What makes a school’s curriculum unique? Here at Eagle Rock, it’s the totality of student experiences that occur within the content of our educational process.
Predicated on the belief that every student has the ability to become fully engaged in their own education, our curriculum focuses on competencies that we refer to as our 5 Expectations:
- Learning to communicate effectively: The primary purpose of an Eagle Rock class is to help students understand how to get a message across. That’s why poetry, art, and music often figure prominently into our class offerings.
- Expanding one’s knowledge base: Helping students understand and providing them with the tools to learn how to learn, as well as how to apply that learning to other situations, is also part of the Eagle Rock experience. As a result, many of our classes include elements of problem solving.
- Becoming an engaged citizen: At Eagle Rock, we’re intentional about helping our students learn something that naturally enables them to interact better with various people and cultures. Sometimes that’s accomplished by learning a second language or taking a class that focuses on worker’s rights.
- Acquiring leadership skills in order to achieve justice: Helping students understand what it takes to make a place — our school for example, or the local community in which we are based — more fair and equitable, is another aspect of our educational process.
- Creating healthy life choices: Finally, helping students understand that the decisions they make can increase or decrease positive outcomes regarding health of self, society, others, or the environment, is another unique aspect of our curriculum.
With our 5 Expectations in mind, we’re able to conceptualize and offer classes worthy of the student engagement we believe every student is capable of achieving. We also require that all Eagle Rock School students have Individual Learning Plans (ILPs) that guide them on their journey here. And each of those ILPs include distribution requirements. (For more information on distribution requirements, please see Distribution Requirements Play a Big Role in This Trimester’s Latest Class Offerings.)
This trimester, which is our 79th since our founding in the early 1990s, we’re offering five 10-week classes that we’ve previously blogged about and are still occurring (Research, Neuroscience, Jewelry Around the World, Facing History, and Facilitating Educational Change, along with the four new classes highlighted below:
March: This class is named after the title of a graphic novel that tells the story of John Lewis, a member of Congress and an active participant in groups that organized the 1963 March on Washington and played important roles in that decade’s Civil Rights Movement. March, taught by Literacy & Literature Instructional Specialist Brett Youngerman, follows Lewis from his childhood up to the historic march across the Edmund Pettis Bridge in Alabama. As for the class, students are examining the different approaches used by various organizations to bring about change throughout the 1950s and 60s. The class is also exploring how the medium of graphic novels is used to effectively tell Lewis’ story about the Civil Rights era. Successful participation in this class qualifies students for an Expanding Knowledge Base distribution requirement.
Design: Using two- or three-dimensional materials to create a design and accomplish an artistic vision is the purpose behind this class, which is taught by Art Instructional Specialist Cindy Elkins. Students in this class are expected to develop skills in designing and creating their own aesthetic ideas on paper, and then with clay, wood, and mixed media. Along the way, they are learning how to critique art and make revisions based on the input of others. Significant cultural influences of the various artistic mediums help students enrolled in this class develop their own style. Successful participation in the class qualifies students for an Effective Communication distribution requirement.
Leadership for Intramurals: Discovering what it takes to become a good referee is one of the objectives of this class, along with finding ways to improve competitiveness and enjoyment for all who participate in sport. Students in this class are focused on seeking ways to improve Eagle Rock’s own intramural program, as well as learning rules that go into the governing of each intramural sport we offer. Successful participation in this class, which is taught by Human Performance Center Adjunct Instructor Chris Iafrati, qualifies students for a Leadership for Justice distribution requirement.
Independent Study Class: Much more than a traditional independent study offering, this class supports our students in building independent learning skills for themselves, as well as recognizing the need to support others within the school to do the same. Facilitated by our Associate Director of Students, Beth Ellis, this class — which meets every day for the last five weeks of the trimester — allows students to focus on an independent study of their own choosing in the areas of world languages, math, or human sexuality. The objective here is to learn how to work independently and with integrity, develop as a learner, and support and collaborate with others.