HISTORY/HUMANITIES 9: FOUNDATIONS OF WORLD CIVILIZATIONS
This survey course examines the journey from early civilizations to the fifteenth century. Students explore the geographic, social, religious, political, economic, and cultural elements of early civilizations, vast empires and emerging countries. The course emphasizes the acquisition and development of verbal and written expression, as well as study skills and reading comprehension. Full year course – 1 ½ credits (1 credit History; ½ credit Religion).
BIOETHICS (Grades 10-12)
This course examines the use of ethics in the biomedical/life sciences domain. We examine important ethical concepts that help us to consider each issue and develop a method for approaching any bioethical topic. We discuss topics using this framework to study specific (real) cases. Students develop the ability to have reasoned dialogue through a focus on open and respectful discussion. Studying bioethics is a way to deepen understanding of medical research and its impact on society. Biomedical research has led to dramatic breakthroughs in the understanding of disease, disease prevention and new treatments. New knowledge requires a citizenry capable of making informed decisions to guide personal choices and public policy. This course provides the tools to make those important decisions. Semester course – ½ credit.
GOD(S) AND HUMANS (Grades 10-12)
The purpose of this course is to explore the nature of faith, religion, good and evil. We examine the characteristics of religion and the genesis of early religions, with a focused study of several religious traditions. Semester course – ½ credit.
WORLD MYTHOLOGY (Grades 10-12)
Our mythology class examines the classic themes common to most systems – e.g., the hero’s quest, the creation and destruction of the world – while we read stories from cultures throughout the world, seeking to understand both commonalities and differences amongst and between disparate cultures. Our goal is to come to a better understanding of the reasons that cultures that seem, on the surface, to be quite different tend to ask – and try to answer – the same questions about life. Semester course – ½ credit.
TOPICS IN RELIGION: BUDDHISM (Grades 10-12)
This course focuses on the basic tenets of Buddhism and the varieties of philosophy and practice in its major divisions. It covers the history of Buddhism from its inception to the present time, including its spread throughout Asia and its recent introduction in the West. Semester course – ½ credit.
SOCIAL ETHICS (Grades 10-12)
This course explores the global and perennial issues of injustice, poverty and war, as well as current ethical dilemmas, examining them critically within their cultural, historical, economic, religious and environmental contexts. Exemplary individuals and communities are studied, providing students with a foundation from which to examine their own lives and views of individual and collective responsibility. Semester course – ½ credit.
ISSUES IN PHILOSOPHY (Grades 11 and 12)
This course examines the philosophical questions and issues with which Western philosophers have grappled since the inception of philosophy itself. Topics covered include God and Religion, Science and Method, Epistemology, Ontology, and Beauty and Art. Texts: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values (Pirsig), Lila: An Inquiry into Morals (Pirsig), J.B. (Macleish), and God (Allen). Semester course – ½ credit.
JUSTICE (Grades 10-12)
This course is based on Harvard University professor Michael Sandel’s renowned book and course, Justice, and asks the question, “What’s the right thing to do?” Semester course – ½ credit.
INDEPENDENT STUDY (Grades 10-12)
For motivated students who wish to pursue a special topic. Open to juniors and seniors, and to qualified sophomores, with permission of instructor and Associate Head of School. Credit will vary.
COMMUNITY SERVICE (Grades 9-12)
Students receive ¼ credit each year for fulfilling the community service requirement (25 hours per year), including associated reading and activities.