At Brookwood, social studies prepares kids to think. Students learn to question the sources of their information, to examine multiple perspectives on an issue, and to identify bias. Primary sources are used wherever possible; for example, when students study Columbus, they read the letters that the explorer himself wrote, rather than just a textbook. They identify the groups and cultures of which they and others are a part, and they come to appreciate the foundations of each. They study maps, and they make them. They compare and contrast. They use evidence to persuade, and they seek it in the arguments of others. Our students make connections. Social studies and history come alive because teachers encourage students to connect their studies with the world around them.
Teachers at Brookwood tap into the rich cultural network of both the North Shore and Boston to complement class work. Students recall witch hunts at the House of Seven Gables. They literally climb inside the globe at the unique Mapparium, part of the Mary Baker Eddy Center in Boston. Older students travel to the Eighth District Courthouse, where they serve as jurors in mock trials sponsored by the Harvard Law School Trial Advocacy Program. Fourth graders explore America’s Stonehenge in Salem, NH. Exciting, relevant, challenging—all attributes of the social studies program at Brookwood.