New Class Offerings Challenge Students’ Leadership, Learning Capacities

Among the visions we pursue here at Eagle Rock School and Professional Development Center is for each of our nation’s students to become meaningfully engaged in his or her own education. That objective sounds good on paper, but where it differs from other schools is that our own students — students here at Eagle Rock School — actually learn in part by engaging.

What is standard practice here at Eagle Rock — and what we have made available to our students for more than two decades — are both traditional and nontraditional classroom offerings that ignite the imagination, encourage curiosity, and prepare young minds for the real world.

Classes

With that in mind, we have just introduced seven new classes to the curriculum for this, the second half of our first trimester at Eagle Rock for 2018. These five-week classes join three 10-week classes that began in January and are still underway.

Those 10-week classes include Data Analysis, where students continue to use statistics to look for patterns to self-generated questions. A second 10-week class — Neuroscience — has students examining not only the physical makeup of the brain, but the physiology, or habits, of the human nervous system. And in Exposure, the third 10-week class, students have been mastering black & white photography, processing their film in a darkroom, and are now preparing their photographs for a public exhibition in just a few weeks.

Below is a brief description of the new classes at Eagle Rock that got underway just this week: Continue reading…

Eagle Rock’s Student Body Begins 74th Trimester of Progressive Classes

The first trimester of 2018 is well underway here at Eagle Rock School, marking a total of 74 trimesters since we began our own progressive brand of education back in the early 1990s.

And by progressive education, we’re talking about competency-based learning rather than a traditional education platform, the latter which might offer students “book learning,” but often falls well short of life experience, personal development and an open-eye view of the people who populate this planet.

Photo © by Jeff Sheldon on Unsplash | Used with permission

Photo © by Jeff Sheldon on Unsplash | Used with permission.

For example, this trimester we’re offering a class for camera buffs who appreciate that photography doesn’t have to revolve around a rectangular cellphone with a camera attachment. We’re talking old school black-and-white photography here, complete with darkroom experience and creative writings to accompany students’ camera art.

Or a human sexuality class that goes way beyond the typical high school “sex ed” programs of yesteryear that featured archaic body part posters and stern warnings about promiscuity. In this class, students find themselves in a safe, comfortable environment where they can discuss important issues such as gender and sexual identity, consent, contraceptives and healthcare access.

Below is a listing and short description of each of this trimester’s class offerings, with the first three classes scheduled for 10 weeks and remainder for five weeks. Continue reading…

Eagle Rock Students’ Data Analysis Presentations Impress at CU Boulder

By Becky Poore (Math Instructional Specialist), and Helen Higgins (2016/2017 Public Allies Teaching Fellow In Math) 

Armed with in-depth research, tons of data, as well as graphs and charts illustrating a topic of their own choosing, a group of Eagle Rock School students recently completed data analysis presentations on topics of their own choosing at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Eagle Rock School  Data Analysis Students at CU Boulder Presentation

This research rite of passage has taken place every other trimester for the past few years here at Eagle Rock, with participating students spending hours both inside and outside of class, working late nights and weekends in order to create a high-quality, polished work to serve as a final Data Analysis class project.

This year our students presented their work to a group of undergraduates, graduate students, and professors at the University of Colorado at Boulder. These high stakes presentations lead to extra-long hours in the final weeks of class, with students going above and beyond in their Continue reading…

Winter Classes Range from Musicals and Murals to Soilless Gardening

erslogo2Eagle Rock’s busy student body is already well into the winter trimester, with many among them enjoying a number of class offerings — most of them new — that promise to challenge their intellect and maybe even spark interest in an avocation, adventure or activity that can last an entire lifetime.

Ten-week classes sprinkled among the mix for ER 68 (our 68th semester since our founding of Eagle Rock School in the early 1990s) include:

La Telenovela: In this class, which we first offered in the fall of 2014, students analyze and create their own Spanish-language “soap opera” episodes. By doing so, they are gaining insight into telenovela structure, characters and themes by viewing real telenovelas. (For the uninitiated, a telenovela is a type of limited-run serial drama and popular on European, West Asian, Southeast Asian, Latin American, East Asian, South Asian, Arab World, Brazil, Portuguese and Spanish television networks.) By watching these programs, students are refining their reading, writing, listening and speaking skills in Spanish, which is enhanced by working together on their Spanish in the classroom. As a final project, students will be asked to script and film their own telenovelas — themselves portraying the characters as well as completing all of the required behind-the-scenes production work. They will work on acting as well as filming and directing techniques to produce the final episode. (Brighid Scanlon is teaching this class.)

Data Analysis: In this class, which first appeared at Eagle Rock School in the spring of 2015, students are beginning to explore data sets, looking for patterns and using statistics to answer student-generated questions. Each student explores one question, researching data that will help answer that question. By analyzing the information, they can communicate their newfound knowledge using infographics, written articles, presentation or blogs. Experts in the field, peers, and Eagle Rock staff will review the work and provide feedback for the inevitable revision. (Becky Poore and Helen Higgins are teaching this class.)

Five-week classes offered this trimester include:

101 Years of Murals: This all-day class presents students with the opportunity to appreciate what murals can teach us, communicate and add vitality to our lives. Students are part of a hard-working team with an emphasis on leadership that is designing and painting a mural in the Rocky Mountain National Park. We are learning how to use different mural techniques to create Part 2 in a series of murals. Students in this class are already capable at drawing — or are teachable — and they’re all willing to take risks. This class promises a lot of hard work, but it also promises to yield a lot of new skills as well as possible connections that may benefit them in the future. (Cindy Elkins and Claire Oliphant are teaching this class.)

RMNP Mural ER65

The Wiz” Musical: Ease on down the road with Continue reading…