Study the past to understand the present.
History is a process of discussion, interpretation and continuing revelation in both evidence and understanding. We expose students to Western and non-Western historical traditions while also grounding students in the history of the United States. Each course works to embody Westtown's values and mission through fostering in students a deepening sense of civic understanding, involvement, and activism.
- Independent research component in all upper level (11th and 12th grade) elective courses.
- Freshman course examines issues of identity, intolerance and civic activism.
- Many courses make use of local historical sites and museums.
- Making Change project gives students a combined research experience and advocacy opportunity on an issue of the student's choosing.
- U.S. History Archives Project utilizes the extensive school archive, as students conduct primary-document based research and write an original paper based on that research.
- Year-long seminar on Latin American History emphasizes understanding current events in light of the past.
- The Holocaust and other examples genocide are studied in a year-long seminar.
- Hiroshima to 9/11 helps students to understand contemporary global issues, like the war on terror and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, in relation to major foreign policy developments since the start of the Cold War.
- U.S. History incorporates engaged citizenship with two capstone projects: student made films on an amendment -- its historical context, debates, and recent applications; and, a five-week project following media coverage of a topic in multiple media sources that gets merged into a group presentation on how to live in a free society.