Individuals and Societies Philosophy
The study of Individuals and Societies is vital in a globalized and interconnected society. All students need to know and understand the concepts learned in social sciences in order to become informed participants in shaping our world’s future.
Individuals and Societies Belief Statement
We believe students learn subjects in Individuals in Societies best when the
- Are encouraged to be knowledgeable and inquiring
- Are encouraged to be caring and compassionate
- Develop intercultural understanding and open-mindedness
- Respect and evaluate a range of perspectives
- Explore the interactions between humans and their environment in time and place
- Develop their approaches to critical and creative thinking, research, communication, collaboration, self-management, and organizational.
Program Objectives and Goals
The goals of the Individuals and Societies program at the American School of Yaounde are to encourage and enable students to:
- Appreciate human and environmental commonalities and diversity.
- Understand the interactions and interdependence of individuals, societies, and the environment.
- Understand how both environmental and human systems operate and evolve.
- Identify and develop concern for the well-being of human communities and the natural environment.
- Act as responsible citizens of local and global communities.
- Develop inquiry skills that lead towards conceptual understandings of the relationships between individuals, societies, and the environments in which they live.
According to the assessment criteria for Individuals and Societies, by the completion of the curriculum at the end of Year 5 (i.e. Grade 10), students should be able to:
- Criterion A: Knowing and Understanding: (i) Use a wide range of terminology in context; (ii) and Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of subject-specific content and
- Criterion B: Investigating: (i) Formulate a clear and focused research question; (ii) Formulate and follow an action plan to investigate a research question; (iii) Use research
methods to collect and record information; and (iv) Evaluate the process and results of the investigation.
- Criterion C: Communication: (i) Communicate information and ideas effectively using an appropriate style; (ii) Structure information and ideas in a way that is appropriate for
the specified format; and (iii) Document sources of information using a recognized convention.
- Criterion D: Thinking Critically: (i) Discuss concepts, issues, models, and theories; (ii) Synthesize information to make valid, well-supported arguments; (iii) Analyze and
evaluate a range of sources in terms of origin and place, examining value and limitations; and (iv) Interpret different perspectives and their implications.
Individuals and Societies Course Descriptions
Grade 6: Essentials of Historical Study
The focus of Grade 6 is to introduce students to the study of history, human geography, and related subjects through the introduction of essential skills and concepts. The first part of the year focuses on understanding and interpreting geography and Earth’s natural forces as they impact the day-to-day life of humans. The second part of this year focuses on the study of history, with students first examining the nature of history (as opposed to prehistory), conducting individual and independent historical research, and analyzing the significance of culture in society, specifically focusing on religion. The ultimate goal of this course is to begin fostering the skills which will allow students to thrive in the MYP Individuals and Societies program.
Grade 7: Humans and the Environment
The focus of Grade 7 is the analysis of human populations and how they interact with their environment, both positively and negatively. The course begins with the environment’s impact on humans, before proceeding to demographics and human migration. We examine the natural and human causes for changes in population, the “push” and “pull” factors which affect human movement, and the impact these changes and movement have on greater social culture. Finally, we reverse the initial unit, examining how humans impact the world around them, both for better and for worse. The ultimate goal of this course is to understand the significance of systems within human society and the factors which influence them.
Grade 8: Human Civilization
The focus of Grade 8 is the analysis of the common problems which have faced humans throughout history and the variety of ways in which humans have dealt with these challenges. We begin with an analysis of early Chinese history, before moving onto a comparative unit examining two civilizations from very different parts of the world. Students will then examine civilizations of their choosing for the purpose of comparison with others studied over the course of the year. Finally, we cap the year with an analysis of societal change, looking at examples of internal and external catalysts. The ultimate goal of this course is to understand the similar structure of various human civilizations and recognize the commonality of a single human history.
Grade 9 – World History I: Conflict and Revolution
The focus of this course is the study of the world’s peoples, places, and environments, with an emphasis on world regions. The knowledge, skills, and perspectives of the course are centered on the world’s population and cultural characteristics, landforms and climates, economic development, and migration and settlement patterns. Essential questions center on the following: “How do the events of the past 250 years shape the world that we live in today?” “Why does war occur and is violent conflict ever justified?” “Why are certain regions of the world wealthier than others?” “What are the costs of war and how does a community recover from war?” This history course will prepare you for college and success through a variety of objectives, strategies and assessments. Students will be given the chance throughout the year to evaluate themselves and determine their own level of mastery and readiness. Unit objectives of my course include key academic concepts and target specific skills needed for success in college. Essential questions will be used to foster critical thinking. Lessons, while heavy on content, focus primarily on analysis, problem solving and discussion and debate. This course is designed specifically and intentionally to teach, assess and allow you to practice and reflect on the thinking. Units include French Revolution, Haitian Revolution, Imperialism, World War I and II.
Grade 9 PPE: Modern Applications of History
This interdisciplinary course in Individuals and Societies is designed to give students exposure to other potential areas of study in the Diploma Program, while also continuing to develop key skills. PPE stands for Philosophy, Politics, and Economics and the areas of study in this course have been designed to complement the curriculum of World History I. In this year we will focus on the following topics and essential questions:
- What was the focus of the debate surrounding the formation of the US Constitution?
- Is the US Constitution still functioning appropriately in the modern-day? What can be done to improve it?
- An introduction to microeconomics
- What were international relations like in the early 1900s? How has this arena evolved over the past 100 years?
- An introduction to macroeconomics
Grade 10 – World History II: Modern History
The focus of this course is the study of the world’s peoples, places, and environments, with an emphasis on world regions. The knowledge, skills, and perspectives of the course are centered on the world’s population and cultural characteristics, landforms and climates, economic development, and migration and settlement patterns. Essential questions center on the following:
- How do the events of the past 150 years shape the world that we live in today?
- What are the costs of colonialism and how does a community escape from and recover from the effects of this practice?
- To what extent does relative strength militarily, economically, or otherwise affect decision-making on a national level?
- Why does war occur and is violent conflict ever justified?
Grade 10 – PPE: Morality and Modernity
This interdisciplinary course in Individuals and Societies is designed to give students exposure to other potential areas of study in the Diploma Program, while also continuing to develop key skills. PPE stands for Philosophy, Politics, and Economics and the areas of study in this course have been designed to complement the curriculum of World History II. In this year we will focus on the following topics and essential questions:
- To what extent is it ethical for a democracy to provide support to an authoritarian government?
- Has NATO outlived its usefulness?
- What can make protest movements successful or unsuccessful?
- What should modern-day protest movements do to achieve their aims?
- What is the role of the American military in modern-day Africa?
- Is the extrajudicial killing of terrorist suspects ethical?
- An introduction to development economic