Social Studies Department


Our primary goal for the University Laboratory School Social Studies Department is to provide students with the critical thinking skills and foundational knowledge of the humanities needed to become informed and active citizens.


Instructor: Gabriel Nehl
Grade Level: 12

Civics (Semester 1)
Civics is a cohesive, comprehensive semester course that focuses on building student’s foundational knowledge of civics in America. Civic education teaches students about their rights and responsibilities as American citizens. It also helps build their understanding of the US constitution and how democracy plays a vital role in their personal history.
Ethics (Semester 2)
Students are introduced to different theories regarding ethical behavior by analyzing the writings of important philosophers. They then apply these theories to contemporary issues to gain a better understanding of the importance of ethics in everyday life.

Grade Level: 11

In this course, students will examine the major political events, cultures, movements and political systems of the United States. Students will analyze the significant events of the Reconstruction Era, Industrialization and Expansion of Global Influence, WWI, Depression Era, WWII, Cold War Era, Civil Rights Movements and Communism.

Instructor: Burnett Vave
Grade Level: 10

In this course, students will examine important personalities, events, movements and eras in world history since 1500. Students focus on historical causation, employing a variety of primary sources such as journals, historical texts, photographs, newspaper articles, political cartoons, and statistics. The portion of this course that focuses on China and Japan was developed by CRDG.

Instructor: Burnett Vave
Grade Level: 9

In this course, students will examine, identify, empathize and analyze the intricate and complex history of Hawai‘i through the political, economic, social and geographic developments in the 19th and 20th centuries. This course was developed by CRDG.

Grade Level: 8

In this course, students will examine significant events in early American history starting from Pre-Revolutionary war through the Reconstruction Era. Students will also take an in depth look at the U.S. Constitution, its founders and other prevalent factors involved in its creation.

Instructor: Andrea Nehl
Grade Level: 7

In this course, students will explore and examine the development of early civilizations in world history. Students will analyze significant historical events, leaders and places through research, current events, projects and hands-on activities.

Instructor: Andrea Nehl
Grade Level: 6

Introduction to Anthropology (Semester 1)
This course is from the “Man: A Course of Study” or MACOS curriculum which aimed at exploring the development of humans by comparing the life cycles and events of salmons, herring gulls, and baboons with humans. Students also explore the lives and cultural practices of the Netsilik Eskimo, native to Canada, and compare them with Western ideals and customs.

Pacific Studies (Semester 2)
In this course students will examine the significant characteristics that make up the Pacific region, and work towards being able to identify and provide insight into the life cycles of specific animals, cultural practices of various Pacific Islanders, geographical and environmental factors of the Pacific, and the origins of Polynesia. This course was developed by CRDG.