A Preview of AITE’s Revamped Social Studies Curriculum

History is one of those subjects that is so important to the world. Though it may seem counterintuitive, the past can change your present life. It can change your perspective of how the world works. That is why the way history is taught is so important to the students learning it. 

In recent months, the social studies teachers at AITE have been reimagining the scope and depth of our social studies course offerings. From Model U.N to African and Latino Studies, AITE is offering the students at our school a wider depth of choices for their history class next year.

One change includes the Human Rights and Model U.N course taught by history teacher Dr. Nicholas DeAntonis. According to DeAntonis, “the course is designed to go into the human rights issues and the development and origin of the United Nations.”

Elements of this education-through-simulation class will include doing research on countries and their positions on certain issues. For example, one of the students in the class could be researching China’s position on the issue of trade and would advocate its position on the issue at an in-class conference.

According to DeAntonis, AITE wanted to add more semester course options, and the existing Model U.N. club was part of the inspiration. “The end goal of this course is to be a predecessor to an eventual humanities track at AITE, as well as traveling to a conference at the end of the school year” for Model U.N., said DeAntonis. 

History teacher Claude Morest explained that there are other important changes occurring next year for the department’s course offerings and curriculum. “In addition to Human Rights and Model U.N courses offered by Dr. DeAntonis for sophomores, juniors, and seniors, we also got rid of Early US History and replaced it with social studies electives like Model U.N or the Debate and Rhetoric Class,” Morest said.

Morest also spoke about one of the popular new year-long electives, taught by history teachers Damon Bond and Anthony Pollicella, called African American, Latino, and Puerto Rican Studies. AITE has long offered half year classes on similar topics, but the revamp, according to Morest, “came out of a state requirement to offer this elective to students.”

One final change is that the U.S History course for 11th graders will be split into two separate courses. These two courses, according to Morest, will be U.S History: Global Interactions and U.S History: The American People. He said the intent of creating these separate classes was to provide more flexibility for students and give them more options.