Meet Our Faculty
History & Social Sciences Department
The Mission of the MICDS History & Social Sciences Department is to graduate students who are inquisitive and empathetic about the world and its peoples and use their knowledge of history and the social sciences to become engaged global citizens. Students develop essential skills to think critically, work collaboratively, research effectively, write persuasively, recognize connections across time and space, and strive to understand the world today to make a better future.
Upper School students who wish to enrich their studies beyond the currently offered departmental courses are welcome to propose their own Independent Study. In order to do so, students select a faculty member to work with and then submit an application for Independent Study and a detailed project prospectus. Once approved by the Academic Leadership Committee, students work with that faculty member throughout the semester or year and develop their own reading lists, discussion topics, assessments, and more.
- Recent Examples of History & Social Science Independent Studies Include:
- Secret Societies in American History
- Presidential Scandals & Mass Media
- Classical Mythology
- Progressivism in Modern American History
- Second Wave Feminism
- The French Revolution
- Jewish Immigration to the United States: An Oral History of the 20th Century
- Beyond the “Hollywood Indian”: Analyzing Native American Identity
In the Upper School, students have opportunities to participate in the following department-related extracurricular activities:
In Mock Trial, team members prepare, present, and argue a court case as attorneys and witnesses. Teams prepare their case throughout the season by collaborating with each other, faculty coaches, and the team's attorney coach. The mock trials are structured like real courtroom trials and follow the same rules and procedures, so students learn first-hand how the legal system works and what role judges, lawyers, juries, and witnesses play in the court system. This increased understanding helps students develop a deeper appreciation for our justice system and the administration of justice. The competition also helps students develop and improve their public speaking and critical thinking skills.
The Debate Team is a competitive team that offers various debate formats. It teaches critical thinking and research skills, gives students a sense of confidence and empowerment, teaches students to think on their feet, improves communication skills, promotes leadership skills, and improves students’ knowledge of current events. Students will compete in four to five tournaments per year and in preparation will spend time researching and preparing for competitions.
According to the United Nations Association, “Model UN is a simulation of the UN General Assembly and its other multilateral bodies where students perform an ambassador role while debating topics such as gender equality, climate action, global health, and more.” Model UN at MICDS focuses on practicing active citizenship through diplomacy, cooperation, and solving real-world issues. The Model UN team at MICDS attends at least one Model UN session each semester, and in preparation spends Activity periods honing their research, writing, and debate skills as they deepen students’ understanding of Model UN nations and global issues.
The National World War II Museum’s Normandy Academy is a 12-day immersive summer learning experience in New Orleans, LA and Normandy, France that challenges students to learn from the choices made before and during the historic D-Day landings. Through the generosity of Mr. Edward T. Baur ’64, two students will be selected each year as the Pete Wilson ’51 Fellows for Normandy Academy, and receive full scholarships (including flights, tuition, meals, etc…) to participate in the Academy. For more information, visit Normandy Academy’s website and read more below!
- Normandy Academy Overview
- Academy Dates: July 11-21, 2023
- Participants: Applying students must be current sophomores or juniors at MICDS and must have taken or currently be taking United States History or United States History Accelerated.
- Application Due Date: Monday, October 24, 2022, by 3:15 p.m.
- Application Requirements (All documents should be submitted electronically in PDF format; use the links at the bottom of this page):
- Short Essay (500 words or less) in response to the following question: Why do you want to participate in the Normandy Academy trip, and how do you hope to benefit from this program?
- Current resume/CV
- Participation and Acknowledgment form, signed by both student and parent/guardian. Download the form here.
- Recommendation Form from a teacher. Please ask a teacher OTHER THAN your History teacher to complete the form. Teachers should download the form here.
- Application Process
Interested students should download the Participation and Acknowledgment form from this site (in Overview Dropdown above) and direct their Recommender (someone other than their History teacher) to the Teacher Recommender form (in Overview Dropdown above) and submission box (in Digital Submission Forms dropdown below). Students must submit all required documents using the application forms below by 3:15 p.m. on October 24, 2022. Teacher recommendation forms are due at the same time.
Finalists may be invited to participate in an interview with the committee. The two Pete Wilson ’51 Fellows will be notified of their selection by the end of November, after which the school will assist them in submitting their information to the Normandy Academy/World War II Museum. At that point, the Normandy Academy will work directly with students to arrange all travel and logistical details for the program; all costs will be covered by the Pete Wilson ’51 Fellows for Normandy Academy scholarship. Students selected as Pete Wilson ’51 Fellows must commit to the Normandy Academy program; pending any emergencies, they are expected to remain committed and participate fully.
- Follow Up
During the subsequent school year, the Pete Wilson ’51 Fellows will be required to give a brief presentation on their experience to the ninth-grade class. The presentation will take place at a date to be determined during the Fall/Winter, in alignment with the Post-1900 World unit on World War II.
- Digital Submission Forms
Looking for something History-related to do over the summer? Check out the non-MICDS opportunities below: