Social Studies

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” – Nelson Mandela

The ACSS Social Studies Department offers a wide variety of academic courses for students in grades 9 through 12. The aim of Social Studies is to help students develop into global citizens who are able to think critically about past and present events, are empathetic and socially responsible, and can confidently apply historical thinking and inquiry skills. At present, the new BC Curriculum is fully implemented in all areas of Social Studies.

Our Department:

  • Brooke Leary – Department Head, Social Studies 10, Social Justice 12
  • Debbie Cave, Social Studies 10
  • Sarah Chan, Social Studies 10
  • Brendan Perry, Law Studies 12
  • Ashley Ross, Economic Theory 12, Genocide Studies 12
  • Chris Wilkie, Socials Grade 9, Socials Studies 10, 20th Century World History 12

Courses we are currently offering:

Social Studies 9

What divides and unites us? Using various revolutions as case studies, students will learn about the conditions that allowed new ideas to flourish and assess their immediate and long-term impacts. These observations will set the foundation for learning about the different viewpoints of nationalism and imperialism. Students will analyze the disparities in power and understand more about the balance of relationships between individuals and society. Topics for discussion will include Canada’s path to Confederation, effects of colonialism on First Peoples, along with the challenges and contributions of Canadian immigration. Expanding on themes of conflict and autonomy, students will also begin to study the First World War. Overall, students completing Social Studies 9 will be able to tell a fuller, more inclusive story about Canada and have a sense of their own place in Canada’s past, present, and future.

Social Studies 10

Prerequisite: Social Studies 9

What is the Canadian Identity? This course looks at the history of Canada in the Twentieth century, exploring and analyzing world events from the great depression, WW2, the cold war, and the United Nations. We also investigate the development of multiculturalism and human rights in Canada, defining who we are and what we want Canada to be. In addition, students study the global village, looking at major geographic and environmental concerns, the impact of population growth, and the differences and dependencies between the developed and the developing nations. Students also look at the political aspect of citizenship by studying Canadian government through an interactive simulation. Current events, focused on local, national and international news, is integrated throughout the course.

20th Century World History

Prerequisite: Social Studies 10

The Twentieth Century was an era of turbulence and change, a time period that witnessed 2 world wars, the rise and fall of dictators, unspeakable atrocities, and the emergence of universal human rights. In this course we will debate the inevitability of WW1, recreate the treaty of Versailles, analyze the rise of totalitarian leaders such as Hitler, Stalin, and Mussolini, and study in depth the details and implications of the Second World War. This course covers the vastly engaging topics of the Cold War, the Civil Rights Movement, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the beginnings of the war on terror, and the development of the United Nations. We will use debates, simulations, discussions, and inquiry projects to better understand the intricate past that has resulted in the world we live in today.

Economic Theory 12

Prerequisite: Social Studies 10

Planning on taking a Business degree? Or looking for the answer to “how is social studies relevant to me”? This course will explore the connections between economic theory and practice in the world markets by growing a deep understanding of past trends, lessons and future predictions. Is capitalism the best system? How did markets develop? Why did the world face a recession in 2008? What causes the fluctuations in oil prices, and how is it influencing different economies? How does investment work? Learn to interpret financial information and use it. Besides, economics can tell you when the best time is to rob a bank.

Genocide Studies 12

Prerequisite: Social Studies 10

Over 800,000 people were killed by machete in only 100 days in 1994– for the most part, the world sat back and watched. What is genocide, and how does it happen? From the earliest days of written history, humanity has perpetrated some of the most heinous acts against itself—from North American colonization to the Jewish Holocaust, the elimination of Armenians in Turkey to intentional famines in Ukraine, the Japanese occupation of China and Korea to Cambodian killing fields, the Rwandan ‘civil’ war to Darfur and, unfortunately, many others. Learn about regimes that have benefitted from the cultural or physical destruction of specific groups of people. What are the stages of genocide, how can we identify it, and then prevent it? What systems are in place to combat it? Finally, how do we overcome and reconcile after acts of genocide have taken place? How do we, as humans, recover from the worst of our own atrocities?


Prerequisite: Social Studies 10

All citizens should know their legal rights and responsibilities because “ignorance of the law is no excuse.” Students will first learn the purpose and historical roots of our legal system as well as their rights and freedoms set in our Charter of Rights and Freedoms. We will discuss criminal offences, defences, and the different types of forensic evidence that is involved when trying to solve a criminal case. We will end with a unit on Civil Law in which we will learn about legal disputes between two people including accidental and intentional harms as well as family law disputes such as divorce and child custody. Throughout the course we will be discussing controversial issues such as the notwithstanding clause, the death penalty, tough on crime legislation, and wrongfully imprisoned individuals who were let down by our justice system. Assessments in this course vary from class discussions, collaborative projects, unit exams, a persuasive essay, chapter quizzes, and personal inquiries.

Social Justice

Prerequisite: Social Studies 10

This is a current events focused course, organized around the theme of global injustice. We will examine immediate, pressing issues facing our world and attempt to determine the causes, impacts and possible courses of action to help facilitate a better earth. We will use current news media, class debates and discussions, personal inquiries, and guest speakers to explore human rights issues in topics such as poverty, homelessness, global conflict, terrorism, genocide, refugees, consumerism, and gender equality. Students will examine various local and international aid organizations, and learn to become a leader in global change. This course will revolve around student interest, and changes in response to world events. Through this course students will gain relevant world knowledge and will hopefully be inspired and empowered to make this world a better place.

Aldergrove Community Secondary

26850 - 29 Avenue, Langley
BC, V4W 3C1
Phone: 604-856-2521
Fax: 604-856-9648