Junior High Program
Junior High Thinker Day Overview
The Early Modern World
Critical and Creative
This year’s Jr. High teachers have developed an exciting program to grow students into creative and critically-thinking artists. Mr. Desmond (Ph.D.) and Ms. Lauren (M.F.A) are teaming up to teach five courses: History with Art, Geography, Marine Biology, Literature and Creative Writing, and Art History.
Most courses will be truly co-taught, combining vigorous discussion of historical events with professional fine art training – a dynamic education one simply cannot get anywhere else. Ms. Lauren will lead students in a variety of artistic techniques across various media and artistic movements, including techniques of Japanese woodblock printing and other historical artforms from Ottoman to Neoclassical styles. With Mr. Desmond, students will be presented with primary sources based on the week’s theme: activities include examining historical maps, reading excerpts from great early modern literature, and studying illustrated travelogues from famous explorers – led in a Socratic method of discussion redolent of the finest secondary and tertiary schools. Their lessons are designed to overlap and integrate with one another: For example, in marine biology, a study of the manta ray would include a discussion of its “discovery” by Christopher Columbus, who named it so (Sp. schiavina) for the way it looked like a cape, or mantle, being drawn through the water on his Fourth Voyage. This background informs how students will illustrate the ray’s unique movements in water, and where they may be located today. In this way, co-teaching allows teachers to give students the strongest possible education, while uniting the subjects of history and art into closer bond. Mr. Desmond and Ms. Lauren can’t wait to share their time and insights with the students; it’s going to be a fun year!