History/Social Studies

  • Dearborn Academy student

"HISTORY CANNOT GIVE US A PROGRAM FOR THE FUTURE, BUT IT CAN GIVE US A FULLER UNDERSTANDING OF OURSELVES, AND OF OUR COMMON HUMANITY, SO THAT WE CAN BETTER FACE THE FUTURE." Robert Penn Warren

History is how we learn about our world and ourselves.

History helps you put yourself in other people's shoes—to imagine life, for example, as a fourteen-year-old Jewish immigrant fleeing the Nazis, or the president of a small country negotiating with a super power. History can challenge us to put aside our individual perspectives and think instead in terms of others. Studying history deepens our sense of what it means to be human and helps us understand the struggles people have faced throughout time and what it can sometimes take to overcome challenges and change the course of events.

Dearborn's history program is designed to turn our students into educated and engaged young adults. While we study world events and cultures, our focus is on the history of the United Sates, our systems of government and their purpose, and the geographical and cultural makeup of the world at large.  

What You'll Learn

We teach high school history four times a week in 45-minute periods. At Dearborn, we use a cross-discipline approach to History and try to engage our students through a variety of projects, field trips and special events. To supplement and reinforce what they’re learning in history, students study related texts in their language arts class—such as Number the Stars during our study of the Holocaust unit and The Crucible  when we explore the meaning of the Salem witch trials. Students are often asked to link historical events to current events, and have done remarkable work comparing the recent economic recession to the Great Depression.

High school history starts with a two-year course in American History. Students in the 11th grade focus on Geography and World Cultures, which takes a special interest in looking at how human cultures have developed based on the very different natural environments surrounding them. Twelfth grade students study world history and start with ancient civilizations.

  • American History
    We start by studying early American history, including Native American cultures, the first European contact, and the formation of American political institutions. The second year deals with the emergence of the United States as a growing nation and its political history up to modern times. One of the highlights of the ninth grade year is our trip to Plimoth Plantation to learn about Native American and early Puritan culture. Another popular project occurs in the unit on the American industrial revolution, when students explore Henry Ford's invention of the assembly line—by manufacturing pizza bagels.
  • Geography and World Cultures

    In junior year students start by exploring the different ecological systems of our planet and looking at how different human cultures have developed based on the natural environment. We then move on to explore human relationships, governments, religion and traditions. One of our most popular assignments is "Make Your Own Country," where students conceive of and describe a nation from scratch, applying their knowledge of existing world cultures. This assignment often results in creative, entertaining and impressive posters, flags, essays and presentations that go above and beyond what the project requires. 
  • World History

    World history starts with ancient civilizations. Students have fun studying these cultures and have produced a newspaper called “Spartan News” through which to learn about the Romans. Other groups created an “Ask Amy” column and playfully sketched out the cultural norms for the Romans and how they would have resolved various social conflicts. “Letters from the Battlefield” journal different military campaigns and described conditions and costs, social and otherwise, of different conquests. Another student created a Facebook page that took a key political figure and showed which leaders and philosophers he would have friended in his empire building ambitions.

For Dearborn Academy course descriptions, please download the course catalog.