Photo by Henry Nallen ’18 – Mrs. Kristin Venberg checks her student’s notes for the chapter, Sept. 4. Starting this year, all sophomores take US History.
By Andrew Howard ’17
This year the Social Studies department requires sophomores to take U.S. History instead of Western Civilization or AP European History.
Brophy made the transition because of the laws about required history courses in Arizona, and also to give students the ability take history electives in their senior year.
The state requires one year of U.S. History and one semester of Government and Economics, making all other history courses electives.
“We realized our electives were happening as freshman and sophomores rather than as upperclassmen where we felt we might have more flexibility and content knowledge to work with,” said Social Studies department Chair Mr. Matt Hooten.
The change to the department is similar to the current religion class system. There is no specific class to take as a senior, but it is required that students take an elective.
Freshman do not take a history class, World History was removed to allow for the Introduction to Innovation Technologies class.
Sophomores now take U.S. History or AP U.S. History.
Juniors will take a semester of Government and a semester of Economics.
Seniors will be given a choice of electives, which will include previous sophomore classes Western Civilization and AP European History.
There was a worry that sophomores would not be ready for a class with a heavy workload like AP U.S. History.
“We feel ultimately like students come in with more background to US History than european history … we feel like students will do just as well if not better,” Mr. Hooten said.
Students have mixed feelings about the switch.
“Without knowing where we came from, and learning about the first forms of government, U.S. History could be really challenging,” said Spencer Kolesar ’17.
Knowing basic European history could be beneficial in U.S. History class, he said.
Others said offering new electives is beneficial to students.
“I am jealous of the sophomores; being able to pick a class I had a real interest in would be great,” said Hunter Cisiewski ’17.