Social Science

Back Row (l-r): Mr. Hanson, Ms. Gumpert, Mr. Troop, Mrs. Cullen, Mrs. Kelsey, Mr. Barter, Ms. Kerr
Front Row (l-r): Ms. Abra, Mrs. Wickett, Ms. Newman
Absent from photo: Ms. Brutus, Mr. Cook, Ms. Kirk, Sra. Martinez, Ms. Verner
Opportunities for Students
A world of opportunities to explore the subjects of history, geography, the social sciences, law and family studies welcomes AYJ students with a passion for these subjects. The Library which is a hub in the school is also an integral part of the Department.
Students will take compulsory courses in Grade 9 Canadian Geography and Grade 10 20th Century Canadian History at either the Applied or Academic levels. These Academic level courses are also available as French Immersion credits. In Grade 10 students are also required to complete the Grade 10 Civics course, an open level course. In each of these courses the emphasis is on students engaging in the subject with “hands on” approaches through a range of educational activities such as re-enacting historical events, analyzing data from student questionnaires, preparing a menu for a special occasion, exploring geology along local trails, or voting in a mock election and passing a law in a model parliament.
In Grade 11 and 12, students can select from a wide variety of fascinating courses, covering subjects from Physical Geography to World Issues, from World Religions to Anthropology, Psychology and Sociology, from International Law to the History of the Western World, from Urban Studies to Personal Life Management, among many more. These courses are offered at the Open, Mixed, College and University levels. In addition several of these credits can be used towards a French Immersion Certificate. Each course offers “real world” experiences with numerous guest speakers, field trips, or role play simulations, all strongly encouraging active student participation. At the senior levels, students come to understand not only Canada’s roles in the world but also their individual roles as global citizens. Students are encouraged to become involved in exploring their choices for their future educational and career paths. See the attachments below for detailed descriptions of our grade 11 and 12 course offerings.
The CWS Department is proud to be one of the cross-curricular areas which sponsors the OCDSB International Studies Certificate, which is awarded to students who complete several courses that focus on a international perspective. Students can choose from a select list of courses as well as complete an international exchange and or volunteer work with an NGO based in Ottawa. Many of the teachers in the Department lead by example in organizing extra-curricular activities for students, including the international student exchanges to Spain and China, Outers Club and more.
ayj-in-barcelonaTeachers in the CWS, Social Sciences and Library Department
The teachers of the department are a dynamic group with a wide range in age and experience. Each of the teachers in the department brings a love of their respective subject area to the classroom and shares their interests and knowledge to engage their students. Our teachers have experience teaching across Canada and in several other countries. Some of our teachers are in their second careers. Some have written for academic publications. Most are involved in many aspects of school life whether in coaching sports teams, organizing student clubs or chairing committees. Some of the teachers are involved in organizing province wide professional development conferences or participating in special school board or Ministry of Education initiatives.
For the 2014-15 school year the department is working on several key initiatives including the implementation of the new Ontario Canadian & World Studies / Social Sciences curriculum which has a greater focus on critical thinking strategies as a central pillar in the classroom. As well, we will continue making our course content available online using learning management software such as Desire2Learn and GoogleDocs. Students can continue to expect our annual field trips such as the Royal Ontario Museum for Grade 11 World History and the Supreme Court of Canada for Grade 12 International Law. Following our successful partnership last year, our Grade 10 Civics classes will be partnered again with the Ottawa based student organization DILA to implement the Generation Citizen Project which takes an inquiry-based learning approach that provides students experiential learning opportunities to develop their voices and ultimately take action on social/environmental issues. The end goal of the program is to work with and create student leaders that promote a more engaged, safe and caring school environment.
Further information
Should you have questions or comments, please contact your son or daughter’s teacher or Mr. Barter, the Department Head.
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