Social Studies at GSA
In our social studies courses, our students become better students, better citizens, and better at making connections across cultures and to local cultural, historic, and community resources.
Our courses help students become better students ...
They help students become better at taking notes, making presentations, gathering research materials, determining the credibility of information, building arguments, and supporting them with facts and reasoning, skills which serve our students well in their other coursework at GSA and at college.
... and better citizens.
Students who successfully complete a series of social studies courses understand many of the concepts essential for forming opinions on subjects of interest to citizens, are able to critically read or listen to public policy arguments, and have some understanding and appreciation of the interplay of human society at the local, state, national, and world level.
Every course forges strong cross-cultural connections.
Exploring other cultures allows our students to relate their own lives to the lives of others across the country and around the world and to develop an appreciation for how cultures are different and alike. Through interaction with our course materials, guest speakers, and other resources, students come to understand the human experience.
One in four draws substantially on local cultural and historic resources.
For example, students in our Introduction to Social Science course look at the geography, economics, and human resources of the Blue Hill Peninsula. They have studied the Goddard Coin found in Brooklin and weighed evidence regarding claims that Vikings visited Maine. They have calculated a local living wage and what it takes to earn that wage.
Others connect our students to our communities.
Local small business owners visit Economics class to talk about the joys and challenges of running their businesses. Local, state, and national political leaders, like Sen. Susan Collins, have visited other classes. Spirited discussions in our Current Affairs course often center on local and state issues and events.