History & Civics

People live in the present. They plan for and worry about the future. History, however, is the study of the past. Given all the demands that press in from living in the present and anticipating what is yet to come, why bother with what has been? Given all the desirable and available branches of knowledge, why insist—as most American educational programs do—on a good bit of history? And why urge many students to study even more history than they are required despite history’s absence on high-stakes standardized testing?

We believe a cogent and ongoing study of history is necessary for the following reasons:

-To help us develop judgment in worldly affairs by understanding the past behavior of people and societies

History must serve as our laboratory, and the past must serve as our most vital evidence in the quest to figure out why people behave the way they do in societal settings. If decision makers do not consult history, they make decisions without all of the facts.

-To help us understand change and how the community, nation and world we live in came to be

Each person’s world view is shaped by individual experiences, as well as the experiences of the group to which he or she belongs. If we are ignorant of the contemporary and historical experiences of a variety of cultures, then we cannot hope to understand why people, communities or nations behave the way they do or make the decisions they make.

-To help us develop essential skills for good citizenship

Citizens are not born capable of ruling. They must be educated to rule wisely and justly. The cornerstone of democracy is the informed citizen, which we believe was the intention of our Founding Fathers- a government by the people, for the people.

To inspire us

History teaches us that a single individual with great convictions or a committed group can change the world.

To help us develop essential thinking skills

The study of history and civics promote:

  • Reading at the evaluation, synthesis, analysis and interpretation levels
  • Analytical thinking skills through writing
  • Analytical thinking

It is in history lessons that students learn skills ranging from reading a map to making an argument. Students learn how to assess the validity of evidence, evaluate conflicting points of view and apply facts to making decisions.

How does PCCA’s history and civics curriculum compare?



Month PCCA History Local Public School Social Studies
September Identify Seven Continents.
American Flag, Pledge of
Allegiance. Maps and Globes
Lessons we learn from our families
October Christopher Columbus, Europe Let’s get along with each other
November Pilgrims, Native Americans,
North America
Exploring Seasons
December Native Americans, Antarctica,
North and South Poles
Your Neighborhood. Cities, suburbs,
rural communities
January Past and Present Presidents, 4th
of July. Important landmarks
Holidays and Celebrations
February Presidents, Mount Rushmore,
South America. Compare North
and South America
Learn telephone number, play telephone
March White House, Asia, Locate
more landmarks
Write letters
April Statue of Liberty, Australia,
Name the four Oceans
Difference between wants and needs
May Review American History,
Review the Continents, Review
Map skills
Importance of Water. Earth Day. Rainforest