Category Archives: Social Studies

Old Tactics, New Times: Pushback and Breakthroughs in the Struggle for Civil Rights (Larry Metzger)

The photograph above depicts one of the turning points in the Civil Rights Movement, which was, in turn, one of the defining events in recent United States history. What is the story behind that photograph? This is a course about the Civil Rights Movement and the continuing struggle for racial justice in America. It is also a course about the nature of race and racism in the United States. How and why did whites establish racial segregation in the United States? How did the Civil Rights Movement begin? What choices did people – white and black, leaders and plain folks – make and how did those choices shape the movement? How successful was the movement? What is the state of civil rights in the United States today? If these questions intrigue you, please join me.

About the instructor:

I am a volunteer who has been facilitating classes at PSCS since the fall of 2015. In past years I taught an earlier version of this course on the Civil Rights Movement, as well as classes on the Vietnam War, and Nazi Germany and the Holocaust. I currently live in Santa Fe, New Mexico with my wife, Elizabeth, and our dog, Dr. Norman (we moved here this past August). One of my greatest regrets about leaving Seattle was that I would no longer be able to teach at PSCS: I have always enjoyed the enthusiasm and intellectual curiosity of PSCS students. So, this fall I was delighted to discover that, through the magic of ZOOM, I have the opportunity to continue to work with PSCS and its wonderful students.

Current Events (elizabeth ortega)

Note: This class is open to middle school students only.

This class was so enjoyable, let’s continue! If you have already taken current events I would love to have you back and if you are new, welcome.

Every week we will dive into a different topic. We will gather opinions about what global issues, political matters, current news, etc. we want to explore and then start there. We will read articles, watch short videos, listen to news segments, and look at photos regarding the issue at hand.

You will have asynchronous time to complete an assignment each week and then, the following week, we will engage in small group discussion. What did you learn? What surprised you? What do you still wonder?



World Cultural Geography & World Religions (Sam)

Note: This class is open to high school students only.


World Cultural Geography will take a journey around the world to learn about the physical and human geography of various regions. Students will explore the history of each region and examine the political, economic, and cultural characteristics of the world in which we live.

World Religions is a Social Studies course which will examine religion through a historical, social, political, and economic lens. Students will understand the connections between religion and society, and the many ways these two ideas are intertwined. By looking at both the origins of religion and our modern world, students will have a fuller understanding of the beliefs, culture, and conflicts surrounding the religions of the world.

Required texts/materials: The instructor will procure the texts/materials.

Black History through Stories and Songs (Sam)

Note: This class is open to middle school students only.

Exploring the journey of Blacks in America offers a deeper understanding of a culture that is always fighting. So many people share accounts of both struggles and triumphs. There are many stories that we have heard, and so many more that need to be heard! Along with those stories are songs that tell of a painful past, yet share about a glorious future. This class will be about hearing both familiar and not, while gathering a better understanding of why this history matters.

Required texts/materials: The instructor will procure the texts/materials.

Constitutional Law, Continued (Nic)

Note: This class is open to high school students only.





Open only to participants from the fall term course.