What would make the world a better place, and how do you stand up for what you believe in? As the issues of today crescendo into crises, we have an ethical obligation to identify ways that we can use our gifts to make our communities more whole. After briefly exploring the history of activism, students immerse themselves in a topic they are passionate about so that they can create a plan to effect economic, environmental, political, or social change in a target community.
Utilizing a social science approach to research and source evaluation, in the first term students engage in deep, sustained inquiry, authentic and iterative research, critical analysis, and rigorous reflection, revision, and assessment as they search for the answers to their theoretical or ethical questions. Students collect, critique, and evaluate peer-reviewed and primary source documents, as well as other authentic artifacts, so that they can develop a thesis and design a project that is grounded in research.
Students are then guided through the process of planning the deployment of a novel idea and identifying markers of success. Because this is a rigorous academic course with real world engagement, students practice how to voice their own perspectives without silencing those of others, and they consider issues relating to equity and safety as they lay out their project. Students produce a cumulative portfolio containing artifacts of their growth. Sample artifacts include: mission statement, strategic plan, grant or funding pitch, or the design of an activity. The final portfolio may include exemplars of content and skills mastery as well as a capstone project in the medium of their choice. Students leave this course with the ability to effect and measure change in their community.
Summer courses are for-credit opportunities for ambitious students to get a jump on the next academic year. Students participating in these courses should plan to devote 25-30 hours per week for eight weeks to their course. Students will receive grades and comments in these classes, which are the equivalent of year-long, high-school level courses. Because of the pacing and intensity of for-credit summer courses, there is little flexibility; students must be available and have internet access for all eight weeks of the course.
WHAT STUDENTS SAY
"I love this course! There are endless opportunities for growth and intellectual maturity from reading to conducting research in the community. I've strengthened my ability to evaluate the political, economic, and social climate and the inequalities within by developing analytical questions and gaining new perspectives to formulate an evidence-based argument in order to address the next steps of becoming an activist: taking action and promoting change!"
WHAT STUDENTS DO
Learning is an active process at One Schoolhouse. Students design, create and apply. And, they engage with classmates and connect with their teachers through discussions, video conferences, and projects. Specifically, in this class students will:
Social Sciences Teacher
BA Notre Dame of Maryland University
MA University of Wisconsin