History & Social Sciences

The Department strives to help students develop the ability to make informed, reasoned, and prayerful decisions for the public good. We work to help students become effective citizens of a diverse and democratic society through a developed understanding of where we, as a nation, have come from. In addition to providing a sense of historical memory and perspective, another of the goals of teaching history is to equip students with the necessary tools for them to become independent learners of history in the years to come.

Required Course Offerings

History 9 - Ancient & Medieval History or Ancient Medieval History Honors

Ancient & Medieval History - The first semester examines the ancient civilizations of Israel, classical Greece, and the Roman Republic. The second semester spans the centuries of the Roman Empire and the Middle Ages, including the concepts of Christendom, the Crusades, feudalism, and the rise of nation-states. Particular emphasis will be given to the growth of the Christian church, while the Byzantine Empire and the spread of Islam provide the transition between ancient and medieval history. Readings from classical and medieval historians and poets will supplement the textbook.Students will learn to write précis (summary) papers, brief essays, longer research projects, and engage in class discussion.

Ancient Medieval History Honors - The first semester examines historiography, the origin of man, ancient civilizations of the Near East, Greece, Roman Civilization and the advent of Christianity. Students will understand the cultural and political influences of these civilizations upon European history. The second semester spans the centuries of the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, the Reformation, ending with the Religious Wars and Elizabeth I. Students will study the Age of Faith-Christendom, the crusades, feudalism, the rise of nation-states, the flowering of the arts during the Renaissance, and the religious changes of the Reformation.Particular emphasis will be given to the growth of Christianity, the development of the Byzantine Empire and the spread of Islam as they provide a transition between the ancient and medieval worlds. A discussion of differing historical theories will be maintained.Readings from classical and medieval historians and poets will supplement the course textbook. Students will learn to organize effectively, write essays, research projects, and engage in class discussion.Most importantly students will be encouraged to develop a passion for studying the past and a desire to explore the world.

History 10 - Modern Europe & the World History or AP Prep Modern Europe and World History

Modern Europe & the World - This course begins with an overview of the Reformation, continues through the rise of absolutism and constitutionalism, the Industrial Revolution, the French Revolution and Napoleon, the ideologies of the 19th century, and concludes with the 20th century struggles between democracy and totalitarianism. Students are introduced to examples of art, literature and music from this 600-year time period. Analytical essays, research projects and frequent class discussions are important elements of this course.

AP Prep - The first semester begins with the Reformation in the 16th century and continues through the rise of nation states, the Enlightenment, the French Revolution, French Revolution, the Napoleonic Wars, the age of Romanticism, Nationalism and the 20th Century struggle for power between totalitarianism and democracy.Students will be introduced to examples of art, literature, philosophy, and music from the past five hundred years.Analytical essays, research projects, class discussions, debates and oral presentations will be important elements of this course.

This class is weighted on a 5.0 scale as all honors classes are, and at the conclusion of the class, a student would be prepared to take the AP Modern Europe and World History exam if desired. To score well on the exam, students would also be advised to put in some independent study with the recommended AP Preparatory book listed in the bookstore.

History 11 - United States History or AP United States History

U.S. History - This course will be a study of the United States History starting with the founding of Jamestown Colony in 1607 and concluding with Contemporary Issues. The course will move at a survey pace up to the late 19th Century.We will then slow down and go into greater depth with the 20th century. The hope is that the student will gain an understanding of the background of events in U.S History and how they relate to events today both domestically and internationally. It is vital for students to understand the historical, social, and cultural context of events and actions throughout our history. We will be working hard to insure that students will see historical happenings through the context of the time, and not the judgmental hindsight of modern revisionist history. We will study not only “chronos”, time that can be measured, but also the “kairos”, time that is laden with meaning.

AP U.S. History - (APUSH) is a challenging course that is meant to be the equivalent of a freshman college course and may earn students college credit based upon their AP exam score. It is a two-semester survey of American history from the colonial era to the present. Political, social, diplomatic, economic, and cultural/intellectual history shall be studied. Emphasis is placed upon critical and evaluative thinking skills, essay writing, interpretation of original documents, and historiography (the writing of history itself).

In addition to providing a sense of historical memory and perspective that will include wrestling with what a Christian world view of the past might be, another goal of teaching history is to equip students with the necessary tools for them to become independent learners of history in the years to come. These tools include familiarity with primary sources and the ability to analyze and evaluate critically.Reading from period historians and eyewitness accounts, essay writings and the discussion of ideas and concepts in class are the means of equipping our students with these tools of learning.

History 12 - United States Government or AP United States Government

US Government - This course includes a study of the Constitution of the United States with an emphasis on American institutions and ideals. Attention is also given to the principles, operation, structure, purpose, and functions of the federal, state, and local government.

AP US Government - This American government and politics course requires the development of a significant level of abstract thinking that goes beyond mere description of factual information and practical knowledge. This requires careful and rigorous attention to the subject and its presentation in the course.The instructional methods and products associated with this course will provide students with the opportunity to develop a factual working knowledge of American government and politics as well as the sophisticated explanatory skills to demonstrate that knowledge. It is critical that students develop the ability to express themselves clearly and in an organized fashion.

The College Board has developed a course description that expects the course to operate in the realm of a collegiate freshman political science survey course. They expect that a student’s performance on the AP Exam will reflect the college readiness of the exam respondent. Therefore, there will be extensive reading, rigorous exams, numerous writing assignments as well as other products associated with topics covered. The underlying purpose of all assignments and instructional strategies is twofold; to develop in the students a confidence to be an informed and active citizen participating in the political process, and secondly, to prepare students for the successful passage of the Advanced Placement exam. Students must be actively engaged in their own learning in order to learn effectively. It is therefore quite important for students to take initiative in the coverage of material, timely completion of assignments, and proper preparation for assessments.

Advanced Placement Offerings

AP World History

The purpose of the AP World History course is to develop greater understanding of the evolution of global processes and contacts, in interaction with different styles of human societies. This understanding is advanced through a combination of selective factual knowledge and appropriate analytical skills. The course highlights the nature of changes in international frameworks and their causes and consequences, as well as comparisons among major societies. It emphasizes relevant factual knowledge used in conjunction with leading interpretive issues and types of historical evidence.

The course builds on an understanding of cultural, institutional, and technological precedents that, along with geography, set the human stage. Periodization, explicitly discussed, forms an organizing principle for recognizing change and continuity throughout the course. Specific themes provide further organization to the course, along with consistent attention to contacts among societies that form the core of world history as a field of study which allows for the development of comparisons and evaluations of change over time.

Elective Offerings

African American History

African-American history will examine the life of the African-American from 1619 to the present. The course will cover what has happened socially and politically in the United States throughout the country’s history to better understand the development and evolution of contemporary Black American culture.

California History

The aim of the course is to recount the state’s history from its origins to the present. Our study of California will start with its physical geography and human geography of the native-Americans that settled in California. European discovery and Spanish colonization lead take us to the Mexican era. The class will then spend a good amount of time on the Americanization of California and its eventual statehood in 1850. The course will then move through the late 19th century will lead us into the pivotal 20th century and the events that have shaped California in to the state we know today.

English History

Designed in a seminar/discussion format, the students study the history of England and the English language from Roman colonization to the end of the Stuart dynasty in 1714. Students read from Winston Churchill and Christopher Hibbert as well as a medieval murder mystery and a play from William Shakespeare's historical cycle. Students listen to selections of music by British composers from Henry Purcell in the 17th century to the British classical music renaissance in the 20th century.

Global Issues

The course seeks to empower young people with the skills, knowledge, and participatory habits to be engaged citizens who are capable of addressing global issues through thoughtful public discourse and informed decision making to better fulfill the Oaks Christian School Motto, “Preparing Minds for leadership and Hearts for service.”

History of England

A semester course designed in a seminar/discussion format, the students will study the history of England and the English language from Roman colonization to the end of the Stuart dynasty in 1714. The approach will be from both historical and humanities approach: students will read from Robert Lacey, Ian Mortimer, Beowulf, and a play from William Shakespeare’s historical cycle; students will listen to selections of music by British composers from Thomas Tallis in the 16th century to the British classical music renaissance in the 20th century.

Military History

This seminar course examines the underlying theories associated with military conflict, ranging from the ancient Chinese scholar Sun-Tzu to the present-day Pentagon strategy. Students examine the roles of the military and how military strategy has changed not only the course of wars from the Greeks to the British, but how it has also changed the nature of conflicts. Particular emphasis is placed upon the study of American warfare and strategy.

World War II History

“While the history of war is not the history of mankind, humankind’s history cannot be studied fully without reference to war. Moreover, the way in which a nation wages war reveals a great deal about its basic values. Thus, the illuminating qualities of war should be greater interest to the historian of society than the actual stuff of warfare, such as armaments, battles, and tactics. To examine a nation’s experience of war, and its response to it is to learn something fundamental about a nation’s values and its social order (emphasis added).

Historian, Ronald Wells

World War II is an epic story. The purpose of this course is to enter into the World War II narrative and become familiar with its participants, their service and their sacrifice. The course also allows us to examine war itself and to seek to understand why humans wage war as well as investigate what waging war says about us as a people.