The history department’s goal is to encourage thoughtful reflection and independent thinking on historical events through the study of geography, social conditions and categorical contexts. Our focus is global, and as a result we emphasize connections more than isolated facts. In addition, a continuous effort is made to meaningfully connect the past to the present and the present to the past; thawing frozen history, and making sense of the contemporary world. Group work, visiting speakers, field trips in the city, and creative presentations of historical information help involve the students in an interactive and engaging way. Interdisciplinary activities also enrich historical understanding.
In accordance with the above goal, and unlike any other school in the region, St. Francis requires students to study history all four years. During the first two years of the curriculum, students are introduced to civilizations, cultures, and socio-religious traditions in the ancient and medieval worlds, respectively. In addition to providing a cultural and geographical base, the Culture and Civilization courses in the Freshman and Sophomore years stress basic research techniques, primary source textual analysis, and effective written expression. Most classes are conducted in the discussion format, emphasizing respectful interaction.
Culture & Civilization I
Culture & Civilization II
Culture & Civilization Ancient
Culture & Civilization Medieval
In the Junior year, students take U.S. History or one of the Advanced Placement History offerings. Seniors take an Advanced Placement History course or choose from our unique offerings of 20th Century Seminars and electives. This culminating year prepares students for college academic work by covering a demanding curriculum that stresses independent reading and research as well as lively and informed classroom discussions.