Social Studies Courses

Course Progression Chart (download)

Modern World History | US History I | US HIstory II | Asian Studies | Civil Rights | Criminal Law | Economics
Finance | Holocaust | Political Institute | Human Behavior | Sociology | US History through Film
AP World History | AP US History I & II | AP European History | AP Psychology
AP Economics | AP Comparative Government


Modern World History
The course covers the span of time from the period of the Enlightenment(1700s) to the development of a global civilization (1945-present).Students willtranscend each unit of study by researching the major themes of historicalthought including political structure, economics, social justice, and foreign anddomestic policy. Among the anticipated objectives are the understanding ofthe global world in which we live, and how the world developed to its presentstate. Students will be able to relate events of the past to present day situations. In order for students to grasp the concept of living in an interdependent world, considerable time will be spent on the non-Western world, including: the Middle East, the Far East, Asia, Africa and Latin America. The emphasis of this course is to improve historical perspective and cultural interaction, while encouraging understanding of cultural diversity.

US History I
This course will cover content spanning the colonial period through the period of the industrialization and urbanization of the United States, this course will offer a more in-depth view of the modernization of America. The purpose of the United States History 1 course is to integrate the study of the social, economic, and political problems of this time period. Among the anticipated objectives are the understanding of the growth of democratizing institutions in the present day United States and the students’ role in utilizing these democratic forces in the practice of responsible citizenship. Students will be able to relate events of the past to present day situations. Students are expected to present oral assessments, interpret and analyze primary sources and complete research assessments.

US History II
This course will cover content in United States history from 1900 to the present day; this course will offer a more in-depth view of the modernization of America. The purpose of the United States History 2 course is to integrate the study of the social, economic, and political problems of the twentieth century into the framework of this modern era. Among the anticipated objectives are the understanding of the growth of democratizing institutions in the present day United States and the students’ role in utilizing these democratic forces in the practice of responsible citizenship. Students will be able to relate events of the past to present day situations.

Asian Studies
Asia, as a region is increasingly becoming a more potent actor on the world’s stage. Home to almost half of the world’s population, source of much of the world’s consumer goods, and home to some of the world’s most ancient and enduring civilizations Asia’s current role in politics, religion, economics, diplomacy and popular culture is undeniably important. This course will seek to enlighten students about this significant region of the world. This is an important endeavor as America seeks to remain competitive economically and educationally in the global setting of the twenty-first century.

Civil Rights in the 20th Century
The focus of this program is to allow students to investigate, through the use of primary source documents and video, five specific social events/influences of the past century in order to clarify their personal perspective and understand society’s reaction and subsequent effect on attitudes and behaviors. The specific areas of study will address: the Civil Rights Movement, the Women’s Movement, the Anti-War Movement, the Labor Movement, and Immigration.

Criminal Law
The purpose of the social studies component in this upper-level elective is to foster in students the knowledge and skills needed to make informed decisions about legal actions and behaviors by studying the origins of law, the model penal code, and the New Jersey legal code. This knowledge base will supply students with the skills necessary in responding critically, analytically and practically to the world around them, both within New Jersey, and in the United States, as well. Students will be encouraged to greater self-discovery by examining the law in multiple ways. This program will build upon skills attained in previous social studies courses, while encouraging students to understand the law, and all of its ramifications. The scope of the course will include the origins and limits of the law, and the kinds of crimes included under the law, including (but not limited to) homicide, arson, assault, and property crimes.

This program will focus on basic economic thought, with a heavy emphasis onmacroeconomics. Mission of this planned course is to assist students in becoming economically literate prior to graduation.

Finance: A Personal & Practical Approach
This economics course is designed to build economic literacy and to illustrate economic cause and effect. Students will focus on developing knowledge of economic theory and principles, the American economy, the economic influence of government policies and procedures, and the skills needed to apply this knowledge to their own lives. Students will apply this knowledge to specific examples in the form of case studies and in-class simulations.

Holocaust and Genocide
The Holocaust and Genocide Honors course is designed to address the needs of the student who is interested in learning about those who were involved in the horrors of genocide. Students will dig deep into the periods of genocide and gain a better understanding of the perpetrators, victims, bystanders and “upstanders,” each of whom played their part in the sad history of genocide. Holocaust and Genocide Honors will feature an emphasis on rigorous research, making use of primary and secondary sources. The course is intended to impress upon students the fact that during each period of genocide, there were those who risked their lives in an attempt to save others.

Political Institute / Honors
The Political Institute course is designed to afford students a hands-on experience in U.S. political affairs. The objective is to teach students about U.S. politics and government in both the past and present by means of direct participation and study. The curriculum is designed to educate and illustrate the political systems, structures and practices of the United States government. Projects include inschool voter registration drives, work on an election campaign, compiling information on candidates and issues, and researching and debating current issues.

Several field trips are offered in this course – Fair Lawn - Town Council; Philadelphia - Constitution Center; Trenton - State House; Washington DC

History of Human Behavior
The purpose of the History of Human Behavior course is to provide students with an understanding of how human behavior has been explained over the centuries. The course stresses the causes of human behavior and the cognitive factors which contribute to it. Among the anticipated objectives is the understanding of the genetic and environmental factors which shape one’s personality. Students will also be able to identify the symptoms and treatment of various psychological disorders.

The purpose of the Sociology course is to provide students with a basic understanding of the workings of our complex social environment. The structure of society, the interactions between the different groups within society and the ways in which our society is affected by others. These goals will be achieved through the use of evaluation of primary media sources and secondary research sources.

History of the United States Through Film and Media
A History of the United States Through the Media is a course designed to provide a more in depth view of United States history. It spans the period from the formation of the American colonies to the end of the twentieth century in the United States. It is designed to employ a conceptual approach within a chronological framework and introduce the students to the cultural diversity that is unique to the United States. It is the goal of the Social Studies Department to provide the students in this course with an understanding of the ideals and philosophies upon which the government of United States was established; to have the students see the evolution of the United States into a powerful and resourceful nation; and to watch the two interact as the government sought to become the "more perfect union" envisioned by its founding fathers.

AP Courses



A. P. World History addresses the time period 8000 BCE to the present. A. P. World History also addresses all regions of the world as equally as possible. The region of Europe will make up less than thirty percent of the course study. In order to address the whole earth over such a long time period, A.P. World History will focus on five themes (Interactions between humans and the environment, Development and interaction of cultures, State-building, expansion, and conflict, Creation, expansion, and interaction of economic systems, AND Development and transformation of social structures). This course will come understand these themes in depth through the use of primary source documents, readings from Howard Spodek’s TheWorld’s History, lectures, class discussions, videos and teacher created projects. Students will be asked to think critically by writing document based essays, change over time essays, and making comparisons/contrasts across cultures and geographical regions. This course will impose a heavy reading and writing load throughout the year similar to most full year introductory college courses.

This two year continuum of courses is designed to help students develop analytical skills and provide the factual information necessary to deal critically with the problems of American history. The social, political, and economic development of the United States will be studied both chronologically and topically. Students learn to assess historical materials and their relevance to a given interpretive problem, and to weigh the evidence and analysis presented by historical scholarship. Essay writing is emphasized, and students may be expected to complete a research/term paper or its equivalent.

The study of European history since 1450 introduces students to cultural, economic, political, and social developments that played a fundamental role in shaping the world in which they live. Without this knowledge, we would lack the context for understanding the development of contemporary institutions, the role of continuity and change in present-day society and politics, and the evolution of current forms of artistic expression and intellectual discourse. In addition to providing a basic narrative of events and movements, the goals of the AP program in European History are to develop (a) an understanding of some of the principal themes in modern European History, (b) an ability to analyze historical evidence and historical interpretation, and (c) an ability to express historical understanding in writing.

AP Psychology is a college level survey course in introductory psychology. the course will provide you with a broad, general introduction to psychology—its basic subject matter, its approaches to gathering and evaluating evidence about the causes and correlates of behavior, and also the means by which psychological knowledge is (or can be) applied to improve the quality of individual and communal life. AP Psychology serves as a course to prepare students to take the national AP exam in psychology.

Macroeconomics- An AP course in Macroeconomics is designed to give you a thorough understanding of the principles of economics that apply to an economic system as a whole. Such a course places particular emphasis on the study of national income and price determination, and also develops your familiarity with economic performance measures, economic growth, and international economics. Learn to use graphs, charts, and data to analyze, describe, and explain economic concepts

Microeconomics- The purpose of an AP course in Microeconomics is to provide a thorough understanding of the principles of economics that apply to the functions of individual decision makers, both consumers and producers, within the larger economic system. It places primary emphasis on the nature and functions of product markets, and includes the study of factor markets and of the role of government in promoting greater efficiency and equity in the economy.

This course is designed as an introduction to the comparative study of politics and government in the modern world. The AP Comparative program is designed to provide students with the necessary tools to evaluate common types of governments and cultures, compare and analyze their governments and societies, and describe their interactions in a global environment.

Directions to FLHS

Fair Lawn High School

14-00 Berdan Ave.     GOOGLE MAPS

Fair Lawn, NJ 07410