Design a curriculum for yourself as a sophomore in high school. Be prepared to share in class next week
A school for hand based thinkers and makers: to help students physically interact with the world in order to understand it better.
The Physics of light & sound
(through building diy guitar pedals & synths and small light projects)
The power of plants in Environmental Remediation
Case studies throughout history, in class visit with practitioners & brief overview of tech that’s used, potential field trip to reserves / initiatives. (combination of earth science, chemistry, history.) get hands dirty with a class project of recreating natural filtering systems.
The history of walking
a bi weekly class that goes on hikes or walks around the city that explore different moments of local & global history and politics. (A nice switch for PE that folds in art history, policy & politics, English, and Creative writing exercises)
Spices around the world
(cooking class/wellness through nutrition + world history) ( leading into lunch?)
Meditative sketchbook hour
(sort of like independent study but with the option to sketch/journal or join in on guided mindfulness or stretching sessions)
Sensing the world around us
(learning computer science through working with various sensors/coding, and robotics 101, could also connect with history of walking class with an Ingrid Burrington style walking tour of internet infrastructure)
Art, Design and sustainability
( Thinking through the history of art making tools & processes / upcycling projects but also thinking about where materials are sourced from and how they impact our local and global environment, example papermaking and non toxic ink based screenprinting),
Maybe twice a semester workshops on resources like project management, studying and budgeting apps & tools, maybe creation software like illustrator or photoshop, as well as conducting informal interviews with people working in fields of interest.
Foreign language Penpal exchange / written or collages letters
(Can pair with the culture or language the student is interested in, ideally building off of freshman years foreign language class)
After school gardening, film production or game design options
500 word essay on “How do I Learn”?
2 images or graphics
“How do I learn?”
I remember during our undergraduate graduation weekend I showed my parents around and introduced them to one of my professors. After talking a little, my parents then told him a story about how as a child I used to work puzzles from the inside out, starting with the center and working outwards. As soon as they told him that he lit up and said “I wish I had known that sooner, it really helps me understand her process”.
That moment has always stuck with me, especially as I now watch and help my oldest nephew work puzzles. I almost wonder if it isn’t the parents that instill the idea of borders? And maybe it wasn’t unique to me as an individual but the natural approach for kids to try to work things from the center out, to get their hands dirty first before finding the borders? Although thinking processes evolve over time as we incorporate new knowledge, strategies, and experiences. However, I really feel that my inclination to start from the center out as a kid is still reflected in how I think and learn about the world around me. It’s the idea of acknowledging an invisible pull towards a specific point of interest, building on it and then through the process of continuing to build, the borders begin to present themselves. Although it may not be the most time efficient approach if time is the priority, but I wonder if maybe more is learned about the smaller things, maybe color, shape and nuances of an issue at hand that might be missed if borders are given or focused on too soon? Nuanced connections that may be applied elsewhere?
I think I’m a tactile, visual, kinesthetic learner, With a balance between social and solitary. When I try to think back on different studying strategies that worked well for me? I remember in art history making so many flash cards(although required, they really did help!) & for writing – rearranging post it notes on a wall helped me the most to visualize and connect the points of an essay. Sometimes it took sitting down with someone, hitting record on a phone or laptop, and talking through the larger ideas I was trying to lasso. Then listening to it later, through the process of transcription, connections would form. I also love learning alongside and therefore from other classmates. Although I may not learn as well When in a large group, I think I benefit from a study buddy. Someone that I go to the library with or a cafe knowing that we’re both there to work. If doing a dense reading? I really do need a quiet place with few distractions? And also have never really been able to successfully study to music with lyrics. I usually listen to something Instrumental or an ambient playlist.