History and Social Science

The history and social sciences program at The Hill is designed to introduce students to both the stories of the past and the practice of history as an intellectual discipline.

The first objective of the Department is to present the panorama of the human past in all its richness and diversity so that the student will appreciate not only the realities of the human experience but also the degree to which the present and future are the products of that past. The second is to practice the intellectual disciplines inherent in historic inquiry, which include the mastery of a defined body of factual and analytic material, as well as developing the capacity to ask the kind of questions about determinism, contingency, evolution, decline, and progress with which historians constantly grapple. Students then learn how to go about seeking answers to such questions through the informed use of the myriad historical sources available for any given historical epoch or topic.
The study of history should foster a growing sense of wonder about the human adventure as well as the capacity to read with critical care, listen with respect and attention, speak with clarity and conviction, and finally to write with grace and power. Thus the scope of historical investigation at The Hill begins with our own history in this community, our “City on The Hill,” and ranges outward in time and space to incorporate the oldest known human societies, the evolution of the modern world, the development of Western culture, and the heritage of the particular American experience.
For more information about the History and Social Sciences Department, please contact Mr. Daniel McMains '98, the McNally Chair of History and Social Sciences, at dmcmains@thehill.org.

The Case Method Project at The Hill

In 2018, McNally Chair of History and Social Sciences and Senior Master Teacher of History and Social Sciences Daniel McMains ’98 started teaching his history classes at Hill in a new way using the Case Method Project. This method was originally developed at Harvard Business School, which uses case-based teaching in its graduate-level classes. At Hill, all honors-level U.S. history classes are are completely case-based. 

Currently, Mr. McMains is one of only 300 high school teachers in the country using Harvard cases in their classes. However, he was recently recognized by the Case Method Project as the first teacher in its history to have taught 50 case studies.

History and Social Sciences Courses:

  • 20th Century History
  • World History (Honors option)
    • World History/Modern Europe
    • World History/Middle East
    • World History/Latin America
  • Power and Identity in World History (Honors option)
  • Economics
  • Economics AP
  • Advanced Economics (College Level)
  • Psychology
  • Psychology AP (College Level)
  • U.S. and Comparative Government and Politics AP*
  • Comparative Government and Politics AP*
  • U.S. Government and Politics AP
  • United States History
  • United States History (Honors)
  • United States History AP
  • Social Justice (Honors)
  • War Series (Honors option)
    • History of the Civil War (Fall)
    • History of the Second World War (Winter)
    • History of Modern Counter Insurgency (Spring)
    • History of Vietnam War (Spring)
  • Advanced History Seminar (College Level) 
  • Entrepreneurship and Social Enterprise
View course descriptions and the required prerequisites in the Course Catalog.