Glenelg country school

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Humanities (an integration of English and Social Studies) -

Ancient Studies (9th grade) 2 credits

Western Studies (10th grade) 2 credits

American Studies (11th grade) 2 credits

World Studies (12th grade) 1 credit chosen from among numerous options

Integrative Seminar (12th grade) 1 credit

World and Classical Language - Successful completion of level 3 in one World or Classical language. Students must take, at minimum, 2 years of one World or Classical language in the Upper School. Students may not change languages until he or she has completed level three of one language.
Mathematics - Four years of high school level math required.
Science - Biology I, Chemistry I, and Physics I required.
Fine Arts - One full credit must be completed during four years of High School. (Studio Art, Photography, Chorus, Drama, Instrumental Music, other options by approval.)
Civic Leadership Program (CLP) - Each 9th grader is required to take CL 9, each 10th grader is required to take CL 10.
Physical Education - Four years of Physical Education/Athletics required (unless excused because of illness or physical handicap). Two seasons are required for grades 9 - 11 each year, one season is required for grade 12 each year.
School Service - Four years required; 25 hours for grades 9 - 11, and 20 hours for grade 12.
Total required academic credits: 21 ½

You must carry a minimum course-load of:

-5 ½ academic credits in Grade 9

-5 ½ academic credits in Grade 10

-5 ½ academic credits in Grade 11

-5 academic credits in Grade 12

-Each year you must carry 1 physical education credit.

Note: Upon matriculation, when appropriate, you will be awarded credit for any prior academic courses taken at an accredited or state-approved secondary or post-secondary institution.


* Please note that the courses listed below may not be offered in a given year. Refer to the Course Options list for 2008-2009 to select courses.

Ancient Studies: Required for all ninth-grade students. (2 credits)

This course aims to give all freshmen the historical perspective and literary tools that will empower them to examine and question the foundations of different world civilizations. Class members will look closely at the formation of the early river valley civilizations of Egypt, Mesopotamia, India, and China; trace the development of Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam; and focus intensely on the development of Greek and Roman culture.

To better understand the dilemmas human civilizations have encountered, students will study a diverse body of literature--both ancient and modern--that will shed light on what it means to be human. Course readings include Things Fall Apart, Oedipus Rex, Lord of the Flies, The Iliad, Julius Caesar, and Catcher in the Rye. Students will also read selected short stories and poems.

The central goals of the class are to teach freshmen how to think critically about historical events and literature and to express ideas effectively orally and in writing. Students will write extensively in a variety of compositional styles to enhance the clarity, precision and organization of their writing throughout the year. By joining the study of history and literature, the course will not only help students develop the skills required to study, think, and write about history and literature, but it will also require them to question how ancient history relates to their place in the present world.

An honors program is not offered in the ninth grade.
Western Studies: Required for all tenth-grade students. Both non-honors and honors programs are offered. (2 credits)

Western Civilization (1 credit)

This class covers the history of Europe and its relationship to the rest of the world from the Late Middle Ages to the Modern Era. Students will explore the underlying ideas of western culture as they relate to politics, economics, religion, technology, science, philosophy, and the arts, and examine the impact of these ideas on Europe and the rest of the world. The class will expose students to a wide range of primary and secondary sources that illuminate the era, and will build the skills necessary for students to evaluate these sources critically. Students will write analytical essays and complete a research paper.

Western Literature (1 credit)

Coordinated with the sophomore Western Civilization curriculum, this course encourages students to experience Western Civilization through the study of its literature. Students will read both classical and contemporary works in order to explore key themes in the Western tradition. Possible texts include Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, Shakespeare’s Othello, Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities, and Huxley’s A Brave New World. Sophomores will also complete a poetry unit and explore other short pieces—both essays and short fiction. The study of literature will serve as the tool by which students will continue to develop their speaking, writing, and critical thinking skills.

The honors program will cover the same material but to a greater depth and, therefore, at a quicker pace. More emphasis will be put on the study of primary source documents, and writing instruction and assignments will assume a more advanced skill level. Placement will be dependent on the sophistication of the student’s writing, reading, and critical thinking skills, commitment to learning, and achievement in ninth grade Ancient Studies.
American Studies: Required for all eleventh-grade students. (2 credits)

American Literature (1 credit)

This course synchronizes with U.S. History by exploring American heritage through a chronological view of its literature. Beginning with a brief view of colonial literature and moving through the Enlightenment and the Romantic periods, students are directed to consider the intellectual history that underpins and defines the form and content of the literary endeavors. Students will consider the process of American writers’ adopting and adapting of European intellectual/ literary traditions, and the way that they make those traditions particularly American. In addition, students will attempt to define the emerging American culture and character. In the second semester, the course delves into the Transcendental and Anti-Transcendental movements, culminating in an in-depth study of Melville’s Moby Dick. The year winds up with a close look at the emerging American voice in poetry with Whitman and Dickson. After a brief look at Realism and Naturalism, The Great Gatsby and The Death of a Salesman become the focus of the study of the Modern period. In addition to the above works, the primary text is the Norton, Anthology of American Literature.

United States History (1 credit)

This course studies the origins and development of the United States through a detailed exploration of its social, constitutional, economic, and political history. We will introduce the themes of race, rights, and regionalism as manifested in the struggles of the Civil War and Civil Rights movement, and then delve into a chronological study starting with the colonial, revolutionary, and critical periods during the first marking period. The second marking period will cover the growing and strengthening of the nation and the attendant regional struggles culminating in the Civil War. During the third marking period, we will focus on post war reconstruction, industrialism, imperialism, populism, and progressivism. Finally, we will study 20th century- both its international and domestic conflicts. Because developing the responsibilities of citizenship is an important mission of the school, students will gain both an extensive knowledge of the formal rights afforded them by the Constitution and hands on experience of the interplay between local government, non-profit organizations, and businesses in forging a strong and just community by completing a community action project that deals with a problem in the wider community. This project integrates the civics component of a U.S. history course with the school’s Civic Leadership Program. Students will write analytical essays and one large research paper.

All eleventh-grade students will receive honors credit for their enrollment in the American Studies Program.
Integrative Seminar (1 credit) Required for all twelfth-grade students.

The integrative seminar is intended to train students in interdisciplinary study as well as in seminar-style learning. Students are asked to consider a topic throughout the year from a variety of disciplinary perspectives drawn from both the sciences and the humanities. During the first semester, students examine and discuss a series of common readings that reflect the history and development of the most persistent ideas and perspectives bearing on our topic. During the second semester, each student undertakes an extended research project in a tutorial relationship with a faculty member, leads discussion of this research in the seminar, prepares a major paper, and submits himself or herself to an oral examination of the research before a faculty committee.

All twelfth-grade students will receive honors credit for their enrollment in Integrative Seminar.
World Studies: Open to Juniors and Seniors. Seniors must choose at least one course each semester. (1/2 credit each)
1968 In America (1st semester) (1/2 credit)

This elective will examine the events of a single, albeit dramatic, year in history. Unlike other survey classes you may have taken, we will delve deeply into the events, personalities and ramifications of a year that was at once joyous and tragic, chaotic and exuberant. While our emphasis will be on social and cultural history, we will lay a background for our discussions that includes politics, both domestic and with an international overview. We will make extensive use of visual resources, music and eyewitness accounts.

You will be expected to keep a journal to chronicle class discussion and write/report on each topic. Some will be on designated topics, some will be open. A final project is required, which will be presented both in written and oral form, to include interview material and be comparative in nature, relating a topic/issue/person to how it/they might be viewed 40 years later. This can be biographic or topical in nature, topics are open and formats are flexible.

What is it about the 60’s? Let’s try to find out.

African American Literature (1/2 credit)

The 1920s, an exciting time in American history, is also known as the beginning of the Harlem Renaissance. Black writers and artists gathered within the urban excitement of Harlem in New York City, creating art and literature that introduced Black themes and social identity to American society. This course offers students the opportunity to go beyond what can be covered in a year of American Literature, yet exploring many of the same factors. We will begin the semester by exploring the roots of African American literature (1700-1900). The second half of the semester will be devoted to studying the literature of the Harlem Renaissance and its effect on African American literature during the second half of the twentieth century.

Age of Discovery (1/2 credit)

Have you ever wondered how and why Europeans conquered the Earth? Have you ever wondered where chocolate, potatoes and tobacco come from? This class addresses these questions, and many others, including European relations to Native American peoples, the development of modern science and the technologies that allowed the “discovery” of the Earth. We will explore these issues through letters, travel account, and missionary publications, as well as films relating to the period.

Ancient Greek Civilization (1/2 credit)

In this class, we will explore the culture, history, and literature of ancient Greece. By examining Greek literature in the historical context of the culture that created it, we will learn what it can tell us about the values and beliefs of the people who invented the literary genres of Comedy, Tragedy, History, Epic, and Lyric Poetry in the West. This process will give us a chance to ponder what the poetry, drama, and history of the ancient Greeks mean to us in the modern world. Because this is only a one semester course, the best we can hope to do is to sample some of the highlights of the literary tradition which lies at the very foundation of Euro-American cultural tradition.

Anthropology (1/2 credit)

This course examines human kind from two main perspectives. First, the biological and cultural evolution of the species Homo sapiens, and secondly, an examination of the cultural, political, social, economic, and religious systems found in present and past human societies. An appreciation of the diversity of approaches through human existence are important aspects of this broad ranging introductory course. The two texts used are Anthropology by William Haviland and Annual Editions: Anthropology. Haviland’s book is used as the main source with supplemental monographs found on selected topics in the Annual Editions Book. Students will do outside reading in primary sources and additional research selected topics.

Asian Studies (2nd semester) (1/2 credit)

What lessons can the Mongol, Indian and Chinese cultures with their rise and fall of empires and dynasties teach us, Americans, about our own culture? Study of the Golden Ages of these cultures provides students with patterns to gain insight on how a culture sustains its vibrancy and can fall into decay. In addition to studying the social, economic and political characteristics of the Mongol, Indian and Chinese cultures, special attention will be given to the study of literature as a means to understand and appreciate the ideals valued by each culture. Mongol folktales, the Indian epic, The Ramayana, excerpts from the Bhagavad Gita, and the Chinese poetry of Li Po and Tu Fu will be read and discussed. Eastern religion and philosophy will be introduced with the study of Hinduism, Buddhism, Daoism and Confucianism. This course complements the first semester course on Islamic Culture and Its Impact on Western Civilization.

British Literature (1/2 credit)

This course is a chronological study of the literature of the English Isles. Beginning with Anglo-Saxon poetry and ending with a Modern novel, the course will examine the driving themes of the poetry and prose of British literature. We will ask and answer these two essential questions: 1. How has the art of writing changed throughout the literary history of the English Isles? and 2. What did those changes occur?

Broadcast Journalism (2nd semester) (1/2 credit)

This course focuses primarily on audio performance and digital technology. It involves interviewing techniques, story writing, reporting and editing. The student will get hands-on practice creating and producing podcast news segments for critique and review. The class will explore how mannerisms and speaking techniques have an impact on an audience. Selected broadcast-worthy material will be posted on the Glenelg website for public access. The stories will focus on school news and commentary.

Contemporary Aesthetics: (1/2 credit)

This course is designed as a small seminar-style class. The core academic framework of the course will track developments in thought on human expression from late-Romantic 19th-century thinkers through the PostModern movement and beyond into the present. Thematic areas of inquiry will focus understanding the conceptual and intellectual contexts surrounding the constantly evolving dialogue between form and expression in the arts and humanities. In addition to the philosophic/critical material, the course will integrate relevant interdisciplinary primary sources from the arts and humanities to supplement the theory with specific works for critical analysis and examination. Additionally, students will not only be required to develop their own independent research topic and write a paper, but further will be asked to demonstrate their comprehension of aesthetic issues through a creative project.

Creative Writing (1/2 credit)

Creative Writing will explore the craft and art of the short story.  Students will read several short stories from authors including Melville, Flannery O’Connor, London, Atwood, and many others to learn to recognize good short story form and style.  Students will also write several short stories of their own, with one main story that will be written and edited over the length of the course.  Classes will focus on learning the craft of writing, including plot, character development, setting, dialogue, tone, and voice.  Students will critique each other’s work, and peer-centered learning will be stressed.

Digital Filmmaking  (Arts Elective) (2nd semester) (1/2 credit)

This course will introduce students to all aspects of digital video production. Students will write, produce, direct and edit several films throughout the course. Techniques in camera operation, cinematography and directing as well as special effects will be taught and explored. Students will gain an appreciation for the complex and collaborative nature of film making, as well as first-hand experience planning and directing a film.

Dramatic Design and Literature (1st semester) (1/2 credit)

Dramatic Design and Literature takes an in-depth look at classic and contemporary works by accomplished playwrights and the designs that have been associated with the staging of their plays.  The course is divided into two sections.  The first section of the course (first quarter) we examine three extraordinary plays.  The objective of the first section of the course is to bring the students’ awareness of each text to a new level and to see beyond the written word, to the authors’ intention.  The second half of Dramatic Design and Literature focuses on the design process.  The students are taken through the steps that are associated with designing a set for a theatrical production all the way up to a working model of a set. 

Eastern Philosophy (2nd semester) (1/2 credit)

This course will explore the philosophies of the Eastern world, including Chinese, Indian, and, Japanese philosophies.  Students will read and discuss the primary philosophers and their works in a seminar format and be required to participate in class discussions.  Historical biographies will supplement the backgrounds of each philosophy, while essays will help to sharpen the thinking of each student as they put in writing their thoughts and reactions to the works.  Daily questions will help form the critical abilities of each student and allow them access to sometimes difficult texts.

Film and Literature (1st semester) (1/2 credit)

This course will explore the relationship between source literature and its filmed adaptation. Through discussion and writing, students will analyze both literature and films, comparing and criticizing them on their own merits. Students will read original literature and some screenplays as well as view the film adaptations. As a culminating activity, the students will create their own screenplays adapting a short piece of literature. Some films/literature include Dracula, Frankenstein, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Blade Runner, some film noir/pulp fiction adaptations, some adapted work by Stanley Kubrick, MacBeth and its Japanese adaptation by Kurosawa.

Graphic Novels and Comics: Sequential Art and Text (2nd semester) (1/2 credit)

This course will be a multi-disciplinary examination of Comics and Graphic Novels. We will begin by examining Sequential Art as a medium, using Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics as a text. This will be followed by a survey of the history of the medium and discussion of its many genres. Readings will include many Graphic Novels and Comics, as well as essays and writings about the medium. Finally we will discuss the technical production aspects of Sequential art. Course work will include readings, panel analyses, critical response essays and a final project. Students will also be involved in the writing, illustrating and production of their own short comics (artistic talent is not a prerequisite for the course).

Hispanic Studies (2nd semester) (1/2 credit)

This one semester course will explore the rich cultural range of Hispanic Literature from the view of the early Spanish explorers through the world of magical realism to contemporary social criticism. Students will read and discuss shared literature as well as literary works of their choice.

Islamic Studies (1st semester) (1/2 credit)

How did Islamic culture contribute to the European Renaissance? From the teachings of Muhammad to the Christian conquest of Islamic Granada in Spain, students will be introduced to the Islamic culture from the 7th to the 15th centuries. To more clearly understand the roots of fundamentalism leading to extremism, students will learn the choices confronted by those struggling to withstand an assault on their faith and culture from a case study novel of an Islamic family during the Christian reconquest of Spain in the 15th century. After a study of Islamic expansion from the Middle East to Central Asia and North Africa, special attention will be given to the West African kingdoms of Ghana, Mali and Songhai during their Golden Age. The relationship between Christianity, Judaism and Islam will be studied in the context of the Crusades and Moorish Spain. Attention will be given to the Sufi movement and its literature, and an artistic project will be undertaken to demonstrate the Islamic integration of spirituality, art and science.

Latin American Studies (1/2 credit)

Latin American Studies is a semester-long course that introduces students to the history and culture of Latin America. The study of the history of Latin America includes the geographic areas of Mexico to the tip of South America. Periods studied are Pre-Columbian cultures including Mayan, Aztec, Incan, and others, the conquest, the colonial period, the revolutions, and some important issues of the 19th and 20th centuries. Excerpts from primary sources of this history pertaining to each period are studied. Aspects of culture also pepper the course as pertaining to events in history. Holidays, language, religion, traditions, issues of discrimination, as well as important authors and artists are studied. The text used for this course is the 7th edition of Benjamin Keen and Keith Haynes’ A History of Latin America as well as various films and excerpts.

The Literary History of India (1/2 credit)

This course will examine the relationship between the literature and history of India. The class will begin with a study of India’s early religious texts, observe the rise of storytelling and narrative structure in India, and examine the literary influence of the West on Indian literature. As we read the literature of India, we will ask and answer these essential questions: How does the history of a people influence the literature of that people? How does place of writing relate to purpose of writing? How does culture become narrative?

Master and Commander (1/2 credit)

In the view of many literary critics and historians, Patrick O’Brian’s series, Master and Commander, is a masterpiece of the historical novel genre. Richard Snow of the New York Times has deemed it, “the best historical novel he has ever read.” The novels center around the friendship between Captain Jack Aubrey of the Royal Navy and Stephen Maturin, ship’s surgeon and intelligence agent to the King, against the backdrop of the Napoleonic wars. They are full of detailed and rich references to literature, art, history, politics, economics and science of the era.

The class will read the first three novels of the series, using them as springboards to additional research into the historical events, forces and personalities of this intriguing period. It is recommended for students who have a love of history and an eagerness to read O’Brien’s novels.
Modern China (1st semester) (1/2 credit)

As China develops its economic power and secures an ever stronger military, it has the potential to be a superpower rivaling the United States in its hegemony. To what extent will its rigid and repressive political system adapt to the democratic winds of globalization? What seeds of greatness in the heritage of the Chinese people are inspiring the leadership of China? What social, political, economic and foreign relations issues are challenging China and to what extent is the Chinese government capable of addressing them? These contemporary questions will guide this study of Modern China that extends from the fall of the Manchu Dynasty in 1911 to the dawn of the 21st century. Attention will be given to the impact of cultural legacies and leadership most notably in the personages of Sun Yatsen, Chiang Kaishek, Mao Zedong, Zhou Enlai, Deng Xiaoping and Chiang Ching-kuo.

Modern European Studies (1/2 credit)

Understanding that it is impossible in a one semester course to cover all of the significant events of modern European history, this course will look at the political, economic, social and cultural forces present in some of the most important eras of modern western civilization. We will examine the French revolution, Napoleon and the new European order and imperialism, World War I and the Russian Revolution. Besides the extensive readings on the subject matter, there will be an attempt to use the internet as a source, and students will be expected to actively participate in classroom discussions.

The Modern Novel (1/2 credit)

We will read some of the great novels of the Modern era, including works by William Faulkner, Salman Rushdie, and Gabriel Garcia Marquez. The course will be driven by these essential questions: What does it mean to be Modern? What impulses and ideals are unique to the Modern mindset that would produce such stories? How is a Modern novel different from a novel of a previous age?

Oral History (1/2 credit)

This course will explore the oral history form, both audio and video, resulting in each student producing a significant document of a historical topic of their choice. Students will learn the researching skills needed to gather detailed information on their subjects. Students will also learn the technical aspects of capturing quality sound and video of their subjects, as well as interviewing techniques and post-production aspects such as editing. Interested students should be excited about spending the semester working on one historical project. This course is open to grades 10-12.

Past Imperfect (2nd semester) (1/2 credit)

Today, much of what we know of history has been told through the filmmaker’s eye, for better or worse. This course is based on the book Past Imperfect: History According to the Movies, which studies important historical events through both their film renditions and through the analysis of notable historians. We will study six films in class, including Henry V, A Man for All Seasons, Glory, Gallipoli, Eight Men Out and JFK, study the historical record and compare the film versions. Students will write “reviews” of each film and topic and complete a final project which will be a focused historical review of a film of their choice.

Philosophy (1/2 credit)

This seminar course will introduce students to the major western philosophers and their works. Students will explore ideas such as justice, virtue, morality, love and many others in daily conversations. Students will have daily readings (usually less than 15 pages) and classes will be seminar format. Participation in conversations is required. One 5-10 page philosophic essay will be written on any of the texts students have encountered in class. This course is open to grades 11-12.

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