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History

We believe that history not only enlightens students but is a useful tool in the development of written and verbal expression, analytical thought, character, and leadership skills.  Students will be given the tools necessary to become independent learners of history in the years to come. They will become familiar with primary sources, historiography, and research.

We believe in order for students to think about history they need to know history.  With that in mind, classroom instruction will be tied to assigned readings.  Students will be expected to come to class prepared to participate in discussion, interpretation, analysis, and debate surrounding the events, personalities, ideas, and themes of history.  Pacifica teachers will engage students through lecture, the Socratic Method, and group projects.  Teachers will be available to students individually and in groups during the student’s advisory period to work through questions of content and analysis.  

The Pacifica history curriculum will be closely aligned and integrated with the English curriculum.  It is the integration of these subjects that will give literature a contextual backdrop and history another source for the expression of the human spirit.


History Courses

Graduation requirement: 3 years (3.5 years for AP European History students)

Ancient / Medieval History

Grade 9 (Semester Course)
UC Approved

In this course, we will examine the rise and fall of Classical Greece and then the transmission of Greek culture through the conquests of Alexander the Great and the establishment of the Hellenistic Kingdoms.  Students will learn the geography of Greece and how geography helped shaped the economics, political and cultural life of the polis.  Students will examine the political development of the different poleis of the Greek world with a special emphasis on Sparta and Athens.   The students will also explore the rise of Classical Greece through the Greco-Persian War and its fall after the 27 year Great Peloponnesian War. Finally, the students will analyze the transmission of Greek culture through the work of Alexander and the kingdoms that arose after his death.  The course is designed to establish the religious, philosophical, and political contexts most crucial to the study of Western history and literature.  Students will explore texts from Plato, Herodotus and Thucydides and analyze them in Socratic Seminars.

Honors Ancient / Medieval History

Grade 9 (Semester Course)
UC Approved

Prerequisite: 8th grade History with a B or better and an 8th grade overall GPA of 3.5 or higher.

In this course, we will examine the rise and fall of Classical Greece and then the transmission of Greek culture through the conquests of Alexander the Great and the establishment of the Hellenistic Kingdoms.  Students will learn the geography of Greece and how geography helped shaped the economics, political and cultural life of the polis.  Students will examine the political development of the different poleis of the Greek world with a special emphasis on Sparta and Athens.   The students will also explore the rise of Classical Greece through the Greco-Persian War and its fall after the 27 year Great Peloponnesian War. Finally, the students will analyze the transmission of Greek culture through the work of Alexander and the kingdoms that arose after his death.  The course is designed to establish the religious, philosophical, and political contexts most crucial to the study of Western history and literature.  Students will explore texts from Plato, Aristotle, Herodotus, Thucydides, Xenophon and Arrian and analyze them in Socratic Seminars.

Modern World History

Grade 10 (Semester Course)
UC Approved

Students will study the major events, people, places, and intellectual trends that are foundational to an understanding of Western civilization as it developed during this time period. This course begins with an overview of the Renaissance and the Protestant Reformation, and continues the study of the Age of Reason, the Industrial Revolution, the French Revolution, the Napoleonic Wars, romanticism, nationalism, and the 20th century struggle between democracy and totalitarianism.   Students will be introduced to examples of the art, literature, and music from this six hundred year time period. Students will explore texts from Machiavelli, Petrarch, Erasmus, Luther, Loyola, Hobbes, Newton, Locke, Voltaire, and Marx.

AP European History

Grade 10 (Year Course)
UC Approved

Prerequisite: An A in regular 9th grade History, or a B or better in Honors History and instructor approval

Students will study the major events, people, places, and intellectual trends that are foundational to an understanding of Western civilization as it developed during this time period. This course begins with an overview of the Renaissance and the Protestant Reformation, and continues the study of the Age of Reason, the Industrial Revolution, the French Revolution, the Napoleonic Wars, romanticism, nationalism, and the 20th century struggle between democracy and totalitarianism.   Students will be introduced to examples of the art, literature, and music from this six hundred year time period. Students will explore texts from Aquinas, Machiavelli, Erasmus, Dante, Luther, Calvin, Hobbes, Descartes, Newton, Locke, Rousseau, Voltaire, Burke, Smith, and Marx.  Students will be prepared to take the AP exam in May.  This course will require meetings outside of the normal class time arranged by the teacher.

US History

Grade 11 (Year Course)
UC Approved

This course examines the narrative of American history with particular attention to the uniquely American understanding of rights and duties.  It asks what it means to be an American.  In answering that question, it seeks to provide a better understanding of the meaning of the “self-evident truths” on which this nation was founded.  Students will explore political, diplomatic, social, intellectual, and cultural trends of our nation’s past as they seek literacy and understanding of current domestic and world affairs.  Students will explore texts from Bradford, Winthrop, Edwards, Franklin, Paine, Jefferson, Washington, The Declaration of Independence, The Bill of Rights, The U.S. Constitution, Hawthrone, Crevecoeur, Toqueville, Emerson, Thoreau, Douglas, Stowe, Lincoln, Dubois, Turner, Sinclair, T.R. Roosevelt, Wilson, Locke, Hughes, Steinbeck, F.D. Roosevelt, Kennen, Kennedy, Friedan, and King.

AP US History

Grade 11 (Year Course)
UC Approved

Prerequisite: A grade of an A in 10th grade History, or a B or better in AP European History and instructor approval

This course examines the narrative of American history with particular attention to the uniquely American understanding of rights and duties.  It asks what it means to be an American.  In answering that question, it seeks to provide a better understanding of the meaning of the “self-evident truths” on which this nation was founded.  Students will explore political, diplomatic, social, intellectual, and cultural trends of our nation’s past as they seek literacy and understanding of current domestic and world affairs.  Students will explore texts from Bradford, Winthrop, Edwards, Franklin, Paine, Jefferson, Washington, The Declaration of Independence, The Bill of Rights, The U.S. Constitution, Hawthrone, Crevecoeur, Toqueville, Emerson, Thoreau, Douglas, Stowe, Lincoln, Dubois, Turner, Sinclair, T.R. Roosevelt, Wilson, Locke, Hughes, Steinbeck, F.D. Roosevelt, Kennen, Kennedy, Friedan, and King. Students will be prepared to take the AP exam in May.  This course will require meetings outside of the normal class time arranged by the teacher.

US Government / Honors US Government

Grade 12 (Semester Course)
UC Approved

Prerequisite for Honors: A grade of an A in regular 11th grade History, or a B or better in AP US History and instructor approval

“Patriotism is as much a virtue as justice, and is as necessary for the support of societies as natural affection is for the support of families.”  This 1773 statement, by the American patriot Benjamin Rush, is an apt point of departure for the capstone course of the Pacifica history sequence.  The first quarter of the class engages a study of the history of political philosophy that includes: Pericles, Berlin, Rawls, Locke, Hobbes, Kant, De Tocqueville, Aquinas and Rousseau.  The themes of duty, freedom and justice are developed throughout the quarter.  The second quarter focuses on the application of the political philosophies and themes studied in the American system. Students will explore texts from The Declaration of Independence, The Articles of the Confederation, The Constitution, and The Federalist Papers and determine their roles as citizens in the American Republic

Foundations of the 20th Century / Honors Foundations of the 20th Century

Grade 12 (Semester Course)
UC Approved

Prerequisite for Honors: A grade of an A in regular 11th grade History, or a B or better in AP US History and instructor approval

Foundations of the 20th Century is a seminar style class that explores the evolution of ideas such as identity, morality, beauty, truth, goodness, and death through the ancient, Christian, modern and post-modern eras. Each idea will be examined through analysis of its historical context and the literature of the time.  The class also serves as the platform for the presentation of the senior research project.  Students are required to teach the class for two days on the topic they have researched.  

Honors US Government and Honors Foundations of the 20th Century additional info: Students enrolled in Honors Government and Honors Foundation of the Twentieth Century are entered into the Polemikon. The Polemikon is an honors designation that includes the senior research project and a faculty panel discussion on their research and the themes of the senior class.  

History Department

pacifica-faculty-scott-comer

Scott Comer
History Department Chair

B.A. Biblical Studies, Vanguard University

T: 310.828.7015 ext. 118

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