(Must be taken together.)
Recommended Grade Level: 12
Course Description: Critical Issues is an issue-focused course that aims to engage students in an ongoing, informed study of topics of importance to citizens in a global society. The course shows, from a variety of viewpoints, the questions and conflicts involved in defining and analyzing an issue, both historical and contemporary, from a global perspective. The course seeks to help students better understand the world in which they live, establish shared contexts of the core disciplines of social studies, and the complex social, ethical, and moral choices presented by modern culture, science, and technology. This is accomplished through the application of critical thinking skills.
Topics Covered: Major units of study include: media literacy, inequality, politics, environmental issues, and international crises.
Project-Creating a Media Message
Research project at the end of semester
*Minimal outside time is required, but many students find that additional time is helpful on longer projects. Students should expect some use of on-line assignments and assessments. Students should largely be able to complete all work in class.
Comparative Religion H
Recommended Grade Level: 12
Course Description: This course is an opportunity to intellectually compare five major world religions – Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism. The course emphasizes scholarly research and historical inquiry that will assist students to become citizens in a global society.
Topics Covered: * Analysis of the literary significance and historical influence of the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament), the New Testament, the Koran, the Vedas, and the Tripitaka
* Comparison and contrast of primary sources by using supplemental secondary readings dealing with each religion
* Collaborative discussions on issues of: free speech, culture, central ideas and philosophical traditions of each religion, effect of geography on religion, motivation behind religious figures or groups, effect of religions on political and economic decision making, and the relationship between technological innovations and religion
* Completion of DBQ (document-based question) written analysis for each unit
* Participation in Socratic Seminars
* Completion of a research project at the end of the semester whereby students will be expected to plan, organize, and complete a group or independent research project that involves: asking questions; acquiring, organizing, and analyzing information; answering questions; and communicating results.
Minimal outside time is required, but many students find that additional time is helpful on longer projects. Students should expect some use of on-line assignments and assessments. Students should largely be able to complete all work in class. (Honors Level Course)