social science

  • San Mateo Union High School District offers a purposeful sequence of Social Science courses at every school site. The social science graduation requirement calls for 3.5 years of social science, including World History, Contemporary World Studies, US History, Government and Economics. All of our courses meet UC/ CSU eligibility requirements. All students are encouraged to pursue the most rigorous course options possible, including advanced standing, advanced placement, and at some sites, IB (offerings will vary according by site). Each course places an emphasis on critical thinking, close reading, and the application of historical knowledge to current events. Several school sites offer social science electives such as Psychology, Sociology, and International Relations.

    California Standards in Social Science

    California History/ Social Science Framework (adopted 2016)


    Common Curricular Expectations: Social Science Grades 9-10 and Social Science Grades 11-12

  • Modern World History

    Students will study themes to help make sense of our historical past and the world we live in. A wide variety of basic study skills, communication skills, interpersonal skills, and critical thinking skills will be stressed.

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  • Advanced Placement Comparative Government

    Introduces students to the fundamental concepts used by political scientists to study the processes and outcomes of politics in a variety of country settings.  The course aims to illustrate the rich diversity of political life, to show available institutional alternatives, to explain differences in processes and policy outcomes, and to communicate to students the importance of global political and economic changes.

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  • Contemporary World Studies

    This one-semester course examines contemporary issues facing the non-European regions of the world. The central topics of globalization, nation-building and social justice will all be taught. A fourth unit, Current Event, allows teachers the flexibility to address breaking issues of the day.

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  • Introduction to Ethnic Studies

    This Ethnic Studies course is designed for students to be politically, socially and economically conscious about their personal connections to local and global histories. By studying the histories of race, ethnicity, nationality, sexuality, and culture, students will cultivate respect and empathy for individuals and solidarity with groups of people locally, nationally, and globally so as to foster active social engagement and community building. Particular focus will be given to the contributions, and struggles of different racial and ethnic groups for liberty, equality, and justice in the United States. Students will investigate and analyze the historical factors of power and privilege and the subsequent impact on historically disadvantaged groups’ ability to navigate and mitigate internal and external structures that influence their human experience. Students will apply in-depth analysis to contemporary issues and collectively pose creative, self-affirming solutions in a variety of ways to promote agency through grassroots community advocacy and civic engagement. This course is intended to help build inter-ethnic understanding and socio-cultural bridges in an increasingly more multicultural and multiethnic nation, which is imperative to creating a just society.

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