Offices & Resources

History and Social Sciences


About

R.G. Collingwood, a British philosopher, suggested that history is an inquiry that helps humans understand who we are by instructing us about what we have done. At St. Mark’s, the History and Social Sciences Department exposes students not only to important historical facts, but also to the imaginative process of understanding and evaluating the significance of those facts in the light of the present day. This process is a catalyst for intellectual growth, for it broadens and enriches one’s perception of human activity as it sharpens one’s powers of analysis and communication. It also prepares our students to be more effective global citizens.

Students become acquainted with the past in varying ways: through historiography, primary sources, passages from literature, data analysis, and works of art. Exploration of the content is paired with age-appropriate skill development in every class. Key skills include proficiencies in analytical reading and writing, creative problem-solving, building and defending arguments, collaboration, research, and public presentation.

The process of historical research begins early and continues throughout the curriculum. In the Global Seminar course, students progress from smaller research projects closely directed by their teachers to the more complex and independent research papers that students produce by the end of the year. In the United States History survey courses, students present a significant, researched historical essay on a subject of their choice. This project is prepared over a period of weeks during which the student and teacher work together in the library on the paper’s research and preparation. The Global Seminar and the United States History survey courses are the Departmental graduation requirements. All other courses are elective, with continuing study of History recommended for students as they progress between the two required courses.

Suggested Pathway for Historical Studies at St. Mark’s School

Form III The Global Seminar

(This is a required course in the Third Form year.)

Form IV Mediterranean Civilization to 1450 (Fall)

East Asian Civilization to 1600 (Fall)

Eurocentrism or World History? (Fall)

The Atlantic World, 1300-1800 (Spring)

Form V United States History

Advanced United States History

(One of the above two courses is required for graduation)

Form VI Advanced United States Government

Cultural Anthropology (Spring)

Microeconomics (Fall) and Macroeconomics (Spring)

Journey into the Land of Ice and Fire (Spring)

History of the Modern Middle East (Fall)

The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich (Spring)

The American Conservative Movement (Fall)

Sacred Spaces: Sites of Spirituality (Fall)

History Research Fellowship (Fall)

Faculty

Laura Appell-Warren

Titles: Director of Global Citizenship, History & Social Sciences Department Faculty
Departments: History and Social Sciences, Religion
Email:
Phone Numbers:
School: 508.786.6155

Rex (Dejai) Barnes

Titles: History and Social Sciences Department Faculty, English Department Faculty
Departments: English, History and Social Sciences
Email:
Phone Numbers:
School: 508.786.6081

Robert Calagione

Class of '04
Titles: History & Social Sciences Department Faculty
Departments: History and Social Sciences
Email:

Carl Corazzini

Titles: Director of Wellness, History & Social Sciences Department Faculty
Departments: Dean of Students Office, History and Social Sciences
Email:
Phone Numbers:
School: 508.786.4056

Colleen Finnerty

Class of '11
Titles: History and Social Sciences Department Faculty
Departments: History and Social Sciences
Email:

Adam Jewell

Titles: History and Social Sciences Department Chair, History and Social Sciences Department Faculty
Departments: History and Social Sciences
Email:

Michele Killeen

Titles: History and Social Sciences Department Faculty
Departments: History and Social Sciences
Email:

David Lyons

Titles: History and Social Sciences Department Faculty
Departments: History and Social Sciences
Email:

Elise Morgan

Titles: Senior Associate Director of Admission, History and Social Sciences Department Faculty
Departments: History and Social Sciences, Admission
Email:

Nathaniel Waters

Titles: Dean of Academics, History and Social Sciences Faculty
Departments: History and Social Sciences, Dean of Academics, Senior Administrative Team
Email:
Phone Numbers:
School: 508.786.6046

Colleen Worrell

Titles: Director of the Center, History and Social Sciences Faculty
Departments: History and Social Sciences, Dean of Academics, The Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning
Email:

Courses

Suggested Pathway for Historical Studies at St. Mark’s School

Form III

Global Seminar
(This is a required course in the Third Form year.)

Form IV
Mediterranean Civilization to 1450
Middle Eastern Civilization to 1450 CE
East Asian Civilization to 1600
The Atlantic World, 1300–1800

Form V
United States History
Advanced United States History

Form VI
Advanced Art History
African-American Leadership in the Twentieth Century
Cultural Anthropology
Micro- and Macroeconomics
History of the Modern Middle East
The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich
Sites of Spirituality

Psychology

Psychology I – Thinking Critically with Psychological Science


Fall
Psychology I is a semester-long course with the purpose of providing an introduction to the many different perspectives from which psychologists try to understand human behavior. The course begins with an introduction to the science of psychology and an investigation of its historical roots. After tracing to development of psychological thought through the years, students are introduced to the scientific method and the different ways of conducting psychological research. Through a variety of projects and learning experiences, students will examine the relationship between structure and function of biological systems that relate to psychological experiences, take a stance on the nature versus nurture debate, and explore an area of human behavior or an application of psychology in which they are interested. At the conclusion of the course, students will be able to use the different lenses of psychology to think critically about their lives and the realities within which we exist, hopefully seeing that we as humans are more alike than we are different. The course uses Standards-Based Learning and portfolio assessment to help students develop skills related to self-regulated learning. (Open to Forms V and VI)

 

Psychology II – Applications in Everyday Life


Spring
Psychology II is a semester-long course that builds upon the foundation of Psychology I by looking at the practical applications of psychological science in everyday life. Students are exposed to the basic concepts of learning, memory, language, and thought. Conversations surrounding these topics seek to enhance their understanding of conditioning intelligence, studying, critical thinking, and forgetting. By reading classic studies in social psychology such as the Stanford Prison Experiment and the Milgram Obedience Study, students learn about how the actual, imagined, or implied presence of others can influence an individual’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. The course closes with an extensive presentation related to the diagnosis and treatment of a case study, requiring students to familiarize themselves with a variety of psychological disorders, use the DSM-V, and come up with an eclectic treatment plan for their patient. The topics of study in Psychology II do not overlap with those studied in Psychology I, thus the student who elects to take both courses will experience a broad survey of modern psychology. Students who only elect to take Psychology II will not be disadvantaged but rather enhanced by classmates whose foundational knowledge may be greater than their own. The course uses Standards-Based Learning and portfolio assessment to help students develop skills related to self-regulated learning. (Open to Forms V and VI)