2019-20 Course Catalog

Courses are open to all forms unless otherwise stated. Courses at the upper levels of each department throughout the academic program are labeled “Advanced Study” to denote the quality and rigor of college-level instruction. “Advanced Topics Tutorials” are individualized and often student-directed courses allowing further advanced study in particular disciplines.

Courses are yearlong, full-credit courses unless otherwise indicated.

Classics

Latin

Latin 1

Open to III, IV, V Form Students

Latin 1 provides an introduction to the foundational elements of the Latin language, including forms and syntax. Students begin to develop their ability to read, speak, listen, and write in Latin in addition to gaining an introductory history of the ancient Greek and Roman world through the middle stages of the Roman Republic. Readings include passages of historical and mythological interest. Text: Minkova and Tunberg, Latin for the New Millennium, Level 1.

Latin 2

Open to all forms

Latin 2 continues the study of the oral and written components of Latin grammar and sentence structure through close reading and composition. Students are introduced to the prose of Latin authors and begin to encounter unadapted Latin texts, continuing their study of Roman history through the end of the Roman Republic. Text: Minkova and Tunberg, Latin for the New Millennium, Levels 1 and 2.

Latin 3

Open to all forms

The course begins with a fundamental review of grammar and syntax learned in the previous two years of Latin. Emphasis is placed on improving sight translation and reading comprehension. Students read Latin prose through extensive study of the works of classical and neo-Latin authors such as Caesar, Cornelius Nepos, Eutropius, and Columbus. Students continue to develop an appreciation for the Latin language, as well as the skills of linguistic sensitivity and cultural awareness. Through close readings and collaborative in-class activities, students discuss issues of style and rhetoric, and they grapple with questions of history, mythology, and reception. Readings may vary from year to year, depending on the interests of the class and instructor. Text: Francese, Selections from the Gallic War (Dickinson College Commentaries).

Latin 3 Honors

Open to IV, V, and VI Form students

Requires instructor permission

Students begin with an accelerated review of the basics of Latin vocabulary, grammar, and syntax. They then begin to read Latin prose through extensive study of the works of classical and neo-Latin authors such as Caesar, Cornelius Nepos, Eutropius, and Columbus. Students continue to develop an appreciation for the Latin language, as well as the skills of linguistic sensitivity and cultural awareness. Through close readings and collaborative in-class activities, students discuss issues of style and rhetoric, and they grapple with questions of history, mythology, and reception. Readings may vary from year to year, depending on the interests of the class and instructor. Text: Francese, Selections from the Gallic War (Dickinson College Commentaries).

Latin 4

Open to IV, V, VI Form Students

Students learn to read Latin poetry through extensive study of the works of classical and post-classical authors. Through close readings and collaborative in-class activities, students explore how Latin poetry works, building both linguistic sensitivity and an aesthetic appreciation for language. Diving deeply into ancient Greek and Roman culture, they explore mythology, ritual, history, politics, art, and reception. A core text is Ovid’s epic poem, the Metamorphoses, but readings may vary from year to year, depending on the interests of the class and instructor. Text: Ovid: A LEGAMUS Transitional Reader.

Advanced Study in Latin: Vergil

Open to IV, V, VI Form Students

Requires instructor permission

Students read the epic poetry of Vergil's Aeneid, while exploring the historical, social and political background of the Augustan period. This intensive reading and writing course teaches students to read both carefully and closely; students develop skills of close analysis and sensitivity to literary nuance. Students also learn the craft of literary criticism by writing commentaries and short essays and by reading secondary criticism. In its readings in Latin, this course follows generally the syllabus for Advanced Placement Latin: Vergil; students read the entire Aeneid in English. Texts include: LaFleur, Aeneid: Song of War and Vergil (trans. Fagles), The Aeneid, prose translation by David West.

Advanced Topics Tutorial in Latin

Open to V & VI Form Students

PREREQUISITE: ADVANCED STUDY IN LATIN: VERGIL

Requires instructor permission

This individualized course allows the advanced student to explore further literature in Latin according to the interest of the student and instructor. Readings may include selections from lyric poetry and elegy (Catullus, Horace, Tibullus), Roman comedy (Plautus and Terence); orations of Cicero; and histories (Livy, Sallust, and Tacitus).
 

Greek

Greek 1

Open to IV, V, VI Form Students

Yearlong Half-credit course

Greek 1 introduces students with backgrounds in both Latin and modern languages to the vocabulary, grammar, and syntax of Attic Greek. Students read passages of historical and mythological interest, continuous narratives, and selections from the New Testament. Texts: Balme and Lawall, Athenaze Book 1; Hansen and Quinn, Greek: An Intensive Course.

Greek 2

Open to V & VI Forms

Prerequisite: Greek 1

Yearlong Half-credit course

Greek 2 continues the grammatical and rhetorical study of Attic Greek, and introducing students to the work of the author Lysias and the literature and philosophy of Plato. Texts include: Balme and Lawall, Athenaze Book 1 and 2; or Hansen and Quinn, Greek: An Intensive Course; Scodel, ed., Lysias, On the Murder of Eratosthenes; and Helm, ed., Plato: Apology.

Greek 3

Open to VI Form

PREREQUISITE: GREEK 2

Yearlong Half-credit Course

This individualized course of study allows students to pursue their interest in Greek language and literature by reading Greek texts of different styles, time periods, and dialects. Students explore the genres of Attic oratory (Lysias, On the Murder of Eratosthenes); tragedy (selections from Euripides' Medea); and epic (selections from Homer's Odyssey and Iliad).

English

Literature

English Literature I

Open to III Form students

This course introduces first-year students to critical thinking, careful reading, and effective writing. Students learn close reading skills—the ability to discern tone, character, diction, syntax, and symbolism—through extensive reading of classic and contemporary literature. Readings focus on themes and issues connected to American life (III Form Students concurrently take US History), such as the changing meaning of the “American dream”, the particular American tension between the individual and the community. Class discussion focuses on both the readings and the issues contained therein, and develops skills of critical thinking, listening, and debating. Texts are chosen and examined both for their rhetorical power, and as models for student writing.

Writing assignments are frequent and primarily analytical in nature: students develop the ability to craft a written analysis of a text, and learn to explore diction, imagery, character, and meaning in their writing. Students work throughout the year on the important rudiments of clean and clear writing: paragraph structure, grammar and punctuation. Through the use of journals, exploratory writings, papers, exhibitions, and two semester exams, students learn to write precisely, effectively and convincingly.

Texts include:

  • F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby;
  • Julie Otsuka, When the Emperor Was Divine;
  • William Shakespeare, Macbeth;
  • Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God;
  • Short fiction, essays and poetry by Robert Hayden, Elizabeth Bishop, Julia Alvarez, Annie Dillard, Nathan Englander, and John Steinbeck.

English Literature 2

Open to IV Form Students

In this course, second-year students explore how literature from a variety of traditions illuminates and gives meaning to the human experience. In reading a diverse group of texts, students consider ways these texts present perspectives on place and culture, identity and belief. Through class discussions and writing assignments, students focus on the power of effective argument, and through the year learn how to craft their own.

Building on the habits of close textual analysis developed in English Literature I, this course examines linguistic patterns and choices an author makes in a text and introduces students to the language of argument. Students pursue questions such as:

  • What does an argument look like?
  • What is the difference between observation and a claim?
  • What constitutes evidence?
  • What makes certain arguments stronger than others?
  • How do we adjudicate between positions or conflicting arguments presented in the text?
  • How do we deal with ambiguity and do justice to the complexity of the text?

Students also examine how a work of fiction, in and of itself, articulates an argument.

Discussions about argument translate directly into the teaching of writing, considered specifically as a process: in order to generate ideas and craft a logical and persuasive argument, students must commit to the process of developing, drafting, and revising their essays. Students write frequent journals and short exploratory essays and learn to develop these pieces into more polished papers of three to four pages. By the end of the year, students are expected to be able to write grammatically clean, clear, and effective prose.

Texts include:

  • Jesmyn Ward, Salvage the Bones;
  • William Shakespeare, Othello;
  • Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice;
  • Annie Proulx, Brokeback Mountain;
  • Athol Fugard, Master Harold... and the boys;
  • William Faulkner, As I Lay Dying;
  • Short fiction and essays by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Maya Angelou, Sherman Alexei, Jhumpa Lahiri, James Baldwin, Junot Diaz, and George Orwell; and
  • Sonnets by Spenser, Drayton, Shakespeare, Donne, Shelley, Rilke, Cummings, William Carlos Williams, Gwendolyn Brooks, Seamus Heaney, and Billy Collins.

Advanced Study in English Literature 3

Open to V Form Students

This course for third-year students canvasses a range of literary genres, including poetry, plays, novellas, and novels. Students continue to develop their skills of close textual analysis and build on their familiarity with the conventions of literary argument. They work on longer, more sustained and sophisticated analytical arguments in their writing assignments about literature and, in the latter half of the year, begin developing their own paper topics.

The culminating project of the year is the Junior Exhibition: students read an assigned novella on their own, devise a central question about the text that serves as their paper topic, and write a seven- to eight-page paper that they subsequently assess and critique in a 30-minute oral defense with their teacher. Students rework and revise this essay after their oral defense.

Texts include:

  • William Shakespeare, Hamlet;
  • Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights;
  • Mary Shelley, Frankenstein;
  • Jay McInerney, Bright Lights, Big City;
  • Colson Whitehead, The Underground Railroad;
  • Cormac Macarthy, The Road;
  • James Joyce, Dubliners;
  • Toni Morrison, Song of Solomon; and
  • selected poetry and contemporary American short fiction.

Advanced Study in English Literature 4

Open to VI Form Students

This course is an intensive, one-semester introduction to advanced forms of literary study. It challenges fourth-year students to become more independent, insightful readers and more forceful, artful writers with confident, critical voices. Through careful study of narrative structure, form, and style, students learn to discern and articulate authors' methods of making meaning. In this course, all VI Formers study Toni Morrison’s Beloved as a central text, as well as one or two other texts , introducing students to the kind of focused analysis and comparative study that occurs in college literature courses.

The centerpiece of the course is the Senior Exhibition. Each student chooses a work of literature from a short list of exhibition books to study carefully. Through rereading, forming critical questions, and writing and rewriting, students develop a critical argument and work to clarify, complicate and polish the argument over the course of the project. Although the drafting process involves frequent meetings with the instructor, the project is essentially independent and culminates in a 45-minute oral exhibition in which students assess, discuss, and refine their papers in a critique with at least two members of the English Department. The Senior Exhibition is a challenging and exciting project that prepares students to think and work independently, to refine and explore sophisticated concepts, to revise and rework thoughts into polished prose, and to self-assess in the interest of improvement.

In addition to Beloved, course texts for AS English Literature 4 have included:

  • Toni Morrison, Beloved;
  • Junot Diaz, The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao;
  • Ian McEwan, Saturday;
  • Truman Capote, In Cold Blood;
  • Julian Barnes, The Sense of an Ending;
  • Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot; and
  • Ta-Nehisi Coates, Between the World and Me.

Exhibition texts for AS English Literature 4 recently have included:

  • Isabel Allende, The House of the Spirits;
  • Colum McCann, Transatlantic;
  • Tim O’Brien, In the Lake of the Woods;
  • Edward P. Jones, The Known World;
  • Chimamanda Adichie, Americanah; and
  • Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse.

Advanced Study in English 4: History, Literature, and the Contested Past

Open to VI Form students

DOUBLE-CREDIT COURSE; CREDIT RECEIVED FOR BOTH AS English 4 AND two Semesters of AS History

This interdisciplinary VI Form course, taught jointly by members of the English and History Departments, examines how novelists, poets and historians have wrestled with and made sense of the past, and their own relation to it. Structured around a series of case studies at the intersection of literature, history and memory, the course explores the relationship between the documented past (historical primary sources) and the imagined one (literature). Students study novels and poems deeply shaped by the social and cultural moments from which they emerged and consider how an understanding of the historical circumstances that produced a work of literature can inform their reading of it. They also examine how writers of fiction have used history as source, inspiration and charge. Can the imaginative work of literature actually help us more fully understand the “real” past? What responsibility does the novelist have to history? Students also consider how the construction of a narrative—the storytelling—of a novelist differs from that of a historian. What might each learn from the other?

Case studies and related texts may include the following:

  • slavery and its legacy, with Toni Morrison’s Beloved or Edward Jones’ The Known World;
  • the American immigrant experience, with The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz;
  • war and its effects, both social and personal, with Pat Barker’s Regeneration or Tim O’Brien’s In the Lake of the Woods; and
  • Reagan-era political and cultural identities and the AIDS crisis, with Tony Kushner’s play Angels in America.

Senior Spring Seminars & Tutorials

Open to VI Form students

Following completion of AS English 4 in the fall semester, VI Form students may use their spring semester to take either a directed seminar in English or a tutorial offered in various disciplines by faculty throughout the school. Comprised of three students or fewer, these tutorials offer a culminating academic experience for graduating seniors, as they have the opportunity to work very closely with a faculty member on a topic of their particular interest and passion. Each tutorial possesses strong written and oral components: students write and deliver weekly essays of three to four pages and discuss their findings among their classmates. Both the English seminar and the tutorials (no matter the discipline) are designed to help students further hone their skills of research, writing, argumentation and problem solving that will serve them well in college and beyond.

Topics of recent English seminars have included:

  • the Victorian novel;
  • Shakespearean tragedy;
  • modern drama;
  • American autobiography;
  • modernist poetry;
  • the gothic novel;
  • the modern short story; and
  • American film.

Students have also had the opportunity to take seminars on creative writing, the expository essay, and literary journalism (many of which use the New Yorker and other literary journals as texts). For more information on tutorials, visit our Senior Tutorial Program page.

Creative Writing

Creative Writing 1

Open to IV, V, VI Forms

Semester-long Half-credit course

Through class discussion of both contemporary examples and student work, students are introduced to strategies and techniques used in the composition of original verse and fiction. Students will explore tone, voice, diction, theme, and style in a given text, with the goal of becoming attuned to the nuances and rhythms of language. Writing assignments will allow students to develop both the confidence and the ability write creatively and precisely in a variety of forms and styles.

Creative Writing 2

Open to V & VI Forms

Prerequisite: Creative Writing I

semester-long Half-credit course

Students continue to refine their writing skills in prose and verse, through readings in a wide range of authors both classic and contemporary, and through class discussion and critique of student work. Careful attention is paid to tone and voice, style, selection of detail, narrative and formal structures, and rhetorical proficiency.

History

Yearlong Courses

United States History: Research Challenges

required for all III Form Students

This course serves not only as an in-depth introduction to American history but also as an introduction to the field of history itself. Students use primary sources to answer authentic historical questions; these "research challenges" require written responses based on students primary source reading and additional research. Prepared each class period with his or her own research and arguments, each student is actively invested in and responsible for the class discussion. This method encourages students to think deeply about the past, to ask questions and interpret evidence, to develop cogent arguments, and to collaborate with their peers. By the end of the course, students will have an understanding of American history, and a well-developed ability and desire to ask meaningful questions when presented with an unfamiliar historical text, whether document or newspaper, film or book. Course readings come from a primary source reader developed by the History Department, supplemented by journal articles, excerpts from monographs, and texts, such as the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave.

Advanced Study in History: History, Literature, and the Contested Past

Open to VI Form Students

DOUBLE-CREDIT COURSE; CREDIT RECEIVED FOR BOTH AS ENGLISH 4 AND two semesters of AS History

This interdisciplinary VI Form course, taught jointly by members of the English and History Departments, examines how historians, novelists, and poets have wrestled with and made sense of the past, and their own relation to it. Structured around a series of case studies at the intersection of literature, history and memory, the course explores the relationship between the documented past (historical primary sources) and the imagined one (literature). Students study novels and poems deeply shaped by the social and cultural moments from which they emerged and consider how an understanding of the historical circumstances that produced a work of literature can inform their reading of it. They also examine how writers of fiction have used history as source, inspiration and charge. Can the imaginative work of literature actually help us more fully understand the “real” past? What responsibility does the novelist have to history? Students also consider how the construction of a narrative—the storytelling—of a novelist differs from that of a historian. What might each learn from the other?

Case studies and related texts may include the following:

  • slavery and its legacy, with Toni Morrison’s Beloved or Edward Jones’ The Known World;
  • the Trujillo regime in Dominican diasporic history, with The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz;
  • war and its effects, both social and personal, with Pat Barker’s World War I novel Regeneration or Tim O’Brien’s Vietnam War novel In the Lake of the Woods; and
  • Reagan-era political and cultural identities and the AIDS crisis, with Tony Kushner’s play Angels in America.

Semester-long Electives

U.S. History: Interpretations of the Past

OPEN TO V & VI FORM STUDENTS

REQUIRED FOR STUDENTS WHO ENTER ST. ANDREW'S IN THE SOPHOMORE OR JUNIOR YEAR

This is our U.S. history course for students who enter St. Andrew's in the sophomore or junior year; it can be taken in the junior or senior year. While the texts and topics in this course differ somewhat from those encountered in U.S. History: Research Challenges course, they share the same methods and objectives. Course readings come from a primary source reader developed by the History Department, supplemented by journal articles, excerpts from monographs, and texts, such as the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave.

Global Studies: Current Issues in International Policies

Open to IV, V, VI Form Students

Semester-Long Half-Credit Course

What forces—cultural, economic, environmental, and political—will shape the twenty-first century? Drawing on a range of disciplines, including ethics, economics, geography, ecology and cultural and literary study, students will work to develop an intellectual toolkit for understanding some of the most pressing issues facing the world today. This work will serve as the foundation for crafting informed points-of-view, responding to the ideas of others, and attempting to articulate paths forward. Students first examine the duties and obligations of citizens in a global world, and ways in which the media and popular culture shape—and misshape—our understanding of people and events beyond our national borders. Further topics include:

  • the scope and limits of military power;
  • the emergence of the international human rights movement;
  • climate change impact;
  • world poverty;
  • the cultural and political impact of economic globalization; and
  • the debate over climate change, overpopulation and environmental collapse.

Each unit is framed around a series of readings that offer multiple perspectives on a single issue. Because the topics covered in this semester, and the Global Studies: Current Issues in United States Policies course will be different, the courses can be taken consecutively. Course readings include newspaper and magazine articles, and all students will receive a subscription to The Week. Texts include Brooke Gladstone, The Trouble with Reality; Fareed Zakaria, The Post-American World; and Paul Collier, The Bottom Billion.

Global Studies: Current Issues in United States Policies

Open to IV, V, VI Form Students

Semester-Long Half-Credit Course

What forces—cultural, economic, environmental, and political—will shape the United States in the twenty-first century? Drawing on a range of disciplines, including ethics, economics, geography, ecology and cultural and literary study, students will continue to work to develop an intellectual toolkit for understanding some of the most pressing issues facing the United States today. This work will serve as a foundation for crafting informed points-of-view, responding to the ideas of others, and attempting to articulate paths forward. Students first examine the duties and obligations of U.S. citizens, and ways in which the media and popular culture shape—and misshape—our understanding of people and events. Further examinations will focus on historic and current U.S. policy on: education, immigration, taxation, race relations, healthcare, and criminal justice. Each unit is framed around a series of readings that offer multiple perspectives on a single issue. Because the topics covered in this semester, and the Global Studies: Current Issues in International Policies—Politics, Conflicts, Economics, and Development course will be different, the courses can be taken consecutively. Course readings include newspaper and magazine articles, and all students will receive a subscription to The Week. Texts include Michael Eric Dyson, Tears We Cannot Stop; Alexandra Cox, Trapped in a Vice: The Consequences of Confinement for Young People; and Sheryll Cashin, Place, Not Race: A New Vision for Equality in America.

Advanced Study in History: American Social Reform Movements

Open to IV, V, VI Form Students

Semester-Long Half-Credit Course

Previously Offered as History of Social Reform

How is change—social, economic, political—achieved in American society? What role can individuals play in social change? In this Advanced Study course, we will seek answers to these questions through historical study of social reform movements that have created—or attempted to create—that change. The course pays particular attention to issues of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, religion, class and power in our study, examining how these issues can both unite and divide efforts for social change. We will also examine how participation in social movements shapes the identities of the individuals involved in them. While the focus of the course is historical, in understanding how and why some efforts to create change in society have succeeded while others have failed, students may begin to see how social change may be possible today. Topics for the American portion of the class may include: utopian societies, abolition, women's suffrage, eugenics, the civil rights and black power movements, women's liberation, the conservative movement, and the environmental movement. (The interests of the students who take the class will help to shape this list.) The course approaches this history with extensive reading in primary sources (including literature, film, art and music), immersing students in the ideas, tactics and challenges of these movements. Articles and chapters from secondary scholarship supplement these readings, allowing us to consider and respond to the arguments historians have made about the movements we study.

Advanced Study in History: Coming of Age: America in the Early Atomic Era

Open to IV, V, VI Form Students

SEMESTER-LONG HALF-CREDIT COURSE

This reading-intensified course examines the American identity in contemporary history. It has been argued that the 1950s were a decade marked by renewed prosperity, social conformity, and political consensus. Our exploration begins once WWII ends and a new era dawns. We will examine America’s new role in the world as an emerging superpower and its relationship with, former ally, the Soviet Union. Closer to home, a sense of national pride led to a cultural and economic boom. This helped define the nation’s identity. Likewise, it has been argued that the 1960s were a decade of turbulence, protest and political disillusionment. With continued military operations in Southeast Asia, unease and anxiety around civil rights at home, and a slowly eroding trust in the government, the nation questioned what it meant to live in a free and democratic society. During these decades we witnessed some of the most compelling, most memorable and most controversial events in American history. Using an array of primary and secondary sources, our studies will allow us to hear from the history makers in these moments while also allowing us the advantage of historical hindsight. Emphasis is placed on critical reading of these sources and written work that requires careful analysis, independent thought, and compelling augmentation. Some of the text we will explore include: David Halberstam’s The Fifties; William Whyte’s “The Decline of the Protestant Ethic”; J. Edgar Hoover’s “Who Are the Communist”; Norman Podhoretz’s “The Know Nothing Bohemians”; Robert F. Kennedy’s Thirteen Days; and Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique.

Advanced Study in History: Democracy and Empire—Athens in the 5th Century

Open to IV, V, VI Form Students

Semester-Long Half-Credit Course

This course will provide snapshot of the concomitant development of Athenian democracy and empire in the 5th century BC. In particular, we will examine how democracy becomes the symbol of Athenian supremacy, particularly during the aftermath of the Persian Wars and in contrast the Spartans during the remainder of the century. Athenian excellence was built on notions of Athenian exceptionalism. Through an examination of primary sources including histories, speeches, and dramas, we will trace this development through the 5th century.

Advanced Study in History: History of Economic Thought I

Open to IV, V, VI Form students

Semester-long, half-credit course

Have you ever paused to consider what gives an object or a currency value? Or the centrality of international trade in our daily lives? Where did the economic policies and ideas central to modern life, and the field of economics itself, originate? Economists today owe a great debt of gratitude to the political and philosophical thinkers of the early modern world. In this course, students will gain a comprehensive understanding of the economic policies and theories that dominated early modern Europe in an effort to understand the origins of contemporary economic thought. We will read a variety of philosophical and political primary writing to understand early modern economists in their own worlds. Primary source material includes but is not limited to the work of John Locke, Thomas Mun and the mercantilists, John Law, Mandeville’s Fable of the Bees, David Ricardo, Adam Smith, Volatire, and Rousseau.

Advanced Study in History: History of Economic Thought II

Open to IV, V, VI Form students

Semester-long, half-credit course

History of Economic Thought I is not a prerequisite

In 1871, Austrian economist Carl Menger published his theory of marginal utility. His basic principal sparked the marginal revolution, on which some of the pillars of contemporary economic policy stand today. As anyone who has taken a basic microeconomics course can attest, it remains a central part of economic policy and thinking in contemporary policy. We will look at the economic theories and policies that sprung from the marginal revolution, including Marxist criticisms of marginalism. Primary sources covered will include, but are not limited to, the works of the Austrian School, Marxist economics, Keynesian economics, institutional and new-institutional economics, mainstream economics, and heterodox economics. We will discuss the extent to which each historical school of thought is prevalent in modern day policy discussions.

Advanced Study in History: Histories of Hate: American Racism and German Anti-Semitism

Open to IV, V, VI Form Students

SEMESTER-LONG HALF-CREDIT COURSE

As we seek to wrestle with the complex threat of racism and anti-Semitism today, we must understand the long and pervasive histories of these ideas and how they have grown and gained traction. This course will consider two parallel and occasionally intertwined histories in conversation with one another: American racism—particularly against African-Americans, focusing especially on the years described as the “nadir of race relations,” from the waning days of Reconstruction through the early 20th century—and German anti-Semitism, culminating in the Nazi Holocaust in the 1930s and 1940s. We will look at the rise and emergence of these ideologies of hate in their specific cultural contexts, tracing their codification in law and reinforcement through violence, and how these histories have—and have not—been engaged in national memory. In addition to primary and secondary historical sources, we will draw on the work of social psychologists who have sought to understand racism; the course will work from a reader of primary sources, and scholarly secondary sources, such as journal articles and excerpts from monographs. Following our shared study, in the final third of the course, students will major research paper, grounded in significant work with primary source material.

Advanced Study in History: Latin American History

Open to IV, V, VI Form Students

SEMESTER-LONG HALF-CREDIT COURSE

This course endeavors to introduce students to the history of Latin America via both primary and secondary sources. Despite being a major trading partner of and the closest geographic region to the United States, Latin America is usually one of the least studied areas of the world. While a great deal of this course will follow chronological progression, we will also track themes that thread through the experience of the region over time and transcend modern international borders, such as colonialism, independence and neo-colonialism; democracy and dictatorship; development and exploitation; and revolution and response. In addition, we will explore the distinct histories of many of the nations of Latin America, thereby gaining an appreciation for how they fit into the current global and regional systems, as well as for their individual and unique experiences.

Advanced Study in History: The Mediterranean World 500-1500

Open to IV, V, VI Form Students

SEMESTER-LONG HALF-CREDIT COURSE

Globalism is a powerful feature of today’s world, but it is not the first time different cultures have come into sustained contact. This course will examine the interaction of the many peoples around the Mediterranean basin from the fall of the Western Roman Empire to the fall of al-Andalus. We will ask: How did people of differing faiths negotiate their beliefs? How did commerce, conflict, and conquest inform cross-cultural relations? What were some experiences of religious minorities, ethnic minorities, sexual minorities and linguistic minorities under various majorities? How did some individuals bridge identities or cross borders—pirate/trader, ruler/exile, plutocrat/pauper, infidel/convert, pilgrim/holy warrior?

Advanced Study in History: The Modern Middle East

Open to IV, V, VI Form Students

SEMESTER-LONG HALF-CREDIT COURSE

How did the people of the Middle East negotiate their various identities under the pressure of modernization? How did the involvement of outside powers shape the region? What can the recent history teach us about paths toward a more stable and prosperous Middle East? This course introduces the students to the political, religious, and social history of the Middle East from the late 19th century to the present day. We will examine the late Ottoman Empire, the colonial period, the establishment of nation-states, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the rise of political Islam, the Iranian revolution, and the Arab Spring of 2011. We will discuss issues of colonization, nationalism, religious and ethnic identity, security and physical resources. Students will examine primary sources and write an in-depth research paper.

 

Advanced Study in History: Victorious Rome—The Creation of a National Identity through Conflict

Open to IV, V, VI Form Students

SEMESTER-LONG HALF-CREDIT COURSE

Previously offered as Ancient Greece & Rome

Beginning with the murder of Remus at the hands of his brother Romulus, Romans took great pains to celebrate glorious victors of their culture such as Romulus as well as to commemorate those whom they defeated, like poor Remus. Starting with this myth and tracing the development of Rome as a city and then an empire, we will examine who and what the Romans glorified as well as how the depicted those they defeated. In particular, we will examine how the Roman reaction to civil conflict such as Romulus and Remus, the murder of Julius Caesar, and even the persecution of Christians led to major changes in the government and daily lives of Roman citizens. In this course, we will focus on primary documents from Rome including poems, histories, and inscriptions as well as material evidence such as buildings and statues. Following our in-depth study of the Roman identity, we will spend the final portion of the course on a major research paper.

Advanced Study in History: A World at War

Open to IV, V, VI Form Students

SEMESTER-LONG HALF-CREDIT COURSE

Previously Offered as 20th Century History

The dawn of the 20th Century was filled with great promise. Innovation and industrialization redefined society and suggested that progress would be bountiful for individuals and nations alike. Soon after the turn of the century, however, greed, corruption and arrogance made waste of this promise and ushered a somewhat reluctant world into war not once, but twice. In this course, we will look at the reasons the wars started, the way they were fought, and the way these wars were ended. To best understand the first half of a century marred by catastrophe and loss, we must also carefully study genocide. We will try to understand the motivations behind these events, as well as the international response. Our examination will require us to dig deep to better understand nationalism, militarism, fascism, communism, republicanism and other “isms” at play. Students will work to gain a better understanding of each wars’ unique narrative. In short, we will examine the causes and consequences of the world wars. Discussions questions include: When should a country go to war? How should a nation best apply the lessons from the past? How should a nation respond to a country it has identified as its enemy? Emphasis is placed on critical reading of primary and secondary sources and written work that requires research, careful analysis, independent thought, and compelling argumentation. Some of the text we will explore include: Modris Eksteins’ Rites of Spring; Vera Brittain’s Chronicle of Youth; and Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf.

Advanced Study in History: Research Seminar

Open to V and VI Form students

Prerequisite: at least one AS History course

This course is an immersion in scholarly research. We begin the semester with a brief study of some examples of the best historical writing, examining these historians' use of evidence and how they have crafted and constructed their arguments, and working to hone and refine students' historical research skills. Students then pursue a major, independent study on a topic of each student's own choosing, deeply grounded in the primary source material, and in conversation with the historiography on that topic. The course culminates with students' completion of the research paper, which should constitute a meaningful contribution to the scholarly conversation.

All students must take this course as a graduation requirement, but the course can be taken more than once for those who are passionate about research and writing.

Mathematics

Yearlong Courses

Algebra

Open to III & IV Form students

In this class, students move beyond the straightforward application of algorithms and are pushed to use abstract reasoning and creativity to solve problems they have not explicitly seen before. Students adopt the view that math is thinking. When thinkers do not see the answer to a problem, they want to make sense of the situation then consider as many possible solution strategies. Students enter the course with a variety of backgrounds in algebra and are equally challenged in applying and synthesizing their knowledge as they collaborate with peers in class and puzzle through solutions. Students will study a wide-range of topics, including modeling linear and quadratic equations, graphing and solving problems with absolute value and radical expressions, solving systems of equations, using inequalities to model scenarios, simplifying algebraic expression, solving shared-work problems. Students will also expand their resilience and communication skills, while solidifying their skills in algebra and making connections to geometry applications.

Geometry

Open to IV Form Students

Prerequisite: Algebra

This course develops the skills required for more advanced mathematics, with an emphasis on the in-depth study of traditional topics of geometric proof, as well as the study of the Pythagorean Theorem, triangles, circles, quadrilaterals, coordinate geometry, polygons, optimization, parabolas and transformations. Students are expected to have a mastery of algebra and a facility with investigative and collaborative problem-solving approaches. 

Honors Geometry

Open to III & IV Form students

Prerequisite: Algebra or Placement Test

This course develops the skills required for more advanced mathematics, with an emphasis on the in-depth study of traditional topics of geometric proof, as well as the study of the Pythagorean Theorem, triangles, circles, coordinate geometry, polygons, optimization, parabolas, transformations, parametric equations and vectors. Students are expected to have a mastery of algebra and a facility with investigative and collaborative problem-solving approaches.

Precalculus

Prerequisite: Geometry or placement test

This course expands upon the skills and themes introduced in Geometry. While students consider the properties and applications of each of the major trigonometric function families in isolation, significant time is also dedicated to the study of function composition and transformations. Special emphasis is placed on using functions to model real-world phenomena.

Honors Precalculus

Prerequisites: Honors Geometry or placement test

This course expands upon the skills and themes introduced in Honors Geometry. A major theme of the course is to uncover laws of trigonometry by deploying the skills developed in geometry to study the properties of triangles. Students also study circles, three dimensional vectors, matrices, circular motion, quadrilaterals, exponential functions and parametric descriptions of curves.

Calculus

Prerequisite: Precalculus

This course is a study of the concepts and skills of calculus. An emphasis on the applications of calculus allows students the opportunity to investigate and collaborate on projects. While this course provides students with a sound understanding of calculus, it is not intended to prepare students for the Advanced Placement Calculus AB examination. Text: Hughes-Hallett et al., Calculus.

Advanced Study in Differential Calculus

Prerequisite: Honors Precalculus

AS Differential Calculus begins with a review of topics in trigonometry, progresses to a study of a variety of topics drawn from discrete mathematics and analysis, and culminates in a comprehensive treatment of differential calculus and its applications. Students study the continuity and differentiability of functions, derivative rules, curvature, optimization, related rates, and the three-dimensional position, velocity and acceleration of particles. Text: Hughes-Hallett et al., Calculus and supplementary material.

Advanced Study in Calculus AB

Prerequisite: Precalculus

This course covers differential and integral calculus, with an emphasis on applications drawn from the physical, biological and social sciences. After completing this course, students may elect to review independently for and take the Advanced Placement Calculus AB examination. Placement is determined by the department. Text: Hughes-Hallett et al., Calculus.

Advanced Study in Calculus BC

Prerequisites: As Differential calculus or calculus AB

This course continues the study of calculus begun in AS Differential Calculus. Students study integral calculus and its applications, as well as polynomial series approximations. After completing this course, students may elect to review independently for and take the Advanced Placement Calculus BC examination. Placement is determined by the department. Text: Hughes-Hallett et al., Calculus

Advanced Study in Mathematical Economics

Open to V & VI Form students

Prerequisite: Precalculus or higher

Yearlong elective

A basic understanding of economics is fast becoming a requirement for effective citizenship in a modern democracy. This course aims to provide students the necessary tools to understand and participate in discussions of economic policy. In any authentic economics curriculum students study decision-making: they learn to recognize the myriad constraints in life—not only those of budget and how to spend one’s money, but also those of time and how to spend one’s life—and then study how to maximize various goods in the face of those constraints. This is not a course in finance. Stocks and bonds are largely just an example of a particular marketplace. Their role in macroeconomic policy is important to understand, but the real focus of the course will be the study of scarcity in general. Heavy emphasis will be placed on the application of mathematical techniques drawn from algebra, calculus and statistics. Some new techniques will be introduced, but much of the focus will be on the application of previously studied concepts.

Advanced Topics Tutorial in Mathematics

Open to VI Form Students

Prerequisites: AS Calculus BC

Advanced Topics Tutorial in Mathematics is a course designed for students who have completed Advanced Studies in Calculus BC. In alternating years, the course is (i) a year-long treatment of Multivariable Calculus or (ii) a tutorial that investigates different topics of advanced mathematics taught by a different teacher in the department. Recent topics have included cryptography, recreational mathematics, discrete logic, and proving Euclidean geometry from scratch. Topics can vary each year based on student and faculty interest.

Semester-long Electives

Advanced Study in Statistics

Semester-long half-credit course

Open to v & VI Form students

Prerequisites: Precalculus

This course is a non-calculus-based introduction to statistics that focuses on four major themes: exploring and analyzing data, planning studies and collecting data, mathematical modeling, and testing hypotheses through statistical inference. After completing this course, students may elect to review independently for and take the Advanced Placement Statistics examination. Text: Bock, Velleman, DeVeau, Stats: Modeling the World.

Introduction to Computer Science

Open to all Forms 

An introductory course aimed at presenting the mechanisms that power the digital world by initiating students in the problem solving skills associated with designing computer code. This course is suitable for students with no programming background as well as those with familiarity and experience. Discussion and writing topics include history and functionality of the internet, ethics of digital citizenship, and current concepts pulled from recent headlines. Classroom activities balance between collaborative coding projects and discussions and debates on current events in the digital world.

Introduction to Data Science

Open to IV, V, VI Form students

Ninety percent of all the data in the world was created in the past two years, and the rate at which we are creating new data is only increasing. As the world adds more information of every possible variety at an ever-increasing rate, how can we possibly keep up? This course will teach you the tools of data science, a new and growing field that uses powerful computing tools to collect, manipulate, analyze and visualize data, grounded in mathematics. We will focus our efforts on using data to explore compelling and intriguing questions drawn from current political topics, current trends in economics and science, popular culture, and student interest. We will study statistical and mathematical modeling, and learn how we can analyze a dataset to make powerful predictions. This class will culminate in a project where students will use the tools they’ve learned to tell a story using data about a question of interest to the student (not unlike stories on The Upshot or FiveThirtyEight). This class will also spend a significant amount of time considering the ethics of “big data”—who owns all of the data you’re generating when you carry a smartphone around with you every day, and what exactly can a company do with that “anonymous” data? What are the promises and perils of being able to sequence your genome for less than the cost of a new pair of sneakers, and how will you be able to comprehend and safeguard that data? 

Object Oriented Programming in Java

Open to IV, V, VI Form students

Prerequisites: Intro to Computer Science or instructor permission

This course refines the student's programming ability while introducing the concept of object-oriented programming. Increasingly, larger and more complex projects bolster the student's ability to craft working components while simultaneously promote project and time management skills as well as instill confidence in the student's developing ability. This course roughly follows the AP Computer Science A syllabus with tangents to allow for further exploration in project based learning. Students completing this course will have basic preparation to take the AP test.

MicroController Programming and Robotics

Open to IV, V, VI Form students

Prerequisite: Intro to Computer Science or instructor permission

This course develops a student's ability to program microcontrollers and other embedded devices. This specific type of programming is essential for developing products and devices that physically interact with the environment through sensors, actuators, and information display. Students will engage in electronic development skills including circuit design, implementation via breadboarding and soldering, and product deployment. As a final project, students will design and contribute a collaborative project build to aid the School community.

App Development in Swift

Open to IV, V, VI Form students

Prerequisite: Intro to Computer Science or instructor permission

This course introduces students to the practice of software engineering by using design thinking and the agile methodology to develop iOS and macOS apps in Swift. In addition to learning the Swift programming language, and programming tools like XCode and GitHub, students will study event-driven programming, user interface design, using programming libraries, and data storage. Students will work in small teams to identify users within our community who have a need that could be solved with an app, and then work to iteratively design, implement, and refine their application using Agile Methodology. The goal of the course is for each student team to produce an app of lasting value for the School community.

Modern Languages

Chinese

Chinese 1

Open to III, IV, V Form students

Offers students an introduction to Chinese language and culture. Students develop Chinese listening and speaking skills in everyday situations, and work on building basic reading comprehension and writing skills. Chinese history, art, calligraphy and cuisine are also integrated into the course. Students master a minimum of 300 characters, become familiar with basic sentence patterns and expressions, and are able to converse on such topics as family, hobbies, school life, shopping, weather and transportation. Text: Yuehua Liu and Tao-chung Yao, et al., Integrated Chinese, Level 1, Part I.

Chinese 2

Open to all forms

This course builds on the skills mastered in Chinese 1. Short plays, poems, songs and online resources supplement the textbook as students develop listening, speaking, reading and writing skills. Students learn approximately 300 characters, as well as more sophisticated sentence patterns. They write and converse on topics such as dining, travel, a doctor's appointment, renting an apartment and other basic survival subjects. Text: Yuehua Liu and Tao-chung Yao, et al., Integrated Chinese, Level 1, Part II.

Chinese 3

Open to all forms

This course is a continuation of Chinese 2, and aims to consolidate students’ knowledge of fundamental grammatical structures of Chinese and increase their abilities to communicate using Chinese in a wide range of situations of daily life. Students are introduced to reading materials of increasing complexity on a variety of topic in traditional and modern Chinese culture. Movies, articles from Chinese newspapers and magazines, internet resources and television programs supplement reading in the text.

Texts:

Yuehua Liu and Tao-chung Yao, et al., Integrated Chinese, Level 1, Part II, Lesson 16-20
Yuehua Liu and Tao-chung Yao, et al., Integrated Chinese, Level 2, Part I, Lesson 1-4

Chinese 4

Open to IV, V, VI Form students

Conducted entirely in Chinese, this intermediate level course strengthens the four language skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing through comparative cultural and social studies. Movies and articles from newspapers and magazines supplement readings in the text.

Text: Yuehua Liu and Tao-chung Yao, et al., Integrated Chinese, Level 2, Part I, Lesson 5-10

Advanced Study in Chinese

Open to IV, V, VI Form students

Conducted entirely in Chinese, this course prepares students to participate in ongoing discussions of important Chinese social and political issues. It equips students with the necessary vocabulary and advanced sentence patterns to engage in discursive writing and oral presentation. Students discuss current issues such as China’s economic reform, population policy, and the relationship between mainland China and Taiwan. Movies and television programs, articles from Chinese newspapers and magazines, and online resources continue to supplement readings in the text.

Text: Yuehua Liu and Tao-chung Yao, et al., Integrated Chinese, Level 2, Part II

Advanced Topics Tutorial in Chinese

Open to V & VI Form students

This advanced course is designed to be equivalent to the first semester of a second-year college-level course for students who have mastered basic Chinese language skills. Students learn the full complexity of Chinese society from the point of view of an American student living in China. Students discuss themes such as population and housing, education and employment, privacy, women and children, and economic development issues. Challenges and opportunities facing China are explored through analysis, explanation, and debate. Students lead discussion in class and write weekly essays.

Text: Chih-ping Chou, A Trip to China: Intermediate Reader of Modern Chinese (Princeton University Press)

French

French 1

Open to III, IV, V Form students

French courses at St. Andrew’s are guided by the philosophy of using meaning-driven stages such as reading and acting stories for understanding, and interacting with analytical, form-driven stages. We emphasize the skills of reading, listening, speaking and writing, while bearing in mind that language learners naturally acquire reading and listening skills well before speaking and writing ones. In French 1, we are first concerned with reading and listening skills, which we develop through the use of stories, songs, and news reports. Students practice and develop skills in speaking and writing through partner conversations, short writing exercises, and video presentations summarizing stories read and re-enacting them as well. Students will have seen and used a variety of high-frequency language and verbs in present, past and future tense, but will be assessed more for comprehension of the language than for production of the language.

French 2

Open to all forms

In French 2, we build upon the skills gained in French 1 and continue using contextualized stories but have more emphasis on student output, which is to say speaking and writing. The verb conjugations that students saw and used repeatedly in French 1 will now be presented as explicit conjugations, with assessments including not only comprehension but also production of the language. Students are expected to be able to ask and answer questions in complete sentences on commonplace topics.

French 3

Open to all forms

In French 3, we emphasize even greater attention to form and expect students to move from writing at the paragraph level to writing coherent papers of 1 to 1 ½ pages in length. Students are expected to not only ask and answer questions in complete sentences on more diverse topics but also to move towards discussion in both smaller groups and with the whole class. This level includes some study of literature and film.

French 4

Open to IV, V, VI Form students

French 4 reviews grammatical concepts as needed, but focuses more on analyzing content in the form of several literary works, more sophisticated news items, and some full-length films. At this level, students are expected to be able to sustain spontaneous analytical discussions on a variety of topics, both fiction and non-fiction. Students write regular compositions of 1-3 pages in length with greater responsibility for editing their work and attending to both form and content. Human rights, gender issues, immigration, historical events and literature are among the themes of this course.

Advanced Study in French

Open to IV, V, VI Form students

AS French focuses on content, both literary and current-events related, and on reviewing and practicing grammatical concepts as needed by students. At this level, students further develop their writing skills in progressively more independent persuasive essays on topics such as the impact of technology on human relations, housing options for the elderly, immigration, and a variety of literary works and films.

Advanced Topics Tutorial in French

Open to V & VI Form students

ATT French is primarily project-based and driven by student interests and research inquiries. Each student is responsible for establishing a research topic and pursuing individual research that will culminate in a formal presentation at the end of the third quarter. Students then choose a novel to read fourth quarter.

Spanish

Spanish 1

Open to III, IV, V Form students

This course is an introductory course taught in the target language using the concept of "comprehensible input". Teaching and learning revolves around the use of stories encountered both on paper and in speech. Students acquire both vocabulary and grammatical structures via constant and targeted practice, seeing and hearing them repeatedly. Initially, each story utilizes the one hundred most-used words in Spanish, and we expand the vocabulary, verbs and grammatical constructions as the year progresses. Increasingly, then, students begin to be able to use these tools in their own language production. While no verb tense or grammar is off limits at any level, the primary targets of input and of a few more traditionally taught units are the present and past tenses. Students read short novels and stories and listen to songs chosen so that they include the vocabulary and grammar to be acquired and yield opportunities for conversation and written expression.

Spanish 2

Open to all forms

This course reviews and builds upon the concepts presented in Spanish 1. Students continue to develop a mastery of Spanish grammar, acquire vocabulary, and improve the form and content of their active language skills. Readings continue to expose students to various aspects of Spanish and Hispanic life and culture. Text: Vistas: Introducción a la lengua española, 4th ed., and supplemental readings.

Spanish 3

Open to all forms

Spanish 3 extends and deepens the skills developed in the first two levels of the language. Based around the concept of "comprehensible input", teaching and learning revolves around the use of stories encountered both on paper and in speech. Students acquire both vocabulary and grammatical structures via constant and targeted practice, seeing and hearing them repeatedly. Increasingly, then, students begin to be able to use these tools in their own language production. While no verb tense or grammar is off limits at any level, the primary targets of input and of a few more traditionally taught units are the past, future and perfect tenses, as well as the subjunctive mood in all of its tenses. Students read short novels and stories, listen to songs, and view video programs all chosen so that they include the vocabulary and grammar to be acquired and yield opportunities for discussion and written expression.

Spanish 4

Open IV, V, VI Form students

Spanish 4 focuses on a survey of Latin American history through film. Each unit aims to further develop the students’ ability to understand spoken Spanish with a variety of native accents, and to increase their vocabulary and grammatical accuracy through daily class discussion and persuasive and analytical essays. Students will engage in debates, major presentations, culminating with a major project-based assessment. The course work will be supplemented by grammar review and reinforcement using Breaking the Spanish Barrier.

Advanced Study in Spanish

Open IV, V, VI Form students

AS Spanish is a college level course that centers in developing students’ understanding of Latin America through topics such as the intersection of race and class, nation and gender, and current globalization issues. In this course, students continue to develop their analytical skills through literary texts, documentaries, films, art, music and current events. Typical assessments are 3-5 page analytical papers, oral exhibitions, debates, presentations, and student-led project-based assessments. Grammar is reviewed within the context of each topic under study.

Advanced Topics Tutorial in Spanish 1

Open V & VI Form students

This college-level course is the culmination of a student’s progress through the St. Andrew’s Spanish program. The course is designed by student interests and research inquiries, and it is primarily project-based. Students will also be expected to read works of literature in Spanish as well as do major presentations, analytical papers,and oral exhibitions with mastery of advanced grammar.

Advanced Topics Tutorial in Spanish 2

ATT2 is a college level independent course where poems, short stories, and literary novels in Spanish are read, analyzed, and discussed. At this high level of study, students begin to think only in the target language. Our goal is for students to leave with a balanced view of any Spanish-speaking culture or country that we study. Narratives are discussed in-depth to ensure the deep understanding of historical context as well as the beauty and art of the culture that gave rise to each. At the end of each quarter, students choose their own topic of interest on which to write a persuasive essay; they follow up with a formal, oral exhibition or a creative documentary group project that connects the themes discussed.

Religious Studies

Yearlong Courses

History of Religious Thought

REQUIRED FOR IV FORM STUDENTS

IIn this course, students rigorously examine the claims of great thinkers from Aquinas to Marx, Avicenna to Vivekananda, Maimonides to the Dalai Lama, St. Theresa of Avila to contemporary theologians and philosophers. In dialogue with such scholars and with the Hebrew Bible, the Christian Bible, the Qur’an, the Upanishads and Buddhist Scriptures, students consider differing answers to central religious questions such as:

  • Is there a divine? If so, how have people claimed to know the nature of the divine?
  • What is religious experience? What, if anything, happens after death?
  • Why does suffering exist?
  • How shall we act in the world as a result of our views on the divine?

Our studies are informed by classroom visits with imams, rabbis, ministers, and scholars, as well as trips to local places of worship (synagogues, mosques, churches, etc.) and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D.C.

Students write frequent short analytical essays. In conjunction with their work in English Literature 2, they build their understanding of argument, evidence, the difference between an observation and a claim, and how to deal with ambiguity and complexity in an author’s writings. To prepare students for their work in Advanced Study history courses and VI Form philosophy and religious studies electives, students examine their own positions in the context of the wider scope of human history and culture, strengthening their ability to identify a writer’s rhetorical maneuvers and implicit assumptions. About midway through the course, they write and deliver a ten-minute long talk exploring a religious or philosophical conundrum. For their capstone project, students use their shorter writings from the year as the backbone for a ten to twelve page theological analysis, then assess and critique their papers in an oral defense with their teacher and a classmate.

Semester-long Electives

Applied Ethics

Open to V & VI Form students

Semester-long half-credit course

This course introduces students to the basic principles of moral reasoning, with the goal of enabling students to engage independently in critical analysis of contemporary ethical issues. Students practice constructing formal logical arguments, and briefly examine the ethical theories of divine command, virtue (Aristotle), utility (Mill), and duty (Kant). They then use these tools to discuss topics including:

  • abortion;
  • euthanasia;
  • cloning;
  • civil rights;
  • criminal justice;
  • the death penalty;
  • sexual orientation and gender identity;
  • poverty and welfare;
  • drug legalization;
  • animal rights; and
  • just war theory.

Students prepare short position papers on these issues, and present their viewpoints in class for discussion and debate.

Asian Philosophy & Religious Traditions

Open to V & VI Form students

SEMESTER-LONG HALF-CREDIT COURSE

What happens when my truth and your truth are not the same? In this class, students explore what it means to live in a world where so many religions and worldviews coexist. As a complement to History of Religious Thought, students study traditions including (but not limited to):

  • Hinduism;
  • Buddhism;
  • Confucianism;
  • Taoism;
  • Jainism; and
  • Sikhism.

The course seeks to understand historical and contemporary expressions of the world's religions through readings, films, current events, site visits, written reflections, and classroom discussions. Students consider why religions exist in the first place, and how, as global citizens, we might enter into a more effective dialogue with various traditions.

The Call to Serve

Open to V & VI Form students

SEMESTER-LONG HALF-CREDIT COURSE

This course examines the intellectual, moral, and spiritual mandates for community service as an integral part of human development. By participating in service-learning work, students develop a sense of their individual link to the larger world, and a sense of responsibility to care for it. Students explore concepts such as vocation, voluntarism, and the “ethic of care." The aim of the course is to find links between school coursework, opportunities to serve our world, and how students react to those opportunities. Weekly journals reflect on both classroom discussions and various service activities. Guest lecturers—advocates for the homeless and those with disabilities; blood bank executives; United Way representatives; Habitat for Humanity builders—join us in the classroom to share their insights and experiences of serving others.

Global Wisdom

OPEN TO V & VI FORM STUDENTS

SEMESTER-LONG HALF-CREDIT COURSE

This course is a cross-cultural exploration of diverse philosophical traditions into accounts of reality (being and existence). What do some of history’s greatest thinkers throughout the ages have to teach us about the nature of reality and the meaning of our existence? Is existence an event, flux, process? Or is it something static, stable, or unchanging? What is thinking? What are the capacities of our mind, and how should we use it? What is the relationship between consciousness and reality? Our journey into these questions begins with the work Plato’s Phaedo and the famous Hindu epic, The Bhagavad Gita. We then look to the French philosopher, Rene Descartes’ Meditations on First Philosophy, followed by the Buddhist text, The Dhammapada. Readings may also include excerpts from Carl Jung, Gnostic literature, indigenous Peruvian thought, German philosophy, Alan Watts, and others. What do these wisdom teachers have to tell us about the universe and how we should live in it?

The Hero’s Journey

OPEN TO V & VI FORM STUDENTS

SEMESTER-LONG HALF-CREDIT COURSE

Since St. Andrew’s is a boarding school, you have already begun to start your own individual journey—or as Joseph Campbell would call it, “the hero’s journey,” just by making the decision to leave your families, friends, and home to come to the middle of Delaware in the pursuit of knowledge. Similar to the protagonist in many epics, religious texts, and myths, as part of your journey, you will wrestle with the ideas of free will, destiny, and fate as you start to develop your own philosophy based on your own personal experiences. Thus the hero’s journey serves as an appropriate metaphor for the individual journey that you must take in your life.

While, the hero will often receive gifts, supernatural aid, or the advice from a wise old hermit, in the end the hero will have to find the resources from within in order to overcome the obstacles standing in their path. In life, the monsters and the dragons you must encounter often represent the inner conflict between our irrational desires and the needs of the community. Only through slaying these inner dragons can one progress to the next stage of life and eventually achieve self-realization.

In this class you will also explore the universal patterns that have supported the hero’s journey; specifically, the archetypes, symbols, and guides that serve as a roadmap for human development and assist the individual’s integration into society. These patterns (archetypes) are found in the ancient myths of Hercules, King Arthur, Thor, and even in the modern day Disney movies, comics, and Harry Potter books. In short, these myths (stories) help us to understand who we are and what our place is in this world while continuing to inspire, comfort, and provide hope in a world that often feels in peril.

In-class readings to include excerpts from:

  • Joseph Campbell, The Power of Myth;
  • The Red Book, Carl Jung;
  • Ramayana, an ancient Indian epic poem;
  • Epic of Gilgamesh
  • Idylls of the King (Arthurian Legend), Lord Tennyson;
  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, J.K. Rowling; and
  • Anthem, Ayn Rand

Films:

  • Star Wars: A New Hope
  • Whale Rider
  • Disney's The Lion King

Religion and Violence

OPEN TO V AND VI FORM STUDENTS

SEMESTER-LONG HALF-CREDIT COURSE

Throughout history, there has existed an uneasy relationship between religion and violence. In this course, students will critically examine the intersection of religion and violence, studying two central questions:

  • How is it that violent acts are committed and justified in the name of religion? What is, for example, the path from "blessed are the peacemakers" to the brutality of the Crusades?
  • How have religious movements actually sought to alleviate violent conflict? What role, for example, did religious traditions have in the Civil Rights Movement and the Indian Independence Movement in the 20th century?

Students will look both to historical and present-day examples, focusing on conflicts noted above as well as those located in Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa.

Science

Biology

Biology

Open to III & New IV Form students

As the Science Department’s foundational course, Biology is designed to introduce students to our extraordinary campus while building scientific skills they will use throughout our curriculum. Particular emphasis is placed upon systematic observation and the formation and testing of scientific hypotheses. Students learn to be skeptical and to construct scientific explanations that are detailed, logical, and supported by evidence. The course also seeks to stimulate student appreciation for the natural world. Areas of primary conceptual focus include:

  • introductory evolution;
  • ecology and human impacts on the environment;
  • energy transformation;
  • genetics and the central dogma;
  • and advanced topics in evolution.

Each fall, students will participate in "Pond Day," a weekend-long scientific exploration of our campus, including a overnight component.

Supporting texts: Biology: Exploring Life by Campbell, Williamson, and Heyden

Advanced Study in Biology

Open to VI Form students

requires instructor permission

The aim of this advanced biology course is to more closely examine a range of topics in biology, with a thematic emphasis on the unity of life and life's molecular basis. Topics that recur throughout the year include:

  • evolution;
  • the structure-function relationship;
  • the importance of energy; and
  • the role of information.

In addition to its factual content, the course stresses rigorous scientific analysis and reasoning. Many lab investigations are student-designed and involve long-term, open-ended inquiry. Several labs closely follow the College Board's Advanced Placement recommendations. Text: Campbell, Reece and Mitchell, Biology: Concepts and Connections.

Advanced Study in Environmental Science

Open to VI Form students

requires instructor permission

This college-level course is intended to foster in its students the awareness and appreciation of the natural world and the interdependencies that exist within it. Students explore the natural environment and resources of the School and surrounding areas while becoming acquainted with the principles and methods used to examine environmental issues. Topics include:

  • sustainability;
  • ecosystems;
  • population dynamics;
  • water;
  • energy efficiency:
  • climate change:
  • food resources; and
  • biodiversity.

The course includes visiting speakers, supplemental readings, investigations and labs drawn from college curricula, and a year-long independent project. Students make visits to nearby organizations and locales that provide insight into environmental issues, including a spray irrigation water treatment plant, a local cemetery and an organic farm. An overnight camping trip exposes students to the natural beauty of the Appalachian Mountains; students hike the Appalachian Trail and canoe on Antietam Creek. Students are prepared to sit for the Advanced Placement Environmental Science examination at the end of the year. Texts: Miller, Living in the Environment; McPhee, Encounters with the Archdruid, and supplemental readings.

Physics

Physics

Open to IV & V Form students

In Physics, students discover the fundamental laws that govern nature through the process of inquiry—posing their own questions within an agreed-upon framework and conducting careful experiments to find their own answers. The class is taught using Modeling Instruction pedagogy, a research-based approach developed at Arizona State University. Students organize their knowledge according to a series of physical models which can be used to analyze and explain increasingly complex phenomena. This course also devotes significant time to helping students articulate the methods and results of their experiments to their peers in discussion, in writing, and in the models they create to explain the physical world. Text: Adapted from publically available Modeling Instruction materials.

Honors Physics

Open to IV & V Form students

requires instructor permission

The Honors Physics curriculum is derived from a course developed by the Physical Science Study Committee (PSSC), a group first organized at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology under the auspices of the National Science Foundation. This rigorous curriculum is coupled with the Modeling Instruction pedagogy used in Physics 1 to create a unique and research-based approach to teaching physics. Its strength resides in its guidance of students through experiments and conceptual constructions that require authentic scientific thinking and practice. Rather than asking students to memorize a catalogue of facts and equations, coursework is organized around a a series of physical models students use to explain and predict the structure and interactions of matter. Each student is called on to develop his or her abilities to analyze, infer, evaluate, synthesize and reason quantitatively from the results of his or her experimental work. Laboratories involve extensive use of computer-interfaced instrumentation. Text: Teacher-authored text inspired by Haber-Schaim et al., PSSC Physics.

Advanced Study in Physics (Calculus-Based)

Open to VI Form students

requires instructor permission

This course covers a calculus-based college-level physics curriculum, and includes explorations of mechanics, thermal physics, and electricity and magnetism. This course assumes a deep curiosity about physics and willingness to work on the part of the students. The course approaches the above topics by focusing on matter and its interactions at the atomic scale through students' creation and application of models. Toward this end, students learn V-Python, a powerful object-oriented computer-programming language that they use to model real physical systems. Students are prepared to sit for the Advanced Placement Physics examination, Level C. Text: Chabay and Sherwood, Matter and Interactions (vols. 1-2).

Chemistry

Chemistry

Open to V Form students

Chemistry is concerned with discovering the natural laws governing the transformations of matter. It is also concerned with inventing theories to explain these laws in terms of atomic interactions. This rather prosaic summary actually represents a rich and intriguing field of exploration whose findings touch on nearly every aspect of our lives. Chemistry is often called the central science because it connects so many other scientific disciplines and technologies, particularly physics to life and environmental sciences. Success in chemistry depends upon the development and practice of a unique language. This language consists of chemistry definitions, chemistry drawings, chemistry facts and algorithms used to solve chemistry problems. This language, like all languages, can be used to express and manipulate ideas that may be inexpressible otherwise. This language will offer a new perspective on the nature of the universe and our students connection to it. Students will emerge from this course with an enriched view of themselves and the world in which they live. They will see how some of the big ideas of chemistry can be used to reframe and digest some of the biggest problems humanity faces. Text: Russo and Silver, Introductory Chemistry, 2nd ed.

Honors Chemistry

Open to V & VI Form students

requires instructor permission

Honors Chemistry applies the foundation of concepts, computational techniques, and laboratory practices students learn in Honors Physics to support their study of chemistry. The course begins with an introduction to descriptive and analytical chemistry through several weeks of laboratory work. Students here become familiar with important chemical properties and tools for uncovering patterns of chemical behavior and the laws that govern them. Laboratory work remains the central focus of the course as it recreates the empirical lines of evidence and creative reasoning from which modern chemical theory evolved during the 19th and 20th centuries. Students are challenged to construct their knowledge from their own experiments and collaborative discussions that utilize their prior knowledge of physics. Text: Brown et al., Chemistry: The Central Science, 10th ed.

Advanced Study in Chemistry

Open to VI Form students

requires instructor permission

This course offers students an opportunity to continue their study of chemistry at an advanced level by further exploring topics in physical and organic chemistry. The course is laboratory-centered with structured experiments that extend the students' experience with analytical techniques and instrumentation, followed by opened-ended projects that develop students' research skills. Text: Brown et al., Chemistry: The Central Science, 10th ed.

Semester-long Electives

Engineering

open to V & VI Form students, and to IV Form students with instructor permission

Semester-Long Half-credit elective

The goal of Introduction to Engineering is to provide an introduction to design thinking and a variety of engineering disciplines. The course will be broken into six parts that include: design thinking, experimental design, mechanical advantage, structural engineering concepts, aeronautical concepts, and a culminating independent design project. In each part of the course, students will learn the basic principles associated with the subject and conduct hands on projects using the principles learned. Students will leave the course with a greater appreciation of engineering problems and solutions.

Advanced Study in Anatomy & Physiology

open to V & VI Form students

semester-long Half-credit elective

Anatomy and physiology is the study of the structure and function of human biology. This course will cover the general principles of anatomy and physiology, including cells, tissues and organs, homeostasis and embryology, and we will use readings, lab work and case studies to accomplish learning. The following systems will be studied in detail: respiratory, circulatory, muscular, and nervous. Emphasis will be on interrelationships among systems and regulation of physiological functions. The lab will provide a hands-on learning experience for exploration of human system components and basic physiology, and case studies will provide insight into the pathology of these systems.

 

Advanced Study in Astronomy

open to V & VI Form students

semester-long Half-credit Elective

Astronomy students will investigate the solar system's key components and their features and formations; the methods for exoplanet discovery and the search for extraterrestrial life; the formation and evolution of stars and galaxies; the study of the Universe as a whole, including the Big Bang theory, dark matter and dark energy. Each week, students will be working in teams on a research project, based on which they will prepare a poster or presentation. Some of the many, varied, and exciting topics of research will include:

  • the search for habitable exoplanets,
  • solar system missions such as Cassini-Huygens,
  • historical asteroid impacts and their effects,
  • the source of life on Earth,
  • constellations and comets in history and folklore,
  • the mechanics of galaxy collisions, and
  • the evidence for the Big Bang theory.

Advanced Study in Bioengineering

open to V & VI Form students

Semester-long Half-credit elective

We humans seek solutions to all sorts of questions. However, unsolved problems exist despite dedicated work by teams of highly trained experts. One subset of such experts are the engineers, who seek pragmatic solutions and who utilize highly valuable resources to make progress in their search. Resources include the team's limited time, its domain-specific tools and its aggregate brain power. Throughout our intellectual history, humans have solved problems again and again. Some solutions are invented, whole-cloth, using human ingenuity. Others are on loan from the natural world: consider the piece of fruit that exactly matched an ancestor's daily caloric need. Still other solutions are inspired by the natural world: as George de Mestral was inspired to invent the hook and loop system of velcro after noticing burdock burrs clinging to his socks. Stationary, brainless burdock had solved the problem of being fixed in space. It had learned to attach its genes to moving animals. In Bioengineering, students will study nature-inspired solutions. Students will learn to take the view that evolution through natural selection is primarily an engine of innovation. From the smallest viruses to the largest organisms on earth, we are all problem solvers. And, it is the view of bioengineers that there are many hidden solutions left to find. Our work is to become better collaborators with Nature.

Visual & Performing Arts

Choral & Instrumental Music

Music Theory

open to all forms

Semester-long Half-credit Elective

This course is an introduction to the fundamentals of music, including reading notes and rhythm. Students learn to construct melodies and to work with basic harmony. Regular ear-training exercises as well as music history listening assignments prepare students both to compose their own music and to analyze selected repertoire, ranging from the Baroque through the modern eras.

Instrumental Music Methods

Open to all forms

Semester-long half-credit elective

This course is a studio instrumental music practice course designed to help students in the Orchestra and the Jazz Ensemble to progress in their technique. Comprising individual coaching and structured practice time, the course addresses all techniques and concepts that arise throughout the repertoire of the school’s two large performance ensembles. Students document and describe their practice over the course of each semester they are enrolled, and they participate in weekly evening rehearsals and concerts.

Chamber Music

Open to IV, V, VI Form students, and III Form students with instructor permission

Semester-long Half-credit elective

This course designed for intermediate to advanced members of the Orchestra and/or Jazz Ensemble. Students are placed in groups of three to five members to study repertoire for their particular instrumentation. Typical examples of chamber music groups include, but are not limited to: string quartets, woodwind trios, brass quartets, piano trios, and other common configurations. The focus is on the study of appropriately challenging repertoire with the goal of developing the artistry of collaboration, including interpretation, communication, and unified, polished performances.

Jazz Improvisation

Open to IV, V, VI Form Students

Semester-long Half-credit elective

Learn how to play jazz, including reading ensemble parts, learning chords and scales, and how to accompany and solo in various rhythmic styles. This course is designed to support Jazz Combos and studio support for members of the jazz ensembles. This course may be repeated.

Music Composition

Open to IV, V, VI Form students

Prerequisite: Music Theory

Music Composition course is a studio course that introduces students to the practice and art of writing and arranging music. The class uses a project-based format to provide the students with opportunities to write their own melodies, harmony, and rhythm in a number of instrumental and vocal styles. Students also practice creating a piece of music for film. For past projects, students have written jazz pieces, vocal art songs, popular music, covers of existing songs, and even a symphony for orchestra. The class also introduces students to quality audio recording and mixing techniques.

Advanced Study in Music Theory & Music History

Open to V & VI Form Students

Prerequisite: Music Theory

Yearlong course

This yearlong course is open to students who have demonstrated proficiency in the fundamentals of music (the ability to read and perform written music at a strong level; the possession of a working knowledge of all chord and scale types). Regular ear-training and part-writing assignments help students develop as composers; students produce original works on a monthly basis. Score analysis supplements readings as students develop interpretations of important repertoire, ranging from the medieval through the modern eras. Texts: Donald J. Grout and Claude V. Palisca, A History of Western Music; Stefan Kostka and Dorothy Payne, Tonal Harmony.

Founders Choir

Open to all forms

Semester-Long Half-credit Elective

Choir is open to all students regardless of prior vocal experience and focuses on building individual and ensemble singing skills. Students learn basics of healthy singing through performance of a wide range of musical styles, individual voice lessons, and sight singing and theory practice. The choir performs at school gatherings, in the School chapel, and at our annual Service of Lessons and Carols. This course also prepares singers who would like to sing in Andrean Ensemble or Noxontones.

Andrean Ensemble (previously Choral Scholars)

Open to all Forms by permission of instructor

Yearlong Course

Our Andrean Ensemble program challenges students with some previous vocal or choral experience. This course develops the complete singer through instruction in vocal development, sight-reading, ear training, music theory, and choral style. The Andrean Ensemble performs as the School's choral ensemble in the School Chapel, at off-campus events, and on tours. The Andrean Ensemble is open to all forms, but students must have instructor approval to join.

 

Dance

Dance 1

open to all forms

Semester-Long Half-credit Elective

This course builds a basic foundation for the beginning dancer by focusing on the fundamental positions and movements of a variety of dance styles, including ballet, modern and jazz. Students learn proper dance technique while developing physical and artistic awareness. Coursework addresses an overview of dance elements, including:

  • line;
  • form;
  • body placement;
  • movement quality;
  • musicality;
  • muscle control; and
  • artistic expression.

The course is designed to inspire an appreciation for the art of dance, while also preparing students for a more advanced study of dance technique. No previous dance experience is necessary.

Beginning Male Dance

Dance 2: Ballet

open to all forms

Semester-Long HALF-CREDIT ELECTIVE

PREREQUISITE: Beginning Dance OR PERMISSION OF THE INSTRUCTOR

Building on the foundation of students’ previous ballet experience, this course explores more advanced theories of classical ballet technique. Students increase their ballet vocabulary and perform more complex and advanced ballet combinations as they continue to refine their use of:

  • core control;
  • movement quality;
  • body placement; and
  • aesthetic line.

Increasing strength, agility, coordination, flexibility and stamina is emphasized. The aim of the course is to develop the discipline to combine the physical demands of ballet with artistic freedom of expression.

    Dance 2: Contemporary

    open to all forms

    Semester-Long Half-credit Elective

    PREREQUISITE: Beginning Dance OR PERMISSION OF THE INSTRUCTOR

    Building on the foundation of students’ previous modern dance experience, this course explores more advanced theories of modern and contemporary dance. Movement and creativity are highlighted with an emphasis on personal expression. Students practice floor exercises and center combinations designed to increase their:

    • core strength;
    • flexibility;
    • use of weight and momentum;
    • body isolation;
    • improvisation; and
    • freedom of movement.

    Utilizing these tools, students develop their own personal styles through self-expression, movement and choreography, and ultimately have the opportunity to create their own choreographic piece.

    Advanced Study in Dance: Classical Ballet

    Open to V & VI Form Students

    Prerequisites: Dance 2: Ballet, plus permission of instructor

    Yearlong course

    The structure of this course is a working model of the professional dance world; students experience what it means to be a professional artist in the field of dance. Students will continue their training in advanced classical ballet technique while discovering other aspects of the profession. Following a three-pronged approach to their dance training, students take a weekly technique class, skills & mastery class, and a choreographically focused class. Advanced Studies: Classical Ballet allows students the freedom to pursue their technical and artistic interests in dance as well as focus on developing specific dance-based projects. 

    Advanced Study in Dance: Contemporary

    Open to V & VI Form Students

    Prerequisites: Dance 2: Ballet, plus permission of instructor

    Yearlong course

    This structure of this course is a working model of the professional dance world; students experience what it means to be a professional artist in the field of dance. Students will continue their training in advanced contemporary dance techniques while discovering other aspects of the profession. Following a three-pronged approach to their dance training students take a weekly technique class, skills & mastery class, and a choreographically focused class. Advanced Studies: Contemporary allows students the freedom to pursue their technical and artistic interests in dance as well as focus on developing specific dance-based projects. 

    Photography and Film Studies

    Film Studies 1: Intro to Film

    open to all Forms

    Semester-Long Half-credit elective

    Introduction to Film is for students who want to experience the creative process of filmmaking. The basic elements and grammar of film are explored including light, color, composition, and editing. Students will complete a series of editorial exercises and produce a collection of short films using digital filmmaking techniques. While this course serves as a foundation in the cinematographic and editorial skills required to create a film, it also uncovers the narrative ingredients required to create engaging cinematic stories. Early cinema, current blockbusters, documentaries, and commercials are viewed for inspiration and historical value. Student projects are given ample time in class for shooting and editing.

    Film Studies 2: Intermediate Filmmaking Techniques

    open to IV, V, VI Form students

    Semester-Long Half-Credit Elective

    Prerequisite: Film Studies 1 or instructor permission

    The Film Studies 2 course follows the curriculum begun in Film Studies 1 and provides a deeper exploration of screenwriting and story structure, cinematography, lighting and sound. Students work on four or five larger projects as individuals and in teams as they further explore the technical and artistic aspects of creating for the moving picture. Students will work with more advanced cameras, lenses, and sound equipment and spend seven to eight weeks developing a script of an original story.

    Advanced Study in Film

    Open to VI Form students

    Prerequisite: Film Studies 1

    Yearlong course

    The Advanced Study in Film course is a year-long intensive studio class designed for VI Form students interested in developing advanced filmmaking, writing, and editing techniques. Students work on several large projects from conception to finish and utilize advanced lighting and sound equipment as well as a more developed editing and color grading process. Other major projects may involve exploratory video essays on film and the development of an original feature-length script.

    Photography 1

    open to IV, V, VI Form students

    Semester-Long Half-credit elective

    This course allows students to explore the expressive qualities of black-and-white photography while learning both the fundamentals of image-making with a 35mm manual camera, and the functions of a black-and-white wet darkroom. Students hone their photographic voice in an open critique setting and learn to edit their work by compiling a comprehensive final portfolio. They are introduced to medium-format film and have the opportunity to experiment with a Holga camera. A study of historical and contemporary photography complements practical exercise and work in the darkroom. No prior experience is required, but access to a 35mm camera with manual exposure capability is necessary.

    Darkroom/Wet Lab

    open to IV, V, VI Form Students

    Semester-Long Half-Credit Elective

    Prerequisite: Photo 1

    This course explores all aspects of traditional wet-lab photography. We will learn about, and experiment with, small, medium, and large format film cameras. Students will learn how to work with the wide variety of chemicals involved in the creation of analog photographic materials, and discover how many contemporary artists are reinventing the past and finding inspiration in these beautiful techniques . Most importantly, student will walk away with a portfolio of beautiful, unique prints from a wide array of fine art photographic processes.

    Advanced Lighting

    open to V & VI Form students

    SEMESTER-LONG HALF-CREDIT Elective

    PREREQUISITE: PHOTO 1

    Understanding light is undeniably the most important skill that a photographer can possess. In fact, many photographers believe that light IS the subject of every photograph. This course will guide students through all aspect of lighting, from natural/available, to studio, to location shoots where artificial and natural light come together. We will explore how to modify, shape, and balance lighting of all kinds in order to achieve whatever look we want, in any situation.

    Advanced Study in Photography

    open to VI Form students

    Two semesters of a Photo class, one of which must be photo 1

    Yearlong course

    This yearlong course is an intensive studio art (in this case, photography) class designed for VI Form students interested in investigating advanced methods and concepts central to the visual arts. Students concentrate on hands-on studio work with individual faculty in one of the visual arts disciplines (painting, photography, sculpture, or film), and come together for lectures and discussions of contemporary issues in art, practical demonstrations, such as portfolio development, and critiques. Coordinated, thematic assignments stimulate comparative discussions among visual art disciplines as in an advanced collegiate fine arts seminar.

    Studio Art

    Art History

    Open to IV, V, VI Form students

    Semester-long half-credit elective

    This course will take students through the process of exploring the subject, style, and significance of art and architecture of various world cultures. Students will draw from a variety of text and video resources to understand and appreciate the historical forces that gave rise to the astonishing richness of the structures and iconography that mark out particular historical eras. Students will design visual presentations and sketchbooks that seek to compare a given work with examples from other cultures and time periods, thereby widening the breadth of their investigations. 

    Drawing 1

    open to IV, V, VI Form students

    semester-Long Half-credit elective

    Students in this course work with a variety of media to create a visual language for describing natural form. Using charcoal, conte, and pastel, students render still-lifes, landscapes, and portraits with the goal of creating strong representational images.

    Drawing 2

    open to IV, V, VI Form students

    Prerequisite: Drawing 1 or instructor permission

    semester-long, half-credit elective

    Students work with a variety of media that will build upon skills that were previously acquired in Drawing 1. The language of value and form will continue to be explored with tools such as colored pastels, India ink, and charcoal. Students will then begin to pursue assignments of their own choosing, looking to construct their own visual ideas as they assemble a portfolio of images. 

    Painting 1

    open to IV, V, VI Form students

    semester-long Half-credit Elective

    In Painting 1, students work on on still-lifes, landscapes, and portraits, and in doing so learn how to use color as a means for describing light and form.

    Painting 2

    open to IV, V, VI Form students

    Prerequisite: Painting 1 or instructor permission

    semester-long, half-credit elective

    Students will work through a series of assignments that explore composition, color, brushwork, and value range. The ultimate goal of Painting 2 is for students to develop and pursue their own independent ideas in a portfolio of original images. Gouache, watercolor, and oil paint will all be options for medium as students develop their own artistic voice.  

    Printmaking

    open to IV, V, VI Form students

    SEMESTER-LONG HALF-CREDIT Elective

    PREREQUISITE: PHOTO 1 or Drawing 1

    The medium of printmaking provides an arena of creativity where photography, drawing, collage, and painting collide. Through an examination of etching, relief, and screenprinting, students will have the opportunity to create a portfolio of prints that showcases each of these areas. By its nature, Printmaking is a communal activity that relies on each person playing a different role in the print studio. In this way, each print becomes a collaboration between the participants, with every student supporting the other.

    Advanced Study in Drawing & Painting

    open to VI Form students

    Prerequisite: Drawing 2 or Painting 2

    Yearlong course

    This yearlong course is an intensive studio class designed for VI Form students interested in investigating advanced methods and concepts central to the visual arts. Students concentrate on hands-on studio work with individual faculty in one of the visual arts disciplines (painting, ceramics, photography, or film), and come together for lectures and discussions of contemporary issues in art, practical demonstrations, such as portfolio development, and critiques. Coordinated, thematic assignments stimulate comparative discussions among visual art disciplines as in an advanced fine arts seminar.

    Theatre

    Acting 1

    Open to all forms

    Semester-long Half-credit elective

    This course exposes students to the essential aspects of acting, and emphasizes acting as technique rather than emotion. Students study plays and selected scenes by Ibsen, Chekhov, Shakespeare, and Williams, and other more contemporary playwrights. They explore:

    • expanding vocal techniques;
    • physical alignment;
    • theatrical make-up;
    • stage combat;
    • script analysis; and
    • the First Folio technique of performing Shakespeare.

    Time permitting, students attend at least one professional theatrical production during the course.

    Acting 2

    Open to IV, V, VI Form students

    Prerequisite: Acting 1 or instructor permission

    Semester-long Half-credit elective

    Essentially a continuation of the Acting 1 class, this course delves deeper into the techniques of acting, focusing on script and character analysis as well as directing and improvisation. Student work is more individual and performance more frequent. By the end of the first semester, students will have three audition-quality monologues ready for performance and possible videotaping for college applications.

    Musical Theatre

    Open to IV, V, VI Form students, and III Form students with Instructor permission

    Semester-long Half-credit elective

    This course will make it possible for students who excel and focus on one performance genre (singing, acting, dancing) to broaden the depth of their work in others artistic areas. Coursework will include body mechanics, movement quality, stage presence and improvisation, instruction in all genres of dance, partner and group dance, improvisation and props, the Laban Technique, timing and dialogue, healthy vocal habits, sight singing, and private voice lessons. The course will conclude with a final solo performance by each student comprised of two songs, a pre-choreographed dance and an improvised dance, and a theatrical monologue.

    Public Speaking

    Open to All Forms

    Semester-long Half-credit elective

    This course focuses on the fundamentals of speaking in public. Coursework seeks to enhance students' ability to use effective and engaging vocal dynamics and strategies, including:

    • emphasis;
    • pace;
    • pitch;
    • tone;
    • volume; and
    • clarity.

    Assignments include:

    • experimenting with famous speeches;
    • conducting interviews;
    • preparing persuasive advertising;
    • sonnets;
    • theatrical monologues; and
    • impromptu speaking.

    The course also explores techniques for calming and masking the nervous habits often provoked by public performance.