Social Sciences

Last Updated: 6/24/2020 12:24 PM

Department Information
The ARGS History Department has dozens of artifacts which range from Cuneiform tablets 4,000 years old to artifacts from the Cold War and beyond.  The students work in groups to analyze the objects and complete a standard report used by professional archivists.  We can look to books about history, educators, and textbooks to learn about historical events and the figures associated with it but the story is often incomplete.  At ARGS we read and analyze first hand accounts in order to get a more personal and unbiased (as well as biased) look into the past.  Part of what we do is show students that there is usually more than one point of view and to be as objective as possible when examining events and people.

The Oral History Project
We are losing history every day.  Sometimes the little nuances of history are the most interesting and lost with time.  This project is ongoing throughout the year with emphasis in the second semester.  The students record, index and archive oral interviews following National Archive standards.  This project not only exposes students to primary source history but also provides community service and a welcomed interaction with the aging population.  The interviews are archived at ARGS for study by students and (by appointment) the community.

Students from the Government classes participate in a school wide mock election, where they apply the political knowledge they have gained throughout the year.  Students develop political parties, nominate a candidate, develop a platform, and launch a full political campaign on behalf of their candidate.  The “parties” are responsible for fund raising of student-designed mock election money which is distributed to students and teachers, print, television, and radio ads, debates, and grassroots campaigning.

World War I and the French-American Experience
In 2017, Appomattox Regional Governor's School and Lycee Margueritte High School in Verdun, France established a sister school relationship and a partnership with Petersburg National Battlefield and the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery in Verdun, France.  This collaboration fosters cross-cultural learning experiences with peers in France while deepening student's understanding of the lasting effects of the War to End All Wars.  In the spring of 2020 students from ARGS and Lycee Margueritte collaborated to build a capstone website commemorating the special relationship forged between France and the United States as a result of World War I.

Mission statement
The general philosophy of the History Department is that students should be shown how to identify the differences between ways of life at different times; including the ideas, beliefs, attitudes and experiences of men, women, and children in the past.  Students should also be taught how and why historical events, people, situations, and changes have been interpreted in different ways and how to evaluate those interpretations critically.  Also, students should be exposed to the social, cultural and ethnic diversity of the societies in the course of study, of which are presented in accordance with SOL standards.

Department Achievements:

  • Unique primary source oriented curriculum.
  • On-site archeological field school.
  • Conduct oral interviews of the elderly and allow public access.
  • Museum quality artifacts on permanent display.
  • Assist students in participating in political process.
  • Focus areas integrated in class projects.
  • Participate in several Model UN meets each year.
  • Provide bridge of social sciences in other disciplines.
  • Rigorous program geared for the gifted.

SOCIAL SCIENCES FACULTY

 

Benjamin Spiers     

World History II, World Hist II H, Government

Economics and Personal Finance, US History

Government CC, U.S. History CC

World History I, Historical Depths I & II