Learning » Social Studies

Social Studies

The Social Studies Department strives to give students a critical understanding of history, geography, economics, politics, and social institutions, as well as the skills necessary for participatory citizenship in a democratic society. The faculty pursues these educational goals with an interdisciplinary approach and a commitment to student participation in a seminar format.

All Social Studies courses emphasize the development of study skills that are important to students both as they think historically and relate to the world around them. Students engage with both primary and secondary sources, and analyze data; they write analytically, and through all of this work build global awareness. Media other that print—films, art, music, political cartoons, etc.—are used to broaden and deepen students' understanding of their course of study and sharpen their analytical skills.


The ESL courses are designed to meet the language needs of new international students who are at a high-basic to advanced level of English. The objective is to acclimate students to the culture and standards of TJ’s Social Studies program, as well as to the expectations of all of their future academic coursework at TJ and beyond. Through the study of history and culture, and by utilizing textbooks, other nonfiction texts and a variety of media, students work to develop and improve all of their English language skills—speaking, listening, reading, and writing. Students are held to very high expectations that model the college-preparatory nature of our curriculum.



American Studies or Culture, Tradition, and Change (multi-level, offered in alternate years)


World Geography


Ancient World History


Modern World History


AP U.S. Government and Politics (AP test optional)


AP elective: Economics or Comparative Government and Politics (offered in alternate years)


AP U.S. History (required for U.S. citizens) or an AP elective: Economics or Comparative Government and Politics

Global citizenship demands an understanding of and respect for traditions other than your own.  The diverse and international nature of TJ’s student body brings a range of cultural perspectives to our social-studies classrooms.  Only by studying patterns of human behavior throughout time can we understand our present world and become informed, respectful, and productive citizens of an increasingly interconnected global society.