Developing Critical Thinkers and Investigating History: The LuHi Social Studies Department
At Long Island Lutheran Middle and High School (LuHi), our Social Studies Department is dedicated to providing students with a comprehensive understanding of history, cultivating critical thinking skills, and fostering a sense of civic duty. With experienced teachers who possess a deep knowledge of historical concepts and a passion for teaching, our department strives to create an engaging and impactful learning experience for our students.
Experienced Teachers: The strength of our Social Studies Department lies in our experienced teachers who possess a wealth of knowledge in history. They have a thorough understanding of social studies concepts and possess the ability to apply them effectively in their lessons. With their expertise, they guide students through historical narratives, encouraging them to analyze events, interpret primary sources, and draw connections between past and present.
Cultivating Historical Thinking Skills: A key focus of our department is to develop students’ “Historical Thinking” skills. These skills enable students to critically examine historical evidence, evaluate multiple perspectives, and construct well-supported arguments. Our teachers emphasize the importance of historical writing, guiding students to effectively communicate their ideas and support their arguments with evidence. By engaging in these practices, students gain the ability to think critically, analyze complex issues, and form informed opinions.
Themes and Concepts Across Eras: Our curriculum incorporates themes and concepts that span across different eras of history. This approach helps students recognize the interconnectedness of historical events and understand the underlying patterns and trends that shape our world. By exploring overarching themes, students develop a holistic understanding of the human experience and gain insights into the relevance of historical events to contemporary society.
Highlighted Classes: One of our notable electives is “The 60s: An American Decade.” In this course, students explore the transformative decade of the 1960s from multiple perspectives. They delve into civil rights movements, Cold War politics, art, music, suburbanization, and other elements of popular culture and counterculture. Through this exploration, students gain a comprehensive understanding of the era and its impact on American society.
Another notable course is AP World History, a college-level course that covers world history from approximately 1200 to the present day. Students analyze historical themes, develop historical reasoning skills, and examine different chronological periods. This course encourages students to think critically and analyze world history through a variety of lenses, fostering a global perspective and an appreciation for diverse cultures.
The LuHi Social Studies Department is committed to providing students with a deep understanding of history, while nurturing their critical thinking skills and sense of civic duty. As Department Chair Denise Merkle shared, “The Social Studies Department works hard to not only teach students history but to help them understand it. We do this by teaching them to analyze historical documents from different perspectives along with considering essential questions to broaden the student’s perspective.”