That Which Connects Us Protects Us: Humanities 9

Aug 24, 2016 | Humanities, Upper School News

IMG_7697This year students beginning in grade 9 will examine the evolution of human civilizations to discover how innovation, ethics, solutions, creativity, communication and collaboration have shaped humanity. Combining the fundamentals of literature and history, in this foundational course, students will enhance their skills in written and oral communication, critical reading and writing, problem solving, self-reflection and awareness. Ultimately students will demonstrate their ability not only to engage as consumers of texts, but as creators and agents of change with the ability to self-author their own lives and shape their communities.
Where can ninth graders delve deep into cultural studies and examine the literature, history, art, and music of past and current societies?  Where can they analyze and evaluate how the human experience is driven by connection, innovation, conflict, and the desire for self-determination?  In this new interdisciplinary course, Humanities 9 provides the academic space for freshmen to examine what it means to be human, how identities are shaped by global context, and what factors shape our values and beliefs.
IMG_7705The first project, a public art installation in the Art Gallery named the Connections Canopy, provided freshmen an opportunity to see how connection is vital to the human experience. Creating this installation required students to identify with specific characteristics, allowing each of them to recognize how they connect to their classmates. Reflecting on the activity, one student realized that she not only had similar traits with her classmates, she recognized that while “everyone is different in their own way,” the canopy demonstrates how “we connect together together and that can help us explore and develop our passions.”
IMG_7711New Humanities 9 teacher Jennifer Lloyd shares, “As we continue our inquiry into contemporary and historical human societies through the integration of literature, history, politics, economics, philosophy, religious faith, ethics, architecture, art, and music, we will use the lens of the Mount Vernon mindsets to discover how innovation, ethics, solutions, creativity, communication, and collaboration have shaped the human experience. As a foundational course, students will enhance their skills in written and oral communication, critical reading and writing, creative problem-solving, and self-reflection and awareness.”
One member of the class of 2020 perhaps said it best, “OMG, it is so much fun to be in this class; I will understand my world better after studying humanities.”
Follow Humanities 9 on Twitter #mvhuman.
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