Social Studies

Social Studies courses explore relationships among individuals in various societies and between societies. You examine cultural, economic, ethical, legal, political and religious issues that communities face. These courses focus on understanding: who am I, what kind of society do I want, and how do I and others shape our world?

The Social Studies program at EM High provides opportunities for students to develop the attitudes, skills and knowledge that will enable them to become engaged, active, informed and responsible citizens. Recognition and respect for individual and collective identity is essential in a pluralistic and democratic society. Social Studies helps students develop their sense of self and community, encouraging them to affirm their place as citizens in an inclusive, democratic society.

Components of the Social Studies program involve core concepts of citizenship and identity, Aboriginal and Francophone perspectives and experiences, diversity and cohesion, all taught in an issues infused approach to learning. Social Studies develops learners who are independent, self-motivated problem solvers and co-creators of knowledge. Students will develop research skills to prepare for the world of work, post-secondary studies, lifelong learning and citizenship in a complex world.

Students are encouraged to consult with their teachers, parents and counselors to align their choice of Social Studies program with their personal plans in order to enhance their opportunity to successfully achieve their goals. For more detailed information about the various Social Studies programs (or pathways), please consult the Course Selection Guide.

Sequence of Courses

Changing Streams: Teacher recommendations are made with great care and attention. They are based upon ensuring students have the necessary foundation in place to achieve success in their registered course. Changes to this process can only be achieved through the following steps:

  • Consultation with the subject teacher, Teacher Advisor, and/or Student Services. 
  • Teacher calls the parent 
  • Change Form signed if parent is in agreement. 
  • Department Learning Leader approval & signature, prior to any changes made.

The program content reflects the vast scope of the disciplines of history, geography, economics and social sciences at levels consistent with the maturity of the students.  In order to accommodate students with a wide range of abilities, needs, interests and aspirations, two sequences for the Senior High School Social Studies Program have been developed.

  • Social Studies 10-1, 20-1 and 30-1 is designed for those students who are seeking a high school diploma and who will pursue post-secondary studies at the college and/or university level. 
  • Social Studies 10-2, 20-2 and 30-2 is of interest to those students who are pursuing a high school diploma including those going into post secondary studies at  colleges and/or trade schools, and those entering the work force.

Changes to entrance requirements mean that some post-secondary programs do not accept Social Studies 30-2.  Students should check admission requirements.

Although the content, skills and attitudes are similar for both sequences, the expectations for Social Studies 10-1, 20-1, 30-1 are far more challenging, particularly in the depth of concept development, the level of critical and creative thinking, and inquiry skill development.  The nature of the student learning resources that are approved for each sequence also differ to accommodate depth and breadth of course content as well as an increasing sophistication of reading level.

Advanced Placement®


In this course, students will be introduced to introductory, university-level topics, including developmental, clinical and social psychology.  Students will also gain an understanding of the brain and nervous system from a biological perspective.  Historical perspectives of psychology will also be introduced.

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