Curriculum Expands With Six Additions to 2022-2023 Course Offerings

Curriculum Expands With Six Additions to 2022-2023 Course Offerings

Charlie Spungin, Copy Editor

The School will be introducing six new courses within three different departments to the 2022-23 year’s curriculum, Two of them, AP Human Geography and AP 3D Art and Design, will bring the total AP offerings to 30.

Adding a course to the curriculum is a long process, as explained by Academic Dean Mrs. Caroline Guzman. First, an individual teacher generates an idea for a course and writes up a syllabus and proposal to send to the department chair. Then, the department chair reviews the course and if it aligns with the department’s curriculum. If it passes through the department chair, it goes to the Academic Council, a council consisting of 9 members who are both administrators and teachers. They will review and vote on all of the course proposals. If it passes, it is added to the school’s curriculum.

AP 3D Art and Design will be taught by Visual Arts Teacher Ms. Caroline Duran. It will be a full-year course, and like AP 2D Art and Design, it will grant students the opportunity to submit their work to the College Board for scoring. Intro to Ceramics and Intermediate Ceramics, along with instructor approval, are prerequisites for the course.

Ms. Duran will also be teaching Ceramic Figure Sculpting, a one-semester spring course. It will focus on sculpting human busts and parts rather than bowls, vessels, cups, and more. Intro to Ceramics must be taken.

Intro to World Crafts will be a one-semester course taught in both the fall and spring. It will sprinkle in some Art History to the hands-on studio course where students learn about the culture of art outside of the European continent, which is mainly what the AP focuses on.

AP Human Geography will teach students about “a broad perspective on people, geopolitical movements, language arts, society, civilizations, warfare, [and religion],” according to Social Studies Department Chair Ms. Sara Misselhorn. It will be a full-year course only open to juniors and seniors. Along with a sign-off from the student’s current teacher and Ms. Misslelhorn, a student must have an A in an introductory level course or a B in an AP level course and a GPA of 3.5 or higher.

The other new Social Studies course will be a one-semester World War II course that highlights D-Day and the Holocaust. It will be taught in the spring and split into two parts. The D-Day section of the class will be taught from January to Spring Break. Then, the Holocaust portion of the class will be taught from after Spring Break to the end of the year. Economics teacher Mr. Graham Wik and Social Studies teacher Mrs. Anne Franzen will co-teach the class.

A new Senior Selection in the upcoming school year will be Women’s Literature, taught in the spring. English teacher Mrs. Meghan Steiner will be teaching the course. It will focus on analyzing female characters through a variety of literary genres and relating them to the real-life world.

AP Art History will be transferring from the Art Department to the Social Studies Department. The full-year course examines a variety of architecture, sculptures, and paintings. According to Arts and Innovation Department Chair Mrs. Melissa Ford, the change was made because of the multitude of studio classes in the visual arts department, and those needed to be covered. There was also interest in teaching the class within the Social Studies Department. Ms. Misselhorn described the course as a “social science combined with a lot of art history.”

With an even greater variety of courses offered by The Benjamin School, students will be able to choose classes that match their wants and needs. The ever-expanding curriculum at The Benjamin School will continuously adapt to allow students to match with classes that suit them.