Social Studies

Grounded in the Aims of a Punahou Education, the Academy Social Studies curriculum is devoted to providing a learning environment in which students:

  • Become literate, aware and concerned citizens, learning how to function as positive, contributing members of society
  • Cultivate empathy and moral attitudes to inspire and encourage students to take moral action
  • Foster creativity, critical thinking and collaboration as skills necessary to meet the demands and challenges of the global community
  • Understand relationships between people, events, geography and cultural conditions in today’s interconnected world
  • Derive historical significance from events through understanding the impact of the past on the present and future
  • Develop a sense of the Hawaiian culture and their unique cultural identities along with an appreciation of diversity and perspectives
  • Cultivate the qualities of curiosity, resourcefulness and resilience
  • Are encouraged to reach and express their own conclusions, hone oral and written communication skills and develop media and information literacy

Graduation Requirements

Three and one-half credits must be earned, beginning with a required “Gateway” course taken in the ninth grade which may be either Introduction to Social Studies (one-half credit), World Civilizations (one credit) or a Global Sustainability by Design course (one credit). After completing the Gateway course, students must take at least one semester of Asian History in grade 10, one of the yearlong U.S. History options in grade 11 and both European History and Senior Capstone in grade 12.

Only one credit in Summer School courses may be applied towards the three and one-half credits required for graduation. A student may take either ISS between eighth and ninth grades or Asian History between ninth and tenth grades, but not both; and either the first half of U.S. History between tenth and eleventh grades or either of the two required senior courses between eleventh and twelfth grades, but not both.