Course Selection Guide
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Bensalem High School

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Social Studies

World History (College Prep) [04060CP]

Credit: 1.0

 

This course will explore as a comprehensive survey on the development of western society from the 1500 to the present times and its impact on world development.  Students will explore historical events, key figures and their contribution in history. In addition students will explore topics in depth, which places more demands on students to write, analyze and discuss their views. Reading and writing skills are important for successful completion of the course.

 

 

World History (Honors) [04060H]

Credit:

Prerequisite: MAP universal screener, teacher recommendation and historical data sets

 

Honors World History will explore as a comprehensive survey on the development of western society from the 1500 to the present times and its impact on world development.  Students will explore historical events, key figures and their contribution to in history. In addition students will explore topics in depth, which places more demands on students to write, analyze and discuss their views. Students will be required to read assigned novels and historical documents. Reading and writing skills are very important for the successful completion of this course.

 

 

World History (Gifted) [04060G]

Credit: 1.0

Prerequisite: Students must meet state-mandated guidelines for placement in the Gifted Program

 

The ninth grade gifted World History integrates literature, philosophy and chronological history. Students will explore historical events, key figures and their contribution to in history. In addition students will explore topics in depth, which places more demands on students to write, analyze and discuss their views. Students will be required to read assigned novels and historical documents. Reading and writing skills are very important for the successful completion of this course. Project-based self-learning is paramount for class completion.



American History (Gifted) [04103G]

Credit: 1.0

Prerequisite: Students must meet state-mandated guidelines for placement in the gifted program

This course thematically studies the cause and effect relationships of major events of the Twentieth Century.  The course attempts to achieve the American Dream, to understand America’s gains and losses through technology, to examine America’s search for identity in a constantly changing society – all analyzed from an historical perspective.  Concepts and ideas considered at the same time are examined in the literature of the gifted English course.



Advanced Placement American History  (04104)

Credit: 1.0

Prerequisite: MAP universal screener, teacher recommendation and historical data sets

           

The Advanced Placement American History Course is designed to cover a wide range of philosophical, political, and historical aspects of American History. Emphasis will be placed on critical and evaluative thinking skills, essay writing and interpretation of original historical documents.  Students will be expected to read from a number of sources in addition to a college level textbook.  This is a demanding course that requires a substantial commitment of time and effort. Students are required to take the AP Exam administered by the College Board.



American Government (College Prep) [04151CP]     

Credit: 1.0

 

These courses are designed to be a comprehensive survey of the American legal system established by the Constitution.  They place a strong emphasis upon the foundation and process in our government and basic concepts of our economy.  Students who elect this course will have an adequate foundation for the study of government and economics at the college.



American Government (Honors) [04151H]

Credit: 1.0

Prerequisite: MAP universal screener, teacher recommendation and historical data sets

 

The Honors American Government course is designed to provide students with an in-depth study of the forces that have shaped American government and our economic system.  Students will be required to complete additional research, readings and papers.  An honors student should have a strong background in geography, the major cultural areas of the world and the historical developments that have shaped western civilization during the 19th and 20th centuries.



American Government (Gifted) [04151G]

Credit: 1.0

Prerequisite: Students must meet state-mandated guidelines for placement in the gifted program

The gifted American Government course is designed to cover four separate but related units that examine the philosophical, political, and historical underpinnings of American Government.  Topics of study include but are not limited to: the institutions of American Government, political beliefs and political parties, interest groups, the influence of mass media on modern American Government, civil liberties and civic engagement.  Students will be expected to read from a number of sources to apply content to current political issues within America.  This course coincides with the eleventh grade gifted English program.



Advanced Placement American Government (04157)

Credit: 1.0

Prerequisite: MAP universal screener, teacher recommendation and historical data sets

 

The AP American Government course is designed for both juniors and seniors.  It will cover a wide range of topics from the philosophical, political and historical underpinnings of American Government to the structure of our federal system at every level.  It also will include a discussion of the major economic systems that exist in the world today.  Students will be expected to read from a number of sources in addition to a college-level textbook, while at the same time continuing to develop their essay writing skills.  This is a demanding course that requires a substantial commitment of time and effort on the part of juniors and seniors preparing for college. Students are required to take the AP Exam administered by the College Board.



Advanced Placement Microeconomics (04203)

Credit: 1.0

Prerequisite: MAP universal screener, teacher recommendation and historical data sets

 

The purpose of Advanced Placement Microeconomics is to give students a thorough understanding of the principles of economics that apply to the functions of individual decision makers, both consumers and producers, within the economic system. It places primary emphasis on the nature and functions of product markets and includes the study of factor markets and the role of government in promoting greater efficiency and equity in the economy. Throughout the course, basic economic concepts will be covered including an analysis of opportunity costs and trade-offs and supply and demand.  This course will discuss how different economic systems determine which goods and services to produce, how to produce them, and to whom to distribute them. Students will need to identify comparative advantage from opportunity costs with regards to trade between countries.  Microeconomics will end with the importance of property rights, the role of incentives in the functioning of free markets, and the principle of marginal analysis. Students are required to take the AP Exam administered by the College Board.

 

 

Advanced Placement Macroeconomics (04204)

Credit: 1.0

Prerequisite: MAP universal screener, teacher recommendation and historical data sets

 

The purpose of AP Macroeconomics is to give students a thorough understanding of the principles of economics that apply to an economic system as a whole.  The course places particular emphasis on the study of national income and price-level determination, and also develops students’ familiarity with economic performance measures, the financial sector, stabilization policies, economic growth, and international economics.  Key topics include GDP, consumption, investment, government spending, net exports, unemployment, inflation, CPI, the Federal Reserve System, aggregate supply and aggregate demand. Students are required to take the AP Exam administered by the College Board.

 

 

Advanced Placement Human Geography (04004)

Credit: 1.0

Prerequisite: MAP universal screener, teacher recommendation and historical data sets

 

The aim of this course is to provide students with the learning experience equivalent to that of an introductory level college human geography course. It introduces students to the systematic study of patterns and processes that have shaped human understanding, use, and alteration of Earth’s surface.  Students learn to employ spatial concepts and landscape analysis to examine human socioeconomic organization and its environmental consequences.  They also learn about the methods and tools geographers use in their research and applications.  Topics to be covered include nature, population, migration, cultural patterns, political organization of space, agriculture, food production, rural land use, industrialization, economic development, and urban land use. Students are required to take the AP Exam administered by the College Board.

 

 

Advanced Placement European History (04056)

Credit: 1.0

Prerequisite: MAP universal screener, teacher recommendation and historical data sets

 

AP European History is designed to be the equivalent of introductory college or university European history course. Students investigate significant events, individuals, developments, and processes in four historical periods from the Middle Ages to the present day. Students develop and use the same skills, practices, and methods employed by historians: analyzing primary and secondary sources; developing historical arguments; making historical comparisons; and utilizing reasoning about contextualization, causation, and continuity and change over time. The course also provides six themes that students explore throughout the course in order to make connections among historical developments in different times and places. Students are required to take the AP exam at the end of the course.

 

 

Philosophy (04306)

Credit: 1.0

 

Taking its direction from people such as Einstein, this course is designed to assist students in understanding the complexities of life.  It is an excellent preparation for college providing a solid foundation in the history of thought.  The course tackles questions about existence, the nature of time, the pursuit of happiness, and ethical dilemmas. Students will stroll through The Agora with Socrates, explore Plato’s Cave, set sail for Utopia and walk the streets of Bensalem in search of guiding principles and enduring values.  This course includes a look at logic, aesthetics, epistemology, and ethics. It is a course for those who like to think and write.



Advanced Placement Psychology (04256)

Credit: 1.0

Prerequisite: MAP universal screener, teacher recommendation and historical data sets

 

The Advanced Placement Psychology course is designed for juniors and seniors.  The course will cover a wide range of topics from the theoretical to practical applications of Psychology.  It will introduce the systematic and scientific study of the behavior and mental processes of human beings and other animals.  Included is a consideration of the major subfields within Psychology.  Students also learn about the ethics and methods psychologists use in their science and practice.  Students will be expected to read from outside sources and a college level textbook.  This is a demanding course that requires a substantial commitment in time and effort. Students are required to take the AP Exam administered by the College Board.

 

 

21st Century Social Issues (04106)

Credit: 1.0

 

Part of this course will focus on important contemporary social and political issues of today.  The issues will directly reflect upon the pressing issues that affect the minds and consciences of today’s student.  Emphasis will be placed upon the development of personal values and the toleration of others.  This course will also attempt to identify and define a variety of problems present in today’s society.  Primary emphasis will center on the following areas:  American democracy, foreign policy, crime, oppression, basic economics and applied psychology.  Other areas such as social unrest, urban problems, gender discrimination, drug abuse and racial issues will also be discussed throughout the course of the semester.  This course will also focus on the purpose of law in society.  Special emphasis will be placed on the police, courts and our correctional system.  The subject matter will inform and reaffirm the rights and responsibilities of youth in our society.  Special emphasis will also be placed on juvenile delinquency and youth as a criminal.



Sociology (04258)

Credit: 1.0

Prerequisite:  10th, 11th and 12th grade 

 

This course is designed for juniors and seniors and examines how society and human behavior interact and how this interaction affects human behavior in society.  Specialized topics that will be studied and discussed include crime, the justice system, poverty, religion, prejudices, the media, education, the teen years, adulthood, culture dating, marriage and divorce.



Contemporary American History (04109)

* Not available 2018 - 2019 School Year

Credit: 1.0

 

This course will trace the history of popular culture in the United States with an emphasis on popular trends throughout the 20th century.  The course will focus on the importance of retail, music, television, movies, sports and how they have influenced American culture.



Psychology (04254)

Credit: 1.0

                                               

This course is designed for juniors and seniors and provides an examination of how the behavioral and mental processes of the mind affect our everyday lives.  The basic theories explaining behavior are examined and the prominent people who have made contributions to the advancement of psychology are presented.  Basic principles of psychology such as conditioning, human development, psychobiology, testing, consciousness, cognition and psychological disorders are some of the topics covered in this course.



Cultural Diversity (04259)

* Not available 2018 - 2019 School Year

Credit: 1.0

Prerequisite: 10th, 11th and 12th grade

 

This course is designed for juniors and seniors and examines the various ethnic and cultural groups found in America that helped form the “melting pot” of American culture. Special emphasis will be placed on diversity in America during the 20th century. The course will address the future of diversity in America.

 

 

Military History (04308)

Credit: 1.0

 

Designed for upperclassmen, this course deals with wars and battles of historical significance and how they shaped world history.  There will be an emphasis on military leaders and their unique abilities.  It also includes specific strategies, tactics, weaponry, and technology in naval, ground, and air battles. 



Economics (04201)

Credit: 1.0

                         

This course is designed primarily for juniors and seniors interested in an overview of macroeconomics.  Additionally, this course will revolve around world economic organization topics.   Focal topics include labor and employment issues, taxation, investing for the future, supply and demand, financial institutions, government spending, banking, the stock market and advertising.   Emphasis will be placed on how these economic concepts apply to everyday life situations.

 

 

Triumphs and Tragedies:  Human Rights, Genocide, and Holocaust Studies (04299)

Credit: 1.0

 

An overarching question that would be addressed throughout the study of this course- why is genocide a universal human experience?  Our course would focus on but not limited to an introduction and origins of genocide, indigenous peoples, Irish famine, Armenia, Ukraine, the Holocaust- both anti- Semitism and Nazism; Japanese Internment; Cambodia; Rwanda; Bosnia, Kosovo; Darfur, Apartheid, and other contemporary genocides.  Additional questions that will be explored will include:  How has the world community begun to address the issue of genocide in the post- Holocaust era?  How and why have colonialism and imperialism led to genocide?  Why did ordinary people become active participants or accepting bystanders during the Holocaust?  How did the Vietnam War lead to Cambodian genocide?  In what unique ways are Rwandans dealing with the aftermath of genocide?  Why has the world been reluctant or unwilling to take action when genocide occurs?  Why is genocide pervasive in modern human societies? 



Criminal Law (04166)

Credit: 1.0

 

This course introduces students to the study of substantive criminal law.  The major topics of study include the purpose of criminal law, the elements of crimes, defenses to crimes, criminal sanctions, and the principles of constitutional limits on criminal law.



Civil and Business Law (04164)

Credit: 1.0

 

This course provides students with an overview of the theory, procedure and mechanics of a lawsuit from fact gathering through judgement enforcement, with an emphasis on the Pennsylvania court system. Also, this course examines the fundamentals of Business law, the legal process and environment within which individuals and businesses operate, and the relationship of law, business, and the individual.



Constitutional Law (04162)

* Not available 2018 - 2019 School Year

Credit: 1.0

 

This course will investigate seminal Supreme Court cases in terms of the facts, questions, decisions, reasoning, and their impact on society and law.



Foundations of Education (19152)
* Not available 2018 - 2019 School Year

Credit: 1.0

 

This course is designed to examine the historical, philosophical, sociological, political, economic, and legal foundations of the American public education system.