Roxbury Latin boys study history in order to know themselves as moral persons, as participants in the human story, and as members of the human family. Human nature is revealed and defined by humanity’s past deeds, and knowledge of these deeds is indispensable to a person’s understanding of his own nature and potential. Students see the greatness and fragility of human nature, and familiarity with humanity’s high and low moments is essential to a realistic understanding of oneself and a balanced perspective on the world.
Studying history prepares students for full citizenship in the human community. A deliberate and committed participation is possible today only with a broad and deep awareness of the variety and complexity of cultures and institutions past and present.
History courses employ a variety of materials in addition to traditional textbooks: primary source documents, historical fiction, works of art, and monographs. Students generally study a limited amount of material thoroughly rather than view a large amount superficially, although we are guided by College Entrance Examination Board prescriptions in U.S. Government & Politics, Modern European History, Economics, and Art History, which prepare students for advanced placement tests, and our Class VI course offers a broad exposure to human history to lay a foundation for future learning, both in the classroom and beyond. Boys in Classes I and II may also choose among several history and social science electives that vary annually.