This week, we find ourselves well into our 76th trimester here at Eagle Rock School, and we’re taking advantage of this space today to describe another offering of classes in which our students are currently participating. Whether you’re a perspective Eagle Rock School student, client of our Professional Development Center, or a parent of a current Eagle Rocker, reading the following class descriptions may be beneficial to the journey you’re currently on or are about to undertake.
Since a significant portion of our focus is on delivering an education that truly seeks to engage students in their own education, we take pride in describing these topics for our many stakeholders. The idea is to keep you informed about the learning experiences offered here at Eagle Rock and hopefully, enhance your own engagement in — and takeaways from — our unique approach to education.
While we consider the basics of education to be most important, we believe students are eager to acquire knowledge through the learning of practical life tips, current social issues, appreciation of the arts, and the benefits of staying physically and mentally active. As a result, we believe you’ll find this current listing of Eagle Rock School classes meets all those objectives and more.
The most recent group of five-week courses began earlier this week and, unless otherwise noted, run for five weeks:
Deviance and Social Control: This class explores a broad range of social groups that society labels as deviant, with students examining the power dynamics created by these labels and studying the effects they have on society. Examples of such groups include nudists, those addicted to plastic surgery, sports adrenaline addicts, and others. Students are examining why these people are considered deviant and how society creates “in” and “out” groups. Class participants are pushing their individual notions of society’s norms and understanding how they are created in the first place.
Physiology and Performance: This class explores the capabilities and limitations of human performance. Students are learning about what happens within their bodies during cardiovascular and strength-training activities such as lifting weights, running, swimming, and others. They are becoming familiar about muscle anatomy, exercise physiology, and work out plans, with a keen eye on understanding how their bodies adapt to food and exercise from the inside out.
Science and Philosophy of Sex and Love: By studying scientific and literary texts from authors like Helen Fisher, Emily Nagoski and Kahlil Gibran, students in this class are gaining a better understanding of the evolutionary and cultural origins of romantic love. In turn, this knowledge helps students contextualize their own experiences and beliefs about sex and love in ways that help determine what they value and need from intimate relationships.
Sacrificial Poets: This class puts an emphasis on reading, writing, watching and performing poetry as a means of exploring each student’s identity, as well as refining their writing and analytical skills, and exploring unique experiences. Much of the class occurs off campus as students hear nationally renowned poets from the Denver Youth Poetry Team — and poets from around the country — perform in poetry slams and open-mic nights. Students enrolled in this class are learning how to use storytelling, imagery, figurative language, and literary devices to write and perform their own spoken word poetry. At the end of the trimester, it is expected that each student will present their own published anthology of poetry, with the chance of performing in a Denver open-mic night or poetry slam.
Piano Studio: This hands-on class provides students the opportunity to begin — or continue — learning how to play the piano. Students are being trained in piano technique, music reading, basic music theory, and basic composition. Each student is creating individual pieces that will be performed for the class toward the end of the trimester. They will also perform with other students in the class, and at the end of the trimester, perform for Eagle Rock community members.
Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian: Students enrolled in this literature class will read and analyze Sherman Alexie’s novel, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indianthat features Native American Arnold Spirit Jr. and his decision to attend a high school off his reservation. Students will follow Junior as he navigates straddling two worlds — the one on the reservation and the all-white high school he now attends. Using the book as a primer, students will learn about Native American history and current issues as well as examine what it means to belong to a community.
Greenhouse Goodness: Participants in this class perform a service — cleaning up the Eagle Rock School greenhouse space — while learning to draw and paint plant life. The focus of this class is creating watercolor, acrylic, and mixed media drawings and paintings while being of service. The class includes interviews with experts, visits to well-functioning greenhouses and gardens, and exploring options for our campus greenhouse. Inspiration will come from realistic and interpretive abstract art portfolios based on the botanical world. The idea is to work hard, get dirty — and create some art while improving the campus greenhouse.
Coaching: This class teaches students exactly what it is that differentiates a good coach from a not-so-good coach, enabling students to practice their skills by gaining some hands-on soccer coaching experience with grade school kids signed up for the Estes Park Youth Soccer League. The students in this class are also learning how to work with children of different ages, receiving constructive feedback from our own coaches, and learning how to transfer those coaching skills to a variety of sports and fitness pursuits.
In addition to the eight classes described above, the following four classes — which began at the outset of this trimester — continue for another five weeks:
- (Eagle) Rock the Vote: This class continues to show students how to organize schoolwide political campaigns, participate in election rallies, and communicate with people from differing political views. Students are also continuing to learn about the voting history and electoral process in the United States, as well as the voting processes of other democracies across the globe.
- Fiberlicious: The second half of this 10-week fiber art techniques class continues to explore ways to embellish wearable art with ribbons, buttons and beads. In addition, students are studying the economic, historic, and cultural aspects of the fashion industry, culminating in a fashion weekevent hat will feature students presenting their wearable fiber arts.
- You Are What You Eat: By carefully cataloguing what they consume, students in this class are continuing to learn how food impacts their daily and long-term health. Participating students are tracking their food choices in order to discover how those choices affect their bodies.
- Winning the Vote: How reliable are those election polls we see displayed on television? Not very, if you look at the 2016 presidential election. In this class students continue to focus on collecting data, analyzing polls,and making predictions on the outcomes. They are gaining skills in creating and implementing opinion polls, analyzing data, graphing, and drawing conclusions about popular opinion.
If you are an educator or school administrator and these classes are of interest to you — and you’d like to learn about how they were selected, staffed, and evaluated — feel free to connect with us via our online Contact Form. Similarly, if you’re a parent, student guardian, guidance counselor, or perspective Eagle Rock School student and you’re ready to take the next step in terms of connecting with us about applying to Eagle Rock, please get started on our Admissions Page.