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Humanities 2007 2008

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A presentation given to parents at Shanghai American School, Pudong campus as an introduction to the new Humanities program, an integrated approach to learning

A presentation given to parents at Shanghai American School, Pudong campus as an introduction to the new Humanities program, an integrated approach to learning

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  • 1. Shanghai American School , Pudong Presenters: Susannah Muench, Fay Leong September 21, 2007 Humanities 2007-2008 Education is not filling a bucket but lighting a fire William B. Yeats
  • 2. What is Humanities?
    • history
    • literature
    • philosophy and ethics
    • different cultures
    • linguistics
    • law
    • archaeology
    • comparative religion
    • the history, theory, and criticism of the arts
    • aspects of the social sciences (anthropology, sociology, psychology, political science, government, and economics)
    Definition used by the U.S. Congress when the National Endowment for the Humanities was established in 1964
  • 3. Why is it important?
    • It encourages students to discuss, explore and reflect upon the following in an inter-disciplinary manner:
    • The nature of basic values
    • Issues that confront us as citizens and as human beings in life and in society
  • 4. Why is it important?
    • The various policies and practices that are proposed to address these issues
    • The experiences and perceptions of others,
    • The ways in which time, place and culture affect attitudes and perceptions
  • 5. It is the core of human values and experiences Without it we have no context for understanding our past, present or future, as individuals or as nations
  • 6. Why combine SS and LA ?
    • The needs of a new generation of students and thinkers
    • The new requirements of the ever changing globalized workforce
    • Subject integration is a key component of life long learning
  • 7. The creation of Humanities will develop and reinforce all 3 of these key elements
  • 8. Overview of Grade 6 Curriculum
    • Comprised of five themes that are linked together and reflect the learning process, a cycle of exploration, development, and growth.
    • The program culminates with a final challenge for students to see themselves not just in their specific time and place, but in a broader global context.
  • 9. Theme 3: Foundations and Formations Theme 5: This is Who We Are/ Here We Are Now Theme 2: Stages of Development/ Rites of Passage Theme 1: Where Are We From/ Where Are We Now? Theme 4: Establishing Values, Beliefs and Traditions Grade 6 Humnities Curriculum Overview
  • 10. Overview of Grade 7 Curriculum
    • THEMES
    • The Development of Identity
    • The influence of religion on the development of cultures and society
    • Trade and its impact on human development
    • The connection between community and conflict and the role institutions play
  • 11. 7 th Grade Texts
    • “ Literature and Integrated Studies” by Scott Foresman
    • Dragon Keeper, Carole Wilkinson (novel study)
    • Catherine Called Birdy, (novel study)
    • The Merchant of Venice (f ilm as text)
    • Cry freedom (film as text)
    • The Outsiders, S.E. Hinton (novel study)
  • 12. What will Humanities at SAS Pudong look like? Grade 8 Quarterly breakdown
  • 13.
    • Theme 1: What is Evidence (2 weeks)
    • Enduring Understandings:
    • Problem-solving requires a systematic approach
    • Information exists in a variety of forms
    • All evidence has limitations
    • Argument requires evidence
    Quarter 1 (9 weeks)
  • 14.
    • Students will be introduced and exposed to:
    • the definition, categories and limitations of evidence.
    • a variety of written and visual forms of evidence.
    • They will engage with evidence through:
    • a historical case study
    • a field trip investigation of the Shanghai streetscape.
  • 15. Pi Day
  • 16.
    • Theme 2: Journeys (7 weeks)
    • Enduring Understandings:
    • There are many types of journeys
    • Everything we do has an impact on ourselves and on our environment
    • Systems within an environment are interdependent
    • Humans continually seek knowledge
  • 17. Literature Study: The Journal of Augustus Pelletier: The Lewis and Clark Expedition by Kathryn Laskey
    • Students will
    • investigate the concepts of journeys, exploration, challenges and courage
    • discuss the structural elements of plot and the use of figurative language
    • be introduced to basic economic concepts and systems through the study of imperialism between 1500 - 1900
  • 18. 8 th Grade Recycling Program
  • 19. Quarter 2 (8 weeks)
    • Theme 3: The Environment and Society
    • Enduring Understandings:
    • Everything we do has an impact on ourselves and on our environment
    • Systems within an environment are interdependent
    • Change is continual
    • Human needs depend upon available resources
  • 20. A multi-disciplinary Unit
    • Students will
    • explore the concepts of global issues
    • consolidate research and writing skills
    • develop areas of speech and debate
    • be involved in real life connections between science, math, language arts and social studies.
  • 21. Middle School Play
  • 22. Quarter 3 (9 weeks)
    • Theme 4: Culture
    • Enduring Understandings:
    • Cultural Misconceptions are part of our past and present
    • Cultural values and beliefs affect relations among individuals, groups, institutions, and political states.
    • Cultural identity is determined by many factors
  • 23. Literature Study: Rabbit Proof Fence (Film as text) House on Mango Street
    • Students will
    • analyze the impact of contact on indigenous civilizations
    • investigate the themes of family, personal identity, cultural identity and displacement
    • compare and contrast the effects of major colonizing movements across time
    • experience the reality of the ‘melting pot’ and investigate the meaning of E Pluribus Unum (Out of the Many, One).
  • 24. Model United Nations
  • 25. Quarter 4 ( 9 weeks)
    • Theme 5: Human Rights
    • Enduring Understandings:
    • Change is continual
    • Democracy is a process
    • Democracy is not inherent
  • 26. Literature Study: The Giver Diary of Anne Frank
    • Students will
    • understand the rights of individuals
    • compare and contrast the power of government vs the responsibility of the individual
    • Analyze responsibility versus indifference and the impact of discrimination
    • engage in a a journey of self discovery
  • 27.
    • Encourages connections
    • Allows for more authentic learning
    • Can be designed to specifically meet the needs of our students, at this school, in this country
    Why integrate? Integration allows a theme based curriculum
  • 28. Connections
    • Fast connections :
      • the mark of the ‘thinking’ learner
      • Allow the learner to adapt and evolve within an every-changing environment
    • “ Increasing proper connections among the brain’s neurons results in a better functioning brain…Without such connections, bits of information are isolated from the prior knowledge and are forgotten .”
    • Lowery, L. F., (2001)The biological basis for thinking. In Costa, A. L. (ed.) (2001). Developing Minds: A Resource Book for Thinking . Virginia: ASCD. (p. 179)
  • 29. Connections: A new focus on creative thinking
    • “ In any self-organizing system there is an absolute mathematical necessity for creativity……. evidence suggests that the mind behaves as a self-organizing neural network ”
    • De Bono, E (1994). Teach your child how to think . New York: Penguin. (p. 16)
    • Learning approaches need to focus on developing activities that focus on creative thinking in order to improve the efficiency of that network
    • Increased connections = a more efficient learner
  • 30. Authentic learning
    • The students of today need to be:
    • responsible global citizens
    • skilled in decision making,
    • able to anticipate and find solutions for problems
    • adaptable in a continuously changing environment
    • compassionate,
    • mindful of ethical considerations and service to the community, and
    • self-directing.
  • 31. Authentic learning: How can we create a learning community ?
    • Primary motivators:
    • curiosity
    • excitement of discovery
    • ownership
  • 32. The SAS Humanities design: Connecting to authentic learning
    • “ The challenge for educators is to link what we want to teach to what really matters to students ”
    • Caine, G., Caine, R. N., & McClintic, C. (2002). Guiding the innate constructivist. Educational Leadership . September , (p.73).
    • “ Nobody works harder at learning than a curious kid ”
    • Friedman, T. L. (2006). The world is flat: The globalized world in the twenty-first century . London: Penguin (p.304).
  • 33. The SAS Humanities design: tailored to meet student needs
    • Relevant curriculum allows:
    • students to pursue answers to questions they have about themselves, content, and the world.
    • recognition of the holistic nature of all knowledge through the connections between subjects
    • National Middle School Association. (2003) . This we believe: Successful schools for young adolescents. Westerville, Ohio: NMSA (p. 20)
  • 34. So why integrate?
    • Without personal meaning, effective learning cannot take place
    • An integrated theme- based approach enhances connections and personal meaning
  • 35. The Big Question
    • Will my child have less of a foundation in SS and LA because of the integration of these disciplines?
    • Reading lists – an example of an ancillary reading list
    • Writing across the curriculum
    • Reading across the curriculum
    • Literacy block
  • 36. Reading List (an example from Theme 1)
    • The Woman in White, Wilkie Collins
    • The Fall of the House of Usher, Edgar Allan Poe
    • The Game of Sunken Places, M.T. Anderson
    • The Ghost in the Tokaido Inn, Dorothy Hoobler
    • The Hound of the Baskervilles, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
    • I Know What You Did Last Summer, Lois Duncan
    • Paint by Magic: A time travel mystery, Kathryn Reiss
    • A Murder is Announced, Agatha Christie
    • Search for the Shadowman, Joan Lowery Nixon
    • The Square Root of Murder, Paul Zindel
    • A Study in Scarlet (Sherlock Holmes), Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  • 37. Writing across the curriculum
    • The writing process
    • Common rubrics based on the 6+1 Traits
    • Reflections
    • Research papers
    • Essays
  • 38. Reading across the curriculum
    • Exposure to:
    • Literature across the globe
    • Journals
    • Print media (newspapers, magazines)
    • Critical analysis
    • Reading methods (scanning, skimming)
  • 39. Literacy block (Advisory Program)
    • 1 day out of the 4 in the Advisory rotation schedule:
    • The D.E.A.R (drop everything and read) program
    • The Individual Project (grade 8)
    • Written reflections
  • 40.
    • The great aim of education is not knowledge, but action.
    • Herbert Spencer

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