At Fenway Middle College, a Boston alternative high school, the humanities course “Whose America Is It?” explores American society from pre-Columbian North America to the present from the point of view of the common person, using sources and approaches from history, literature, sociology, psychology, political science, and the fine arts. Students probe three periods–the discovery of America; the Industrial Revolution,
James Beane, Affect in the Curriculum: Toward Democracy, Dignity, and Diversity. New York: Teachers College Press, 1990. Focuses on integrated curriculum in the middle school years. Howard Gardner, The Unschooled Mind. New York: Basic Books, 1992. A partner with CES in the Atlas project and a leading theorist on assessment and “multiple intelligences.” Heidi Hayes Jacobs, ed., Interdisciplinary Curriculum: Design
At Oceana High School in Pacifica, California, ninth and tenth graders all take a two-year required science program linking major concepts in physics, chemistry, earth science, and life science, and corresponding with the school’ s humanities curricula. “Patterns of Evolution and Change,” the first-year science course, connects with Humanities curriculum for the same year: “Patterns of Cultures.” In the second
How should River City use three pieces of newly acquired land: a closed-down military base, a 300-acre farm, and a mine? Residents are split between development and recreational advocates–and their final choices must minimize costs to the city. Students at Boston’ s Fenway Middle College, a CES member school, will soon be working out the answers as they learn to
All through a cold December night last year two high school students from Santa Rosa, California set traps for rodents in a 365-acre marine reserve over 20 miles from their homes. As part of their science class at Piner High School, they were collecting data for a project on feral cat activity, working not only with their regular science teacher
Rochester’ s School Without Walls offers a course that centers on the impact of rapidly emerging markets on people’ s lives. Since resources are limited and wants are unlimited, the course description asks, how does scarcity drive choices and tradeoffs? How, why, when, and where are markets created, demand and supply regulated, and economic and social costs considered? How do
Before graduating from Catalina Foothills High School in Tucson, Arizona students will have to synthesize and personalize their achievement in three broad areas. They must demonstrate their depth of understanding and knowledge, and the ability to apply skills to projects of their own design that make connections among the disciplines. GRADUATION COMPETENCIES 1. APPLICATION OF SYSTEMS THINKING TO CURRENT PROBLEMS.
When high schools focus on what thinking skills they want graduates to have, getting there becomes the whole point of the curriculum. Subject-area boundaries take a back seat to essential questions, and to answer them students and teacher muster resources from all sides. Ask a high school class a question about something that really matters–say, whether to extend the school