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"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."
- Margaret Mead

Through an active exploration of the cultural, political and economic institutions that shape our world, students develop skills to critically reflect on modern social challenges from a variety of perspectives: historical, political, ethical, and multicultural. Students become aware of the privileges, responsibilities, limitations, and challenges of preserving a representative democracy, and gain skills to become active participants in creating a more just and respectful society - whether they pursue journalism, law, medicine, politics, policy, social work, or other forms of leadership.

Student in class
SST103: Advanced World History

Incorporating the historical thinking framework developed by UC Berkeley’s History Social-Science Project, 9th graders examine the key political, social, cultural, and economic movements and events that have shaped the modern world.

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SST621: AP Human Geography

This interdisciplinary course introduces students to the cultural, political and economic patterns and processes that shape human use and alteration of the Earth’s surface.

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SST474: Hip-Hip and Society

This course is designed to examine the growing historical, political, racial, economic, artistic and social importance of hip-hop culture through a sociological approach.


Advanced Placement Courses, including a brand new African American Studies pilot


Academic Co-Curriculars, including Debate Team and Mock Trial

Social Studies Faculty
Sarah Bremer and Nicole Sullivan, Department Co-Chairs

Sarah grew up in Hawaii before earning her BA and MA from UC Berkeley. She has been teaching at O’Dowd since 2006, where she loves hearing students share their ideas about geography and psychology.


Originally from San Francisco, Nicole earned her BS in Psychology from St. Mary’s College before starting at O’Dowd in 2017. Her favorite subject is English, because she enjoys the skills students learn and the creativity they express.

Sarah Bremer
Sarah Bremer
Nicole Sullivan
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