High School Course Guide 2023-2024

Social Studies

Department Philosophy Statement

The Social Studies program reflects ISB’s mission, vision and core values, enriched by being in China, and the diversity and experiences of our population as an international school.  Social Studies encompasses learning about the interconnectedness of multiple disciplines—history, geography, economics, and civics – providing students with a strong foundation in reading, writing, and critical thinking skills. Courses are designed to foster global mindedness, while exposing students to the tenets and skills of all disciplines in the social sciences and their respective ways of thinking.

The Social Studies program values

  • creating knowledgeable, thinking and active citizens who are committed to making contributions to the world around them.
  • the analysis of historical and current events from multiple perspectives.
  • authentic, relevant and purposeful inquiry that enable students to communicate and act upon what they learn.
  • being a part of a larger global community that understands and embraces a diversity of ideas, beliefs, and cultures.
  • approaching complex issues through different disciplinary lenses to prepare for the challenges we face today and in the future.

We believe that students learn Social Studies best when they

  • access and evaluate information from multiple sources and perspectives to support reasoned judgments.
  • embrace collaboration, dialogue, and debate to achieve a better understanding of themselves and the world around them.
  • are active stakeholders in the learning experience and are given the opportunity to demonstrate their learning in multiple ways.
  • make connections between the past and the present and learn from the successes and failures of individuals and societies that have preceded us.
  • see themselves as responsible and engaged citizens who must consider their role in an increasingly interconnected world.