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The goal of AMSA’s history curriculum is to expose students to the major developments of world history, promote inter-disciplinary learning in all AMSA humanities classes, and encourage the development of the knowledge and practices demanded of American citizens. Above all else, AMSA History teachers believe that the study of world history and American history in particular is essential to helping us maintain our nation’s most valued ideals and institutions. As historian and former U.S. Secretary of Education William Bennett has stated, “Americans are heirs to a precious historical legacy. Let it never be said of us that we failed as a nation because we neglected to pass on this legacy to our children…. Let it be said that we told our children their story, and the whole story, the long record of our glories, of our failures, of our aspirations, our sins, our achievements and our victories. Then let us leave them to determine their own view of it all: America in the totality of its acts. If we can dedicate ourselves to that endeavor, I am confident that our students will discern in the story of their past the truth. And they will cherish that truth. And it will keep them free.”

AMSA’s current history curriculum is based on the ideas presented in AMSA’s founding charter – but departs from it in one major way. The original charter called for (p.6 and p.9) the continuous study of World history through high school. In other words, each year, students would learn about the history of the entire world – America, Europe, Asia, Africa, etc. – during a certain period of time. To enable the creation of AP courses, the curriculum has been revised so that students can take geographically discrete classes at the high school level with the option of taking the corresponding AP class – grade 10 European history (with two sections, honors and AP) and grade 11 U.S. history (also with two sections, honors and AP).

Upper School History Overview