Social Studies 


"The more you know about the past, the better prepared you are for the future."

-Theodore Roosevelt, President of the United States, 1901-1909

Why is this program important?

The E.O. Smith Social Studies department is committed to helping students better understand our past while making connections to issues currently facing the world. Our goal is to help students become active citizens, critical thinkers and strong communicators. Through required and elective courses, we help students develop skills and understand how civics, economics, geography, history, and human behavior shape the world in which we live.

In Social Studies courses, students will develop critical thinking, problem solving, and communication skills to help them become effective, active, informed citizens. These skills are embedded in the content of required courses and electives. Freshmen take two half-year courses: Politics and Contemporary Issues in Geography. In Politics classes, students explore the importance of civic participation, the role of government, and the impact government has on individuals’ lives. In Geography classes, students examine how current world affairs connect to the five themes of geography. Sophomores enrolled in United States History focus on how major eras in American history have shaped our nation. For the third required Social Studies credit, typically taken in junior year, students choose from courses that give insight into world civilizations and western societies.

Program Goals

Students who have taken Social Studies courses will:
  • Understand the development of humans over the course of history, including different individuals, cultures, and institutions.
  • Be informed, responsible citizens who recognize the importance of civic action at both the local and national level.
  • Understand basic human rights that are protected and denied in different global communities, including what students can do to help protect these rights.
  • Practice the basic tenants of democratic discourse, by listening to competing viewpoints, analyzing each, and working to develop consensus.
  • Identify bias and its impact on human understanding.
  • Effectively communicate verbally and in writing, and demonstrate the ability to develop a thesis supported with multiple, credible resources.
  • Demonstrate the ability and confidence to think independently as well as cooperatively.


Required Courses:

  • 9th grade Politics/Geography
  • 10th grade U.S. History
  • 11th Grade Western/Non-Western Civilizations


  • Current Events
  • Genocide
  • Human Behavior
  • Writing Center
  • Criminal Justice (Manchester Community College 3.0 credits)
  • Human Rights (UConn Early College Experience 3.0 credits)
  • Latin American Studies (UConn Early College Experience 3.0 credits)
  • Microeconomics (UConn Early College Experience 3.0 credits)
  • Modern European History (UConn Early College Experience 3.0 credits)
  • AP Psychology

Co-Curricular and Extra-Curricular Activities:

  • Amnesty International
  • Model UN
  • Connecticut YOUTH Forum
  • Club for Positive Change


  • Counseling and Therapy
  • Government/Public Policy
  • Diplomacy
  • Education
  • Journalism
  • Law
  • Marketing
  • Museum Curator
  • Social Work

"Taking E.O. Smith's Advanced Placement Social Studies and Humanities courses earned me a semester's worth of college credit–– for free! The dedication and passion of our instructors shaped my decision to study history in college. Now, I am studying to become a historian at one of the top graduate programs in the world."

- Miles Wilkerson, Class of 2010, Graduate Fellow at the University of Wisconsin- Madison

"I found that history classes in high school helped me appreciate the importance of a liberal arts education, specifically the concept of "the world is bigger than you." High school is when I started to develop an appreciation of the historical context surrounding important technological advancements in science, technology, and public health, which was one of the reasons I was so drawn to social studies!" 

- Jess Hoag, Class of 2004

"The reason that I teach today is because of the incredible experience that I had at E.O. Smith. All of my social studies teachers valued my opinions and helped me pursue my own interests within their subjects. When I teach my own students today, I aspire to the high quality of education I enjoyed at E.O. Smith."

- Brian Sullivan, Class of 2003


Megan Magner, Director
Monday-Friday, 7:00 am-2:30 pm
860.487.0877 ext.4460
[email protected]

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