"If you want peace, work for justice."

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At Stephen Lewis SS, our students gain insight into their social science subjects through classroom learning, guest speakers, as well as opportunities for fieldtrips. The social sciences embed literacy and numeracy within our courses to support student success. Further, the social sciences also entrench a social justice and sustainability lens to provide students with relevant and engaging experiences.

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Social Science Initiatives

  • Green Revolution
  • EcoSchools
  • Human Rights
  • Debate Club
  • Mock Trial
  • Model United Nations (coming soon 2016/2017)

Courses We Offer

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At Stephen Lewis S.S. the grade 9 Geography course examines interrelationships within and between Canada’s natural and human systems and how these systems interconnect with those in other parts of the world. Students will draw on personal and everyday experiences as they learn about Canada’s distinct and changing character. Students explore environmental, economic, and social geographic issues relating to topics such as transportation options, energy choices, and urban development. Students will apply the concepts of geographic thinking and the geographic inquiry process, including spatial technologies, to investigate various geographic issues and to develop possible approaches for making Canada a more sustainable place to live.

SLSS students planting trees at Bishop Stoke Park

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The grade 10 History course at SLSS explores social, economic, and political developments and events and their impact on the lives of different groups in Canada since 1914. Students examine the role of conflict and cooperation in Canadian society, Canada’s evolving role within the global community, and the impact of various individuals, organizations, and events on Canadian identity, citizenship, and heritage. They will develop their ability to apply the concepts of historical thinking and the historical inquiry process, including the interpretation and analysis of evidence, when investigating key issues and events in Canadian history since 1914.

The grade 11 History course investigates the history of humanity from earliest times to the sixteenth century. Students will analyse diverse societies from around the world, with an emphasis on the political, cultural, and economic structures and historical forces that have shaped the modern world. They will apply historical inquiry, critical-thinking, and communication skills to evaluate the influence of selected individuals, groups, and innovations and to present their own conclusions.

The grade 12 History course is a university preparation course that weaves together European and world history since 1600. In Unit 1, the course begins with a European perspective on culture and religion and then delves into the controversial question of the impact of European exploration and colonization on the Americas. While Unit 2 studies European events such as the Enlightenment, French Revolution and Napoleon, it also explores world issues such as the slaves trade and self-determination of previously enslaved populations. Unit 3 also starts with a European focus, such as the Industrial Revolution and Imperialism but moves on to address how these affected the non-Western world. Unit 4 looks at World War One, the Russian Revolution, Women’s Equality, the Holocaust and the response of the rest of the world to Western modernity in the 20th century.

Civics and Citizenship

The Civics course at SLSS explores rights and responsibilities associated with being an active citizen in a democratic society. Students will explore issues of civic importance such as healthy schools, community planning, environmental responsibility, and the influence of social media, while developing their understanding of the role of civic engagement and of political processes in the local, national, and/or global community. Students will apply the concepts of political thinking and the political inquiry process to investigate, and express informed opinions about, a range of political issues and developments that are both of significance in today’s world and of personal interest to them.

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Travel and Tourism

This course focuses on travel and tourism as the vehicle for studying selected world regions. Using a variety of geotechnologies and inquiry and communication methods, students will conduct and present case studies that develop their understanding of the unique characteristics of selected world regions; the environmental, cultural, economic, and political factors that influence travel and tourism; and the impact of the travel industry on communities and environments around the world.

Law/Legal Studies

The grade 11 Law course at SLSS explores Canadian law with a focus on legal issues that are relevant to people’s everyday lives. Students will investigate fundamental legal concepts and processes to gain a practical understanding of Canada’s legal system, including the criminal justice system. Students will use critical-thinking, inquiry, and communication skills to develop informed opinions on legal issues and apply this knowledge in a variety of ways and settings, including case analysis, legal research projects, mock trials, and debates.

The grade 12 Law course examines elements of Canadian and international law in social, political, and global contexts. Students will study the historical and philosophical sources of law and the principles and practices of international law and will learn to relate them to issues in Canadian society and the wider world. Students will use critical-thinking and communication skills to analyse legal issues, conduct independent research, and present the results of their inquiries in a variety of ways.

The grade 12 Legal Studies course provides a foundation for students who wish to pursue a career that requires an understanding of law. Students will explore the importance of law and analyse contemporary legal issues and their relevance to daily life. They will investigate the requirements for various law-related careers as well as legal responsibilities in the workplace. Students will apply the concepts of legal thinking and the legal studies inquiry process to investigate their rights and responsibilities, legal processes and structures, and the role of law in a changing society.

World Issues

The grade 12 World Issues course at SLSS examines the global challenges of creating a sustainable and equitable future, focusing on current issues that illustrate these challenges. Students will investigate a range of topics including culture, economic, and geopolitical relationships, regional disparities in the ability to meet basic human needs, and protection of the natural environment. Students will use geo-technologies and skills of geographic inquiry and analysis to develop and communicate balanced opinions about the complex issuesfacing Canada and a world that is interdependent and constantly changing.

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The grade 11 Economics course examines the changing Canadian economy and helps students develop an understanding of their role as economic agents. Students will apply economic models and concepts to assess the roles of the various stakeholders in the Canadian economy and analyze the interactions among them. Students will consider the economic behaviour of the individual as consumer, contributor, and citizen in a mixed economy and will apply economic inquiry, critical thinking, and communication skills to make and defend informed economic decisions.

The grade 12 Economics course examines current Canadian and international economic issues, developments, policies, and practices from diverse perspectives. Students will explore the decisions that individuals and institutions, including governments, make in response to economic issues such as globalization, trade agreements, economic inequalities, regulation, and public spending. Students will apply the concepts of economic thinking and the economic inquiry process, as well as economic models and theories, to investigate, and develop informed opinions about, economic trade-offs, growth, and sustainability and related economic issues.

Native Studies

The grade 11 Current Aboriginal Issues in Canada course focuses on existing and emerging issues of national and regional importance of concern to Aboriginal peoples in Canada. Students will analyze diverse perspectives from a variety of sources such as media, academic works and public opinion polls on events and developments related to land, community, governance, identity and culture. Using political thinking concepts and the political inquiry process students will explore their own and others’ ideas, investigate an issue to determine what needs to change, why and appropriate problem solving strategies.

Anthropology, Psychology and Sociology (HSP)

The HSP course at SLSS introduces the theories, questions, and issues that are the major concerns of anthropology, psychology, and sociology. Students will develop an understanding of the way social scientists approach the topics they study and the research methods they employ. Students will be given opportunities to explore theories from a variety of perspectives and to become familiar with current thinking on a range of issues that have captured the interest of classical and contemporary social scientists in the three disciplines. Students will be encouraged to apply these skills to a wide range of issues that impact society and to critically examine current thinking on these issues.

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World Religions

The grade 11 World Religions course enables students to discover what others believe and how they live, and to appreciate their own unique heritage. Students will learn about the teachings and traditions of a variety of religions, the connections between religion and the development of civilizations, the place and function of religion in human experience, and the influence of a broad range of religions on contemporary society. This course also introduces students to skills used in researching and investigating world religions.

Equity and Social Justice

The Equity and Social Justice course at SLSS enables students to develop an understanding of the theoretical, social, and historical underpinnings of various equity and social justice issues and to analyse strategies for bringing about positive social change. Students will learn about historical and contemporary equity and social justice issues in Canada and globally. They will explore power relations and the impact of a variety of factors on equity and social justice. Students will develop and apply research skills and will design and implement a social action initiative relating to an equity or social justice issue. Students are challenged to critically examine their own beliefs about social justice and are given frequent opportunities to consider that the ways in which they see their world help them to become conscientious citizens who work to create a positive change in their own community and, by extension, in the global community.

Student work displayed around the school for Black History Month

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SLSS staff and students participating in the 'walk a mile' in her shoes event

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The grade 12 Philosophy course enables students to acquire an understanding of the nature of philosophy and philosophical reasoning skills and to develop and apply their knowledge and skills while exploring specialized branches of philosophy (the course will cover at least three of the following branches: metaphysics, ethics, epistemology, philosophy of science, social and political philosophy, aesthetics). Students will develop critical thinking and philosophical reasoning skills as they formulate and evaluate arguments related to a variety of philosophical questions and theories. They will also develop research and inquiry skills related to the study and practice of philosophy.

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