Department Chair: Rolf Lokke
The History department above all seeks to nurture each student’s enjoyment of history, to teach a body of knowledge, to hone skills in research and writing, and to advance critical thinking. The department encourages students to reflect on motive forces in history, to investigate their own questions about the meanings of the past, and, from those pursuits, to cultivate a sense of social concern and engagement for the wider society in which they live.
In the 6th grade, students are introduced to geography and to political concepts through the study of current and historical issues in America and the world. Seventh graders focus on New Mexico history and comparative world cultures. Starting in the 8th grade, a required three-year world history sequence is followed by a choice of American History or AP United States History in grade 11. AP European history and AP World History are offered to sophomores in lieu of their third year of world history. In addition to their required History course, juniors and seniors may elect to take AP Comparative government, Ap Economics, AP Art History, or History of the Universe, which is offered in conjunction with the Science department.
Senior humanities is a seminar in basic philosophical issues required of all seniors, and its curriculum is consistent with the demands of an AP history class. Readings include works by classic authors such as Plato, Aristotle, Kant, Machiavelli, Rousseau, Nietzsche, and Freud, as well as selections from more modern and contemporary writers. In addition to writing essays and responses to the readings, seniors engage one another in discussion, learning from their peers and honing their own thinking about the core philosophical issues of this capstone class.