilizations.
We emphasize academic skills essential for college-bound students, such as reading both primary and secondary sources, identifying and analyzing bias and point of view, effective note-taking, writing for history-related topics reflecting both meaningful use of fact and critical thinking, and informal and formal oral presentation. Students learn research techniques and do research-related writing at all levels of the curriculum. Global and American geography and map study help students to make connections between cultural histories and our physical world. Harkness discussions are integral to our program, which is designed to promote a passion for the past and a broader love of learning.
Departmental Requirements: 3 years including U.S. History
History Department Chair: Molly Greene '98
Includes electives, though not all elective courses are offered each year or trimester. Students may also enroll in additional electives and APs offered through SEM's membership in the Online School for Girls.