You’ll learn critical and analytical reading and writing skills while gaining an appreciation of the rich variety of the human experience. Expand your worldview through an exploration of other eras, cultures and perspectives. Evaluations include essays, rich discussions, multimedia presentations, role-playing, creative writing in historical context, debating and other formats that capture imaginations and breathe life into the past. You’ll learn to think independently, appreciate others’ perspectives and develop greater cultural awareness.

List of 14 items.

  • Advanced World History

    Prerequisite: History teacher recommendation and teacher evaluation of student writing.
    Advanced World History is designed to help students develop a greater understanding of the evolution of global processes and the interactions between people in different types of human societies. Students gain an understanding of world history through learning factual knowledge and using analytical skills to examine varying types of historical evidence from multiple perspectives. Focusing on the past 1,000 years of the global experience, the course builds on an understanding of cultural, institutional and technological precedents that serve as the foundation of the modern world. Continuities and changes over time and place, comparisons of societies and situations, and document‑based evaluations of issues are all heavily emphasized. Students are expected to fully participate in class dialogues, complete collaborative projects, and create multimedia presentations in addition to critical writing and content assessments. This advanced level class is designed so that a student who completes additional work outside of class will be prepared to take the AP World History exam.
  • AP United States Government & Politics

    Students enrolled in an AP course are required to take the corresponding AP exam in May. This course investigates the theory and practice of government and politics in the United States while offering the opportunity for AP credit. Students learn how families, schools and the media perpetuate political beliefs and influence political participation. They discover why some segments of the population, such as the elderly, are more effective than others in shaping the national policy. Students become knowledgeable about the powers of Congress and the presidency and develop an appreciation for the Supreme Court as a defender of civil rights and an agent of social change. In addition to reading a primary text, students are expected to examine weekly political newspapers, and selected movies reflecting American political culture.
  • AP United States History

    Prerequisite: Grade of B+ or higher in World Societies
    Students enrolled in an AP course are required to take the corresponding AP exam in May. A chronological course, AP United States History surveys American history from the time of the first significant European contact with indigenous peoples to the present, preparing students to take the Advanced Placement exam in May. Students read a demanding college‑level text, write interpretive essays, work with primary documents and produce a short paper or two focusing on a theme from the 19th or 20th centuries. In addition, students are responsible for reading and outlining the first unit of the text over the previous summer, as the course leaps right into the American Revolution in September and covers the entire curriculum before the exam.
  • Contested Values, 1945-1990: Competing for the Soul and Identity of America

    The United States emerged from World War II triumphant, cementing the 20th century as “The American Century.” But what defined post‑war “America?” Was America the Western world’s sole hope for freedom—God‑fearing, the “shining city upon the hill,” resolute in its democracy in the face of spreading Communism? Or was America the quintessential hypocrite, with “all men are created equal” undermined by racial segregation and violence, gender discrimination, class tension and environmental destruction? Through primary and secondary source materials, film studies, deep dives into pop culture, research, and dialogue, students will examine these competing narratives as they connect the dots from the major movements and events of the latter half of the 20th century to the contemporary United States of today.
  • Global Studies

    This course thematically surveys significant events and trends in human history. Using an interdisciplinary approach to study the historical origins of contemporary issues, students will examine various spheres of human activity in Africa, Latin America, the Middle East and Asia. Physical and Human Geography topics are embedded into every unit of study. Throughout the year, students will participate in a series of combined Humanities Seminars that combine the content of English I World Literature with that of this history course. These seminars will provide context for the materials covered in both courses with the goal of facilitating deep‑level, relevant learning. Our scope will be global in order to encourage first‑year students to sample the breadth of what human beings have thought and encountered across cultures and through the ages.
  • Honors Freedom and Authority

    Through careful reading of classic philosophical texts and foundational political documents, this semester‑long class investigates the development of western political thought and the variety of political solutions that balance the freedom of the individual and the authority of the government in any given political association. Through reading assignments and in‑class discussions, students will examine different conceptions of justice, private property, legitimate political power, human nature and political structures. Major political theories will be placed in historical and cultural context. This seminar‑based course requires students to engage in close reading of primary and secondary sources, participate in class discussions, follow lectures and complete writing assignments frequently.
  • Human Footprint in the American West

    Since the arrival of the American explorers Lewis and Clark just over 200 years ago, the American West has been transformed from a sparsely‑settled region, teeming with wild animals and a few scattered bands of indigenous peoples, to an urban civilization threatening to exceed the capacity of the land to sustain a burgeoning population. How and why did this happen so swiftly? Were there opportunities to have developed in a more sustainable direction? What are the consequences, both for us and for future generations? These are among the questions we will pursue from the angle of a relatively new field of inquiry called Environmental History. Through diverse readings focused on the past, we will study such topics as the importance of the Colorado River to the Southwest, the fire ecology of the Rocky Mountains, and the likely future impact of climate change on this region. And because the course focuses on the place where most of us live, it will also give us a chance to go on a number of field trips to explore such places as the life zones of Pike National Forest, a local ranch, the Waldo Canyon Burn of 2012—and even the prairie that surrounds us at FVS! In addition, we will try to determine what the future might hold for the Front Range a quarter-century from now when most of you will be fully into your careers and families! In short, this is an opportunity to understand the world around you—and perhaps become a better citizen of a region dear to many of us! For assessments, we will mainly do projects, presentations, and papers.
  • India: Past and Present

    Although India has always been a patchwork of ethnic groups and only periodically has had a centralized government, historians still speak of a region united by shared values that date back over 3000 years. The first half of the course will explore the foundations of this civilization, a period when Indians delved much deeper into human consciousness than their Western counterparts, thus establishing a particularly compelling spiritual and philosophical legacy to explore. In the last 800 years, in contrast, India has endured a series of invaders: first Turkic Muslims and then Europeans, notably the British, whose imperial control lasted through WWII. The issues of the modern era (the second half of the course) have more to do with politics and economics than religion and society. Like other senior electives, this course will rely on students to do a variety of readings, primary as well as secondary; ask them to respond in a variety of ways, including papers, projects and presentations; and culminate at the end of the semester in an extended paper/project.
  • International Relations

    This course will explore various ways in which modern nation‑states interact with one another. Topics will include, but not be limited to, U.S. foreign policy from the 20th century until today, the United Nations, the European Union, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and various trade partnerships in which the United States has participated. Course readings will involve the study of international relations theories, institutions and current events.
  • Islam and the West

    This course is designed to expose students to various perspectives of the world of Islam and how it affects and is affected by the West. Students will investigate the cultural, religious and political dimensions of the interaction between Islam and the West at several historical moments. The aim is to go beyond superficial characterizations of Muslims and to understand the nuances of their beliefs, traditions and behaviors. Students will attempt to gain a better understanding of the rhetoric regarding "Islam" and "the West" and the interest this rhetoric has served.
  • U.S. History: Origins to 1877

    This class is designed to provide international students with an understanding of the people, events and principles that define the American experience. Students develop research skills and investigate the major themes of early U.S. history including settlement, building a nation, sectionalism and civil war, westward expansion. Additionally, there is a focus on the organization of the 3 branches of government, election practices, and the Constitution. This class fulfills the history requirement in U.S. History.
  • United States History

    This course integrates interdisciplinary study with a thematic approach to the history of the United States from the age of exploration to the present day. Students examine how history and culture reflect the evolution of America as it wrestles with race relations, religious and ethnic diversity, gender discrimination, the successes and failures of democratic capitalism, the tensions between individual liberties and civil rights and the rise of the U.S. as a world superpower. With an interpretive and analytical perspective, the class reads, writes, debates, produces and performs, using a variety of learning styles.
  • World History and Geography

    This class is designed to provide the international student with an understanding of the people, events and principles that define a general background of world history. Students investigate the major themes of world history. Students develop their analytical writing and research skills through projects, presentations, and essays. Students will explore a wide range of multimedia primary and secondary sources to develop their critical thinking and research skills. This class fulfills the graduation requirement of Global Studies.
  • World Societies

    World Societies is a course focusing on the cultural, technological, social and political growth of human civilizations from their rise in ancient river valleys through events in the twentieth century. The objective of this class is to help students understand how the peoples, cultures, religions, political systems, regional interactions and trade networks in the world came to be. Students are asked to evaluate historical materials, weigh evidence, and develop critical thinking skills. Throughout, students are encouraged to ask probing questions and make connections to the modern world. How are situations and regions today reflections of the past? Students use a wide range of both primary and secondary sources in their studies from multimedia and journal articles to first‑hand accounts and period artwork. In addition to traditional tests and quizzes, presentations, debate, writing and discussion are all emphasized methods of assessment.

List of 6 members.

  • Photo of Kathleen Czop

    Kathleen Czop 

    International Student Adviser, History Faculty, ESL Faculty
    (719) 391-5333
  • Photo of Robert Gilbert

    Robert Gilbert 

    History Faculty, Climbing Head Coach
    (719) 391-5340
  • Photo of Edward Haupt

    Edward Haupt 

    History Faculty, Interim Co-Director, Sinclaire House Director
    (719) 391-5327
  • Photo of Mike Payne

    Mike Payne 

    History Department Chair, Head Hockey Coach, Sage West House Director
    (719) 391-5335
  • Photo of Penny Steele

    Penny Steele 

    History and English Faculty
    (719) 391-5420
  • Photo of Simon Walker

    Simon Walker 

    History Faculty, Round Square Director, Figge House Director
    (719) 391-5377
FVS is a private, college-preparatory, co-ed, day and boarding school for grades 9-12 in Colorado Springs.
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