History is how we learn about our world and ourselves.
History helps students put themselves in other people’s shoes—to imagine life, for example, as a 14-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.
Dearborn's history program includes the study of world events and cultures. Our primary 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.
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, of course, link historical events to current events.
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 CulturesIn their 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. For example, one of our most popular assignments has been “Make Your Own Country.” Students have created of a nation, applying their knowledge of existing world cultures with posters, flags, essays and presentations that go above and beyond what the project requires.
World HistoryWorld 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.
For Dearborn Academy course descriptions, please download the course catalog.