Coginchaug Regional High School

135 Pickett Lane, Durham, CT 06422 | 860.349.7215


The social studies curriculum is designed to provide students with a solid grounding in the principles of government, citizenship, history, and culture.  District 13 students must fulfill a 3.5 credit requirement in history and social studies, including a one-credit course in United States History and a half-credit course in American Citizenship.  Courses with level designations (Global Studies 1, The Western Heritage, and U.S. History) are designed to meet the learning needs of students appropriately placed in them.  A-level courses are for motivated students with the honors level reading, vocabulary, and writing skills necessary for independent work with complex sources.  B-level courses are for college-bound students with competent skills who will benefit from more directed practice in improving critical thinking.  Come college-bound and some non-college-bound students may be placed in the C-level courses in which they receive more intensive help in developing the essential skills needed to master core material.
Course Grade Prerequisite Credit
Global Studies 1 The Non-Western World: A, B, C  9 None
Global Studies 2: The Western Heritage: A, B, C 10 Global Studies1
European Studies (Interdisciplinary Course) 10

Global Studies 1 and

Teacher recommendation

United States History: A, B, C 11 One year of Social Studies
American Studies: Interdisciplinary Course 11 Teacher recommendation
American Citizenship 11/12 Open to junior & seniors
Introduction to Psychology     
 None  .5
 Current Issues at Home and Abroad   
 None .5
Choices and Consequences
11/12 Two years of Social Studies
Comparative Religion 11/12 Two years of Social Studies
AP US History   
 Department Recommendation
AP US Government and Comparative Government 12

AP US History or Department Recommendation


Global Studies 1: The Non-Western World

211 Global Studies 1 A
213 Global Studies 1 B
214 Global Studies 1 C

Our Global Studies program begins by introducing students to the culture, geography, economics, politics, history, and contributions of the non-Western world. Using examples drawn from area studies - the Middle East, Africa, East and South  Asia, and South America - students develop facility with foundational social studies concepts and vocabulary. Textbook work is supplemented with  projects involving traditional and Internet research  with an emphasis on critical assessment of sources. Area studies lead to examination of global issues  such as international economic development, modernization of developing nations, and the role  of international organizations in matters of war and  peace. At all levels, this course is the first in our  sequence to prepare students for attendance at a four-year college.

Global Studies 2: The Western Heritage

221 Global Studies 2 A
222 Global Studies 2 B
223 Global Studies 2 C

224 European Studies

The second year of our Global Studies program examines the evolution of Europe from the Renaissance to the 20th century, focusing on the development of the political, economic, cultural, and social institutions that continue to shape Western culture. The material is enriched by use of primary sources and analysis of enduring debates, referencing threads that reach from Classical to modern times.  Particular emphasis is placed on skills for taking a position on a controversial issue and supporting it with evidence.  Some students will be recommended to take this as European Studies (222), a course coordinated with a section of English and designed to take an interdisciplinary approach.  At all levels, this course is the second  in our sequence to prepare students for attendance at a four-year college.

United States History

231 United States History A
232 United States History B
233 United States History C
234 American Studies

This course is a chronological survey that develops major themes in United States history.  Analytical thinking and critical problem solving through the use of primary and secondary sources are the core skill objectives of this study.  A basic text appropriate to the student's reading level is used.  Required writing includes research papers, book reports, and essays.  Some students will be recommended to take this curriculum as American Studies (232), a course coordinated with a section of English and designed to take an interdisciplinary approach.  At all levels, this course is the third in our sequence to prepare students for attendance at a four-year college in addition to meeting the United States History requirement.. 

American Citizenship

244 American Citizenship

The purposes of this semester course are to examine the ways citizens can exert their influence on the governing process and to prepare students to be the active participants our democracy requires. While the course focuses on analysis of the structures, functions, and operations of our government at the federal level, it will include the study of issues at the state and local level as well. The course concludes with an in-depth analysis of the influences driving policy on a specific issue of each student's choosing. This course meets the state Civics requirement.

Choices and Consequences

245 Choices and Consequences

This course explores the issues of individual responsibility and human rights. Based on a national curriculum developed over 20 years by the Facing History organization, the class examines how these issues relate to our responsibilities as members of society in general and of the many communities to which we belong. Both positive and negative historical examples inform students' consideration of how human beings treat one another. Historical case studies such as the Holocaust are used to make connections between individual rights and responsibilities and community action. Materials used include text, audio, and visual resources from historical and current events.

Comparative Religions

246 Comparative Religions

The major world religions - Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism  - are examined as a response to basic human needs, as an expression of culture and environment, and as a political and historical force.  Readings include excerpts from religious texts, wisdom literature, and analytical sources.  Students investigate the life of a religious leader as well as ways that religion influences current events.   The course is appropriate for students who enjoy discussion of metaphysics, philosophy, ethics, and culture. Note: the course addresses material that some may find sensitive; every effort is made to ensure that differing belief systems are discussed respectfully and even-handedly.

Current Issues at Home and Abroad

247 Current Issues at Home and Abroad

Taking its material from the hot topics of the day, each quarter section of this course will explore three student-selected issues as case studies. Students will learn to use the tools of various Social Sciences disciplines such as media studies, sociology, and economics. Case studies in quarters 1 and 3 ("At Home") will draw from local and American challenges - our response to social and demographic changes, to dilemmas created by new technologies, and to difficult controversies about which we struggle to find common ground. Case studies in quarters 2 and 4 ("Abroad") will take on international and global questions ranging from environmental and health concerns to international security.   

AP American History

260 AP American History

This advanced placement college-level course is offered for selected qualified juniors who plan to take the national Advanced Placement American History Exam in May. Students are required to read extensively and write critically on important issues in American history, with special attention given to the historical interpretation, analysis, and evaluation of a variety of reading and documentary materials. Department recommendation will be based on overall GPA, teacher recommendation, performance on a document-based essay task, and PSAT scores if available.

AP US Government and Comparative Government

261 AP US Government and Comparative Government

This college-level course is offered for selected qualified seniors who plan to take the national Advanced Placement Exams in US Government and Comparative Government.  It is an appropriate choice for students interested in pursuing a career in law, politics, government, or international relations.  The first half of the course concentrates on the structures and functioning of the American governmental system with an emphasis on national-level policy-making.  The second half introduces broader concepts of political science through close examination of six case-study countries.  Students are required to read and write extensively, critically, and independently, working to college-level performance expectations.