History

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Graduation Requirements

9th Grade
  • Food, Justice, Power

10th Grade
  • United States Overview: Writing

11th/12th Grade
  • 6 Blocks of Electives shared between 11th and 12th grade
CSW’s history curriculum teaches students the fundamentals of writing and research while also exposing them to a broad range of historical events, movements, philosophies, and contexts from the ancient world to the modern day. 

The role of history is to prepare us to encounter our environment with the ability to see beyond our own individual context.
 
Discomfort is an essential part of unlearning our biases and opening up to new information and understanding so that we can face the past, present and future with an awareness beyond our own experiences.
 
We expect our students to engage with the discomfort in order to become bold and brave historians and to transcend a single narrative in favor of a more complicated and pluralistic story of the past.

By the time they reach the 11th-grade year, students may decide to pursue their coursework based upon specific areas of interests or curriculum pathways.

List of 5 items.

  • Core Concept Courses

    Core Concepts are courses that the department feels should fall in each student’s schedule at least once. Each student of history is encouraged to take at least one of the courses listed under this category

    • United States Overview: Writing
    • US Constitution
    • Human Rights in Motion
    • Black Studies
    • Totalitarianism
    • Art of Prediction
    • Rocking the Schoolhouse: US History of Education
    • Alexander the Great
    • Jailhouse Nation
    • US Women’s Studies
  • Courses with a United States Specific Focus

    United States history offers many opportunities to focus on specific aspects of our nation’s history and yet some of its courses are seen repeated in the examples for an international and broad-spectrum focus. This only reiterates the many possibilities that are offered by the department to each individual student. 

    • United States Overview: Content
    • United States Overview: Writing
    • Native American History
    • Women’s Studies
    • Jailhouse Nation
    • Environmental History
    • Civil War
    • Markets and Labor
    • Black Studies
    • Youth Subcultures
    • Rocking the Schoolhouse: U.S. History of Education
    • Cold War and Vietnam
    • Rebels and Revolutionaries in American Dance
    • A Dig and a Deep Dive: Dissent in US History
  • Courses with an International Focus

    • United States Overview: Writing
    • US Cold War and Vietnam
    • China 
    • Modern Japan
    • Discovering India
    • The Weimar Republic
    • Latin America: Rebels and Revolutionaries
    • Modern Africa
    • Middle East
    • Totalitarianism
    • Human Rights in Motion
    • Borders
    • Alexander the Great
  • Broad-Concept Courses

    • United States Overview Writing
    • US Cold War and Vietnam
    • Markets and Labor
    • Borders
    • Alexander the Great
    • Rebels and Revolutionaries in American Dance
    • Art of Prediction
    • Totalitarianism
    • Modern Middle East
    • Who Are We: Mapping the History and Science of Populations
  • Method-Oriented Coursework

    The methodic approach uses a hands-on, experiential discovery of each topic, focusing on a product that is collective or individual, a collection of knowledge established in an unorthodox pattern or manner. 

    • United States Overview: Writing
    • Art of Prediction
    • Alexander the Great
    • Rocking the Schoolhouse: US History of Education
    • US Youth and Subcultures
    • US Markets and Labor
    • Borders
    • A Dig and a Deep Dive: US Dissent in History

Sample Courses

List of 8 items.

  • Activism in Action: Documentary Film and Human Rights

    n this course students will learn how documentary film can be used to amplify voices. Those whose voices are rarely heard can use film as a weapon for change. Students will explore the history of documentary film within the human rights and social justice realm and learn tangible skills of storytelling. By using case studies of communities learning and using this medium to affect change, students will explore the intersection of art and activism. Through media literacy, students will be challenged to understand the responsibility of telling someone else’s story and the power behind an authentic voice sharing experiences. The class will culminate in short 3-5 minute documentary films that explore the importance of voice around a human rights issue and begin to think about how campaigns are created around content.

    This course awards credit toward the social justice graduation requirement. 
  • Borders: Immigration, Migration, and National Boundaries

    This course examines how borders shape our world. Whether these are internal or external, societal or national, we all encounter barriers, but we do not all experience them in the same way.  From the establishment of Europe to the discovery of the North American continent, from the Scramble for Africa to the Islamic State, and from the declarations of independence by former colonies, the development of borders has played a key role in geopolitical, religious, racial, and cultural matters. The course looks at nationality, identity, and the meaning of nationalism. It examines the lines drawn by politics, race, religion, class, and education, that lead to the creation of separate communities. This course addresses the nature of rights; natural, national, and human that emanate from the recognition of borders and that determine their legitimacy. Rights give rise to conflict, and when it comes to living spaces, these disputes are even more contentious.

    This course awards credit toward the social justice requirement.
  • Holocaust and Human Behavior

    The Holocaust is the most thoroughly documented example of human behavior in an extreme, man‑made situation. The study of this event can teach students the meaning of human dignity, morality, law and citizenship. We investigate the roles and responsibilities of the individual within a given society, and students struggle with issues and dilemmas which defy simple solutions. Why did it happen? What should they have done? What would I have done? The universal questions of morality and the lessons to be learned from a history of totalitarianism, racism and dehumanization are not unique to the Holocaust. Comparisons and parallels are made to past and contemporary issues, events, and choices. 
     
    This course awards credit toward the social justice requirement.
  • Latin America: Rebels and Revolutionaries

    Latin American countries have consistently been pressed to implement economic, social and political arrangements that favor the U.S.  This course will examine efforts by some Latin Americans to develop alternative visions for their countries.  What were these alternatives? Why did some believe they were necessary? In what ways, and why, have these alternatives succeeded or failed? We will examine these questions by studying cases that include the Mexican Revolution, the Cuban Revolution(s), Rigoberta Menchu in Guatemala, and recent experiments such as Lula da Silva’s Partido dos Trabalhadores in Brazil, the Bolivarian Revolution lead by Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, and others.  We will also explore the connection between history and memory through the case-study of Che Guevara.   

    This course awards credit toward the social justice requirement.
  • Overview of United States History

    Our United States History Overview course is actually two separate courses focused on (1) content and (2) research writing. The first course will cover U.S. history using a foundational text, supplemented by perspectives and impressions from a variety of sources. Students will cover U.S. history in a thematic and in-depth manner, allowing them the opportunity to examine patterns, conflict/resolution, and long-term developments in U.S. history. The second course will focus on the research of, and writing about, a specific topic of United States history using: (1) a time frame between the 1960s and 2000s, (2) a thematic approach, and (3) student-led interest and choice. The course will set out this process through a multi-dimensional, multi-level approach focused on making it an interactive experience in academic, historical writing. Students will learn and practice the skills related to conducting research and writing a mid-length historical essay.
  • U.S. Black Studies

    Black Studies is a broad field of study that can be approached from many disciplines. In this six-week course, we survey African American history from the period of the Great Migration through the present. We explore the socio-economic, political, and cultural contributions of African Americans with an emphasis on movements for racial equality, the arts, and Black feminism. Texts include foundational writings in African American history and literature, including writings from W.E.B. Du Bois; James Weldon Johnson; Booker T. Washington; Martin Luther King Jr.; Malcolm X; Ida B. Wells; Angela Davis; Shirley Chisholm; Audre Lorde; Richard Wright; James Baldwin; Langston Hughes, and many others.

    This course awards credit toward the social justice requirement.
  • U.S. Environmental History

    How did European cattle wage war on the Wampanoag in colonial Massachusetts? How did the Bible’s Eden, a belief in magic, and a mapping mistake come together to lay the groundwork for race-based disenfranchisement and colonial incursion? How did soil make decisions about what slavery would look like in the Cotton South? How did capitalist ideas effect changes in the landscape of New England? How does the difference of 20 inches of rain per year lead to drastic differences in population, politics, and culture between eastern and western states? What myths do we tell ourselves when we visit our national parks? How are we, through globalization, forcing ourselves to change the way we talk about the natural world? What is truly natural and how do we use Nature as a weapon to destroy societies and the earth? With this introduction to the newest field of American History, we will learn to study history by looking at the roles humans play within ecosystems and the effects of those ecosystems on human society.
     
    This course awards credit toward the social justice requirement.
  • World Religions

    This one module class will examine the origins and practice of major world religions.  We will examine religion and our relationship with it. The class will explore the main characters and practices of these religions and how they have spread and developed. We will also explore the main schisms in such religions and analyze why and how they happened.  By the end of the class, we will develop a comparative study and identify commonalities and differences between these faiths.  We will also explore religious tensions in current domestic and international arenas.
     
    This course awards credit toward the social justice requirement.

History Faculty

List of 5 members.

  • Photo of Anjali Bhatia

    Anjali Bhatia 

    History Department Chair
    781-398-8328
  • Photo of Jordan Clark

    Jordan Clark 

    History Faculty and Residential Faculty
  • Photo of Patrick Foley

    Patrick Foley 

    History Faculty
    781-398-8327
  • Photo of Rachel Hirsch

    Rachel Hirsch 

    Dean of Faculty and History Faculty
    (781) 642-8686
  • Photo of Ryan Jacobs

    Ryan Jacobs 

    History Faculty
    781-398-8326

The Cambridge School of Weston is a progressive high school for day and boarding students in grades 9–12 and PG. CSW's mission is to provide a progressive education that emphasizes deep learning, meaningful relationships, and a dynamic program that inspires students to discover who they are and what their contribution is to their school, their community and the world.