Study the past to understand the present.
History is a process of discussion, interpretation, and continuing revelation in both evidence and understanding. History courses expose students to Western and non-Western historical traditions while also grounding students in the United States’ past and present. Each course works to embody Westtown's values and mission through fostering in students a deepening sense of civic understanding, involvement, and compassionate activism. In addition, the lens of history is viewed through a diverse, sociological lens aiming to provide a personal connection to all students.
- There is an Independent research component in all upper level (11th and 12th grade) elective courses. Students are expected to become researchers and educators of their peers.
- 11th and 12th grade students have the option of completing an Independent Study that is not affiliated with a class and can be a semester or full year in length.
- Freshman Peace and Justice course examines issues of identity, intolerance, and civic activism.
- The Peace and Justice Social Action project gives students a combined research experience and advocacy opportunity on an issue of the student's choosing.
- U.S. History engages students with two capstone projects. First, student-made films on individual amendments highlight their historical context, ongoing debate, and recent application. The World War Two Personal Histories Project switches the lens of History to cover the war inclusive of gender, race, and socioeconomic status.
- Modern Asia and Modern Africa are upper-level courses examining the global role in various countries in terms of economic, political, and sustainability issues.
- African-American Experience and Latin-American Experience are each a semester length and offer a US-based contemporary, in-depth curriculum incorporating sociology, philosophy, and history.
- The Holocaust and other genocidal acts are studied in a year-long seminar.
- Hiroshima to 9/11 helps students to understand contemporary global issues, such as the war on terror, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and more recent tensions in the Middle East.