Our vision is to connect, engage, and inspire all students in the Ayer Shirley Regional School District to reach academic excellence. We, the educators of the Ayer Shirley Regional School District, will instill habits of reflection and inquiry to challenge our students in setting ambitious academic and personal goals. Students will develop a strong voice to express thoughts and ideas in the community and the confidence to showcase their talents and successes in preparation for entry into college and the world of work. 

 

History Department

The History Department embraces the vision statement of the Ayer Shirley Regional School District. Specifically, by offering a wide variety of core and elective courses, the History Department encourages academic excellence, instills habits of reflection and inquiry, and focuses on preparation for entry into college and the world of work.  In their freshman and sophomore years students are enrolled in our Humanities curriculum, which focuses on United States history from the American Revolution to the present while, at the same time, focusing on literature that is thematically connected to the History they are learning. This course of study is co-taught by History and English teachers.  In their junior year students focus on the history of the modern world, and in their senior year students focus on the government of the United States which includes a thorough understanding of civics and comprehensive study of the structure and functions of our federal government and federal citizenship. Students are also required to complete a course which focuses on financial literacy. These core areas of study are enhanced by numerous elective courses ranging from the history of rock and roll to sociology, psychology, and law; and much more. As a result of this approach to History, students learn to make interdisciplinary connections, develop research and communication skills, and prepare to become productive citizens and life-long learners. Please see the ASRHS Program of Studies for a complete description of History Department course offerings.

 

 

Required Courses
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1111 HUMANITIES I H (ENGLISH/ SOCIAL STUDIES) (YEAR) Grade 9
This required course presents the political, ethical, behavioral, and intellectual foundation of society through an integrated study of American literature and American history covering the years 1763-1877. Students will learn the relationship between ideas and events and relate them to the present within the context of reading, writing, listening, and speaking. (This course is an integrated course taken in the same block with the Humanities 1 course listed under the English offerings.) The honors program is a more in-depth analysis of topics presented. More reading, papers, and projects will be expected of students.

 

1112 HUMANITIES I CP (ENGLISH/ SOCIAL STUDIES) (YEAR) Grade 9
This required course presents the political, ethical, behavioral, and intellectual foundation of society through an integrated study of American literature and American history covering the years 1763-1877. Students will learn the relationship between ideas and events and relate them to the present within the context of reading, writing, listening, and speaking. (This course is an integrated course taken in the same block with the Humanities 1 course listed under the English offerings.)

 

1281 CONSUMER ECONOMICS (SPLIT SEMESTER) Grade 9

This required course will introduce students to economic concepts and the practical aspect of applying them to everyday living. The course will provide basic instruction in goal setting and decision-making, helping students take stock of their personal, economic, and career goals. Students will also be introduced to global economic and Internet consumer issues and their influence on students’ lives.

 

1113 HUMANITIES II H (ENGLISH/SOCIAL STUDIES) (YEAR) Grade 10
This required course presents the political, ethical behavioral and intellectual foundation of society through an integrated study of American literature and American history covering the years 1877 to present. Students will learn through the relationship between ideas and events and relate them to the present within the context of reading, writing, listening and speaking. (This course is an integrated course taken in the same block with the Humanities II course listed under the English offerings.) The honors program is a more in- depth analysis of topics presented. More reading, papers, and projects will be expected of students.

 

1114 HUMANITIES II CP (ENGLISH/SOCIAL STUDIES) (YEAR) Grade 10
This required course presents the political, ethical behavioral and intellectual foundation of society through an integrated study of American literature and American history covering the years 1877 to present. Students will learn through the relationship between ideas and events and relate them to the present within the context of reading, writing, listening and speaking. (This course is an integrated course taken in the same block with the Humanities II course listed under the English offerings.) \

 

1280 MODERN WORLD HISTORY H (SEMESTER) Grade 11
This required course surveys world history from 1800 to present. Emphasis will be placed on the following topics: the growth of Nationalism, the Industrial Revolution and the social and political changes in Europe; Asian, African, and Latin American history in the 19th and the 20th centuries; the Great Wars 1914 –1945; the Cold War Era; and the contemporary world. The honors program is a more in depth analysis of the topics presented. More reading, papers, and projects will be expected of students.

 

1282 MODERN WORLD HISTORY CP (SEMESTER) Grade 11
This required course surveys world history from 1800 to present. Emphasis will be placed on the following topics: the growth of Nationalism, the Industrial Revolution and the social and political changes in Europe; Asian, African, and Latin American history in the 19th and the 20th centuries; the Great Wars 1914 –1945; the Cold War Era; and the contemporary world.

 

1242 UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT H (SEMESTER) Grade 12
This required course will examine the Constitution and the structure and functions of the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches of the federal government at and accelerated pace. State and local governments will also be studied with an emphasis placed on the rights and responsibilities of citizens

 

1243 UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT CP (SEMESTER) Grade 12
This required course will examine the Constitution and the structure and functions of the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches of the federal government. State and local governments will also be studied with an emphasis placed on the rights and responsibilities of citizens.

 

1238 ADVANCED PLACEMENT UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT & POLITICS (SPLIT YEAR) Grade 12
This course will serve as an introduction and overview of U.S. national government and prepare students to take the Advanced Placement U.S. Government and Politics test in the Spring. The course is designed to help students gain an analytical perspective toward the conduct of politics in the United States. Emphasis will be placed on six major topics: Constitutional Underpinnings, Political Beliefs / Behaviors, Political Parties/Interest Groups/Mass Media, Institutions of National Government, Public Policy, and Civil Rights / Civil Liberties. Students will analyze the theories and principles that are the basis of democracy and as well as the adaptation of those principles to create the American system of democracy.

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History Department Electives
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1163 CLASSIC AND CONTEMPORARY FILMS CP (SEMESTER)  10-12
This elective course offers students an opportunity to view a number of outstanding
feature films. Titles will be selected from the various genres of drama, tragedy, and
comedy. Students will read and evaluate professional criticism of these films and
write critical evaluations of their own. Field trips to view current films will be at the
instructor’s discretion.

 

1249 WOMEN'S STUDIES CP (SEMESTER) Grades 11-12
This course will analyze the role of women in society and the effect of different events on women’s lives. The course will look at women from a historical standpoint by studying famous women in different areas from art to music to entertainment, etc. Women from Susan B. Anthony to Jackie Kennedy will be studies. Also, this course will look at present day issues, such as health issues, economic and social issues, and see how these problems affect women from young to old, today and tomorrow.

 

1250 CONTEMPORARY SOCIAL PROBLEMS CP (SEMESTER) Grades 10-12
This elective course is to introduce students to a number of contemporary issues that affect American society. Course topics will be selected with student input, but may include abortion, capital punishment, dating violence, alcohol and drug use, and racism.

 

1255 COLD WAR AMERICA CP (SEMESTER) Grades 11-12
The elective course allows students to examine a number of important domestic and foreign events that marked American history during the Cold War. The class is meant to go into more depth on topics that are discussed in Humanities II and to cover topics that are not covered in Humanities II. Potential topics include the creation and use of atomic weapons, suburban America, assassinations, the space race, American involvement in the 3rd World and other events.

 

1260 SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY CP (SEMESTER) Grades 11-12
This elective course focuses on the processes and problems of personality and interpersonal relationships. Psychological ideas and insights are applied to such major problems as crime, drug abuse, prejudice, mass persuasion, violence, war and interpersonal relationships. Students will also study how people learn, and ways of improving study and learning skills.

 

1262, 1263 SOCIOLOGY AND CURRENT ISSUES H (YEAR) INTRO. PYSCH. C.C. Grades 11-12
This elective course will focus on how the individual's behavior is influenced by the groups to which we belong and the American institutions that help shape our personalities and determine social events. Students will research a number of contemporary issues that effect American society. (This course will be taken in conjunction with the Mount Wachusett Community College Psychology course.)

 

1272 INTRO. TO LAW AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE CP (SEMESTER) Grades 11-12
Students survey the criminal justice system in the United States including its main components: law enforcement, courts, and corrections. Special emphasis is placed on the sequence of events and decision points within the system as well as the historical, developmental, and societal influences. The functions of federal, state, country, and local agencies are examined. This course can only be taken with permission of the liaison and the guidance department.

 

1277 OTHER VOICES CP (SEMESTER) Grades 10-12

This elective course introduces students to an alternative view of the American dream. Students will read African-American, Latino-American, Native-American, and Asian-American authors, and immerse themselves in these cultures through the study of film, non-fiction, art, food, and music.

 

1278 A WORLD OF IDEAS CP (SEMESTER) Grades 11-12
This elective course is a basic introduction to Philosophy and the writings of Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Locke, Marx, Darwin, and Freud. Through discussion, analysis, research, and written response, students will grapple with complex, philosophical questions concerning ethics, politics, religion, logic, and art. (Not Offered 2010-2011)

 

1279 INTRO TO GERMAN CULTURE CP (SEMESTER) Grades 10-12
In this one quarter elective course, students would be introduced to rudimentary conversational German, as well as a basic German geography lesson. In addition, German philosophy, literature, and art will be discussed. Students will be exposed to contemporary German films, music, and magazines, and will be encouraged to develop a "pen-pal" correspondence with a student in Germany.

 

1291 HISTORY THROUGH FILM CP (SEMESTER) Grades 10-12
This is a Social Studies elective that uses movies as a window to study society and how it has changed over time. Films, the era in which they were made, as well as their historical accuracy will be evaluated throughout the quarter. Although films are a major source material for the course, there will be a substantial amount of reading, discussion and project work throughout the quarter.

 

1292 INTRO TO FRENCH AND CANADIAN CULTURE CP (YEAR) Grades 9-12
In this semester long elective course, students will learn about both French and Canadian culture, including history, geography and the food and culture of specific regions. We will have an opportunity to prepare a French five course meal, and the class has the option of planning a trip to Quebec.

 

1220 THE WORLD IN THE 21ST CENTURY CP (SEMESTER) Grades 10-12
This course will focus mainly on world history and affairs. It is a combination of current events and major world events in the 21st century. Students will study and learn about major 21st century events and their effects on the world. Topics such as 9/11, wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, major natural disasters such as the 2004 tsunami, nuclear proliferation in North Korea and Iran, major technological advancements and other current events will be covered.

 

1222 MOCK TRIAL CP (SEMESTER) Grades 10-12

This course is available to all students in grades 10 – 12 and is not reserved only for members of the mock trial team. The class will study and prepare mock trial reenactments developed by the Georgetown University Street Law Project. Students will learn about the criminal justice system and the role of law in society. Students will be introduced to courtroom procedure, trial practice and courtroom decorum. The class will cover the laws of evidence, criminal and civil law, preparation and questioning of witnesses and the presentation of opening statements and closing arguments. This course is designed not only for students curious about law, but also for students who are interested in theater and the performing arts.

 

1224 AMERICA AFTER THE COLD WAR CP (SEMESTER) Grades 11-12

This elective course is a survey of how America has changed since 1989 in both foreign and domestic relations. This course also focuses on how these changes have shaped American society in the post Cold War world. Such topics include (but are not limited to) the collapse of the Soviet Empire, Desert Storm, impeachment of President Clinton, Bosnia and Kosovo conflicts, the Election of 2000, and 9/11 and its lasting impact on American society.

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141 Washington Street | Phone: 978-772-8600
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115 Washington Street | Phone: (978) 772-8600
34 Lancaster Road | Phone: (978) 772-8600