Carson Graham Secondary
North Vancouver School District
Individuals & Societies (Social Studies) Courses
Individuals and Societies Year 3 (Social Studies 8)

This curriculum focuses on world civilizations from the 7th century to 1750. This course is framed by both Curricular and the  Core Competencies of Communication, Thinking and Personal and Social. By the end of Individuals and Societies Year 3, students are expected to know the social, political and economic systems and structures of societies, including at least one indigenous civilizations, scientific and technological innovations,  the exchange of ideas, goods and the arts by different civilizations. In addition, students will examine exploration, expansion and colonization, as well as changes in population and living standards.  The Big Ideas that students will be examining are:

  • Contacts and conflicts between peoples stimulated significant cultural, social, political change.
  • Human and environmental factors shape changes in population and living standards
  • Exploration, expansion, and colonization had varying consequences for different groups
  • Changing ideas about the world created tension between people wanting to adopt new ideas and those wanting to preserve established tradition

Individuals and Societies Year 4 (Social Studies 9)

Individuals and Societies 9 Curriculum focuses on world civilizations, including Canada from 1750-1919. This course is framed by both Curricular and Core Competencies of Communication, Thinking and Personal and Social. By the end of Individuals and Societies Year 4, students are expected to know about political, social, economic and technological revolutions, the continuing effects of imperialism and colonialism on Indigenous peoples in Canada and around the world. The course also will critically examine the discriminatory policies of the Canadian government. Students will also learn about global demographics, migration and immigration, nationalism, the development of the modern state, including Canada, conflicts, both local, regional and global. Canada's physiographic features and geological processes will also be addressed.  The Big Ideas that students will be examining are:

  • Emerging ideas and ideologies profoundly influence societies and events.
  • The physical environment influences the nature of political, social, and economic change.
  • Disparities in power alter the balance of relationships between individuals and between societies
  • Collective identity is constructed and can change over time.

Individuals and Societies Year 5 (Social Studies 10)  4 credits

Individuals and Societies 10 curriculum focuses on the study of Canada and the World from 1919 to present. Topics of study will include the development, structure and function of Canadian political institutions and government including First Peoples governance, political ideologies. In addition, students will examine the changing concepts of Canadian identity, both locally and internationally through domestic conflict and cooperation, political and economic development and impacts on the environment. Students will critically examine the discriminatory policies and injustices in Canada and the world, such as the Head Tax, the Komagata Maru incident, residential schools, Truth and Reconciliation and internments. The Big Ideas in Individuals and Societies Year 5 are:

  • Global and regional conflicts have been a powerful force in shaping our contemporary world and identities
  • The development of political institutions is influenced by economic, social, ideological, and geographic factors
  • Worldviews lead to different perspectives and ideas about developments in Canadian society
  • Historical and contemporary injustices challenge the narrative and identity of Canada as an inclusive, multicultural society

IB HISTORY 11 (SL) 4 credits

IB HISTORY 12 (SL & HL) 4 credits each

IB History (HL) is a two year course that focuses on the history of the Americas and provides students with a dual perspective: an in-depth chronological study of one region of the world, and a broad comparative analysis of many countries' responses to the forces, events and personalities of the 20th Century. The topics and subjects of study selected for this course, including an investigation of the rise and development of democratic states in the twentieth century, their interdependencies, challenges and tensions, will be explored in detail within the context of attempts at peacemaking and peaceful coexistence in international and cultural relations. The students are encouraged to reflect on the role of the historian. Does the historian record history or create it? Can the historian be free of bias in the selection and interpretation of material? Could it be reasonably argued that the individual perception of the historian, despite possible bias, is necessary or even desirable in the interpretation and recording of history?

History may be chosen as an IB Certificate course for students in regular stream courses who wish to extend their learning to a first year university level. At certain institutions (students must research the transfer credit policy of their university-of-choice), students who achieve a score of 5, 6, or 7 as their final grade may receive university transfer credit for a first year History course.

IB GEOGRAPHY 11 (SL) 4 credits

IB GEOGRAPHY 12 (SL & HL) 4 credits each

IB Geography is a two year course of study that seeks to understand the differences in patterns of human distribution, interrelationships between human society and the physical environment, people's use of the Earth in time and space and how these differences are related to people's cultures and economies. Geographers recognize that interaction between humans and their environment has always been mutual, and that the growth of technology has increased the human capacity to modify the environment. At the core of the syllabus are the interrelated themes of population, resources and development, with the latter encompassing concepts derived from both economic and quality-of-life principles. Accompanying the core is a series of options in physical geography, each stressing issues of human management and response. A second series of options in human geography addresses the concept of the region and a sense of place, forms of settlement, and human production activities in agriculture, manufacturing and globalization. A third section provides an option demonstrating the importance of site in providing constraints on, and opportunities for, human activity and therefore affecting the landscape. Skill-oriented, and highlighting the distinctive use of mapping and similar techniques used by geographers, the option seeks to integrate human and physical aspects of the subject through topographic maps, other maps and images.

Geography may be selected as an IB Certificate course for students in regular stream courses who wish to extend their learning to a first year university level. At certain institutions (students must research the transfer credit policy of their university-of-choice), students who achieve a score of 5, 6, or 7 as their final grade may receive university transfer credit for a first year Geography course.


Explorations in Social Studies 11  4 credits

This course is a survey course, but one that will focus on issues and trends of the 21st century.  While each unit will begin with a review of the historical context of the issues or trends, the primary focus will be on current and topical issues that are impacting our world. Topics will include, among others: rapid industrialization, urbanization, and economic growth caused by the Russian and Chinese Communist Revolutions, the refugee crisis along with past and current genocides, and innovations for a sustainable future with the incorporation of new technology and artificial intelligence. Students interested in this course must be motivated to bring their own ideas and passions as well as a willingness to research and discover. 


20th Century History 12  4 credits

This course will focus on the history of the 20th Century including the rise and rule of authoritarian regimes, civil wars, independence movements and revolutions. Global conflicts including World War I, World War II, and the Cold War will also be covered.  Human rights movements including those of Indigenous peoples, as well religious, ethnic and or cultural conflicts including genocide, will be explored including the impacts of migrations, movements and territorial boundaries. Interdependence, international cooperation, social and cultural development including mass consumption and production of communication and transportation technologies are also studies during this course.

Comparative Cultures 12 4 credits

This course will focus on the themes of definitions of culture and how these have changed over time including the elements of culture and cultural expression, interactions and exchange between cultures and the natural environment.  In addition there will be an examination of conflict and conflict resolution within and between cultures, the systems of power, authority and governance and what role value and belief systems play in the development of culture.

Contemporary Indigenous Studies 12  4 credits

This course will focus on the varied identities and worldviews of Indigenous peoples, and the importance of the interconnection of family relationships, language, culture and the land. There will be a further exploration of factors that sustain and challenge the identities and worldviews of Indigenous peoples including building an understanding of colonial impacts and the resilience and survival of Indigenous peoples. Students will gain an understanding of the process and issues involved in the development of community partnerships and economic opportunities. This course further examines the responses to inequities in the relationships of indigenous peoples with governments in Canada and globally. Students will have the opportunity to develop an understanding of the Truth and Reconciliation process in Canada and around the world.

Genocide Studies 12  4 credits

This course will focus on the origins and development of the tern 'genocide' and the economic, political, social and cultural conditions of genocide. Students will study the characteristics, stages and strategies to commit genocide by focusing on acts of mass violence and atrocities in different global regions. An analysis of the uses of technology to promote and carry out genocide will also be covered. Students will learn about the recognition and responses to genocide including the controversies regarding denial and attempts to minimize the scope of genocides globally. Students will examine the evidence use to demonstrate the scale and nature of genocide and how this is influenced and impacted by international law.

Human Geography 12  4 credits

This course examines where and why human activities occur across the global. It is a critical study of the human experience and the origins of cultural and economic patterns. Students analyze the relationship between human activities and their impact on the environment. It also encourages the development of international awareness by examining contemporary issues such as poverty, sustainability and resource consumption. As the course progresses, students deepen their understanding of the challenges the world faces by exploring themes such as urbanization and the uneven access to health and food. While thinking globally, students act locally to build an awareness of their own responsibility to their community. Supporting this, the fieldwork component of the course will be on a local scale where students collect and analyze data then present their work in a written report.  This course runs simultaneously with IB Geography 11 with its content, pace and assessment. Students can continue on with this course in Grade 12 as a Certificate course, thereby earning 4 more credits and possible university credit. Please see the teachers for details.

Supplemental Fee $60

Law Studies 12  4 credits

This course focuses on the key areas of law including criminal, civil and family law. Students will learn about the foundations of Canadian law, including the structures and powers of the federal and provincial courts and administrative tribunals. The course examines the Constitution of Canada and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Students will have the opportunity to learn about legislation concerning First Peoples, the role of the judiciary as a constitutional check, the correctional system, laws regarding children and youth. This course also studies legal resources and services and the structures and roles of global dispute resolutions agencies.


Physical Geography 12 4 credits 

This course will focus on the many interactions that are found in the world around us. The ever increasing impact of humanity on the global environment and the way that the planet influences human structures will be one of the main areas of study. We will also study global systems such as weather, climate, and the way that they affect the living environment. We will explore plate tectonics, earthquakes, tsunamis, tornadoes, hurricanes and other natural disasters. Planet earth is an interconnected system and Geography 12 will investigate the interconnected nature of the globe using the inquiry process.

Political Studies 12  4 credits

This course will focus on the structure and function of Canadian and First Peoples political institutions. Students will learn about major ideologies and political systems, the election process and electoral systems. Power relationships between citizens, government and other bodies in the creation of public policy will be covered as well as the scope and characteristics of the international systems. Students will study issues in local, regional and national politics as well as global politics including security, conflict management, development and sustainability. The role of mass media in democratic societies will also be explored.

Psychology 12   4 credits

 *Please note that this course does not fulfill the Grade 11/12 Social Studies requirement as it is a locally developed course.

Psychology 12 is a course that provides students with an understanding of mental processes and human behaviour. Through the exploration of basic concepts in modern psychology, this course offers a general overview of the five major psychological domains: methods, neuroscience, cognitive, social, and developmental. This course has been designed to help students recognize the key role that psychology plays in contemporary affairs of humankind. Students will learn to critically think about human behaviour and communicate ideas about associated behavioral complexities. As students develop greater awareness of their relationship to oneself and others through psychological frameworks, they will have opportunities to explore various topics including: the historical roots of psychology, personality, neuroscience, mindfulness, development, sensation, perception, learning, memory, intelligence, emotion, stress, motivation, social psychology and psychological disorders.