Social Studies

Back to School Night Presentations

Rationale for Studying History
(Adapted from the BCPS Social Studies Curriculum)
In its simplest form, history can be defined as that discipline which deals with past events, actions, and personalities.  In the 17thcentury, French scholars defined history as “a grand mirror in which we are able to see ourselves and others.”  Henry Steele Commanger has defined history as “everything that lives in and through the minds of men.”  Skeptics might say that history is merely what historians have been able to recover and reconstruct from the past.  They might add that history really reflects the historian’s own perspective and the spatial and time frame in which the historian lives.  Perhaps easier to define than the meaning of history is the meaning of history within the curriculum and the importance of having students engage in its study.  Thomas Jefferson, in his “Notes on the State of Virginia,” observed that “History, by apprising them of the past, will enable them to judge of the future.”  Clearly, the purpose of studying history can be seen within the framework of studying culture. A critical inquiry into the past can strengthen people’s commitment to its highest ideals and institutions.  In so doing, we prepare our students to assume a more realistic and supportive role in shaping global citizenry.

Department Members:


Grade and Course Taught

Email Address and Classroom Number

Michelle Lee St Pierre, Department Chairperson

Grade 8 GT American History

Juvenile Justice 8

Finance 8

Terah Minor-Jones

Grade 6 World History

Grade 6 Law and Finance

Sara Ortiz

Grade 6 World History


Jordan Drenning

Grade 6 GT World History

Grade 7 World History

James Trimmer

Grade 7 World History

Grade 7 Law and Finance


Allison Jones

Grade 7 GT World History

Grade 8 American History


Kostas Zisopoulos

Grade 8 American History

Grade 8 GT American History

Sites that provide supportive information for the curriculum: 

The History Cat

National Geographic

American Memory from the Library of Congress 

BCPS One -Digital Content provides access to the Discovery Techbook as well as many other useful sites 

Social Studies Challenge Interactive Sites: 

How to think about social studies instruction with the College, Career, and Civic Life document: 

MSDE Social Studies for grades 6-8 l