Williamsville Central School District

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High School, Grades 9-12

Grade 9-10: Global History and Geography

The global history and geography core curriculum is designed to focus on the five social studies standards, common themes that recur across time and place, and eight historical units. Each unit lists the content, concepts and themes, and connections teachers should use to organize classroom instruction and plan for assessment. This curriculum provides students with the opportunity to explore what is happening in various regions and civilizations at a given time. In addition, it enables students to investigate issues and themes from multiple perspectives and make global connections and linkages that lead to in-depth understanding. As students explore the five social studies standards, they should have multiple opportunities to explore the content and intellectual skills of history and the social science disciplines.

Grade 11: United States History and Government

United States history is the history of a great experiment in representative democracy.The basic principles and core values expressed in the Declaration of Independence became the guiding ideas for our nation's civic culture. United States history since the Declaration of Independence has witnessed continued efforts to apply these principles and values to all people. Adoption of the United States Constitution codified these principles, but, as the history of our nation shows, that document and its amendments re p resented only the first step in achieving "liberty and justice for all."

One major goal of the State social studies curriculum, K-11, calls for students to learn about the structure and function of governments and to learn how to take on their roles as citizens. Students should understand those basic principles and the cultural heritage that support our democracy so that they can become informed, committed participants in our democracy. This core curriculum lists examples that describe how individuals and groups throughout history have challenged and influenced public policy and constitutional change. These examples and this course of study should help students understand how ordinary citizens and groups of people interacted with lawmakers and policy makers and made a difference.

Grade 12: Economics, the Enterprise System, and Finance
This core curriculum for economics, the enterprise system, and finance supports the State Education Department?s efforts to raise standards in social studies by focusing on Standard 4: Economics, in the Learning Standards for Social Studies. This core curriculum reinforces the key ideas and performance indicators for this standard and describes what students should know and be able to do in their study of economics and economic decision making. It outlines the content, concepts, and skills that students should understand and apply throughout their lives. Decisions about what information to include reflect the collaborative efforts of leaders in social studies education, business, finance, and economics education. These decisions were based on the need to provide students with the economic knowledge and skills that will enable them to function as informed and economically literate citizens in our democratic society and in the global marketplace. This new core curriculum includes information about business, entrepreneurship, the enterprise system, finance, and personal finance, in addition to economic theory.

Economics, the Enterprise System, and Finance is intended to be used to meet the curriculum mandate of the Board of Regents that requires all students to complete a half-unit course of study in economics or its equivalent as part of their four-unit social studies requirement. Equivalent courses in economics must address Social Studies Learning Standard 4: Economics, specifically the key ideas and performance indicators that define this standard. This new core curriculum also includes references to the National Voluntary Standards for Teaching Economics and to the Jump$tart Coalition Personal Financial Manageme nt Guidelines.

The design and development of this core curriculum represented a unique partnership among leaders of business and finance, economists, teachers of economics, and representatives from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Junior Achievement, Inc., and the New York and National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE). In addition, hundreds of social studies teachers and supervisors either attended informational sessions or provided written reviews of this core curriculum. The New York State Education Department wishes to recognize and thank the following individuals and their organizations for their cooperation, assistance, and support for this important curriculum project. Inclusion of an individual?s name and affiliation does not necessarily imply support for the contents of this core curriculum by that individual or affiliation.

Grade 12: Participation in Government

The Participation in Government core curriculum is designed to be a culminating course of study that focuses on Social Studies Learning Standard 5--Civics, Citizenship, and Government (the civics standard). Participation in Government is the civics capstone of a student's K-12 social studies experience. Upon entering 12th grade, students should be ready to synthesize and apply this content-rich experience to the study of contemporary and/or historic public issues and to increase the student's awareness of their rights and responsibilities as a citizen. The term participation is interpreted in its broad sense. It is designed to engage students in the analysis of public policies and issues that are relevant to individual students. Fundamental to Participation in Government is a course of study that has students defining, analyzing, monitoring, and discussing issues and policies. The course reflects:

  • An issue-based approach to public policy,
  • The tools and skills needed in real-world learning experiences, and
  • The knowledge needed for effective citizenship.
The major changes in this new core curriculum are as follows:

  • This revision links Participation in Government to the new New York State civics standard, Regulations of the Commissioner of Education, and Section 801-a of the State Education Law.
  • The revision introduces a content foundation consistent with state and national civics standards.
  • The revision updates the commitment to active citizenship through active learning.
The design and development of this core represents a collaborative partnership among state and local officials and agencies, public and private schools, BOCES, and representatives from institutions of higher learning and professional organizations. In addition, a significant number of social studies teachers and supervisors have either attended informational sessions at which reactions to this core have been expressed, or have written formal reviews. The Department wishes to recognize and thank the individuals and organizations listed in the Acknowledgments section for their cooperation and support for this important curriculum project.