Juniors Nura Dhar and Leah Stein are working with CHS art teacher Paul Dermont to create a new arts course at CHS next year. After taking AP Art History last year, Dhar and Stein felt that they did not have enough time to fully discuss the artifacts and paintings they discovered. They wanted a more discussion-based and hands-on class so they could focus in depth on the pieces they learned in class.
“There are so many valuable things to learns when you focus on something and discuss it ,” junior Leah Stein said.
The class will have one semester based on archaeology and paleontology and its relation to art, and one based on architecture. The class is structured to introduce the culture of people from different time periods through art. Students will learn about major discoveries and study symbols that have been seen throughout history.
“There is so much to learn about the present and future from remains of the past,” Stein said.
The architecture unit is adapted from a Duke University syllabus. It includes a technical view of architecture, in hopes that students can design their own structures using models, whether it be on the computer or on paper. The goal is to learn how to apply the skills used to build projects to other jobs in the real world.
“A lot of modern day jobs, especially technology, require some basic knowledge of architecture, and this course will definitely help with that,” junior Nura Dhar said.
The class itself will be taught by Dermont, but have many student discussions. A typical topic would have an introduction by Dermont, who will answer specific questions, followed by a socratic seminar discussion between small groups of students.
“I think living so close to DC is such a privilege because so much architecture from the neoclassical period, which we will be studying, can be recognized there.,” junior Nura Dhar said.
Dhar and Stein are also working to push learning out of the classroom. Dhar hopes to create a companionship with the Smithsonian museum, to learn about the restoration of artifacts and paintings. The goal is to have at least two field trips to the District of Columbia in the hope of studying the architecture that surrounds our community.
“I hope that this course brings attention to different jobs that are not necessarily common for CHS students,” Dhar said.“Also, many businesses nowadays call for creative thinking, and this course will definitely help students think outside of the box.”