Social Studies

The Social Studies Department at Madison Park Technical Vocational High School is committed to the academic success of all students. This course is required of all students and may be used as one of three history courses students must pass to graduate from high school.

Social Studies Sequence

At the current time, Madison Park follows a traditional Social Studies sequence:

Grade 9  US History I

Grade 10 US History II

Grade 11 World History II

Grade 12 World History I



Course Overview

In U.S. History I, students examine the historical and intellectual origins of the United States during the Revolutionary and Constitutional eras. Students study the basic framework of American democracy and the basic concepts of America government, as well as America’s westward expansion, the establishment of political parties, economic and social change, sectional  conflict, the Civil War, and Reconstruction.

Course Objectives

By the end of the course students will understand:

  • The causes and consequences of the American Revolution
  • The influence and ideas of the Declaration of Independence and the political philosophy of Thomas Jefferson
  • The debate between Federalist and Anti-Federalists over the ratification of the Constitution
  • Ideas contained in the Federalist Papers on federalism, checks and balances and an
  • independent judiciary
  • The causes, course and consequences of America’s westward expansion
  • The Transportation Revolution of the 19th century
  • The emergence of New England’s textile industry
  • Critical developments leading to the American Civil War
  • The policies and consequences of Reconstruction

Course Assessment

US History I will take a uniform Final Assessment during 4th quarter using Illuminate.



Course Overview:

In U.S. History II, students analyze the causes and consequences of the Industrial Revolution and America’s growing role in international relations. Students study the goals and accomplishments of the Progressive movement and the New Deal. Students also learn about the various factors that led to America’s entry into World War I and World War II as well as the consequences of World War II for American life. Finally, students study the causes and course of the Cold War, important economic and political changes during the Cold War, such as the Civil Rights movement, and recent events and trends that have shaped modern-day America.

Course Objectives:

By the end of the course students will understand:

  • The causes and consequences of immigration.
  • The causes, course and growth of America in world affairs 1861-1914
  • The origins, accomplishments and failures of Progressivism
  • Post-Civil War struggles of African Americans and women to gain civil rights.
  • The causes and consequences of the Great Depression
  • American isolationism after World War I and impact on foreign policy
  • The Cold War and the policy of Containment
  • The causes, course and consequences of the Vietnam War
  • The Civil Rights Movement and the Women’s Rights Movement
  • The Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon Administrations
  • The North American Free Trade Agreement
  • The causes, course and consequences of recent American diplomatic initiatives

Course Assessment

US History II will take a uniform Final Assessment during 4th quarter using Illuminate.


WORLD HISTORY II- 1800- present

Course Description

In World History II, students study the rise of the nation state in Europe and the economic and political roots of the modern world, including the Industrial Revolution, 19th century political reform in Western Europe, and European imperialism in Africa, Asia, and South America. They also examine the causes and consequences of the great military and economic events of the past century, including World War I, the Great Depression, World War II, the Cold War, the Russian and Chinese revolutions, the rise of nationalism, and the continuing persistence of political, ethnic, and religious conflict in many parts of the world.

Course Objectives

By the end of the course students will understand:

  • The Enlightenment and the Age of Revolutions
  • The Industrial Revolution 
  • Examining Nationalism  
  • Age of Empires
  • The Great War
  • World War II, Holocaust, and Human Behavior 
  • Cold War and the Contemporary World


Students that have completed their History requirement may choose from the following electives.


The elective course involves news analysis. Students will dissect the news and in turn create their own school newspaper. They learn investigative skills, responsible reporting and journalistic writing techniques as they read, respond to, and write their own news and feature articles. Students conduct interviews, research, write, and design their own publications. In the school newspaper they will include stories about the Madison community, but also about their neighborhoods/ things they’re interested in. 

Criminal Justice      

In this class students will look at different aspects of law enforcement including forensics. We would use case studies and court cases to build a basic knowledge base and then apply that knowledge to media today. We will dissect how the news reports crime and what role the media plays in how the public interprets criminal events as well as how TV and movie portray crime in relation to real life. The culminating assignment will be that students will listen to the podcast Serial and have a series of smaller assignments in relation to the podcast; students will write a paper using their knowledge from the class to determine if the defendant is guilty or not-guilty. This class blends the law with modern media and entertainment.

The course would explore global history of the last 100+ years, with the focus on history of some of the most morally challenging atrocities of the time period; genocides in Europe, Africa, Asia the Americas. Students would explore what lead to these events, the roles of various people involved and how these events have shaped the world we live in today. 

Introduction to Law and Mock Trial

Introduction to Law is designed to give a basic overview of the history and development of the law, as well as a working knowledge of it. By the end of the course you will understand how read, apply and use the law in your business or personal dealings. The course is designed to teach you to argue both orally and written using evidence to base your claims. The course will not only challenge the way you think, but to help prepare you for higher level study skills. Note taking classroom engagement and interaction are essential components of the course.  

Intro to Sociology                

Sociology introduces students to the study of social behavior or society, including its origins, development, organization, networks, and institutions. In this class we’ll explore the sociology of family, work, gender, etc. Topics include socialization, research methods, diversity and inequality, cooperation and conflict, social change, social institutions, and organizations. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate knowledge of sociological concepts as they apply to the interplay among individuals, groups, and societies.