Social StudiesBMHS Students and Faculty travel to Rome, Italy in 2014.

History and Social Studies are integral to a student's liberal education. The disciplines involved teach thought process, intellectual attitudes, and analytic methods that shape the way students look at the past, the present and the future. The Social Studies Department stresses the objective analysis of facts by the individual, the structuring of those facts to form a hypothesis and the presentation of both the facts and the hypothesis in a logical form. It is hoped that history students will come to understand the significance of the past; to develop historical empathy; to understand historical causation and the role of the individual and of change in history; and to realize that the world and the United States are both made up of many diverse cultures, yet in case of the world, there is a shared humanity, and in the case of the United States, a shared culture and common experience. Four credits of Social Studies are required for graduation.

Bishop McNamara is an affiliate with the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. The Affiliate School Program is a unique gateway to educational resources, events and tools designed to bring American history to life in the classroom.

Faculty

The BMHS Social Studies Department faculty members have lived in, studied in, or toured a combined total of over 95 countries, allowing them to share firsthand experiences that enhance cultural studies in the classroom.

Mr. Michael Pozniak, Social Studies chair, was awarded a 2014 Keizai Koho Center Teacher Fellowship to travel and study in Japan from June 30 to July 12, 2014.

Social Studies Department Courses

Government & Politics

Honors Government & Politics

Western Civilization

Honors Western Civilization

AP European History

US History

Honors US History

AP US History

Global Studies

Honors Global Studies

Psychology

AP Psychology

African American Studies

Economics

History & Film

Popular Music in 20th Century America

Women's Studies

Travel

The Social Studies department sponsored a trip to Italy during the Easter Break 2014. Mr. Geoffrey Molchan, Western Civilization teacher, led 20 Bishop McNamara students on this exciting and enriching tour of the historical wonders of Florence, Venice, Assisi, Rome, and the ancient city of Pompeii. The purpose of the trip was to not only open students to foreign cultures and history, but to hopefully inspire them to spend time abroad during their college years for study and future travel.

Honor Societies

On May 14, 2014, Bishop McNamara's new Social Studies Honor Society, Rho Kappa, inducted its first 24 members in the Moreau Chapel. Congratulations to these deserving 11th and 12th grade students for their hard work and demonstration of their commitment to excellence in the social studies curriculum.

Social Studies Department FAQs

Why do we study history?

"If I have seen a little further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants." Sir Isaac Newton

"Who controls the past controls the future." George Orwell

"I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past." Thomas Jefferson

"History is a broken mirror that does not cast a clear reflection." Geoffrey Molchan

The Social Studies Department faculty members have lived in, studied in or toured a combined total of over 95 countries, allowing them to share firsthand experiences that enhance cultural studies in the classroom.

Are there any overseas trips available for students?

Yes. While the exact destination of overseas trips for students may vary from year to year, in the past the Social Studies department has sponsored (or co-sponsored with the Foreign Language department) trips to Italy, Greece and Spain. These trips have typically occurred during the school's annual Spring Break. Service learning trips (not sponsored by the Social Studies Department) have also occasionally been undertaken to locations such as the Philippines and East Africa. Such trips generally are initiated by student interest.

What philosophy guides the teaching of Social Studies at Bishop McNamara?

History and Social Studies are integral to a student's Holy Cross education. The disciplines involved teach thought processes, intellectual attitudes, and analytic methods that shape the way students look at the past, the present, and the future.

The Social Studies Department stresses the objective analysis of facts by the individual, the structuring of those facts to form a hypothesis, and the presentation of both the facts and the hypothesis in a logical form.

It is hoped that history students will come to understand the significance of the past; to develop historical empathy; to understand historical causation and the role of the individual and of change in history; and to realize that the world and the United States are both made up of many diverse cultures, yet in the case of the world, there is a shared humanity, and in the case of the United States, a shared culture and a common experience.

Department Contacts

Michael Pozniak
Social Studies Chair
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Thomas Ballenger
Teacher
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Charmayne Clark | 1985
Teacher
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Shawn Dougherty
Teacher
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Herman Gloster | 1996
Teacher
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Tierra Jolly | 2000
Teacher
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Laura Keller
Teacher
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Geoffrey Molchan
Teacher
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Chris Williams
Teacher
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Bishop McNamara High School
6800 Marlboro Pike, Forestville, MD 20747
Phone: 301.735.8401
Fax: 301.735.0934
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