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The Campanile

History Curriculum Lacks Senior Options


n the final year in high school, seniors should have the liberty of selecting the most challenging classes of the year. However, they are limited by certain classes not offered at Paly. Numerous AP courses such as AP European History, AP World History, and AP Government are offered in other schools, but they are unavailable at Paly.

Seniors can take such social studies classes such as AP Psychology and Sociology but they should have the option of an AP history course.

“I have more of an interest in world history and European history, but not in U.S. history,” junior Sarah Ohlson said. “I ended up not taking AP U.S. History, but I would have most definitely have taken an AP World or AP European history.”

Moreover, AP Psychology, AP Economics, and Sociology do not contain the ideal historical content that is offered in AP European history and AP World History.

“It would be nice to have an AP history course for social science credit,” senior Brian Chen said.

Many students have wished that Paly offered different leveled history courses for seniors. Students would be able to choose which course would best suit their abilities and their interests.

“Seniors should have the choice to take AP history courses,” junior Victoria Kyone said. “Just like junior year, during which the school offers the choice of regular U.S. History and AP U.S. History, seniors should be able to choose between harder and regular history courses as well.”

By offering more history choices, seniors would be able to choose between taking a fun history elective or a challenging AP history course. Seniors would not only be able to add another AP to their transcript, but also allow seniors to expand their knowledge of international relations and interest in world affairs.

“History is a more fun and accessible subject for most students, so I would think that many students as well as myself would love to have the opportunity to expand their knowledge in European and World History,” senior Alon Cohen said. “AP courses generally involve a higher level of learning directed at mastering a subject, so AP history courses would naturally be more in depth than other history electives.”

Moreover, AP history courses would help students understand the development of contemporary institutions, the role of continuing and changing roles in present day-society and politics and the evolving disputes and discussions of foreign and domestic issues.

Expanding the knowledge of world and European history would help students not only in their writing, but also teach information that the fun history electives do not have.

“Students that take our courses are challenged. There are definitely some students who don’t think my classes are challenging enough;thus, perhaps the AP classes are something that they can take,” U.S. government teacher Grant Blackburn said.

In other words, the history electives may offer a diverse set of classes, but history teaches students fundamental ideas and knowledge that the electives do not offer. The current history electives are enriching and give students an array of different topics to explore, but do not specifically focus on the historical content that AP course offer.

“I personally favor world and European history to any other subsection of history, so I would have definitely enrolled in this kind of class,” Cohen said.

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