High School Course Catalog 2020-2021

Technical Theatre

This course will provide students with a solid foundation in all major aspects of theatre design. Instruction will focus on skills pertaining to drafting for set and lighting design. Students will make use of strategies centered on technical language, implementation, and technique. Through the course, the students will understand drafting for lighting and set design allowing the students to grow in creativity, critical thought, and analysis. This course will also work towards understanding the use of sound for theatre as well as the role of the stage manager. Students will be challenged to collaborate in groups and grow as a team as well as branch out individually to explore their own strengths and areas of interest.

Digital Music Composition​

Students will learn how to create music on a computer from the ground up. The course will cover a basic treatment of harmony and music theory, focusing additionally on manipulating and complementing harmonic compositional elements through sound design, use of plug-ins, mixing, and mastering, all of which will be taught through project work in professional music production software. Students will develop a portfolio of songs they have composed, and the exhibition in this course will be a presentation of this portfolio, answering the Essential Question: “How is music created on the computer?”

Art and Self Expression

In this class students will discover how to express themselves with the help of color, collage, and design elements. Principles of design, composition, color theory, and conceptualizing one’s ideas will be covered. Projects will vary based on self-expression approach as we explore topics like “Who am I?” “What is my relationship with myself?” “How do I relate to friends?” or “What kind of relationships do I have with my parents?” Students will be free to choose the topics that they feel most passionate about and also comfortable talking about in class with their classmates. We will use different mediums including paints, pencil, markers, and other collage elements. No artistic experience required for this class–everyone is creative and capable of expressing themselves. Essential Question: How does my art reflect who I am?

The Artist and Their World

In this class, students will do research about different artists or art movements, as well as explore the history surrounding the artist of their choice. Historically, artists have been impacted by the rise or fall of empires, religious movements, political turbulences, as well as being influenced by other artists and artistic movements, therefore, we cannot just look at an artist’s work without considering all these factors. Finally, after understanding the times the artist lived in, we can understand better how they influenced the world around them. We will learn together about artists and their art, students will develop concepts for their papers, and feedback will be given through the writing process. By the end of the class, students will have a finished research paper that they can be proud of. Essential Question: How do artists respond to and impact the world around them through their work?

Art and the Environment

This class will focus on our understanding of environmental issues and see how we, as artists, can influence an audience to be aware of the issues at stake. How do we create a thought-provoking piece of art? Students will do a bit of research on an issue of their choice, start working on sketches and concept development, and then complete the piece using different painting materials as well as masking tape or newspaper to create a three-dimensional feel to their art. There is no prerequisite for this class: I will help everyone develop their artistic voice and deliver the concept. Essential Question: What role can art play in considering environmental issues?

Instrumentals

Do you enjoy musical instruments? Have you ever wondered how they get their unique sounds? Using easily obtainable and recycled materials, students will build simple prototypes of idiophones, membranophones, aerophones, and chordophones. In the process, they will explore various designs, materials, craftsmanship, sounds, and aesthetics of each instrumental group. If possible, we will take a field trip to The House of Musical Traditions in Takoma Park, Maryland. For the final project, each student will design and build a creative instrument of his/her choice. In a science-fair style presentation, students will exhibit, explain, demonstrate, and answer questions about their instruments.

Fundamentals of Design

Students will discover all elements and principles of two-dimensional design and how to use these principles to create compelling designs. Elements of line, shape, point, color, and positive/negative space will be introduced. Then students will learn how to combine these into the principles of design such as movement, unity, and balance. Projects will focus on each element and principle of design to slowly introduce students to the creative process of creating a piece of art. There will be several projects completed that you can be proud of. Anyone can do this! I will do my best to help everyone achieve their maximum creative potential and create intriguing and well-balanced designs. Essential Question: What makes a good visual design?

Songwriting & Lyrics

Have you ever tried to find words for music? Or music for words? In this class, students will work on poetic techniques that can be used to communicate meaning in different types of song forms.Those focusing more on songwriting will explore different ways to capture and craft their ideas in a blend of music and text. As students develop their pieces, coaching and feedback will be available, and they may also work individually or collaboratively in the music lab. Credit type depends on the focus of the student’s portfolio, some of which will be shared in the class exhibition.

Introduction to Sketching and Drawing

This course focuses on the development of observational skills and drawing techniques, employing a wide range of drawing media. Students in this course will develop both technical abilities and creative responses to material and subject matter. No prior experience with drawing is required or expected. Additionally, students will learn how to critique drawings and receive criticism and advice. Learning to articulate artistic concepts and processes using discipline-specific vocabulary.

Introduction to Designing in 3 Dimensions

In this course, students will explore interiors and architectural design through 2D using AutoCAD and 3D modeling using SketchUp. Students will explore the different styles of architecture and interior design through history and learn to recreate and adapt designs to create new, exciting, and thought-provoking environments. Creativity, critical thinking, and analysis skills will be exercised and refined through the design techniques learned. By the conclusion of this course, students will have a good understanding of architecture, color theory, and basic design concepts.

Illustration

Have you ever wanted to create your own illustrations for a book you were reading, or illustrate an article, but didn’t know where to begin? Then this is the right class for you! We’ll explore different aspects of illustration from editorial to book to music albums. We’ll talk about composition, perspective, points of view, lights, darks, and atmosphere. Students will have a few finished illustrations after the quarter. Students will use any art materials that they like. No experience necessary to be part of the fun!

Painting and Drawing

In this introductory level painting and drawing class, students will learn how to use paints and how to see what they are painting or drawing. My goal is to teach you how to see and how to translate a three-dimensional space onto a two-dimensional paper or canvas. Values, composition, perspective, color theory, and mixing will be a part of the learning process. Students will draw and paint still-life, flowers, interiors, and nature using different materials and surfaces. Everyone is creative and capable, so come paint and draw with me!

The Art of the Graphic Novel

Have you ever wanted to create your own graphic novel, but didn't know how? In this class, we’ll explore different aspects of graphic novel creation from storyboarding, to illustrating your book, to developing your characters. We’ll talk about composition, perspective, points of view, lights, darks, and atmosphere. Students will have a short book done after the completion of the quarter. Students will use markers or watercolors to create their illustrations. No experience necessary to be part of the fun!

Art Outside

In this fun class, we will paint or draw outside! Observation is the key to any art! We are surrounded by beautiful nature and architecture, and most importantly, we will learn from life. How does the sun reflect upon the ground? How do shadows fall in the morning versus the afternoon? How do the colors change depending on the weather and the time of the day? So, in this class, we will paint or draw what we see around us. Come join me, it will be tons of fun!

Film Appreciation: Movies of the 1980s

This course will dive into the movie era of the 1980s. Students will explore different genres of movies of the period. These films will be placed into context and students will learn how to extrapolate and reflect on what themes, symbolism, and characteristics were predominant in this era through the use of film theory. After gaining this perspective, students will be able to discuss films on a deeper and more meaningful level.

Dancing in Strange Places

This course is designed to introduce the dancer or dance lover to the art of creating interesting, stimulating dances with which the artist is satisfied. Specifically, we will be focusing on the challenge of incorporating various locations, sets, or props into dances and how best to view those dances. Throughout the course you will get a chance to experiment with various choreographic games and exercises, learn other students’ choreography, learn to critique and talk about dance using ideas from Doris Humphrey among others, and create and perfect one or more substantial pieces for performance and/or video at the end of the course. Students should come to the class prepared to move, and perform frequently in front of their peers and random passersby. If we are learning by distance, students need to have access to some video editing software they know how to use and a person and device that can record their dances and upload to their editing software.

Digital Design

Students will learn to use professional software to visually convey information effectively. Students will learn the basics of color theory and document and photo composition as they work in Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator. They will use their skills to design logos, business cards, and flyers. One does not need to be an “Artist” to take this class.

Digital Music Composition​

Students will learn how to create music on a computer from the ground up. The course will cover a basic treatment of harmony and music theory, focusing additionally on manipulating and complementing harmonic compositional elements through sound design, use of plug-ins, mixing, and mastering, all of which will be taught through project work in professional music production software. Students will develop a portfolio of songs they have composed, and the exhibition in this course will be a presentation of this portfolio, answering the Essential Question: “How is music created on the computer?”

Study Skills and Organization

Do you want to help yourself find success at The New School and get prepared for college and beyond? Do you want to get more out of your study hall? This course will provide a time and a place for you to work, as well as individualized guidance and support for your core academic classes. We will focus on helping you develop your organization and study skills and work together to ensure you are using your time effectively.

Architectural and Interior Design​

In this course, students will explore interiors and architectural design through 2D using AutoCAD and 3D modeling using SketchUp. Students will explore the different styles of architecture and interior design through history and learn to recreate and adapt designs to create new, exciting, and thought-provoking environments. Creativity, critical thinking, and analysis skills will be exercised and refined through the design techniques learned. By the conclusion of this course, students will have a good understanding of architecture, color theory, and basic design concepts.

Filming and Editing Horror Films

One of our most basic fears is the fear of the unknown. We can control the sense of fear and suspense in our movies by controlling what the audience knows or what a character knows. A large part of our ability to do this is based on the location, angle and movement of the camera, the lighting we choose to use, the music and sound effects, the length of our clips and video editing effects and filters. A majority of the class will be spent learning to use Final Cut Pro to edit scenes that we will be filming in groups and as a class. We will briefly touch on some points of horror film history and techniques and theater makeup.

Programming with Python

This course will introduce students to computer programming with the Python programming language. Python is incredibly popular because it is easy to read; unlike other languages which emphasize arcane contextualization rules, Python is streamlined and intuitive. This will be a project-driven course; as students learn new concepts in programming, they will have the freedom to develop programs from prompts or of their own design. Experienced programmers and newcomers alike are welcome.

Digital Storytelling

In this class, we will join the host of writers who have used Twitter, Facebook, phone apps, computer games, Reddit, and more to tell compelling stories. We will question what makes literature worth studying and whether words must be on a page to have an impact, while also exploring and using the algorithms and technology used to put those words out in the world.

The Guilty Pleasure Genre: Young Adult Fiction

In this class, we will attempt to answer the question, “Why are some books about young people Young Adult novels, and other books about young people books for everyone?” We will explore whether tropes are adhered more to in one genre or the other, question whether the genre classification is mainly a matter of marketing, and discuss the value of a genre specifically about young adults, especially for the adults who read it.

Discussable Dilemmas​

This class is a level A social studies class. Students will read, learn vocabulary, research, write, and debate dilemmas presented to them. Through these activities students will learn to write 5-paragraph essays, expand their English levels and become more prepared for level 1 classes.  

Lewis Carroll’s Wonderland

In this class we will go down the rabbit hole to explore the peculiar fantasy, poetry, logic, nonsense, and satire of the world created by the mathematician and writer known as Lewis Carroll (1832-1898). While delving into the indelible language, landscapes, characters, and narrative structures of Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, we will also work on writing skills needed to communicate one’s meaning more clearly. The culmination is a primary source paper addressing the essential question of how and why Wonderland still captures our imaginations today.

Page to Stage

This course introduces and explores theater from page to stage as a live performing art. Students will explore how the written word translates into live-action by using a set of staged practices rich with social context. Learning through this tradition of theater, participants will appreciate social contexts related to the stage. Students will learn basic acting techniques through a variety of games, exercises, and texts.

I, Witness: Narrators on Everest

In this class we will read both Into Thin Air (Krakaur) and The Climb (Boukreev), exploring the fallibility of human memory and the importance of considering the narrator through the comparison of two perspectives on the same disaster. We will discuss what is effective (or not) in both stories, word choice, narration style, and more, to explore whether we can ever really know the truth through storytelling.

English B

In addition to the focus skills taught in English A, English B will introduce academic activities that focus on research methods, analytical writing, advanced reading comprehension, and independent presentations. Students will continue to concentrate on all areas of language while engaging in more challenging materials and discussions.

English A

The course English A will prepare students who do not speak English as their first language to approach high school academics comfortably and confidently. The course will focus on building effective communication skills through the four parts of language (reading, writing, speaking, and listening). This includes basic grammar structure and rules, organization and clarity in writing, expansion of academic vocabulary, reading comprehension and reflection, and improvement in pace and pronunciation. The course materials and activities will resemble those used in the TOEFL and will help introduce students to the high school classroom culture and curricula. Students will have ample time to practice speaking, work collaboratively with other students, and receive one-on-one feedback about their progress with the English language.

Scholarly Writing​

This class will offer additional help to students learning the method of analytical writing and help them meet The New School's expectations in preparation for the senior exhibition.

Current Events​

This class is a level A social studies class. Students will read newspapers, watch newscasts, and research current news and events. They will debate, report, and research the topics they learn.  

Scholarly Writing

This is a writing workshop class with an emphasis on academic writing skills, forms, and conventions. We will review the basics of the writing process, how to approach several genres of academic writing, how to avoid common pitfalls, and how to use formatting and citation conventions (such as MLA). Most of your time in this class will be devoted to working on your own writing, and as your writing coach, your teacher will consult with you throughout the process. This class will offer additional help to students learning the method of analytical writing and help them meet The New School's expectations in preparation for the senior exhibition.

Memoir Writing

A memoir is a narrative or story written from your life perspective. Unlike autobiography, memoir is not comprehensive. You can determine which themes, life periods, or kinds of stories you want to narrate. Students should come to Memoir Writing class prepared to share stories and reflections from their lives, but they will not be expected to share particularly personal information. You choose what to share! Your feelings, insights, and lessons are important parts of the memoir process. Memoir class will help you become a better writer and storyteller. It will also help you cultivate a clearer sense of your own story and meaning in life.

Let’s Eat Grandma: Punctuation Saves Lives

We all know words have power, but academic spelling and grammar are just as key to scholarly writing as the words themselves. Students will study both the building blocks of essays and the grammar principles necessary to enhance their communication. They will produce and revise multiple drafts of essays, practice essential skills of paragraph organization, and develop techniques for critical analysis and communication.

Literature of the Family

Every family is different. And every individual is shaped by their family, for good or for ill and often both. In this course, we will explore the architecture and dynamics of families through a variety of fiction, along with some literary nonfiction. We will consider how the author comments on the influence of families through the themes and structures of these stories. We will talk and write about the literary families we encounter, and try to represent their experiences through art, and we will also attempt to apply our understandings about the nature of families to the real world. Essential Question: How do our families shape us?

Jane Austen In The Present Tense

Jane Austen is a household name to this day, despite having lived 200 years ago. In this class, we will read two of her novels and explore the enduring themes and characters that make them treasured even by contemporary audiences, as we will see when we view their modern adaptations.

John Steinbeck: Struggles in America

Why do so many people love John Steinbeck? Sure, he won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and the Nobel Prize for Literature, but why is he still worth reading? How do his words still speak to us today? Experience Steinbeck’s humor, realism, and compassion as we read and discuss three of his best-known novels: Cannery Row, which follows an unforgettable cast of lovable ne’er-do-wells living in seaside Monterey, California; The Pearl, about a great pearl and the trouble it brings to a small Mexican village; and The Grapes of Wrath, about a family that flees Oklahoma for the promised land of California during the Great Depression. Time permitting, you will also read and share your thoughts about another Steinbeck work of your choice.

American Playwrights

This course will explore some of the most prominent American playwrights this country has seen. Students will explore the main trends and themes that appear in American theatre from the 19th onwards. By looking at specific plays as well as background readings students will become more engaged with works they read and be able to start understanding their voices.

Reading and Writing Short Stories

A short story is a work of fiction that can be read in one sitting. Though the novel enjoys a reputation as the battleship of literature—powerful, complicated, multi-leveled—the short story is the nimble sailing yacht meant for brief, exhilarating excursions. In Short Story class we will read, discuss and analyze stories from around the world and across time. You will write your own short story, too. Come prepared to take a deep dive into this delightful genre.

Writing Theory

Writing is a uniquely human exercise. Animals can communicate and convey ideas to each other, but the act of writing goes beyond communication. It takes advantage of the human capacity for ponderance and abstraction, enabling deeper thought, greater understanding, and intellectual growth. Words committed to paper can be manipulated and honed to a level of clarity and intention that is unachievable in discussion or thought; fundamentally, the written word is both an expression of and augmentation to consciousness. This course will explore the purpose and benefits of writing, as well as various strategies to more effectively employ the skill of writing. Exhibitions will answer the essential question: “Why do we write?”

AP English Language & Composition​

This course is designed to teach the skills needed to succeed in a college level writing course. We will read a lot of nonfiction, working to determine each author’s purpose and the elements they use to rhetorically manipulate their target audience (tone, syntax, imagery, diction, symbolism, etc.) We will analyze and produce writing in many forms. The goals of the course are for students to be able to comprehend and comment on any nonfiction text they encounter and to communicate effectively by creating and sustaining arguments orally and in writing.

Public Speaking and Debate

This course is focused on developing interpersonal and public communication, discussion, presentation, and civil debating skills.Through in-class exercises, short weekly speech projects, and examples from guest speakers and short videos, students will practice skills, strategies and techniques, with the goal of improving confidence and persuasiveness. We will also explore how meanings are conveyed through nonverbal modes of communication. For the exhibition, students will research both sides of a current issue chosen by the class, summarize key pro/con arguments, then practice and participate in a formal policy debate.

Songwriting & Lyrics

Have you ever tried to find words for music? Or music for words? In this class, students will work on poetic techniques that can be used to communicate meaning in different types of song forms.Those focusing more on songwriting will explore different ways to capture and craft their ideas in a blend of music and text. As students develop their pieces, coaching and feedback will be available, and they may also work individually or collaboratively in the music lab. Credit type depends on the focus of the student’s portfolio, some of which will be shared in the class exhibition.

Film Appreciation: Movies of the 1980s

This course will dive into the movie era of the 1980s. Students will explore different genres of movies of the period. These films will be placed into context and students will learn how to extrapolate and reflect on what themes, symbolism, and characteristics were predominant in this era through the use of film theory. After gaining this perspective, students will be able to discuss films on a deeper and more meaningful level.

French 3/Honors

In Honors French, you will deepen your understanding of French grammar, continue to expand your French vocabulary, and develop your speaking and writing skills. Both project-based and exercise-based, students will work on activities throughout each quarter that result in both written and spoken presentations. Games, compositions, films, and literature will be prominent in the classroom, and students are expected to rise to the challenge. Venez profiter!

Spanish 3/4

Spanish 3/4 is conducted primarily in Spanish. This course is designed for students who want to continue expanding their knowledge of the Spanish language and culture. Through the readings and films presented in this class, the course reviews and refines grammar structures, expands vocabulary, and improves students’ oral and written communication skills through discussions, written reports, and presentations. Cultural aspects are closely integrated with the language elements, giving students an appreciation for the diversity and cultural richness of the Spanish-speaking world.

German 1

Germany - origin of the brass band, cheese cake, gummi bears, hamburger, techno, and roots of the English language. Over the year, students will work on developing basic listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills in this increasingly important European language. The immersion approach, anchored by our new Klasse! A1 curriculum, includes authentic teen themes, stories, videos, music, and activities. Assessments are both skill and project based. For our yearly Oktoberfest, students share a taste of German food and culture. Several field trips are in the works, including a visit to the German-American Heritage Museum and the Heidelberg Bäckerei lunch trip in December.
 

Spanish 1

Spanish 1 is a dynamic and interactive introduction to the Spanish language and culture. Through easy readings, everyday dialogues, songs and movies, the students will learn basic vocabulary and grammar structures for daily routine situations while expanding their knowledge about the culture and customs of the Spanish-speaking world.

French 1

Have you ever eaten at a French restaurant and wanted to know what the menu said? Have you longed to whisper sweet nothings to your chéri in the language of love? Have you ever wondered where words like “fondue” and “cul-de-sac” and “deja vu” come from? Well, here’s your chance to find out! In this class, you will be introduced to the beauty of the French language, with both its similarities to English and its quirks. Starting with the basics, you will learn how to hold simple conversations on a wide range of common topics, and get familiar with new vocabulary and grammar concepts. Allons-y!

German 3/Honors

In Advanced and Honors German, students deepen their listening, reading comprehension, and conversation skills through diverse authentic material, including current newscasts, articles, scripts, games, music, videos, and films. Book selections will be tailored as much as possible to individual reading levels and interests. As needed to strengthen their written communication and Rechtschreibung, students will work through a Gymnasium Arbeitsheft 5 together. Assessments are both skill and project based, and the class will be conducted almost exclusively auf Deutsch. Several cultural field trips are planned, including a visit to the German Embassy and our annual Heidelberg Bäckerei lunch trip.

French 2

Oui oui! In this class, we will focus on continued reading, writing, speaking, and listening development through classroom activities like songs, movies, blog posts, and skits, as well as short reading selections and grammar exercises. You will continue to develop your French vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation, and cultural understanding, and you’ll have a great time. On y va!

Spanish 2

Spanish 2 builds upon knowledge gained in Spanish 1.This course will also reinforce the skills learned in Spanish I: listening, speaking, reading and writing. Emphasis is on perfecting pronunciation, mastery of the basic grammatical structures, and increased communicative proficiency. Acquisition of functional vocabulary is expected .Through films and readings presented and discussed in class, we learn about culture, emphasize conversation and solidify the student's interpersonal skills.

Honors Spanish Seminar and AP Spanish Prep

Only in Spanish! These courses are designed to provide students with a variety of opportunities to further improve their proficiency in the four language skills. Through literature, current event readings and films presented in class, these courses emphasize communication by applying interpersonal, interpretive and presentational modes of communication in real life situations. We also will review and refine grammar structures and expand vocabulary. Cultural aspects are closely integrated with the language elements. The first quarter will focus on deepening the understanding of Spanish grammar with an introduction to some of the topics of the AP Exam. This course is open to students who have successfully finished Spanish 3/4. The third quarter will be dedicated entirely to the preparation of the AP Spanish Language and Culture Exam. This course is open to Spanish 4 students who took the Honors Spanish Q1 class, and to all Spanish 5 students. The quarter four class is another option for those who want to continue studying high level Spanish later in the year.

German 2

In German 2, students strengthen their listening, reading, writing, and speaking skills, with emphasis on the past and future tenses. In addition to familiar and fresh material from the new Klasse! A1 textbook, students will continue to explore German, Austrian, and Swiss videos, film, art, music, literature, and other authentic content. Assessments are both skill and project based, with the goal of enjoying more fluent conversation auf Deutsch. Several field trips are planned, including our annual Heidelberg Bäckerei lunch trip.

Calculus

This class will cover the basics of calculus – limits, derivatives, and integrals – with in-depth looks at both the conceptual and computational aspects. The class will not be paced to the AP exam, but rather to the students’ understanding and should prepare students to either take BC Calculus next year in high school or Calculus 2 in college. Focus Skill: Making Connections and Being Aware of Context

AP AB Calculus

This class is geared toward the AP Calculus AB test taking place in May. This means we will cover Functions, Limits, Derivatives, and Integrals as well as some applications. Periodically we will review actual AP tests from past years in order to prepare for the AP test. Since the final objective of this course is to have you ready to take the AP test, we will be moving at a steady pace.

Geometry

This comprehensive course in geometry is designed to build logical reasoning and spatial visualization skills. The class is largely cumulative, as is all mathematics, in that we will continue to build on and use what we have already learned. Topics to be covered include deductive reasoning, lines in a plane, study of polygons with particular stress on triangles, transformations, congruence, similarity, properties of circles, constructions, areas and volumes of solids, coordinate geometry, and basic trigonometry.

Algebra 1

This most fundamental of mathematics courses covers the basics of solving and graphing linear and quadratic equations. Additionally, students will learn to factor equations, simplify radicals, and solve systems of equations. Focus Skills: Solving Problems and Making Connections and Being Aware of Context.

Math in Art

Math and Art seem to be two very diverse topics. This Math in Art course aims to help you see that Mathematics is not just about equations and logic but also about patterns, symmetry, structure and beauty in nature and art. You will be surprised to find how nature has integrated these two disciplines so well. We will investigate Fibonacci Sequence, Golden Ratio, Fractals & Mandelbrot Set through play of numbers in nature & man-made objects, Bezier curve through string art, theorems involving folding papers to precise measurements through origami, geometric patterning through agamographs & quilting.

Pre-Calculus

This course builds on the concepts learned in Algebra 2 and prepares you for Calculus and other advanced math courses you may take in the future. Specifically, we will study various families of functions, the parametric and polar forms of representing functions and other relations, trigonometry, matrices and some isolated topics in discrete mathematics; if there is time, there will be a brief introduction to the concepts of instantaneous rates of change and limits (the beginnings of Calculus!). There will be a strong focus on viewing functions from various perspectives (such as verbal, numeric, graphical, and algebraic). Throughout the course, we will use graphing calculator (TI-84) technology to help us understand functions from these various perspectives. Focus Skill: Putting Information in Context

Algebra 2

Algebra 2 is divided into three topics: 1) the basic mechanics of Algebra -- an extension of what was learned in Algebra 1; 2) the principle of functions -- the idea that equations can be seen as mathematical “machines” which take input and create output; 3) the idea of “modeling” -- that functions can be used to represent real behavior in the world. Students will learn and review work with linear functions before expanding into quadratics, exponential, and logarithmic functions, as well as basics of Trigonometry (building on principles learned in Geometry). Algebra 2 prepares students for Pre-Calculus.

Algebra 2 (Foundations)

The purpose of this course is to prepare students for Algebra 2 and, in certain cases, Pre-Calculus. We will focus on fortifying the basic mechanics of algebra, including working with integers, fractions, linear and quadratic equations and their graphs, radicals, roots, and some basic trigonometry. This class can take a more relaxed approach and can be a place where real transformation can occur.

Mathematics of Baking

This course will explore different ingredients and cooking processes involved in baking from a mathematical and chemical perspective. Beyond learning about the scientific underpinnings of the ingredients and processes, students will engage in the details of recipe building and execution. Students are required to have parent/guardian permission to use the stove/oven in their house and must bring their own non-reactive mixing bowl and spoon to class. This class is a joint morning and afternoon module course and students must sign up for both.

21st Century Economics

The world is changing rapidly, and one must understand the economics of the global economy to understand our world. In this course we will briefly review fundamental economic concepts and then dive into the brave new world of 21st century economics, including the changing workplace, new economic sectors, globalization, inequality, and the explosive growth of economies of Asia and Africa. Throughout the quarter we will conduct a market simulation through which students will experience the diversity and complexity of 21st century economics.

Topics in Advanced Mathematics

Students who have completed at least Algebra 2 are invited to come explore a variety of topics to be chosen by the class. Possibilities include (but are not limited to) Number Theory, Set Theory, Abstract Algebra, Graph Theory, Knot Theory, Transfinite Arithmetic, and Statistics. Throughout the course, students will build a portfolio of their work and will start building the proof-writing skills that are utilized in most college-level math courses.

Personal Finance​

Financial literacy is key to helping us reach our goals in life. It is essential that we are able to recognize options, analyze those options, and plan for our success. Students will learn strategies for managing and tracking their spending and saving. We will discuss the many financial decisions that will likely affect students' lives from selecting a credit card, understanding your credit score, saving for retirement, buying a house or a car and what expenses they can expect to incur when they are out on their own.

Dancing in Strange Places

This course is designed to introduce the dancer or dance lover to the art of creating interesting, stimulating dances with which the artist is satisfied. Specifically, we will be focusing on the challenge of incorporating various locations, sets, or props into dances and how best to view those dances. Throughout the course you will get a chance to experiment with various choreographic games and exercises, learn other students’ choreography, learn to critique and talk about dance using ideas from Doris Humphrey among others, and create and perfect one or more substantial pieces for performance and/or video at the end of the course. Students should come to the class prepared to move, and perform frequently in front of their peers and random passersby. If we are learning by distance, students need to have access to some video editing software they know how to use and a person and device that can record their dances and upload to their editing software.

Frisbee

Our minds and bodies are intricately connected: a healthy mind makes a healthy body. Likewise, a healthy body makes a healthy mind. It is through a course of frisbee that we may explore this concept. We will be outdoors much of the time--stretching, running, passing, and playing Frisbee. Frisbee is a social activity that requires personal collaboration: participation is mandatory, and we will have fun.

Mountain Biking​

The New School is uniquely located near Fairfax County’s Cross County Trail, which connects south all the way to Occoquan and north to Great Falls. A short half hour ride away is Wakefield Park, which has several criss-crossing, hair-pinning, bumpy, steep, and narrow mountain biking paths. This course will build biking competency and endurance to the point where such difficult trails can be enjoyed. As a level two P.E. class, it is required that students who enroll be adept at basic riding. Students will need to provide their own mountain bikes (not road bikes) of a reasonably high quality (i.e. from a bike shop or outfitter as opposed to from a box store like Wal-Mart or Target). Finally, students should be prepared to ride in all weather conditions with appropriate apparel.

Soccer

The beautiful game is a unique blend of endurance, power, understanding, and creativity. To succeed requires a dedication to developing physically and intellectually, being aware of your role and the roles of those around you. Just like any of the “academic” courses on offer at the school, this course will require persistence and effort. By the end of the course you will be in much better shape and have a greater appreciation for the teamwork and collaboration that is necessary in high pressure situations.

Yoga for Wellbeing

Ancient yoga is an Indian system of mind-body exercises for spiritual wellbeing. The modern practice of Hatha Yoga involves special techniques of breathing, concentration and exercise that strengthen the body and calm the mind. In Yoga for Wellbeing we will practice Hatha Yoga to enhance mental and physical health. We will read selections from Henry’s book Positive Psychology for Teens and complete exercises that complement our yoga practice. Everyone is welcome because everyone can do yoga! Exercises will be adjusted and adapted for individual needs.

Basketball​

Our minds and bodies are intricately connected: a healthy mind makes a healthy body. Likewise, a healthy body makes a healthy mind. It is through a course of basketball that we may explore this concept, and your teacher is an avid player. We will be indoors much of the time stretching, running, passing, and playing basketball. Basketball is a social activity that requires personal collaboration: participation is mandatory, and we will have fun.

Sports, Culture, & Wellness

“Sports, Culture, & Wellness” will take students through a tour of sports throughout the globe as we interpret how the cultures surrounding these sports impact the athletes that play them. We will analyze the various sports by looking at their impacts on physical health, mental health, and society, as well as how society and concerns for health impacted the sports in return. As a class, we will delve into some of the technical aspects of the human body in order to better understand what we are learning about the topics we study. Students will round out the course by becoming an expert on a sport of their choosing, researching its relationship with culture and wellness, and then sharing their findings as teachers to their peers.

Dance Exercise​

In this class, students will work toward group and individual fitness goals through a combination of cardio, strengthening and stretching exercises. Dance styles will include Ballet, Modern, Zumba, Jazzercise, Kpop, and Hip Hop. Students may also have the chance to improvise and lead class. If we are learning by distance, students will need to be able to put their computer in front of a space where they can spin around with their arms out and lie down on the floor with their arms and legs spread and still be able to see their computer.

Historic Innovations in Health

“Historic Innovations in Health” focuses on the advances in science, technology, and more, that helped to shape the standards of health we experience today. We will also delve into societal trends and changes that affect the way healthcare is delivered to people. Innovations in health aren’t just centered around physical health, we will also be learning about how humans’ mental health has been affected over time by improvements to the fields of psychology and psychopharmacology. As a class, we will delve into some of the technical aspects of the human body in order to better understand what we are learning about the breakthroughs we study. The class will culminate with a research paper about innovation in an area of each student’s choosing.

Nature Walking for Wellbeing

Studies have shown that time in nature improves wellbeing, and walking is one of the best forms of low-impact exercise. Most days we will engage in what the Japanese call shinrin-yoku or “forest bathing” as we walk along local paths and engage with nature. We will also complete exercises from Henry’s new book Positive Psychology for Teens. Come take a walk in the woods and contemplate the beauties of nature and life itself!

Forensic Chemistry

Forensic scientists rely heavily on DNA evidence to convict criminals, but they also use chemical analysis to piece together the details of how crimes are committed. From poisoning to art forgery, we will examine the role of chemical evidence in forensic science using techniques such as toxicology, isotope analysis, and spectrometry. We will use true-crime-based Forensic Files episodes in class as well as explore popular fictional CSI shows. Essential Question: What can I infer about crimes from chemical evidence?

Chemistry of Baking

This course will explore different ingredients and cooking processes involved in baking from a mathematical and chemical perspective. Beyond learning about the scientific underpinnings of the ingredients and processes, students will engage in the details of recipe building and execution. Students are required to have parent/guardian permission to use the stove/oven in their house and must bring their own non-reactive mixing bowl and spoon to class. This class is a joint morning and afternoon module course and students must sign up for both.

AP Biology

AP Biology is an introductory college-level biology course. Students cultivate their understanding of biology through inquiry-based investigations as they explore topics like evolution, energetics, information storage and transfer, and system interactions. Some pre-course and post-course work will be required in preparation for the AP exam. Essential Question: How do living things operate at dif erent levels of organization (subcellular through ecosystem)?

Acoustics and Speakers

This course studies the behavior of sound from the moment it is generated to the moment it is recognized by the human ear. We will study how different environments affect sound, as well as how best to reproduce sound electronically, and why recorded sound never sounds quite like a live performance. This course will cover the fields of waveform analysis, electronics, and mechanics, with a culminating project for which the students build their own speakers.

Nuclear Chemistry

Ancient alchemists attempted to convert various elements into gold and failed in their quest. We know now that an element can be changed to another element only by changing the composition of its nucleus. In this course we will discuss atomic structure, the nuclear mass in particular, the forces holding the subatomic particles together, radioactive decays, fission, fusion, balancing nuclear reactions, half-life calculations, mass-energy conversions, applications of nuclear energy, nuclear plant construction & maintenance, nuclear accidents and lessons learned from those accidents.

Biological Macromolecules and Nutrition​

If you’ve ever tried to read nutritional labels or vitamins to see what in them is “good for you,” it can get confusing. What are Omega 3s, 6s, and 9s? Which is better for slower-burning energy--a polysaccharide or a monosaccharide? Is a calorie just a calorie or does nutritional profile matter? What are the chemical and physical properties of these molecules and how can they be used to our advantage? If you want to know what you are eating, its structure, how it works, and what it does to you, this class is for you. Essential Question: How do biological macromolecules interact with the body?

AP Physics C: Mechanics and Electricity & Magnetism

This course will prepare students for the two AP Physics tests: Mechanics and Electricity & Magnetism. The first section deals with the workings of everyday objects, such as projectiles, springs, pulleys, and pendulums. Learning these topics helps to understand the way machines, collisions, the human body, and other macroscopic objects work. The second section deals with the way in which the subatomic particles that make up everyday objects interact on a more foundational level. Utilizing this understanding has led to revolutions in electronics and sparked the digital revolution of the 20th century. Calculus is a corequisite for this course.

Forensic Biology​

Forensic crime shows are increasingly popular, and DNA evidence especially is becoming the key to cracking many current and cold cases. In addition to DNA, this class will focus on biological forensic evidence such as hair type, fingerprinting, blood typing, and even non-human evidence that can pinpoint crime scene and time of death such as pollen grains and insect larvae.   Essential Question: What can I infer about crimes from biological evidence?

Stoichiometry: Calculating Chemical Quantities

This course is an introduction to basic calculations involving chemical equations using Avogadro’s number, the mole, and molar mass. It will also discuss optimal conditions for experiments, theoretical yield and actual yield, and sources of error for error analysis. More advanced problem sets will include complex unit conversions and critical thinking strategies. Students will practice scholarly writing by producing formal lab reports and will enter an original project into the Q3 science fair showing optimization of chemical yields. Essential Question: How can chemical quantities be calculated and verified?

History of the Periodic Table

Chemistry is a branch of science which has been studied since prehistoric times to understand the matter around us. We will study the discovery of the various elements and chemical processes and the evolution of the Periodic Table as we know today. In this journey we will explore the works of various scientists/chemists who contributed to the knowledge of chemistry as we know today.

Invertebrate Zoology

Over 90% of the world’s animals are invertebrates... and they have been the most successful animals throughout geologic time. What accounts for this success? How do their body plans solve adaptive “problems” in order to survive, reproduce, and thrive in their environments? How have changing earth conditions allowed for periods of rapid evolutionary change? We will explore invertebrate evolution, body structure and function, taxonomy, adaptations, and more. Essential Question: How do invertebrate body plans reflect adaptation to their changing environments?

Optics of Lenses and Mirrors

This course will be geared towards understanding the physics behind the human eye and corrective lenses, camera, microscope, telescopes, periscope, 3D movies etc. This involves the study of reflections, refractions, illuminations, geometry in optics of lenses and mirrors: ray diagrams and equations, interference, diffraction, and polarization.

Survival Science

If you woke up one day without the conveniences of modern society, how long would you last? How can your knowledge of chemistry, biology, and engineering practice help you create tools to meet your physical needs? In this class, students will get to learn about the science of survival, and then apply what they learned in both urban and wilderness settings. Topics such as water purification, food preservation, homeostasis, and heat conservation are covered. Essential Question: How can I use material resources and scientific principles to adapt to survival situations?

Geology

Have you ever wondered what rocks are made of, how gems and crystals form, what causes an earthquake, or where mountains come from? We will explore these topics and more by learning about matter on Earth and the chemical and physical processes that shape it into the rocks and landforms we know today. Essential Question: How do Earth materials and processes shape what we see in rocks and landforms today?

Psychology of Language​

Perhaps the most incredible human feat is one that we all accomplish: learning our native language as an infant, without any direct instruction. How does natural language acquisition happen? Furthermore, what is going on in our brain when we process and produce language? How do we adjust our language in various social situations? How did humans develop the remarkable ability to communicate with such complexity in the first place? What happens when something interferes with language acquisition? In addition to exploring these questions, this course serves as an introduction to the basic concepts of linguistics - including phonology (sounds), morphology (the makeup of words), and syntax (grammar) - using the English language as a case study, and comparing it to other global languages. Essential Question: How does the mind create language?

Historic Innovations in Health

“Historic Innovations in Health” focuses on the advances in science, technology, and more, that helped to shape the standards of health we experience today. We will also delve into societal trends and changes that affect the way healthcare is delivered to people. Innovations in health aren’t just centered around physical health, we will also be learning about how humans’ mental health has been affected over time by improvements to the fields of psychology and psychopharmacology. As a class, we will delve into some of the technical aspects of the human body in order to better understand what we are learning about the breakthroughs we study. The class will culminate with a research paper about innovation in an area of each student’s choosing.

AP Psychology

The AP Psychology course is designed to introduce you to the systematic and scientific study of the behavior and mental processes of human beings and other animals. You will be exposed to the psychological facts, principles, and phenomena associated with each of the major subfields within psychology. You will also learn about the ethics and methods psychologists use in their science and practice. This course will provide you with intellectual challenges and a workload consistent with a typical introductory psychology class at an undergraduate university. There will be a lot of content to learn, scenarios to analyze, and interesting questions to discuss. The work expectations will include creative projects, exploration of research, practice multiple choice, lots of discussion, and frequent short writing assignments, often timed. As a culmination of the course, you will take the AP Psychology Exam (required) which may allow you to earn college credit.

Soil Chemistry

In this course, we will explore soil as chemists! Students will explore inorganic concepts (ions, pH, reactions) then work in the lab to connect these principles to soil. Students can look forward to testing soil, analyzing compost, and growing plants in “perfect” conditions. This course will be project based with a large focus on experiment design and data analysis. Essential Question: As a school, how can we create the perfect soil for the pollinator garden?

Plants and Society

This course will focus on plant structures and classifications as well as how plants and humans have shaped each other throughout human history. After studying plant anatomy and reproduction, we will look at the impact that commercial agriculture and trade have had on the world. We will also examine flower structures, pollination, and food security. Additionally, we will examine how some plant compounds are concentrated to turn them into highly addictive substances, and how governments react. Essential Question: How do plants change human society?

Does DNA Define You?

Our genes define many of our characteristics, but do they define the trajectories of our lives? This course will explore basic DNA concepts (structure, replication, cell division, heredity and gene expression), study examples of genetic disorders, and then move into issues of bioethics, genetic counseling, genetic discrimination, and gene therapy. Students will explore a DNA-related topic of their choice for their scholarly writing in the form of a research paper. Essential Question: To what extent does your DNA Define You?

The Civil War

No period in American history endured more hostility at home than that of the Civil War. The story of the Civil War began two decades before the first shot at Fort Sumter with years of ideological conflicts throughout America. This class will be an in-depth study of the twenty years from 1845 to 1865. Emphasis will be placed on the coming of the Civil War, the secession crisis, and on both the military and nonmilitary events of the war years. Special attention will be given to the objectives behind each side’s struggles and the multiple “freedoms” for which the war was fought.

Social Movements through Music​

Music has always been a social tradition. The function and sounds of music have evolved throughout the centuries, though perhaps never as rapidly as in the 1900s. With advancements in technology and growth in mass media, music mobilized social changes and provided a medium for the expression of minority groups during the twentieth century. They used music to articulate social ideas and demands and to consolidate revolutions. In this class, we will investigate these social transformations through the lens of music.  

American Political Parties

Despite George Washington's dire warning that political parties would "become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people," a party system has characterized American government ever since. A surprisingly poorly-understood topic, American Political Parties will unravel the evolution of party politics in America, from the founding fathers to today's system. This course will investigate each party's interpretation of the Constitution, the proper role of government, and their actual policies, as well as their effects on the American political landscape.

20th Century American Women

The sequel to the Women's History course, this class will chronicle women's experiences in America following the victory over national suffrage in 1920, a momentous achievement, but one that revealed that the battle for equality was far from over. We will analyze the evolution of female identities and roles in the United States from the early 1900s until today and discover how trends in American society and politics were inseparable from that evolution. The course will include voices and stories from women in all corners of American life. *Though it is not required that you have taken Women's History to enroll, it is recommended.

The Presidential Election

This fall’s election happens at a time of global pandemic and national division. All presidential elections are combative, but this November’s contest will be particularly volatile. Nonetheless, in times of war and peace, our nation’s presidential elections have occurred every four years since 1788, and they follow specific rules laid out in the Constitution. But the nature of elections has changed in many ways that the writers of the Constitution could not foresee. In this class we will examine the old and the new of presidential elections: the laws and customs that shape elections, as well as newer elements like social media and online fundraising. Students will delve deeply into the politics, strategy, polling, prediction and impact of the 2020 presidential election.

Introduction to American Government

A continuation of English Foundations in the second semester, Foundations of American History and Government will introduce the basic history and political structures of America, examining central stories and documents, while continuing to foster English language skills. This class is required for international ESOL students, and optional for students whose advisors recommend extra support in English and social studies.

Game Theory in Government

Arms races between superpowers or local rival nations offer an interesting look at strategic thinking. Both countries are better off when they cooperate and avoid an arms race. Yet the dominant strategy for each is to arm itself heavily. This example of “The Prisoner’s Dilemma” is just one facet of game theory, the formal study of strategic decision making, of strategy and conflict--something we see in governmental decisions time and again. The application of game theory to political science is focused in the overlapping areas of fair division, political economy, public choice, war bargaining, positive political theory, and social choice theory. In this class, we will study the concepts and philosophy of game theory, and their applications as used in political situations across time.

Appalachian Origins of America

Some of America's deepest cultural roots began in the backcountry of Appalachia, where determined families planted one of the United States' most enduring ideologies, one that persists today. The identity and politics of this ideology are richly layered, controversial, and have heavily impacted our modern society. Appalachian Origins of America will study this group of people and consider the historical and modern implications. This class will heavily depend on reading and academic discussion, and we will practice and perfect the art of scholarly writing.

Boom, Bust, and War: America After WWI

The years after World War One were an important turning point in the making of the American nation, with perhaps the greatest impact of the war being a shift in the landscape of ideas about economics and about the proper role of government in economic activities. We will study the wealth and prosperity of the Roaring 20s, the economic bust that became the Great Depression, and the subsequent efforts to rebuild as a world power,examining the new America between 1917 and 1940.

Women’s History

Fifty years ago, a new kind of history was born. For the first time, scholars realized that an important part of history had been neglected: the experiences of women. This course will retell the familiar stories of American history as they were experienced by women while analyzing the evolution of female identities and roles in the United States. We will discuss how women influenced, directly or indirectly, trends in American society, politics, and culture and examine how their experiences differed due to class and race.

Democracy and Corruption

Liberal democracy has grown to dominate political thought in the past three hundred years. It has been adopted in waves by more and more countries, causing thinkers at the end of the Cold War to argue that we had reached the so-called End of History--that liberal democracy represented a final state in human socio-political evolution. Things have changed dramatically in the last three decades, with a resurgence of nationalism and authoritarianism threatening the ideological hegemony. This course will examine the relationship between corruption in democratic countries and the rise of anti-democratic movements, with students writing research papers answering the essential question: “How can liberal democracy reassert itself in the face of nationalist and authoritarian movements?”

Psychology of Language​

Perhaps the most incredible human feat is one that we all accomplish: learning our native language as an infant, without any direct instruction. How does natural language acquisition happen? Furthermore, what is going on in our brain when we process and produce language? How do we adjust our language in various social situations? How did humans develop the remarkable ability to communicate with such complexity in the first place? What happens when something interferes with language acquisition? In addition to exploring these questions, this course serves as an introduction to the basic concepts of linguistics - including phonology (sounds), morphology (the makeup of words), and syntax (grammar) - using the English language as a case study, and comparing it to other global languages. Essential Question: How does the mind create language?

Criminology & Psychology

In this class, students will learn all about the United States criminal justice system through the lens of a psychology expert. We will begin with the basics of the U.S. government, developing an understanding of the many intricacies that went into establishing a system of law, and subsequent punishment for breaking the law. From the Constitution of the United States of America, to the up and coming science of “reading minds,” our class will explore how we got to the complicated, and controversial criminal justice establishment that we have today. Students will end the class with a case study on one of the most famous trials in modern U.S. history, and discern “what could have been...”

AP Psychology

The AP Psychology course is designed to introduce you to the systematic and scientific study of the behavior and mental processes of human beings and other animals. You will be exposed to the psychological facts, principles, and phenomena associated with each of the major subfields within psychology. You will also learn about the ethics and methods psychologists use in their science and practice. This course will provide you with intellectual challenges and a workload consistent with a typical introductory psychology class at an undergraduate university. There will be a lot of content to learn, scenarios to analyze, and interesting questions to discuss. The work expectations will include creative projects, exploration of research, practice multiple choice, lots of discussion, and frequent short writing assignments, often timed. As a culmination of the course, you will take the AP Psychology Exam (required) which may allow you to earn college credit.

Sports, Culture, & Wellness

“Sports, Culture, & Wellness” will take students through a tour of sports throughout the globe as we interpret how the cultures surrounding these sports impact the athletes that play them. We will analyze the various sports by looking at their impacts on physical health, mental health, and society, as well as how society and concerns for health impacted the sports in return. As a class, we will delve into some of the technical aspects of the human body in order to better understand what we are learning about the topics we study. Students will round out the course by becoming an expert on a sport of their choosing, researching its relationship with culture and wellness, and then sharing their findings as teachers to their peers.

Personal Finance​

Financial literacy is key to helping us reach our goals in life. It is essential that we are able to recognize options, analyze those options, and plan for our success. Students will learn strategies for managing and tracking their spending and saving. We will discuss the many financial decisions that will likely affect students' lives from selecting a credit card, understanding your credit score, saving for retirement, buying a house or a car and what expenses they can expect to incur when they are out on their own.

21st Century Economics

The world is changing rapidly, and one must understand the economics of the global economy to understand our world. In this course we will briefly review fundamental economic concepts and then dive into the brave new world of 21st century economics, including the changing workplace, new economic sectors, globalization, inequality, and the explosive growth of economies of Asia and Africa. Throughout the quarter we will conduct a market simulation through which students will experience the diversity and complexity of 21st century economics.

Modern European History

Understanding modern European history is essential to understanding the world today. The countries of Europe emerged from the nineteenth century with high hopes for continued progress and proud of their imperial power over the globe. How did they become embroiled in World War I? How did this lead to competing democratic, communist, and fascist ideologies? How did World War II happen? The Cold War? The European Union? How did Europe overcome the tragedies of the twentieth century to become a leading force for social justice, democracy, and peace today? We will explore these questions and more as we learn about modern European history from a European point of view, rather than a strictly American one.

The Axial Age: Philosophy and Religion Circa 500 B.C.E.

For reasons still unclear, philosophy and religion flourished around the world 2500 years ago. Was this a coincidence or did humanity turn a cultural corner? German philosopher Karl Jaspers termed this period the Axial Age, a pivotal time when world cultures came of age. In this class we will travel from China through India to the Middle East and finally the Greco-Roman world to examine the similarities and differences in the philosophies and religions from this time. We will also critically examine Jaspers’ contention that the Axial Age was a touchstone of global development and assess how the ideas from this time affect us today.

The War to End All Wars

On the eve of the First World War, many Europeans cheered for a “war to end all wars.” It achieved nothing of the like, instead inaugurating a century of war and unthinkable destruction. This class will explore the history of the first truly global conflict, examining its origins, its course, its aftermath, and how it might help us better understand our own world today.

Music Cultures of the World

Rhythm, tone, instruments, and even the function of music have always been defined differently across the world. Beethoven and Bo Ya, two legendary composers, would not have been able to play each other's music, and music was rarely heard in Iran's shopping malls in the late 1900s. The course Music Cultures of the World will examine the role of music in various cultures while realizing that, though music is a distinct human phenomenon, it is not, in fact, a universal language. We will study music across the globe, from Japan to the Caribbean, and analyze what it reveals about the rich, complex traditions of the world's peoples. These lessons will be supplemented by brief, relevant histories of the different societies, as well as discussions of the varying musical elements.

The 2020s

Decades provide a useful opportunity to look at how society has changed. The 2010s saw dramatic changes or innovations in technology, domestic and global politics, and culture, among many other categories. It’s hard to imagine predicting the world of today back in 2010, but that’s the task we’re aiming to accomplish in this class. We will look at current and emerging trends in demographics, technology, the economy, and other fields to make predictions for the decade ahead. Students will present exhibitions answering the essential question: “How will the world of 2030 be dif erent from today?”

The Artist and Their World

In this class, students will do research about different artists or art movements, as well as explore the history surrounding the artist of their choice. Historically, artists have been impacted by the rise or fall of empires, religious movements, political turbulences, as well as being influenced by other artists and artistic movements, therefore, we cannot just look at an artist’s work without considering all these factors. Finally, after understanding the times the artist lived in, we can understand better how they influenced the world around them. We will learn together about artists and their art, students will develop concepts for their papers, and feedback will be given through the writing process. By the end of the class, students will have a finished research paper that they can be proud of. Essential Question: How do artists respond to and impact the world around them through their work?

History and Culture of Japan

Japan is a country and culture like no other, a place of continuities and incredible change. For 2600 years, a member of the Yamato family has ruled as emperor. On the other hand, the transformation of Japan from a feudal state to a global power took only 50 years. The country’s ancient aesthetic is prized as much as its modern anime. In this course we explore both the old and new of Japan with a special focus on the arts. Students will also write a research paper on a self-selected topic.

The Mexican Revolution

Have you heard of Pancho Villa or Emiliano Zapata? Even if you haven’t, you've probably seen their faces on posters or murals, perhaps at a Mexican restaurant or Cinco de Mayo celebration. These are the great heroes of the Mexican Revolution, a complex and bloody conflict that convulsed Mexico between 1910 and 1921. Explore what caused the revolution, its similarities to and differences from other revolutions around the world, its impact on the United States, its complex legacy, and how it continues to haunt and enchant Mexicans and Americans today.

Course Catalogue 2020-2021 (PDF)

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