Classes

Current Classes

AP Literature       (H)ELA 9      TOK

From my work in Royal Oak since 1992 to my classes at Cranbrook Horizons-Upward Bound, Eastern Michigan University, The University of Michigan, South University, Oak Park High School, and West Bloomfield High School, I have taught dozens of courses. Here are some of the most recent.

Advanced Placement Literature and Composition

I have taught AP Literature since 2001. An advanced course in literary analysis and writing for recommended seniors only, the class has become a national model for blended learning instruction in Advanced Placement classes. My approach to the course includes an extensive survey of literary theory, from traditional historicism to postmodern cultural studies.

(Honors) ELA 9

English Language Arts 9 (and its Honors sections) are built on the MYP curriculum. The course has a global focus on literature and pursues questions of cultural literacy while helping students acquire an independence of writing style and reading growth while preparing them for the culminating MYP Personal Project for their sophomore year.

Theory of Knowledge

TOK is part of the Diploma Programme offerings of the IB. Beginnings in Fall 2018, the TOK course will uniquely cross several other classes as students lead deep inquiries into the nature of knowledge: how and why do we know what we believe we know? The course spans the 11th and 12th grade years, culminating in a formal presentation and philosophical essay for DP.

Argumentation

In Argumentation, we examine authentic experiences in conflict resolution, from managing online discourse to business meetings, from logic and research to classical studies. The course culminates with formal policy debate, Lincoln-Douglas values debate, or an extended social simulation of political policy-making.

Media Literacy

Media Lit is an entirely team-driven course designed to compel the design of creative solutions to challenges offered.  Students confront challenges in the digital world (digital citizenship, censorship, social media marketing), design responses, and market/publish those responses for their target audiences. It is purely digital composition.

Literature of the Western World

LWW deeply pursued themes within the Western Canon of literature and art.  Previous years have researched  the role of women in art, the pervasive themes of Christianity, the development of the hero archetype, or how humanity addresses pain.  This college prep course reads several works from Greek philosophy through 20th century existentialism.

Literature of Non-Western World

LNWW was a class created in contrast to the Western World studies and focused on the literature of Asia rooted in Buddhist and Shinto traditions. The cultures of South and East Asia are studied alongside works by Confucius, Lao Tse, the Dalai Lama, Dazai, Abe, and several others.

Model UN

Model United Nations as a class was a separate study from the ROMUN team.  In the class, students studied the complexities of social systems–political, economic, and cultural–which affect policies and practice and then engaged those systems through real world advocacy projects. Past projects included resistance to ageism, complications with veganism, and promoting literacy programs in Mali.

AP Language and Composition

AP Lang is designed for junior students interested in pursuing the development of rhetoric and written composition. Students study essayists and perform close analyses of arguments in order to design their own.  The AP Exam in May offers the possibility for college credit.

ELA 10

ELA 10 continues the work of growing student reading and composition, but focuses its studies instead upon American literature and thought.  Works such as The Crucible, The Declaration of Independence, Of Mice and Men, and The Great Gatsby are included.

ELA 11

ELA 11 works as a culminating course for ELA studies, preparing students for fundamental expectations of university composition, ACT/SAT success, and some of the more powerful questions of modern society.  Works such as 1984, Brave New World, The Trial, and other classical Western authors are studied.

Government

In Government, students learn not merely the structures and functions of US government, but the methods for participation in the democratic process and the methods for effecting policy change.