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Advanced Studies Courses

Themes in Literature (I is offered in Semester 1 and II is offered in Semester 2)

 

Themes in Literature is modeled after college-level Freshman Seminars, offering students opportunities for collaborative interaction and discussion with intellectual peers.  The course centers around a central “theme” each semester.  Utilizing Inquiry Based Learning, students brainstorm questions, categorize them according to career pathways, and work in interest groups to find answers.

 

The underlying lessons each semester offer higher-level thinking and learning skills for students to practice and apply within the confines of the class, with the intent to transfer those learning skills to other learning environments to transfer student learning from short-term to long-term memory, increase student achievement. 

 

108325 Themes in Literature I (Weight – 1.2)                                                          0.5 credits

 

Topic: Think Like da Vinci – 7 Principles of da Vinci (Text:  Think Like da Vinci, by Michael Geib)

 

Leonardo da Vinci’s “Curiosita” is defined as “an insatiably curious approach to life and an unrelenting quest for continuous learning.  Through a look at da Vinici’s life, accomplishments, and patterns of behavior, students will identify and hone personal areas of strength.  Exploration of da Vinci’s Curiosita, Dimostrazione, Sensazion, Sfumato, Arte/Scienza, Corporalita, and Connessione will allow students to explore this great thinker from a variety of perspectives while discovering the interconnectedness of the world, the metacognitive process, and themselves.  This course includes independent time for Talent Development, known as TDO, and will be structured to encourage independent thought, Socratic Discussion and Autonomous Learning.

 

108425 Themes in Literature II (Weight – 1.2)                                                         0.5 credits

 

Topic: 101 Fictional Characters – Habits of Mind (James Anderson)

 

Explore the importance of fictional characters in the shaping of society.  While the authors of the inspiring book “101 Fictional Characters Who Never Lived but Shaped Society” suggest that the most influential character in their lives was The Marlboro Man, the current generation has a different perspective and set of experiences.  Explore the influence of characters of myths, legends, television and movies.  Individual students will examine and generate their own list from a cross-section of genre and categories.  Students will examine their own strengths and weaknesses through the lenses of the 16 Habits of Mind.  This course includes independent time for Talent Development, known as TDO, and will be structured to encourage independent thought, Socratic Discussion and Autonomous Learning.

 

158121 National History Day (Weight – 1.2) (Grades 9, 10, 11, and 12)      1.0 credit  

 

National History Day is an elective course that challenges students to choose historical topics related to a theme and conduct extensive primary and secondary research, related to an annual announced theme.  After analyzing and interpreting sources and drawing conclusions about their topics’ significance in history, students present their work in original papers, websites, exhibits, performances or documentaries, working individually or in groups. These products are entered into regional competition in March. Students who place in the top three in each category advance to state competition in May, and students who place in the top two in state competition advance to the Kenneth E. Behring National Contest in June at the University of Maryland at College Park.   The dates for the regional, state, and national competitions have not yet been announced.    

Students interested in this course should be strong learners who work well independently, and are self-motivated and inquisitive, with an interest in history or social studies.

 

 

108531 AP Seminar (Weight – 1.3) (Grades 10 and 11)                                    1.0 credit            (This course will be scheduled to meet every other day for the full year)

 

AP Seminar is a foundational course that engages students in cross-curricular conversations that explore the complexities of academic and real-world topics and issues by analyzing divergent perspectives. Using an inquiry framework, students practice reading and analyzing articles, research studies, and foundational literary and philosophical texts; listening to and viewing speeches, broadcasts, and personal accounts; and experiencing artistic works and performances. Students learn to synthesize information from multiple sources, develop their own perspectives in research based written essays, and design and deliver oral and visual presentations, both individually and as part of a team. Ultimately,the course aims to equip students with the power to analyze and evaluate information with accuracy and precision in order to craft and communicate evidence-based arguments. A short written application is required to be considered for enrollment in the course.  The course enrollment is limited to 20 students.

 

108631 AP Research (Weight – 1.3) (Grades 10 and 11)                                        1.0 credit

(This course will be scheduled to meet every other day for the full year)

 

AP Research allows students to deeply explore an academic topic, problem, or issue of individual interest. Through this exploration, students design, plan, and conduct a year-long research based investigation to address a research question. In the AP Research course, students further their skills acquired in the AP Seminar course by understanding research methodology; employing ethical research practices; and accessing, analyzing, and synthesizing information as they address a research question. Students explore their skill development, document their processes, and curate the artifacts of the development of their scholarly work in a portfolio. The course culminates in an academic paper of 4000–5000 words (accompanied by a performance or exhibition of product where applicable) and a presentation with an oral defense. Students are selected for this class by an academic panel.  A short written application is required to be considered for enrollment in the course.  The course enrollment is limited to 20 students.

 

Prerequisite: Successful Completion of AP Seminar and a score of 3 or higher on the AP Seminar exam.

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