The History Department challenges students to think critically about the social, political, economic, and intellectual development of human societies and cultures. In history and social science courses at St. Stephen’s, students confront rich, complex stories of the human experience from a global, multicultural perspective.
From World History in 9th grade to senior courses such as advanced European History, students learn the skills of a scholar in a logical progression: reading, writing, note-taking, class discussion, mapping and geography, research methods, and analysis. The History Department encourages students to think critically when examining the past. The faculty strives to foster a student’s ability to read critically and recognize bias in both primary and secondary sources. Attention is placed on developing a student’s ability to develop a thesis and defend it with well-chosen evidence. Writing assignments and projects help students move from learning the fundamentals of how to write a paragraph to constructing and organizing an in-depth, analytical, research paper. Students learn traditional research, as well as how to use technology effectively and appropriately. The department emphasizes the importance of academic integrity in research and writing. Classes are typically student-centered, with discussion of the daily readings being the primary focus of class time.
In Upper School, students examine world and U.S. History in a three-year sequence. Juniors and Seniors choose from diverse electives, including advanced courses. The diploma requirement in history is three credits (years). Because of the focus on skill development, students are required to take each course in sequence. “History III: The U.S. and the World in the 20th Century” is a diploma requirement.