course offerings

Course Offerings

Course ID

Course Title (click on title for course description)

Term

Arts

AM505
Electronic Music
1
No prior music training is necessary for this course. Students will learn basic principles of music theory and apply them towards original works using the midi studio. Evaluation will be based on quizzes, aural exams, efficient demonstration of technology in the lab, and several compositions, including a three to five minute final project. Open to all students, but limited to 10 per class section.
AM506
History of Rock Music
2
The course is based on a careful balance of musical and historical analysis from early minstrel shows and operettas through the beginnings of rock and roll and up to new wave, reggae, and rap bands. Students will trace the flow of popular musical styles that have evolved into today's diverse rock music forms. Besides styles, the course will examine major groups, rock bands, and soloists. Evaluation is based upon quizzes, projects, listening assignments, and papers. Open to all students.
AM507
Class Piano
1
This piano course is designed for students with varying levels of piano training -- including rank beginners. It emphasizes the necessary skills to play the piano long after the course has been completed. Music reading, counting, hand position, and rudimentary technical skills are stressed through the mastery of beginning piano repertoire. There are written quizzes and tests as well as playing quizzes. Open to all students, but limited to 9 per class section.
AM508
Class Piano
2
This piano course is designed for students with varying levels of piano training -- including rank beginners. It emphasizes the necessary skills to play the piano long after the course has been completed. Music reading, counting, hand position, and rudimentary technical skills are stressed through the mastery of beginning piano repertoire. There are written quizzes and tests as well as playing quizzes. Open to all students, but limited to 9 per class section.
AM520
Chamber Ensemble
Y
This course serves the advanced performers on any classical instrument by providing supervised study of their instrument in ensemble playing. Students are expected to practice daily on their own and to travel outside the school to play for various audiences. The course is graded on the basis of student performance of the pieces studied and may be taken more than once. Open to students by audition only.
AM530
Jazz Workshop
Y
Emphasis in this workshop is on interpreting music in the large jazz ensemble and increasing each student's personal skill in instrumental music, leading to several concerts presented both in and out of school. Commitment to excellence is expected. Students are required to practice daily on their own. The course is graded and may be taken more than once. Open to all students by audition only.
AM540
Collegium Musicum
Y
Taft's showcase choir rehearses as an advanced course in vocal and choral musicianship and is designed for the more serious student singer who is interested in performing the masterworks of the repertoire. Emphasis is on personal, musical, and intellectual responsibility. Critical thinking is stressed; students learn to draw technical and stylistic inferences from the music studied in class. Evaluation is based on both performance and preparation. The group performs often, both at school and away, and in recent years during spring break, has gone on concert tours to San Francisco, China, Spain, France and Italy. These tours, although not required, are an extremely important part of being a member of Collegium and it is suggested that members take advantage of these extraordinary opportunities. Open to all students by audition. New students should contact the Director of Vocal Music by the beginning of the school year to express their interest in auditioning.
AM591
Independent Tutorial in Music
1
This is an opportunity for a student to work with a member of the Department on a project in which they share a common interest. Open to Seniors by permission of the Department Head and the Dean of Academic Affairs. See page 2 for the application process and deadlines.
AM592
Independent Tutorial in Music
2
This is an opportunity for a student to work with a member of the Department on a project in which they share a common interest. Open to Seniors by permission of the Department Head and the Dean of Academic Affairs. See page 2 for the application process and deadlines.
AM830
AP Music: Theory
Y
Although designed to prepare students to take the Advanced Placement Examination in Music Theory, this course may be taken by any student who wishes to have a good preparation in the fundamentals of using and manipulating musical notation. Beginning at an elementary level, the course soon has the student composing simple melodies, analyzing songs, and writing four-part chord progressions. Much time is spent upon ear training, learning to recognize by ear melodies and harmonies, and to write them correctly. The student is expected to spend time at the computer drilling himself or herself on the fundamentals of music. Open only to Upper Middlers and Seniors. Interested students must have wo years of ensemble participation,or pass an entrance exam.
AT501
Acting
1
This basic course introduces students to the fundamentals of concentration, observation, imagination, sense recall and improvisation. Theatre games lead to an introduction to scene work and characterization. Evaluation is based on daily exercises, homework, individual growth, and projects. Students interested in advanced work are urged to take this course. Open to all students.
AT502
Acting
2
This basic course introduces students to the fundamentals of concentration, observation, imagination, sense recall and improvisation. Theatre games lead to an introduction to scene work and characterization. Evaluation is based on daily exercises, homework, individual growth, and projects. Students interested in advanced work are urged to take this course. Open to all students
AT503
Public Speaking
1
The student learns to design and deliver prepared speeches, including descriptive, informative, demonstrative, persuasive, and humorous speeches. In addition, the student practices impromptu speeches and learns to listen critically and to analyze the speeches of his or her peers and public figures. Ideal for both the comfortable speaker and the shy student interested in improving confidence and oral communication skills. Open to all students except Lower Middlers.
AT504
Public Speaking
2
The student learns to design and deliver prepared speeches, including descriptive, informative, demonstrative, persuasive, and humorous speeches. In addition, the student practices impromptu speeches and learns to listen critically and to analyze the speeches of his or her peers and public figures. Ideal for both the comfortable speaker and the shy student interested in improving confidence and oral communication skills. Open to all students except Lower Middlers.
AT511
Stage Craft
1
This course introduces the student to the foundation skills for the realization of stage scenery, costumes, lighting, sound, and properties. The student will learn fundamental construction methods, stage electrics, and theater-specific computer programs. Hands-on projects will be assigned to practice safe and effective technical theater techniques.
AT514
Theater Technology and Design
2
This course introduces the student to theater technology and stage design, by exploring the question: How is a theatrical production created? From conception to opening night, the student investigates the roles of the producer, director, designers, actors, stage managers, and theater technicians. Special attention is given to the four design fields of the modern theater: sets, costumes, lights, and sound. Projects will include model-making, costume rendering, drafting, and computer-controlled light and sound effects.
AT517
Dance for Everyone
1
Never taken a dance class? Like to dance -- even a little or in secret? Then this course is for you. Through dance conditioning and technique, students will develop skills to promote their awareness of correct body alignment, muscle control, flexibility, and balance. Through problem solving and group interaction in dance improvisation students will discover there are no right or wrong moves, just fun ones. In dance technique class, the students will take part in the creative process of choreographing their final dance project, which they will perform as a group at the end of the semester. Open to all students.
AT518
Dance for Everyone
2
Never taken a dance class? Like to dance -- even a little or in secret? Then this course is for you. Through dance conditioning and technique, students will develop skills to promote their awareness of correct body alignment, muscle control, flexibility, and balance. Through problem solving and group interaction in dance improvisation students will discover there are no right or wrong moves, just fun ones. In dance technique class, the students will take part in the creative process of choreographing their final dance project, which they will perform as a group at the end of the semester. Open to all students.
AT520
Intermediate Dance
Y
Open to students with previous dance experience, the course is designed to maintain and hone the dancer's technical skills and to develop an intellectual approach to dance. Technique classes focus on all styles of Classical Ballet as well as contemporary Modern and Jazz dance styles. The course introduces dance composition where the student develops an aesthetic and practical understanding of dance as an art form. Each student will choreograph one or more dance composition according to his or her level of experience. Students enrolled in Intermediate Dance who wish to extend their technical training to the performing stage are invited but not required to participate in Dance Ensemble by electing dance as an exercise/sport during the winter and either the fall or the spring term. Ensemble members perform year-round in a variety of venues, with the Fall Musical, Winter Dance Concert and Spring Choreography Showcase. Dance Ensemble is open to students by audition only and is limited to 15 dancers.
AT522
Intermediate/Advanced Acting: Drama
2
In the first half of this course, students will use various types of exercises to explore the idea of truthful acting--creating believable characters and circumstances on stage. During the second half, students will focus on one play, either a comedy or a drama, and work towards an ensemble performance of the play at the end of the spring. Evaluation will be based on journals, daily class work, and individual investment and growth. Open by permission of the instructor to students who have completed AT508 or by audition to students who have completed AT501 or AT502. Limited to 10 students.
AT523
Intermediate/Advanced Acting: Comedy
1
This course is designed for the students who have taken Acting and want to develop further comedic acting skills. Students will become adept improvisers and comedy scene writers. They will also take an in depth look at the techniques of scene study. Students will work independently, with partners, and as a performing ensemble, but will be evaluated in terms of individual growth and investment.Open by audition to students who have completed AT501 or AT502. Limited to 10 students.
AT530
Advanced Dance
Y
By audition only, the course is designed to maintain and hone the dancer's advanced technical skills and to develop an intellectual approach to dance. Technique classes focus on all styles of Classical Ballet and Pointe as well as contemporary Modern and Jazz dance styles. The course introduces dance composition where the student develops an aesthetic and practical understanding of dance as an art form. Each student will choreograph one or more dance composition according to his or her level of experience. Students enrolled in Advanced Dance who wish to extend their technical training to the performing stage are invited but not required to participate in Dance Ensemble by electing dance as an exercise/sport during the winter and either the fall or the spring term. Ensemble members perform year-round in a variety of venues, with the Fall Musical, Winter Dance Concert and Spring Choreography Showcase. Dance Ensemble is open to students by audition only and is limited to 15 dancers.
AT591
Independent Tutorial in Theater
1
This is an opportunity for a student to work with a member of the Department on a project in which they share a common interest. Open to Seniors by permission of the Department Head and the Dean of Academic Affairs. See page 2 for the application process and deadlines.
AT592
Independent Tutorial in Theater
2
This is an opportunity for a student to work with a member of the Department on a project in which they share a common interest. Open to Seniors by permission of the Department Head and the Dean of Academic Affairs. See page 2 for the application process and deadlines.
AV501
Drawing & Design
1
Drawing and Design teaches foundation skills in drawing: the properties of light on volume, drawing from life and imagination, and one- and two-point perspective. Also taught are basic color theory, and design and composition. Slide lectures are given on examining and interpreting works of art, and students practice those skills. Materials used are charcoal, pencil, watercolor, ink, collage, colored inks, colored pencils, oil pastel, and scratchboard.Open to all students, this course serves as the prerequisite for AV520, AV540 and AV840, except with teacher approval for students entering Taft as upper mids or seniors.
AV502
Drawing & Design
2
Drawing and Design teaches foundation skills in drawing: the properties of light on volume, drawing from life and imagination, and one- and two-point perspective. Also taught are basic color theory, and design and composition. Slide lectures are given on examining and interpreting works of art, and students practice those skills. Materials used are charcoal, pencil, watercolor, ink, collage, colored inks, colored pencils, oil pastel, and scratchboard. Open to all students, this course serves as the prerequisite for AV520, AV540 and AV840 except with teacher approval for students entering Taft as upper mids or seniors.
AV503
Beginning Ceramics
1
This course is an introduction to the basic techniques of clay forming: pinch, slab, and the potter's wheel. Students will create both functional and non-functional work. Evaluation is based on experimentation and development of skills. Open to all students, but limited to 10 per class section.
AV504
Beginning Ceramics
2
This course is an introduction to the basic techniques of clay forming: pinch, slab, and the potter's wheel. Students will create both functional and non-functional work. Evaluation is based on experimentation and development of skills. Open to all students, but limited to 10 per class section.
AV505
Video
1
The first activities of this introductory course will focus on learning the tools of video production: software, cameras, tripods and microphones. From there we will cover composition, shot types, camera angles and scripting. Once the basics are mastered, students will complete a series of “shoot-to-edit” projects, which become their building blocks for video story telling. Students will be introduced to storyboarding and shot mapping. Working in small groups, they will use a single camera, take multiple shots, and edit them together to tell a story.
AV506
Video
2
The first activities of this introductory course will focus on learning the tools of video production: software, cameras, tripods and microphones. From there we will cover composition, shot types, camera angles and scripting. Once the basics are mastered, students will complete a series of “shoot-to-edit” projects, which become their building blocks for video story telling. Students will be introduced to storyboarding and shot mapping. Working in small groups, they will use a single camera, take multiple shots, and edit them together to tell a story.
AV507
Photography I
1
This is an introductory course in black-and-white film photography. Topics will include the lensless techniques of photogram and pinhole photography, principles of film exposure and development, and fundamental darkroom printing procedures. Assignments will establish a foundation of seeing with the 35mm camera. Student work will be reviewed and discussed regularly. Slide lectures, books, critiques, and other sources will introduce students to photography history and photo-based artists. Evaluation is based on technical skills, quality and completion of assignments, and participation in class discussion. Open to all students, but limited to 10 per class section.
AV508
Photography I
2
This is an introductory course in black-and-white film photography. Topics will include the lensless techniques of photogram and pinhole photography, principles of film exposure and development, and fundamental darkroom printing procedures. Assignments will establish a foundation of seeing with the 35mm camera. Student work will be reviewed and discussed regularly. Slide lectures, books, critiques, and other sources will introduce students to photography history and photo-based artists. Evaluation is based on technical skills, quality and completion of assignments, and participation in class discussion. Open to all students, but limited to 10 per class section.
AV510
Intermediate Video
Y
The prerequisite for this class is Video or a comparable experience at another school, or permission from the instructor. A continuation of Video, this class will introduce the art of movie making and some of the specialty software including but not limited to: Final Cut Pro X, Adobe After Effects (special effects) and Garage Band (sound effects and music). Students will further their knowledge by experiencing the following aspects of video production: • Chroma key (green screen) • Script writing and storyboarding • Advanced audio recording and voice over • Lighting techniques • Shot types and shot angles Students in this class will primarily create original videos including but not limited to: stories, documentaries, music videos, and advertising.
AV513
Glass
1
In this art class the student explore the possibilities of glass. They will learn techniques of warm glass such as fusing, slumping and some flame work. The student will learn to make functional bowls and plates as well as jewelry items and sculptural forms. Discover the beauty of this colorful transparent medium. The emphasis will be on the creative process. Limited to 8 students.
AV514
Beginning Sculpture
2
This course introduces students to the concepts and techniques of sculptural design. Students work in a variety of materials including but not limited to paper, plaster, wire, wood, a clay, metal, and glass. Work is completed from observational points of departure as well as non-objective design. Both additive and reductive processes are explored. Open to all students but limited to 12 per class section.
AV518
Intermediate Video
2
The prerequisite for this class is Video or a comparable experience at another school, or permission from the instructor. A continuation of Video, this class will introduce the art of movie making and some of the specialty software including but not limited to: Final Cut Pro X, Adobe After Effects (special effects) and Garage Band (sound effects and music). Students will further their knowledge by experiencing the following aspects of video production: • Chroma key (green screen) • Script writing and storyboarding • Advanced audio recording and voice over • Lighting techniques • Shot types and shot angles Students in this class will primarily create original videos including but not limited to: stories, documentaries, music videos, and advertising.
AV519
Intermediate Video
1
The prerequisite for this class is Video or a comparable experience at another school, or permission from the instructor. A continuation of Video, this class will introduce the art of movie making and some of the specialty software including but not limited to: Final Cut Pro X, Adobe After Effects (special effects) and Garage Band (sound effects and music). Students will further their knowledge by experiencing the following aspects of video production: • Chroma key (green screen) • Script writing and storyboarding • Advanced audio recording and voice over • Lighting techniques • Shot types and shot angles Students in this class will primarily create original videos including but not limited to: stories, documentaries, music videos, and advertising.
AV520
Intermediate Painting and Drawing
Y
Intermediate Drawing and Painting is designed for students who have completed an introductory course to the visual arts. Drawing skills are refined through increasingly complex assignments, and painting techniques are taught in acrylics, watercolor, oil pastels, soft pastels, and monotype. Lessons focus on the manipulation of light, composition and color for personal expression. Assignments in landscape, still life, and portraiture are included. Students are expected to participate in classes aggressively, to be able to articulate their intentions in any given work, and to critique their own and others’ work sensitively and knowledgeably.
AV523
Digital / Intermediate Photography
1
Building on the technical skills of Photography I, this course will emphasize aesthetics and student will begin to develop personal visions. Student will continue to work in film based wet process in the first half of the semester but will transition to the digital process in the second half. Digital workflow will include scanning, color correction, layers, making selections, masks, and final output to printers. Student photographic work will be reviewed and discussed regularly. Specialized topics may include night photography, the use of flash, digital scanning, and monochrome printing techniques. Open to students who have completed AV507 or AV508 or who have the permission of the instructor. Both film and digital format cameras are required.
AV524
Digital / Intermediate Photography
2
Building on the technical skills of Photography I, this course will emphasize aesthetics and student will begin to develop personal visions. Student will continue to work in film based wet process in the first half of the semester but will transition to the digital process in the second half. Digital workflow will include scanning, color correction, layers, making selections, masks, and final output to printers. Student photographic work will be reviewed and discussed regularly. Specialized topics may include night photography, the use of flash, digital scanning, and monochrome printing techniques. Open to students who have completed AV508 or AV509 or who have the permission of the instructor. Both film and digital format cameras are required.
AV530
Advanced Video
Y
The prerequisite for this course is Intermediate Video or a comparable experience at another school. Along with their own creative work, students are responsible for outside video projects including community service projects and producing high quality recordings for school events and performances. Students are expected to compete for various video contests throughout the state including but not limited to the Student Film Challenge sponsored by Education Connection and the DMV video challenge. Finally, students are responsible for producing a “Taft TV” newscast / news magazine show highlighting Taft events and news. This will be posted for parents and Alumni on a “Taft TV” website.
AV531
Advanced Ceramics
1
This course is designed for students who have taken beginning ceramics and wish to further develop their skills on the potter's wheel and with hand building techniques. Students should have experience with ceramics, or have completed the Beginning Ceramics course.
AV532
Advanced Ceramics
2
This course is designed for students who have taken beginning ceramics and wish to further develop their skills on the potter's wheel and with hand building techniques. Students should have experience with ceramics, or have completed the Beginning Ceramics course.
AV533
Advanced Photography
1
Without exception, this course is open only to students who have completed AV523 or AV524. This course is designed for the student who intends to continue photography seriously in college and beyond. Readings in art history will be required and each student will select an artist to study and to report on. Student photographic work will be thematic and presented for group critique on a weekly basis. Student will learn to prepare work for exhibition and learn to write an artist statement about his/her work. Student will participate in regional photography exhibitions. Culminating assessment will be based on the strength and quality of the final portfolio. Student may build the body of work using either or both film and digital process, black-and-white or color. A film or digital format camera is required.
AV535
Advanced Sculpture
1
Course description forthcoming
AV536
Advanced Sculpture
2
Course description forthcoming
AV540
Advanced Studio Art
Y
Advanced assignments in drawing and painting require students to be especially sensitive to the abstract qualities of form and content of their work and others and to be eloquent in class discussions and critiques. In the second term, each student designs and executes a body of work showing his/her commitment in depth to a particular artistic concern. Students who exhibit special interest and talent with a specific medium or in a particular area of study will be given personalized assignments to enable them to pursue that interest. Areas of study include portrait and figure painting, automatic drawing and abstract expressionism, mixed media and installation, illustration, cartooning, and an introduction to sculpture.
AV546
Making and Understanding Photographs
2
Serving as a continuation of Advanced Photography AV534, this studio course is intended for students who are serious about pursuing photography beyond Taft. This is a project-driven course requiring critical thinking on aesthetical and theoretical implications of photography. The connections among traditions of art, philosophy, history, science, literature and photography will be explored. The making and understanding of images will be central to this course, and students will produce a body of work in either film or digital format, or both. Appropriate text and books will be assigned to fit the projects.
AV830
AP Art History
Y
This survey course of the major artistic periods in sculpture, painting, and architecture from ancient to modern times will prepare students to take the Advanced Placement examination in Art History. The focus will be on the Western European tradition, though non-western art will be studied. Open to Juniors and Seniors.
AV840
AP Studio Art
Y
This course is designed for juniors and seniors who wish to submit a portfolio for presentation to the Advanced Placement Program of the College Board and directly to colleges as part of applications. Students are given assignments which require considerable expenditure of time in their development. Admission to this course is only upon approval of the instructor: in preceding art classes, students must have exhibited excellent work habits as well as exceptional ambition. Assignments stress versatility with a wide range of media in several areas of study. In addition, each student chooses a "concentration" project, during which a theme is developed in twenty to thirty works that year.
AV991
Independent Tutorial in Visual Art
1
This is an opportunity for a student to work with a member of the Department on a project in which they share a common interest. Open to Seniors by permission of the Department Head and the Dean of Academic Affairs. See page 2 for the application process and deadlines.
AV992
Independent Tutorial in Visual Art
2
This is an opportunity for a student to work with a member of the Department on a project in which they share a common interest. Open to Seniors by permission of the Department Head and the Dean of Academic Affairs. See page 2 for the application process and deadlines.

Classics

LA120
Latin I
Y
This course serves three functions. First, it provides a sound foundation in the forms, grammar, and vocabulary of the Latin language so that student can read original passages of Latin prose and poetry. Second, through class discussions and primary sources, an appreciation of Latin literature and Roman culture and recognition of their influence upon the literature and cultural patterns of Western civilization is instilled. And third, because the class stresses Latin’s influence on English, students gain a heightened understanding of English vocabulary, grammar, and overall linguistic skills. The text for this course is Wheelock’s Latin and can be acquired via a paperback textbook or an e-book. This course is open to all students.
LA220
Latin II
Y
This course continues the study of grammar and vocabulary. After a thorough review of grammatical concepts and vocabulary introduced in first year Latin, students transition to studying increasingly difficult grammatical concepts. Memorization of vocabulary, derivatives, and verb synopses are emphasized as students work to expand their grammatical foundations. Students use their newfound grammatical strengths to translate increasingly more difficult Latin sentences. The text for this course is Wheelock’s Latin and can be acquired via a paperback textbook or an e-book. This course is open to students who have completed LA120 or the equivalent.
LA230
Honors Latin II
Y
This course continues the study of grammar and vocabulary at an advanced pace. After a thorough review of grammatical concepts and vocabulary introduced in first year Latin, students transition to studying increasingly difficult grammatical concepts. Memorization of vocabulary, derivatives, and verb synopses are emphasized as students work to expand their grammatical foundations. This honors course engages in rigorous grammar exercises and Latin composition, and emphasizes the reading experience at the second-year level. The text for this course is Wheelock’s Latin and can be acquired via a paperback textbook or an e-book, as well as Wheelock’s Latin Reader. This course is open to capable students who have completed LA120 with distinction or have permission of the Department.
LA323
Latin III
1
After a comprehensive grammatical review, students transition to daily translations of intermediate Latin. Students follow an adapted Latin narrative about Horace to reinforce Latin grammar, all while gaining greater confidence in their translation skills. Through a closer look at the historical context of the text, students learn of the political climate during the 1st c BCE. There is daily sight and prepared translation in class, and each student participates daily in interpreting the material. The text is Oxford Latin Course, Part III. This course is open to students who have completed LA220 or the equivalent.
LA324
Latin III
2
This course looks at the turmoil of the late Republic through the eyes of Sallust, a Roman historian of great distinction. Through selected readings of Bellum Catilinarium, students are introduced to the main political figures of the time as well as history as a genre. By a close examination of Sallust’s style and literary importance, students begin to see Catiline through the lens of history as well. The text is A Sallust Reader. This course is a continuation of LA323 and open to students who completed LA323 or the equivalent.
LA331
Honors Latin III: Late Republic
1
This course looks at the turmoil of the late Republic through the eyes of Sallust, a Roman historian of great distinction. Through selected readings of Bellum Catilinarium at an accelerated pace, students are introduced to the main political figures of the time as well as history as a genre. By a close examination of Sallust’s style and literary importance, students begin to see Catiline through the lens of history as well. The text is A Sallust Reader. This course is open to students who completed second year Latin with distinction, the equivalent or with permission of the Department Head.
LA332
Honors Latin III: Cicero and the Late Republic
2
With a thorough knowledge of the Late Republic already gained through the eyes of Sallust, students will now transition into the study or oratory. By examining Catiline through Cicero’s First Catilinarian oration, students learn the fundamentals of Roman oratory as well as engage in analysis through a comparison of Sallust and Cicero’s words on the same topic. The text is Cicero’s First Catilinarian Oration. This course is open to students who completed second year Latin with distinction, the equivalent or with permission of the Department Head.
LA423
Latin IV: Roman Biography
1
The Lives of the Caesars by Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus offers a tell-all biography of the early Roman emperors. Students will read excerpts from Caesar, Augustus, Caligula, and Nero in order to discover Suetonius’ purpose in writing the lives of these men. Suetonius’ work is a benchmark for biography writing and remains a key source for the history of Rome. Students will explore the genre of Roman biography, read Suetonius in his cultural and literary context, and engage advanced Latin syntax and vocabulary. Furthermore, students will develop critical reading and thinking skills through class discussion, quizzes, and written exercises. The text is Suetonius Reader. This course is open to students who completed LA332 or the equivalent.
LA424
Latin IV: Roman Elegy
2
Students are introduced to Roman elegy mainly through the works of Tibullus. This first extended look at Roman poetry explores the various topics of Roman poetry, but focus on the love poems that elegy is most known for. Students learn the basics of elegiac meter as well as the contemporary events that correspond to the content of Tibullus’s poems. Near the end of the course, students have the opportunity to read elegies from other Roman authors for comparison. The text is A Tibullus Reader. This course is open to students who completed LA332 or the equivalent.
LA591
Independent Tutorial in Latin
1
This course is an opportunity for an individual or a small group of students to work with a member of the Department on a project in which they share a common interest. Open to students by permission of the Department Head and the Dean of Academic Affairs.
LA592
Independent Tutorial in Latin
2
This course is an opportunity for an individual or a small group of students to work with a member of the Department on a project in which they share a common interest. Open to students by permission of the Department Head and the Dean of Academic Affairs.
LA691
Independent Tutorial in Greek
1
This course is an opportunity for an individual or a small group of students to work with a member of the Department on a project in which they share a common interest. Open to students by permission of the Department Head and the Dean of Academic Affairs.
LA692
Independent Tutorial in Greek
2
This course is an opportunity for an individual or a small group of students to work with a member of the Department on a project in which they share a common interest. Open to students by permission of the Department Head and the Dean of Academic Affairs.
LA830
AP Latin
Y
The course prepares students to take the Advanced Placement Latin Examination on selections from Vergil’s Aeneid and Caesar’s De Bello Gallico. Students will literally translate over 1800 lines of Latin that could appear on the AP Exam in May. In addition, students are responsible for several portions of each text in English. Special attention is paid to syntactical details as well as the effects of meter, imagery, and figures of speech. Larger themes and motifs, which pertain to the historical, cultural, and literary significances of these two works, are also examined. Students will have opportunities to demonstrate comprehension of non-syllabus based Caesar and Vergil passages by reading at sight. This course is open to students who have completed three years of Latin with distinction or have the permission of the Department Head.
LA991
Post-AP Latin
1
This course is for students who have already successfully completed AP Latin; teacher and student work together to construct a syllabus which is both appropriately challenging and also reflective of the student's interests.
LA992
Post-AP Latin
2
This course is for students who have already successfully completed AP Latin; teacher and student work together to construct a syllabus which is both appropriately challenging and also reflective of the student's interests.

English

EN120
LM English
Y
This course is the foundation for subsequent English courses and focuses primarily on the development of clear, concise writing and speaking. The course improves the students’ close reading skills to sharpen their precision of thinking, writing, and expression. Students focus on such qualities as word choice and literary devices as they seek to unearth the significance of literary passages. Since each assertion or claim that a student makes in writing must be supported by evidence from the text itself, students aim to integrate quotations smoothly and effectively in their critical observations. In the first semester, students work on writing individual paragraphs to build incrementally toward passage analyses, poetry explications, and longer essays written in the winter and spring terms. Some assignments afford students opportunities to practice critical thinking in creative exercises; such assignments include memorizing monologues or poems, acting out scenes from dramatic works, and writing personal essays that are linked to texts being read in class. Modeling various writing styles and modes allows students to begin fusing rather than isolating analytical and creative work as they seek their own voices. Students begin building their English Portfolio with essays that critically describe their learning process throughout the course; they will assess their own skills and knowledge as readers, writers, and students of grammar, and they will demonstrate through their portfolio work clear thinking and precise writing. The Portfolio also includes an oral component. This Portfolio will accompany them throughout their Taft English career. Texts studied in recent years include Oedipus Rex, Antigone, A Raisin In The Sun, Macbeth, Things Fall Apart, Great Expectations, Seagull Reader Stories and Poetry (anthologies). Intensive study of vocabulary and grammar facilitates the students’ development of varied diction and sound writing. Effective class participation—both in informal discussion and more formal debates and presentations—is an essential requirement of the course.
EN130
Honors LM English
Y
Although similar to Lower Middle English in reading and writing objectives, the Honors Program offers greater challenges for a select group of particularly talented and dedicated Lower Middlers. With the standard course, EN130 shares the central goal of preparing students for future English courses by emphasizing the basics of clear writing, close reading, and critical thinking. However, the pace and level of sophistication of classroom participation, reading, and writing assignments are greater. The course is designed to provoke and inspire the most intellectually curious, disciplined, and creative English students. EN130 teaches writing as a deliberate process through which students learn to communicate clearly and purposefully as they find their own voices. Students increase their understanding of the structure and logic of expression through systematic study of grammar, and they learn vocabulary words in context from the literature, moving these words from passive to active vocabulary in discussions and writing. Class discussions challenge and stimulate students and encourage them to take risks. In addition, students prepare a number of oral presentations throughout the year; these may take the form of poetry recitations, dramatic monologues, or collaborative performance pieces. Readings throughout the year will include poetry, a Shakespeare play, short stories, and novels. Students are evaluated through a variety of assessments, including a portfolio of various writing pieces which they both select and reflect upon and which will accompany them into their Middle year. Admission to the course requires consent of the Department.
EN220
Mid English
Y
During the Middle year of English, students spend the first semester engaged in a substantial and systematic writing workshop that focuses on discovery and enhancement of the writer's voice. Students learn to express themselves clearly, purposefully, and creatively both in class and on paper. Students read, discuss, and analyze various models--essays, editorials, and fiction by classic and contemporary writers--and examine the choices a writer makes, the writer's purpose, and the resulting effects on the audience. Students experiment with narrative, descriptive, and expository forms, and will create their own essays using the process of preparing drafts, peer editing, and revising their work. At the end of the first semester, students turn to literary analysis, applying the writing skills gleaned during the preceding months. Beginning in January with the study of Shakespeare’s sonnets and a play, they develop their critical vocabulary and enhance their understanding of the forms of literary criticism, both in discussion and in writing. Students also engage in debates, recitations, and performances, both formal and informal. In the spring, students read a substantial novel such as Jane Eyre, Tess of the D’Urbervilles, or The Inheritance of Loss, as well as shorter works as time permits. Writing during the spring culminates with a longer critical essay, which facilitates the transition to Upper Middle English. At the end of the year students construct a portfolio that demonstrates their growth as writers and thinkers, and includes as well a substantial self-reflection. As in the Lower Middle year, the development of vocabulary in context, the study of grammar as a tool for effective written communication, and the discipline of both individual and group work are major components of each student’s study.
EN230
Honors Mid English
Y
Although similar to Middle English in reading and writing objectives, the Honors Program offers a challenge to a select and limited number of particularly able and dedicated Middlers. This course introduces students to classic literary works from all genres and instructs students in the composition of personal essays and literary criticism. Given that these more able students have successfully begun the development of their personal voice in writing, the course turns to the use of that voice in a variety of contexts. Consequently, it differs somewhat from the regular course in pace, level of sophistication, and reading selections. Admission to the course requires the consent of the Department.
EN321
UM Lit & Comp
1
This course is designed for the Upper Middler whose writing skills need focused and intensive development. Through daily exercises, conferences with the instructor, and the study of models of writing, students will work systematically to improve their writing skills. The literature studied will parallel that of EN323/4, although the writing assignments will differ. The objective of the course is to help each student write clearly, concisely, and persuasively; to teach editing and revising techniques; to expand the student's vocabulary; and to enable the student to read carefully and critically. Evaluation is based on class participation, papers, tests, and an examination. Open to Upper Middlers who have been recommended by the Department.
EN322
UM Lit & Comp
2
This course is designed for the Upper Middler whose writing skills need focused and intensive development. Through daily exercises, conferences with the instructor, and the study of models of writing, students will work systematically to improve their writing skills. The literature studied will parallel that of EN323/4, although the writing assignments will differ. The objective of the course is to help each student write clearly, concisely, and persuasively; to teach editing and revising techniques; to expand the student's vocabulary; and to enable the student to read carefully and critically. Evaluation is based on class participation, papers, tests, and a final portfolio. Open to Upper Middlers who have been recommended by the Department.
EN323
UM English
1
This two-semester course seeks to develop critical thinking skills, making students better critics of the culture responsible for the complex, often contradictory and fragmented American identity. Students analyze and explicate literary passages and, subsequently, compose persuasive extended arguments in the form of critical essays and both formal and informal oral performances. Passage analyses in the first semester focus primarily on the influence of form and rhetoric on characterization, conflict, and theme. During the second semester, critical inquiry emphasizes and further develops students’ ability to move from a focused understanding of passages to a broader and deeper understanding of common thematic ideas in the literature. Consequently, the culminating writing portfolio synthesizes critical arguments about and personal experience with the literature. First, focusing on what being an American signifies, students explore their relationship to literature by tracing a thematic through-line they regard as personally significant. They then finish the portfolio with a reflection on their skills as an English student and perform a retrospective rhetorical analysis of their writing. Most of the readings—both classic and contemporary—are selected from 19th and 20th century American writers, representing a range of American experience; texts studied in recent years include The Scarlet Letter, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, a selection of short stories, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, poetry by Whitman, Dickinson, Frost, and more contemporary poets, A Streetcar Named Desire, Death of a Salesman, A Raisin in the Sun, The Laramie Project, Walden, essays by Emerson, and Beloved. The course will also include a close study of one Shakespearean play in the winter or spring term. Student writing—both critical and creative—emerges from textual themes and student interests. In a seminar format in class discussions, students begin the process of dialogue with inquiry, bolster assertions with textual evidence and sound reasoning, and draw conclusions. In addition to critical essays, students work through performance-based assessments in three parts: an analysis of a text (e.g. poem or scene); a dramatic performance; and a reflective self-assessment. While learning to read, write, think, and speak critically and communicate persuasively, students gain knowledge of essential grammar, vocabulary, and writing skills in the context of their work. The course is designed to continue the development of the skills, knowledge, and attitudes fostered in earlier English courses.
EN324
UM English
2
This two-semester course seeks to develop critical thinking skills, making students better critics of the culture responsible for the complex, often contradictory and fragmented American identity. Students analyze and explicate literary passages and, subsequently, compose persuasive extended arguments in the form of critical essays and both formal and informal oral performances. Passage analyses in the first semester focus primarily on the influence of form and rhetoric on characterization, conflict, and theme. These inquiries culminate in a personal essay in which students reflect on their performance—reading, writing, and participating—in English. During the second semester, critical inquiry emphasizes and further develops students’ ability to move from a focused understanding of passages to a broader and deeper understanding of common thematic resonances in the literature. Consequently, the culminating writing portfolio synthesizes critical arguments about and personal experience with the literature. Focusing on what being an American signifies, students explore their relationship to literature by tracing a thematic through-line they regard as personally significant. They, then, finish with a reflection on their skills as an English student and perform a retrospective rhetorical analysis of their writing. Most of the readings—both classic and contemporary—are selected from 19th and 20th century American writers, representing a range of American experience; texts studied in recent years include, The Scarlet Letter, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, a selection of short stories, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, poetry by Whitman, Dickinson, Frost, and more contemporary poets, A Streetcar Named Desire, Death of a Salesman, A Raisin in the Sun, Walden, essays by Emerson, and Beloved. The course will also include the close study of one Shakespearean play during the winter or spring term. As well as learning to focus and organize their interpretations into precise, well-structured, and persuasive arguments, students learn that writing and dialogue are ongoing and recursive processes. Student writing—both critical and creative—emerges from textual themes and student interests, providing a means of authentic inquiry. In a seminar format, while remaining conscious of their own subjectivity, students begin the process of dialogue with inquiry, bolster assertions with textual evidence and sound reasoning, and draw conclusions. In addition to critical essays, students work through performance-based assessments in three parts: an analysis of a text (e.g. poem or scene); a dramatic performance; and a reflective self-assessment. While learning to read, write, think, and speak critically and communicate persuasively, students gain knowledge of essential grammar, vocabulary, and writing skills in the context of their work. The course is designed to improve skills, knowledge, and attitudes fostered in earlier English courses.
EN401
Sr. Literature & Composition
1
This course is a workshop for students who need training in close reading, logical and critical thinking, and writing skills. The readings are used to increase respect for detail and inference, to inspire ideas, and to serve as models for student writing. The forms of composition range from personal narrative to exposition to analysis; students write almost daily, in or out of class, and the group edits much of their writing. The objective of this workshop is to unify the students in a group effort, guided by the instructor, toward self-confidence and marked improvement in reading and writing skills. Students must have the permission of the Department to take this course.
EN407
The Quest
1
As every seeker has before, the student in this course asks: What is the good life? How can I find happiness? What duties do I owe my family, my friends, myself? How can the single man or woman integrate fully into a shared culture, retaining one’s individuality while contributing to the greater good? What obstacles will stand in the seeker’s way, and what aid will she find, on the path toward enlightenment? Should knowledge, glory, or revenge be pursued at any cost? Students may read some of the classic epics of literature as well as a variety of voices in works that focus on the them of the quest. Texts may include Homer's Odyssey, Beowulf or Gilgamesh, Dante's Inferno, Voltaire's Candide, and Hesse's Demian. Through lively conversation, students will examine the literature of the quest and consider for themselves the worth of this physical, intellectual, moral, and spiritual endeavor.
EN408
Adolescents in Literature
2
Adolescence is the painful yet glorious birth of an adult out of the skin of a child. At different times in different ways, sometimes brutally, sometimes gently, all children must learn the ways of the world outside of the protection of a loving parent, often throwing off that protection to assert themselves and to experience life independently. The child must discover what he or she values and what relationships with others can offer, as well as learn the reality of a world in which often unpredictable consequences follow actions and no parent is around to clean up the mess or heal the painful physical or psychological wounds. The experience may be different in different cultures, as the readings will show, but the course of growth remains remarkably similar. The course will look at works of non-fiction, autobiography, fiction, and drama as they reveal the growth of characters into adulthood. Writing assignments and oral presentations will be analytical, creative, and personal. As in all senior electives in the spring semester, one significant assignment for this course will be a project that incorporates the students' portfolio work through their previous years at Taft and that asks the students to reflect on their learning in English and the extent to which they have developed the skills, attitudes, and habits of mind the English Department sets as its goal to develop. Possible works to be studied might include The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Romeo and Juliet, How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accent, This Boy’s Life, Annie John, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Black Boy, The Virgin Suicides, and Rule of the Bone.
EN422
Dramatic Literature
2
In this class, “the play’s the thing.” Students will examine the work of playwrights like Miller, Williams, Reza, Brecht, Churchill, and Wilson in order to explore what distinguishes dramatic literature from other genres of writing, to analyze the playwright’s choices in crafting the text, to consider the importance of historical/political context to a dramatic work, and to design plans for staging and production. Students will be afforded the chance to both write their own dramatic literature as well as to analyze and perform sections of the play at hand. There will be at least two required field trips to see plays we have studied as part of this course.
EN427
The Southern Literary Tradition
1
The course aims to explore and define the themes which define the Southern tradition in American literature. The psychology and the sociology of the South give rise to a rich and unique tapestry of fiction, and this course will explore “the mind of the south” in reading the novels, stories, poems, and plays of such authors as William Faulkner, Tennessee Williams, Edward Jones, Erskine Caldwell, Flannery O’Connor, Kate Chopin, and Toni Morrison.
EN438
Literary Journalism
2
Recognizing that competition represents a metaphor for the human condition, this course will explore how men and women explore the phenomenon of competition primarily through the written word. Through investigation, literature, as well as the entire spectrum of media, the course will look at matters of history, politics, personality, philosophy, race and gender and what they tell us about human nature as found in all aspects of sports reporting; topics will include the ramifications of Title IX, the use of performance enhancing drugs and the impact of professional sports on national culture. Students will also examine the similarities and differences between sports writing and other categories of written journalism. Written assignments will have students analyze and imitate different types of sports writing, as well as learn different investigative journalism techniques all of which leads to a final project where the student goes on the road and learns the ins and outs of being a beat reporter.
EN447
Russian Literature
1
By reading the great short classics of Russian literature, and through brief cultural immersions in music, art, and film from the Golden Age through the the two world wars and the Stalinist period, this course will explore the interdisciplinary and collaborative exchanges between artists, intellectuals, and political figures. Be prepared for interesting and challenging discussions, cultural enrichment, and reconstructions of the dramatic stage of Russian history. Writing will be in three forms: historical essays, literary analysis, and creative fusions of personal and critical writing. Authors include Pushkin, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Chekhov, Turgenev, Bulgakov, and Akhmatova.
EN453
Literature of the Developing World
1
This course offers students the opportunity to engage with authors, filmmakers, and performers from the developing world and to explore the societal/global forces that keep these artists, and the people they write about, marginalized. Students will gain a deeper understanding of contemporary cultural, racial, social, and political issues by examining the work of authors like Edwidge Danticat, Zadie Smith, Brian Friel, and Junot Diaz. We will also examine films/documentaries, artwork, and current events that complement our study of these texts. In this way, the course material overlaps with questions students may be considering in history, psychology, or economics classes.
EN458
World Cinema: An Introduction
2
The goal of this course is twofold: to introduce students to the visual language of cinema through intensive readings in film theory and through frequent written analyses; and to introduce students to a range of cinematic styles and subjects from beyond the more familiar realms of Hollywood and American independent filmmakers. The latter two-thirds of the course will involve weekly film screenings followed by student-led seminars based on the film and on secondary readings in theory and in criticism that places the film in a broader social / cultural context. Assessments will include weekly critical essays, a substantial research essay, and contributions to the seminar discussions as leader and participant. Films for study may include City of God (Brazil), Raise the Red Lantern (China), Panis Labyrinth (Spain), Le Quattro Volte (Italy), Breathless (France), Run Lola Run (Germany), Water (India), Nikita (France), Cinema Paradiso (Italy). The final list of films will depend on student interest and input.
EN461
The Detective Story
1
The detective story genre emerged as Western cultures became increasingly complex and dominated by urban centers—a modernization that gave rise to new threats to social order. A detective story offers us unique insight into the central anxieties of its time and place, anxieties that often appear in terms of race, class, gender, and sexual orientation. On a symbolic level, we can see the detective as the embodiment of a society’s desire to control or contain the dangers of the unknown and unknowable. This class will focus on literature that foregrounds the search for meaning, with the detective figure as mediator between society and the mystery of the unknown. In looking at these stories, we will explore such essential questions as: What is the nature of mystery, or the unknowable? How do detectives “detect,” or create knowledge? What is the relationship between detection and race, class, and gender? How do detective stories “construct” their readers? Readings will be drawn from the following: Sophocles, Oedipus Rex Poe, “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” Conan-Doyle, The Sign of Four James, The Turn of the Screw Christie, Murder at the Vicarage Borges, “Death and the Compass” Chandler, Farewell, My Lovely Mosley, Devil in a Blue Dress
EN463
Literature of Civil Disobedience
1
With Henry David Thoreau’s Walden and essay, “Civil Disobedience,” at its center, this course explores the social energies created by literature and the literature created out of historical acts of civil disobedience. ~Upon establishing a foundational understanding of Thoreau’s philosophy, students will study some of the literature and history of the Indian independence movement, the American Civil Rights Movement, the Tiananmen Square protests in China, and the women’s movement as it extends into the 21st century. Students will study fiction, non-fiction, memoir, poetry, drama, and film. ~Students’ work in the course will culminate in a final project: an act of civil disobedience of their own. Students enrolled in the course will also be eligible to participate in an optional five-day trip to the civil rights trail in Birmingham, Montgomery, and Selma, Alabama at the start of Thanksgiving break; including its service components, the trip will provide students with an on-site exploration of some of the very acts of civil disobedience that fueled tremendous social change.
EN468
Dystopian Literature
2
This course asks students to train a critical eye on contemporary society. “Mother, do I trust the government?” What role do violence and torture play in the creation of political peace? How can the individual effect change in the face of Big Government, Big Corporations, Big Entertainment Media, or Big Culture? Is social control derived from force or allurement? Looking together at four novelized visions of unhealthy societies, we will search for answers to these questions. Finally, we’ll consider the political/intellectual role novelists play in a modern, liberal country.  Brave New World Aldous Huxley  1984 George Orwell  A Clockwork Orange Anthony Burgess  Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Mark Twain
EN472
Sr. Literature and Composition
2
This is a continuation of Sr. Lit and Comp (EN401) from the fall semester.
EN476
People and Stories of California
2
This course aims to explore topics of history and literature of California. Unlike any other state in the union, California offers a rich and unique blend of people, stories, and heritage of unparalleled diversity and complexity all within the borders of a single state. Beginning with Native American myths, the course will chronologically travel through Spanish exploration and missions, the gold rush and railroads, the growth of San Francisco and Los Angeles (including Hollywood and the birth of the entertainment industry), the Great Depression and World War II, Post war racial tension, counter culture and Vietnam, and finally end with current politics and immigration policies. Possible texts, authors, and artists include Chumash origin myths, Mark Twain's Roughing It, Ansel Adams' landscapes, John Steinbeck's Cannery Row, Raymond Chandler's The Litter Sister, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, T.C. Boyle’s Tortilla Curtain, Dr. Dre, and Prop 8. The course offers historical and literary perspectives on the state, as well as a look at the culture, food, music, and lifestyle that has given California the reputation as a golden state, a final frontier of opportunity, fame, fortune, and sun.
EN486
Monsters, Vampires, Zombies and Aliens
2
Beings who come from other worlds, or inhabit realms between our world and somewhere else in time and space, or beings who are somehow both human and non-human at the same time—such beings continue to fascinate in their familiarity and in their otherness. What do they tell us about ourselves? In this course, we will look at some early, British novels that represent such beings, exploring what it was about contemporaneous British culture that produced these strange creatures. We will also examine some iconic cinematic examples of the monstrous and the alien, focusing on American films from the last half of the 20th century. To accompany each of these novels and films, we will read short pieces of criticism and theory that will provide social, historical, and ideological context for the primary works. To conclude the semester, students will do an independent research project of modest length and present to the class their findings about a monster, vampire, zombie, or alien of choice. Novels and films may include: The Castle of Otranto, Frankenstein, Dracula, The War of the Worlds, Night of the Living Dead, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Blade Runner.
EN487
Creativity, Literature and Literacy
1
Through the exploration of multiple forms of "text" - anything from Shakespeare, personal essays, and slam poetry to TED talks, educational policy, and music/film - we will attempt to discern why we learn what we learn. How will you use what you have learned in your courses at Taft later in life? How does creativity impact learning? What does it mean to be literate? Though in this course you read, think, write, and discuss as you have in previous English courses, you will also have the opportunity to reach into other disciplines (Psychology, Sociology, Neuroscience, Educational Theory) in order to answer the questions you have about your experience with knowledge.
EN492
Tragedy
2
Fundamental to the study of Western literature is an understanding of the idea of tragedy. This course will consider its origins with the Greeks in the writings of Aristotle, Sophocles, Aeschylus, and Plato; its evolution in the Elizabethan era as represented by Shakespeare; its present incarnation in the works of writers like Conrad, Miller, and Williams. Fundamentally, “Tragedy is the narration of self-inflicted punishment. It is ironic that, in an attempt to further his own interests, the protagonist should actually destroy them.” In studying the tragic hero we discover a kindred spirit; in his humanity we find our own.
EN493
Experiments in Writing
1
Experiments in Writing is an intensive writing workshop for select students who are interested in writing about experience and exploring various genres and styles. Genres studied in the course include journalism, the personal essay, short fiction, poetry, and New Journalism. In addition to in-class writing and awareness exercises, students complete an average of three writing assignments per week. The writing exercises and assignments highlight the importance of concrete expression, evocative imagery, subtlety, editing, and rewriting. The course instructor acts as coach, editor, and constructive critic. In addition, student work is regularly critiqued by peers in class seminars and by the teacher in individual conferences. Both professional and student models are used to illustrate various writing styles. In recent years, Experiments students have published literary magazines, writing portfolios, and newspapers.
EN494
Short Story
2
Raymond Carver once observed that the art of the short story is “to endow certain things—a chair, a window curtain, a fork, a stone, a woman’s earring—with immense, even startling power.” In this course we will read a comprehensive and diverse collection of short fiction, paying attention both to the craft of the short story writer as well as to the insights and themes of the stories themselves. We will ask ourselves questions such as the following: What artistic decisions do the authors make in terms of plot, character, and dialogue, and how and why are they effective? What world views do the texts contain and how are they communicated? What moments of “startling power” occur in each story? Students will write critically about the stories they read and will write their own stories as well. At the end of the term, we will have read thirty stories, will have deepened our critical and creative literary skills, and will have challenged ourselves to explore the human condition.
EN495
Hollywood and America in the 20th Century
1
This interdisciplinary course will survey the first 100 years of American cinema. We will focus on the connection between film genres and the cultural contexts that produce such genres. Examples of questions that will drive our study include: What was the “Hollywood Style” and how did it come to dominate American cinema in the 1930s? Why do the dark crime movies of film noir become so prominent in the 1940s? How do science-fiction films in the 1950s speak to anxieties about the nuclear age of post-WW2 America? How does the genre of the combat film evolve over the decades? Why is the Western such an enduring genre in American cinema? Students will view at least one film per week; will read widely in critical texts that discuss history, culture, and film theory; and will respond in writing on a weekly basis to films and to secondary readings.
EN540
Honors Humanities
Y
This interdisciplinary course is a chronological introduction to some major figures and ideas of western civilization. Students explore how a seamless integration of philosophy, literature, history, the arts, and science comprises a cultural experience. As students learn about various cultures and periods, they will discuss the application of their understanding to their own lives in making responsible, informed decisions concerning philosophical, spiritual, and moral issues. Readings from the Old and New Testament, and such authors as Homer, Plato, Sophocles, Dante, Chaucer, Machiavelli, Shakespeare, Galileo, Voltaire, Marx, Darwin, Nietzsche, Freud, Einstein, and Sartre reveal the thoughts and experiences that have shaped societies and individuals over the last 3500 years. Some recurring themes in the course are the nature and use of power; the relationships between men and women and between parents and children; the nature of spiritual experience and the divine; changing perceptions of the natural world and the position of human beings in the context of nature; and the causes and consequences of the development of science and technology. Discussions of art history illustrate the historical and social contexts of the readings. Various writing projects, period tests, oral presentations, and collaborative performances enable students to demonstrate their understanding of the moral and intellectual positions represented in the material and to exercise personal critical judgment regarding the value or validity of the ideas to which they have been exposed. And periodically students are asked to form and share their own opinions about the essential questions raised in the course. A student who completes the course may, with departmental permission, use it to satisfy one semester of the English requirement. A student enrolled in three, year-long Advanced Placement courses may, with permission of the English Department, use this course to fulfill the full-year English requirement. If there are spaces available in the course, a student who cannot otherwise fit this course into his or her program may, with permission of the English Department, use this course to fulfill the full-year English requirement. Open to Seniors with departmental permission.
EN591
Independent Tutorial in English
1
This is an opportunity for a student to work with a member of the Department on a project in which they share a common interest. Open to Seniors by permission of the Department Head and the Dean of Academic Affairs.
EN592
Independent Tutorial in English
2
This is an opportunity for a student to work with a member of the Department on a project in which they share a common interest. Open to Seniors by permission of the Department Head and the Dean of Academic Affairs.
EN821
AP UM English
1
This course is for Upper Middlers who have demonstrated exceptional ability, motivation, and achievement in previous English courses. While the fundamental objectives of this course are similar to those of EN323 and EN324, the course demands more engagement from students and sets higher standards. Focusing on nineteenth and twentieth century American literature of all genres, students develop their skills in critical thinking, purposeful writing, and effective speaking. The curriculum features assessments that are designed to offer not only analytical experience but also opportunities to develop both intellectual curiosity and a confident, disciplined approach to writing. Students will work both collaboratively and independently on activities related to these goals. In learning how to read nonfiction literature critically, how to write precisely and cogently, and how to think clearly and logically, students will also be prepared to take the Advanced Placement Examination in English Language and Composition in May. Following the administration of the A.P. exam, students will complete the course with a final project that asks them to synthesize their ideas about the literature they have read throughout the course, examining a theme of critical and personal importance in both an oral presentation and an extended paper. Admission to this course requires permission of the English Department.
EN822
AP UM English
2
This course is for Upper Middlers who have demonstrated exceptional ability, motivation, and achievement in previous English courses. While the fundamental objectives of this course are similar to those of EN323 and EN324, the course demands more engagement from students and sets higher standards. Focusing on nineteenth and twentieth century American literature of all genres, students develop their skills in critical thinking, purposeful writing, and effective speaking. The curriculum features assessments that are designed to offer not only analytical experience but also opportunities to develop both intellectual curiosity and a confident, disciplined approach to writing. Students will work both collaboratively and independently on activities related to these goals. In learning how to read nonfiction literature critically, how to write precisely and cogently, and how to think clearly and logically, students will also be prepared to take the Advanced Placement Examination in English Language and Composition in May. Following the administration of the A.P. exam, students will complete the course with a final project that asks them to synthesize their ideas about the literature they have read throughout the course, examining a theme of critical and personal importance in both an oral presentation and an extended paper. Admission to this course requires permission of the English Department.
EN831
AP SR English Lit
1
Senior Honors English is divided into two distinct, but integrated, semesters. All students electing one or both semesters should plan to take the Advanced Placement Examination in English Literature and Composition. Students should elect this course on the basis of their strong commitment to English and their ability to excel in understanding and writing about literature. The curriculum of the course is sophisticated and demanding; more is expected of Honors students than of the typical Senior. The course includes British and other non-American literature. Consistent with the composition of the A.P. Examination, the course always studies poetry, drama, fiction, and nonfiction. The course requires close analytical reading and an ability to communicate an understanding of the literature with organization, clarity, and supporting textual detail. Students write both critical and personal essays and are expected to participate extensively in class discussion. Although the teachers and content of the course vary, the course always includes specific preparation for the A.P. Examination in May. Admission to either semester of the course requires the permission of the English Department.
EN832
AP SR English Lit
2
Senior Honors English is divided into two distinct, but integrated, semesters. All students electing one or both semesters should plan to take the Advanced Placement Examination in English Literature and Composition. Students should elect this course on the basis of their strong commitment to English and their ability to excel in understanding and writing about literature. The curriculum of the course is sophisticated and demanding; more is expected of Honors students than of the typical Senior. The course includes British and other non-American literature. Consistent with the composition of the A.P. Examination, the course always studies poetry, drama, fiction, and nonfiction. The course requires close analytical reading and an ability to communicate an understanding of the literature with organization, clarity, and supporting textual detail. Students write both critical and personal essays and are expected to participate extensively in class discussion. Although the teachers and content of the course vary, the latter part of the course includes specific preparation for the A.P. Examination in May. After the A.P. exam, the course focuses on various forms of creative writing. As in all senior electives in the spring semester, one significant assignment for this course will be a project that incorporates the students' portfolio work through their previous years at Taft and that asks the students to reflect on their learning in English and the extent to which they have developed the skills, attitudes, and habits of mind the English Department sets as its goal to develop. Admission to either semester of the course requires the permission of the English Department.

Global Service and Scholarship

EN458
World Cinema: An Introduction
2
The goal of this course is twofold: to introduce students to the visual language of cinema through intensive readings in film theory and through frequent written analyses; and to introduce students to a range of cinematic styles and subjects from beyond the more familiar realms of Hollywood and American independent filmmakers. The latter two-thirds of the course will involve weekly film screenings followed by student-led seminars based on the film and on secondary readings in theory and in criticism that places the film in a broader social / cultural context. Assessments will include weekly critical essays, a substantial research essay, and contributions to the seminar discussions as leader and participant. Films for study may include City of God (Brazil), Raise the Red Lantern (China), Panis Labyrinth (Spain), Le Quattro Volte (Italy), Breathless (France), Run Lola Run (Germany), Water (India), Nikita (France), Cinema Paradiso (Italy). The final list of films will depend on student interest and input.
EN463
Literature of Civil Disobedience
1
With Henry David Thoreau’s Walden and essay, “Civil Disobedience,” at its center, this course explores the social energies created by literature and the literature created out of historical acts of civil disobedience. ~Upon establishing a foundational understanding of Thoreau’s philosophy, students will study some of the literature and history of the Indian independence movement, the American Civil Rights Movement, the Tiananmen Square protests in China, and the women’s movement as it extends into the 21st century. Students will study fiction, non-fiction, memoir, poetry, drama, and film. ~Students’ work in the course will culminate in a final project: an act of civil disobedience of their own. Students enrolled in the course will also be eligible to participate in an optional five-day trip to the civil rights trail in Birmingham, Montgomery, and Selma, Alabama at the start of Thanksgiving break; including its service components, the trip will provide students with an on-site exploration of some of the very acts of civil disobedience that fueled tremendous social change.
GS508
Service Learning: Not to Be Served
2
"First with the head, then with the heart." This Service Learning course combines rigorous academic classes with challenging community service on the basis that it is not until we are informed that we can be really useful. Classroom work will focus on issues such as poverty, public health, immigration, environment and education. Students will spend at least one session per week in the local community working with local partners, for example Children's Community School and the St John's Soup Kitchen. All students will complete regular written assignments as well as one major individual research paper.
GS517
Service Learning: Not to Be Served
1
"First with the head, then with the heart." This Service Learning course combines rigorous academic classes with challenging community service on the basis that it is not until we are informed that we can be really useful. Classroom work will focus on issues such as poverty, public health, immigration, environment and education. Students will spend at least one session per week in the local community working with local partners, for example Children's Community School and the St John's Soup Kitchen. All students will complete regular written assignments as well as one major individual research paper.
GS523
Philosophy: Searching for Truth
1
This course introduces students to the components of philosophy through readings from the history of philosophy (ancient, modern, and contemporary) combined with the examination of topics such as metaphysics, logic, ethics, existence of God, immortality, knowledge, the mind-body question, personal identity, free will and determinism, political philosophy, the meaning of life,  abortion, capital punishment, animal rights, and affirmative action.  The course exposes students to a range of ideas and readings representing a variety of cultural and ethnic backgrounds.
GS532
The Influence of Buddhism in the West
2
In this course students will explore why Buddhism has become so popular in the contemporary West. We will study Buddhism through the lives and teachings of the two most popular Buddhist teachers in the world today: the Dalai Lama (Tibet) and Thich Nhat Hanh (Vietnam). Together we will seek to understand what Buddhists mean when they speak about enlightenment, nirvana, meditation, human suffering, compassion and wisdom. We will examine the practical value of Buddhism and how it has enriched the lives of Jews, Christians, agnostics and others in the modern West.
GS560
Model UN for Upper Schoolers
Y
This year long Model United Nations (MUN) course is designed to examine the primary functions of the United Nations and its diplomatic role with respect to political, economic and cultural concerns of the global community. Through research, discussion, negotiation and debate, students will develop plausible solutions to contemporary global problems. These issues include, but are not limited to, human rights, protection of the environment, economic development, disarmament, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and the complexities surrounding war and peace. Most of the work that will be carried out in this course is in preparation for participation in the Harvard Model United Nations Conference (held February 13-16, 2014) and the Cornell Model UN Conference held in April. For scheduling purposes, this course will meet two evenings per week and not during the class day.
GS570
Honors Model UN for Upper Schoolers
Y
TBD
GS591
Independent Tutorial in Global Service and Scholarship
1
This is an opportunity for a student to work with a member of the Department on a project in which they share a common interest. Open to Seniors by permission of the Department Head and the Dean of Academic Affairs.
GS592
Independent Tutorial in Global Service and Scholarship
2
This is an opportunity for a student to work with a member of the Department on a project in which they share a common interest. Open to Seniors by permission of the Department Head and the Dean of Academic Affairs.
GS720
AP Human Geography
Y
Human Geography is an interdisciplinary field that combines geography with the subject matters of social science. It refers to the sub-fields of geography that deal with how human action changes or is influenced by the earth's surface. In AP Human Geography, we will study the world, its populace, various communities, cultures, and religions. This course combines the study of cultural and economic geography as it explores the multi-faceted relationship between people and their environment. For instance, we will study the earth’s physical features, such as topography, soil, and vegetation and examine in detail the ways in which they are affected by human activity. There are seven major fields of study in AP Human Geography that we will cover over the course of the year: geography, population, cultural patterns and processes, political organization of space, agricultural and rural land use, industrialization and economic development, and cities and urban land use. In this course we will learn the methods and tools that geographers use in their science and practice. Open to Upper Mids who have already taken a full-year, high school U.S. History course, and to Seniors.

History

GO730
AP American Government
Y
This full year course prepares students to take the Advanced Placement Examination in American Government and is concerned with the nature of the American political system, its development over the past two hundred years, and how it works today. The goal of the course is to increase understanding of the mechanisms of American politics and to enhance the students' ability to study political behavior. Controversial issues in contemporary politics and public policy are also addressed. Classes follow a discussion format, and evaluation is based on class participation, debates, quizzes, period tests, and short papers. Students are expected to take the Advanced Placement Examination. Open to students who have completed U.S. History or AP U.S. History, with department approval.
GO740
AP Comparative Government
Y
The AP course in Comparative Government introduces students to the ways in which political scientists evaluate political life in all its variety. Beginning with a basic introduction to political theory, the course will then examine and compare the political history and governments of China, Great Britain, Mexico, Russia, Iran and Nigeria. After studying political theory, students can then see how these theories manifest themselves in practice. Whether it be elections, policy making, or power structures, students will take abstract ideas and see them in action. They will also see how increased global connectedness has affected the traditional nation-state and ideas of sovereignty. In addition to preparing for the AP exam, students will learn about political history and current events in the six nations they study and will be asked to perform deeper research into the countries we study. Open to students who have completed U.S. History or AP U.S. History, with department approval. Students are expected to take the AP Comparative Government exam.
HI120
Approaches to History
Y
Approaches to History considers the relationship between the individual and society, in many parts of the world, from ancient times to the early modern era.  As the title suggests, the course encourages students to view history through different lenses, whether ideological, social, political, or economic.  Students will also develop historians' skills. Critical reading, evidence-based essay writing, and primary source analysis are emphasized in the fall.  As the year progresses, evidence from research is included in the writing process, and students engage in Harkness discussions and formal debates.  Students finish the year with an appreciation for the relevance and excitement of historical study as well as the skills and historical perspective needed to succeed in higher-level Taft history courses. 
HI270
Historical Civilizations and the Modern World
Y
What are the historical roots of today’s diverse yet interconnected globe? This course aspires to answer that question by exploring patterns of world history since the 15th century: global empires and trade systems, industrialization, imperialism, world war, anti-colonial struggles, and globalization. In addition to individual assessments such as essays and oral presentations, students undertake group projects, including the creation of websites and Google Earth tours. This allows students to practice 21st century skills: critical thinking, collaboration, initiative, creativity, adaptability, and clear communication. Open to Middlers.
HI320
United States History
Y
This course examines the history of the United States from the colonial era through the Vietnam War, with a particular emphasis on the evolving definition of liberty. The curriculum relies on primary source materials, encouraging students to explore the nation’s history through the voices of its people. To support this document-based focus, the course utilizes a thematic approach that calls for meaningful critical analysis, interpretative thinking and inclusive class discussion. United States History is a writing-intensive course. Students develop their skills through a variety of assignments including in-class essays, document based questions, a research project, and a cumulative semester exam. There are also debates, oral presentations and group projects. This course fulfills the U.S. History requirement and is normally taken during the Upper-middler year.
HI501
The Second World War
1
This course explores the Second World War from the Japanese invasion of China through the dropping of the Atomic bomb. The curriculum relies on a variety of sources, including a comprehensive text, three historical narratives, and numerous articles and primary documents. Designed specifically to challenge Seniors in a seminar setting, classroom discussion is critical to the students’ experience and success. The course material not only provides students the opportunity to survey this great conflict, but it also allows for an in-depth examination of the themes and scholarship surrounding selected events. This is a writing-intensive course, and students will submit a number of short analytical essays as well as one longer research paper. Daily homework reading and précis will play an important role in the course, and students will be required to participate in class on a regular basis. Open to Seniors and Upper-middlers who have completed U.S. History or the Atlantic Community sequence.
HI506
History of Current Events
2
"I wish I had more time to read about and discuss national and global events!" This course is dedicated to addressing that lament by making awareness and understanding of our world today a course requirement rather than an extra-curricular pursuit. Students receive a subscription to the Economist (a weekly news magazine), and once a week the class is dedicated exclusively to summary and discussion of recent events as captured in that publication and other news sources. The other class meetings center on historical and contemporary analyses of subjects of ongoing interest and importance such as Western tensions with Russia over Ukraine, recent financial and economic crises, shifts in American politics and governance, and developments in the Middle East. The readings are drawn from recently published books and periodicals. Then, towards the end of the semester, each student teaches a class on the history and current status of an event or development of his or her choice, having researched this in depth. Evaluation will be based on current events quizzes, contributions to discussion, several shorter persuasive essays, and a major multi-media presentation on a current topic. Open to Upper Schoolers.
HI518
The Vietnam War
2
This course will provide students with the opportunity to examine one of the more complicated world events in the last fifty years: the conflict in Vietnam. Specific topics such as the life of the “grunt” and turmoil on the home front will be explored, as well as larger questions about the nature of war itself in the second half of the twentieth century. In an effort to answer questions about the war as it really was, versus that seen in popular literature and film, the group will consider a broad selection of media, historical texts, and essays. Documentaries and motion pictures will include: Hearts and Minds, The Hanoi Hilton, The Green Berets, Apocalypse Now, Platoon, Full Metal Jacket, Born on the 4th of July, Casualties of War, and others. Written works will include excerpts from: Philip Caputo’s, A Rumor of War, Truong Nhu Tang’s, A Vietcong Memoir, Tim O’Brien’s, The Things They Carried, Robert Mason’s, Chickenhawk, Michael Herr’s, Dispatches, and Stanley Karnow’s, Vietnam: A History. Designed specifically to challenge seniors in a seminar setting, classroom discussion will be critical to the students’ experience and success. Students will be assessed regularly through short précis of their homework reading. There will be frequent, short analytical essays, as well as a longer research paper. Open to students who have completed U.S. History or the Atlantic Community sequence.
HI532
The Ancient Mediterranean
2
Students in this course will analyze the influence of the Egyptians, Greeks, Phoenicians, Persians, and, with greater emphasis, the Romans and Barbarians in order to explore civilizations that formed the foundation of the West. As we study these civilizations, we will ask, how does inquiry into the distant past help make the present more intelligible? We will delve into not only the individual context of these civilizations but also their interactions – both of which inform the West today. Great leaders, government, society, religion, and war will be considered through historical narratives, articles, primary source documents, and films. Finally, examination of ancient mythology will inform our understanding of the beliefs and cultural mores of these civilizations. Students will be assessed based on their daily contributions to discussion, performance on identification tests, and a research project.
HI591
Independent Tutorial in History
1
This is an opportunity for an individual or a small group of students to work with a member of the Department on a project in which they share a common interest. Open to Upper Middlers and Seniors with the permission of the Department Head and the Dean of Academic Affairs.
HI592
Independent Tutorial in History
2
This is an opportunity for an individual or a small group of students to work with a member of the Department on a project in which they share a common interest. Open to Upper Middlers and Seniors with the permission of the Department Head and the Dean of Academic Affairs. See page 2 for the application process and deadlines.
HI611
Senior Research and Composition
1
Post-graduates and seniors who have taken little History at Taft are required to take this one-semester course (or HI612). Students will learn the basics of historical inquiry and research. Then each student will compose a research paper that takes and defends a position on a topic of his/her own choosing but with substantial teacher guidance and oversight.
HI740
AP European History for Middlers
Y
The course prepares students to take the Advanced Placement Examination in European History.  Students will study the development of government, culture, and society from approximately 1500 to the present.  Evaluation is based on period assessments, a research paper on a topic of the student’s choice focusing on the period before the French Revolution, class participation, and a final examination in the first semester. Open to Middlers, with the approval of the Department, who have demonstrated strong performance, skills and interest in previous History courses.
HI830
AP U.S. History
Y
This survey of U.S. history resembles an introductory undergraduate course. The readings are drawn from many sources, including a basic text and documentary and interpretive materials. The course is chronological and covers the major currents of political, social, intellectual, economic, and diplomatic history. A major goal is to develop analytical and interpretive skills, both orally and in writing, with further emphasis on critical reading and writing. Evaluation is based upon quizzes, announced period assessments, short papers, specialized writing assignments and projects, two research papers, and cumulative semester examinations. The course prepares students for the Advanced Placement Examination in American History. Students who sign up for this course will complete a lengthy reading assignment on colonial American history over the summer. The first assessment, a four-page paper, is based on this reading, and will be due upon students’ arrival in the fall. Open to Upper-middlers and Seniors with approval of the Department.
HI840
AP European History
Y
The course prepares students to take the Advanced Placement Examination in European History. Students will study the development of government, culture, and society from approximately 1500 to the present. Evaluation is based on period assessments, a research paper on a topic of the student’s choice focusing on the period before the French Revolution, class participation, and a final examination in the first semester. Students are expected to take the AP European History exam. Open to Upper-middlers and Seniors with the approval of the Department.

Mathematics

CS730
AP Computer Science A
Y
This college-level course is taught using Java programming language. The objective of this course is to cover the topics required to prepare a student to take the Advanced Placement Examination in Computer Science. Permission of the Department is required.
CS991
Independent Tutorial in Computer Science
1
This is an opportunity for an individual or a group of students to work with a member of the Department on a project in which they share a common interest. It may entail an advanced programming topic involving robotics, artificial intelligence, genetic programming, or other.
CS992
Independent Tutorial in Computer Science
2
This is an opportunity for an individual or a group of students to work with a member of the Department on a project in which they share a common interest. It may entail an advanced programming topic involving robotics, artificial intelligence, genetic programming, or other.
EC502
Principles of Marketing
2
Students will learn the basic concepts and practices of marketing, as well as how successful organizations use marketing to achieve their objectives. Students will become familiar with the 4 Ps (product, price, place and promotion) of marketing. Coursework will include real world case studies, production of a commercial, and a group project in which students will develop a marketing plan for a product. Students will be required to develop and implement a marketing plan for a nonprofit cause. Guest speakers from local and national businesses will be invited to speak to the class and discuss their marketing experiences. Open to Upper Middlers and Seniors.
EC511
Personal Finance
1
This course will examine investing and wealth management over the life of the individual. Topics include building wealth early in one's life through educational investment, career choice, and entrepreneurship as well as early debt management such as handling student loans. Mid-life topics will include the financial implications of marriage and children and decisions about when and where to buy a first home. Later life decisions will focus on planning for children's education and for retirement, and the issues concerning inheritance, financial legacy and philanthropy. Math skills and concepts developed will include decision tree analysis, break-even analysis, basic probability, basic statistics such as standard deviation and correlation coefficients, Monte Carlo simulation and exponential growth and compounding. The course will teach the basic use of spreadsheet software. Financial skills developed will include valuing assets with discounted cash flow analysis, reading financial statements and analyzing stock fundamentals. The teacher’s primary goal is for students to be able to construct both basic financial plans for each stage of their lives and also basic financial portfolios consistent with their objectives. Open to seniors Prerequisite: Precalculus or permission of the Math department head.
EC512
Personal Finance
2
This course will examine investing and wealth management over the life of the individual. Topics include building wealth early in one's life through educational investment, career choice, and entrepreneurship as well as early debt management such as handling student loans. Mid-life topics will include the financial implications of marriage and children and decisions about when and where to buy a first home. Later life decisions will focus on planning for children's education and for retirement, and the issues concerning inheritance, financial legacy and philanthropy. Math skills and concepts developed will include decision tree analysis, break-even analysis, basic probability, basic statistics such as standard deviation and correlation coefficients, Monte Carlo simulation and exponential growth and compounding. The course will teach the basic use of spreadsheet software. Financial skills developed will include valuing assets with discounted cash flow analysis, reading financial statements and analyzing stock fundamentals. The teacher’s primary goal is for students to be able to construct both basic financial plans for each stage of their lives and also basic financial portfolios consistent with their objectives. Open to seniors Prerequisite: Precalculus or permission of the Math department head.
EC591
Independent Tutorial in Economics
1
This is an opportunity for an individual or group of students to work with a member of the department on a project in which they share a common interest.
EC592
Independent Tutorial in Economics
2
This is an opportunity for an individual or group of students to work with a member of the department on a project in which they share a common interest.
EC830
AP Economics
Y
This course introduces the principles of micro- and macroeconomics and prepares students for the Advanced Placement Examinations in both subjects. The dual goals of the course are for students to be able to use economic thinking appropriately in their own lives and to understand current economic topics. The first half of the course concentrates in microeconomics, examining how individuals and corporations make decisions, then builds to a study of the market system and the role of government in taxation and regulation. The second half of the course focuses on macroeconomics, examining the American economy as a whole. Topics include unemployment, inflation, Gross Domestic Product, economic growth, fiscal and monetary policy, the financial system, and international economic interactions. Students are expected to take both Advanced Placement Examinations. Finally, students who sign up for this course are expected to read "Naked Economics" by Charles Wheelan over the summer. Open to Upper Middlers and Seniors with the approval of the Department.
MA120
Algebra I
Y
This first course in algebra is quite comprehensive. It stresses the fundamental properties of real numbers, solving linear equations and inequalities, multiplying and factoring a variety of polynomials, roots, and radical notation. Topics also include absolute value, systems of equations, and algebraic fractions. A primary goal is ease and accuracy in all sorts of algebraic manipulations. If students cannot solve quadratic equations both by factoring and formula, then they may need to take this course. Required for ninth graders who have not had a full year of Algebra I, recommended for those whose background in algebra is not strong, and required for those who score below 65% on the placement test.
MA220
Geometry
Y
Euclidean geometry is covered in a standard sequence recommended by the Commission on Mathematics of the College Entrance Examination Board. Emphasis is placed on the deductive nature of this branch of mathematics, and on the use of algebra in solving a variety of geometry problems. Open to students who have completed a full year of high school algebra and score above 65% on the Algebra I placement test (see MA120 description).
MA230
Honors Geometry
Y
This honors course follows the same syllabus as MA220, but concepts are covered in much more depth. Open to students who earned a 93 or higher in MA120 or scored exceptionally well on the placement test.
MA310
Algebra II & Trigonometry
Y
This is a standard second course in algebra, geared to prepare students for MA 410—Precalculus. It continues the work of MA120, but is geared for students who may not be ready for the challenges of Accelerated Algebra II and Trigonometry. Algebraic facility and the concept of function are stressed. Additional topics include complex numbers, basic trigonometry, polynomials, rational functions, exponentials, and logarithms. Open to students, with permission of the department, who have completed a full year of algebra and geometry, as determined by the placement test (see the descriptions of MA120 and MA220).
MA320
Accelerated Algebra II & Trigonometry
Y
This is a faster paced second course in algebra, geared to prepare students for MA 420—Accelerated Precalculus. It continues the work of MA120. Algebraic facility and the concept of function are stressed. Additional topics include complex numbers, basic trigonometry, conic sections, polynomials, rational functions, exponentials, and logarithms. Open to students, with permission of the department, who have completed a full year of algebra and geometry (see the descriptions of MA120 and MA220).
MA330
Honors Algebra II & Trigonometry
Y
The honors course covers many of the same topics as MA320, but concepts are explored in much more depth. Open to students who earned an 87 or higher in MA230 or the equivalent.
MA410
Precalculus
Y
This course is designed for students who have completed a second year algebra course, but who may not be ready for the challenges of the Honors Precalculus course. Many of the critical topics from algebra are reviewed with an eye towards enhancing the students' skills. While many of the topics do overlap with the Honors Precalculus syllabus, the pace in MA410 is more relaxed and flexible. Graphing, polynomials, exponentials, logarithms, trigonometric, and inverse trigonometric functions will be studied. Students who produce strong results will be ready to take Calculus (MA520) the following year. Open to students who have completed MA310, MA320, or the equivalent.
MA411
Precalculus for Seniors
1
This course is designed for seniors looking to build upon the skills developed in Algebra II. This is a one-semester course only, and overlaps with much of the material covered during the fall semester of MA 410. Graphing, polynomials, exponentials, logarithms, and trigonometric functions will be studied. A few additional topics such as probability will be discussed to prepare students for college placement tests. Open to students who have completed MA310, MA320, or the equivalent.
MA425
Honors Precalculus
Y
This course continues the work begun in MA320 but at a much more sophisticated level. The topics include the theory and graphs of functions and their inverses, exponentials, logarithms, trigonometric functions, analytic trigonometry, and rational functions. Well into the second semester, the course will introduce basic topics of differential calculus such as limits, continuity, the definition of the derivative, and techniques of differentiation. This course is a prerequisite for students planning to take Advanced Placement Calculus AB (MA830) or Advanced Placement Statistics (MA730). Open to students who have earned an 83 or higher in MA320 or the equivalent.
MA430
Honors Accelerated Precalculus
Y
The honors division covers many of the same topics as MA420, but concepts are explored in much more depth. The pace of this course is also notably faster than that of MA420. This faster pace also allows MA430 to introduce topics from calculus sooner in the second semester. Limits, continuity, the definition of the derivative, and techniques of differentiation are studied as well as applications of the derivative. This challenging course prepares students to take Advanced Placement Calculus BC (MA840). Open to students who have earned an 87 or higher in MA330 or the equivalent.
MA511
Statistics I
1
This course covers the basics of statistics and data analysis. Topics include collecting data through experiments and observational studies, displaying data through appropriate graphs and tables, analyzing central tendency and variation, and analyzing bivariate data through correlation and regression analysis. Open to students who have completed Precalculus, or by departmental permission.
MA512
Statistics II
2
This course reviews the data analysis topics covered in Statistics I and then explores probability, random variables, and basic probability distributions such as the normal and binomial curves. These concepts are then used to learn how to estimate a mean or proportion and construct a confidence interval around this estimate. Finally, the course will examine the basics of hypothesis testing. This course can be taken as a continuation of Statistics I or as a standalone class.
MA521
Calculus I
1
This course is designed as an introduction to single variable calculus at a slower pace than the AP level courses. Topics include limits and continuity, basic differentiation techniques, applications of derivatives such as min-max problems, and basic techniques of integration. Most applications will focus on polynomial functions.
MA522
Calculus II
2
This course is a continuation of Calculus I. More advanced techniques for differentiation and integration will be explored such as implicit differentiation, integration by substitution, and integration by parts. More applications will incorporate exponential, logarithmic, or trigonometric functions.
MA730
AP Statistics
Y
Statistics is the branch of mathematics which studies how to collect and interpret data. In addition to these ideas, this course will examine probability which is the theory behind data analysis. It will also consider distributions, statistical inference, hypothesis testing, regression, and modeling. Students will take the Advanced Placement examination in May. Open to students who have earned an 80 or higher in MA420, a 97 or higher in MA410, or the equivalent.
MA830
AP Calculus AB
Y
This course follows the development of ideas started in MA420. In the fall, the course will closely examine the theory behind and the applications of the derivative. A sure grasp of elementary functions and analytic geometry is required. The second half of the course focuses on the integral calculus. There will again be a mix of theory and applications. Students in MA830 will take the Advanced Placement Calculus AB examination in May. Open to students who have earned an 85 or higher in MA420 or the equivalent.
MA832
AP Calculus AB/C
2
This course allows students who have completed AB Calculus to learn the remaining topics from the BC Calculus syllabus. This one semester course will prepare students to take the Advanced Placement BC Calculus exam in May. Open to students who earned a 4 or higher on the Advanced Placement AB exam.
MA840
AP Calculus BC
Y
This course prepares students for the Advanced Placement Examination in Calculus BC, which is designed to lead to a college sophomore honors course in the second-year calculus. Students will take the Calculus BC examination on May. Open to students who have earned an 87 or higher in MA430 or the equivalent.
MA990
Multivariable Calculus and Linear Algebra
Y
This course first introduces and explores the differentiation and integration of functions of more than one variable. Topics include vectors, partial derivatives, directional derivatives, gradients, optimization, Lagrange multipliers, double and triple integrals, vector fields, line integrals, flux integrals, and Green’s, Gauss’s, and Stokes' theorems. The remainder of the year is devoted to the study of Linear Algebra. Topics include systems of linear equations, matrices, vector spaces, determinants, eigenvalues, eigenvectors, and linear transformations. Open to students who earned a 5 on the Advanced Placement BC exam.
MA991
Independent Tutorial in Mathematics
1
This is an opportunity for an individual or group of students to work with a member of the department on a project in which they share a common interest.
MA992
Independent Tutorial in Mathematics
2
This is an opportunity for an individual or group of students to work with a member of the department on a project in which they share a common interest.

Modern Languages

CN120
Chinese I
Y
This is an introductory course in Mandarin Chinese, the official modern language of China, also known as Putonghua. The course concentrates on pronunciation, sentence structure, conversation, development of skills for reading simple texts, and in writing characters of simplified form. Recordings will accompany each lesson. Open to all students.
CN220
Chinese II
Y
This course is a continuation of CN120 and is designed to enable the student to converse in everyday Chinese. The reading emphasizes vocabulary building. Students will review and further develop sentence structure, composition, and oral expression. Open to students who have completed CN120 or its equivalent.
CN320
Chinese III
Y
This course is designed to develop further the student's overall language skills through reading and discussing "Chinese Dialogue" and "Intermediate Reader of Modern Chinese." Discussion of assigned readings is conducted primarily in Chinese. Open to students who have completed CN220 or its equivalent.
CN430
Honors Chinese IV
Y
This course emphasizes the reading and discussion of modern Chinese short stories and essays covering topics such as Chinese history and economics. Readings in modern Chinese newspapers are introduced in the second semester with selections from newspapers from The People's Republic of China and Taiwan. Open to students who have completed CN320 or its equivalent.
CN830
AP Chinese Language
Y
This course will prepare students for the Advanced Placement Chinese Language and Culture Examination. Students taking this course must have a strong command of both written and spoken Chinese. Students will narrate stories based on a series of pictures and will give oral presentations on Chinese culture. The Language Lab will be used extensively. Upon completion of this course, students will be able to demonstrate proficiency in Mandarin Chinese across three communicative modes (interpersonal, interpretive and presentational) as well as sufficient knowledge of Chinese culture. Since the AP Examination is administered solely via computer (i.e. no handwritten component), a prerequisite of the course is proficiency in the use of either the Microsoft Pinyin or Microsoft Bopomofo programs. Open to students who have completed CN420 or the equivalent and have the permission of the instructor.
FR120
French I Intermediate
Y
This introduction to the study of French emphasizes the four skills: writing, reading, speaking, and listening. Students learn to use practical vocabulary in a cultural context and the fundamental grammatical structures of the language, including the present, past, and future tenses. Students work in the Language Center regularly to develop listening and speaking skills, and multimedia activities are integrated into the daily class experience. Throughout the year students read a variety of literary selections. The class is conducted in French. Students with little or no previous exposure to French should select this course. At the end of the year students will be recommended for FR220 or FR230.
FR130
Accelerated French I
Y
The objectives of this course are identical to those of FR120; however, this course is for students who have already studied French. The pace is accelerated, and the expectations are higher. Supplementary readings and multimedia activities are integrated into the course throughout the year. The class is conducted in French. At the end of the year students will be recommended for FR230 or FR240.
FR220
French II Intermediate
Y
This course continues the study of French started in the first level, emphasizing the expansion of vocabulary and the acquisition of more complex grammatical structures. Students use the Language Center frequently to develop listening and speaking skills. Supplementary readings and multimedia activities are integrated into the course throughout the year. Open to students who have completed FR120, FR130, or the equivalent. At the end of the year students will be recommended for FR320 or FR330.
FR230
Honors French II
Y
As in FR220, this course continues the study of French started in the first level, but the pace is accelerated and the expectations are higher. All major grammatical structures are covered. Supplementary materials, such as poetry, songs, short stories and novels are integrated into the course throughout the year. Open to students who have completed FR120, FR130, or the equivalent and have the permission of the Department. At the end of the year students will be recommended for FR320 or FR330.
FR280
Pre-AP French Language
Y
This course is for students who have demonstrated exceptional ability and achievement in the first level. Through an intensive study of grammar, cultural readings, and selected short stories and novels and the use of multimedia activities, students develop their writing, reading, speaking, and listening skills. At the end of the year students will be recommended for either FR330 or FR830. Open to students who have completed FR130 and have the permission of the Department. Summer reading is encouraged in preparation for the next level.
FR320
French III Intermediate
Y
This course is a comprehensive review and expansion of the grammatical structures presented in the first two years and emphasizes the use of French in a functional context. Short stories and multimedia activities, such as music, films and audio books, supplement the curriculum. Students learn to express themselves coherently and to discuss and write about plot and general themes using target vocabulary and a broad range of verb tenses. All students will participate in a theatrical performance as a culminating experience in the spring. At the end of the year students who demonstrate strong ability and interest are encouraged to continue on to Fourth Year French. Open to all students who have completed FR220, FR230, or the equivalent.
FR330
Honors French III
Y
This course is a comprehensive review and expansion of the vocabulary and grammatical structures presented in the first two years and is designed to challenge those students who have demonstrated strong ability and interest in the second year. Throughout the year students read a selection of short stories and novels and review grammar and write essays as a means of achieving greater technical accuracy and sophistication in both their written and oral expression. Through multimedia activities and oral presentations, students develop their speaking and listening skills. During the second semester students listen to a recorded short story and perform several scenes as a play. Supplementary work is offered in order to prepare students for the SAT II French test. At the end of the year students are encouraged to continue on to FR430 or FR830. Open to students who have demonstrated both strong ability and interest in FR220, FR230 or FR240, and who have the permission of the Department. Summer reading is encouraged in preparation for the next level.
FR421
French IV
1
This course, in combination with FR422, is designed to broaden students' understanding of French civilization. Students explore the history, politics, and geography of France through the study of literature, films, and music. Students review grammatical structures in context by writing essays, participating in class discussions, and giving oral presentations. The goal is for students to develop a deeper appreciation of France and the French and a desire to continue to study the language. Supplementary work is offered in order to prepare students for the SAT II French test. Open to students who have completed FR320 or the equivalent.
FR422
French IV
2
This course is designed to complement FR421. Students continue to work toward the goals introduced in the first semester. Students study the different regions of France and several francophone countries, and they are responsible for organizing a cultural fair for the entire school community. Open to students who have completed FR421 or the equivalent and have the permission of the Department.
FR430
Honors French IV
Y
The objectives of this course are identical to those in FR420, but the topics are explained in greater depth, and the expectations are higher. This course is designed for motivated students who have demonstrated strong interest and ability throughout their third year language course. Evaluation is based on essays and oral presentations. During the second semester students study the different regions of France and several francophone countries and organize a cultural fair for the school community. Open to students who have completed and excelled in FR320 or FR330, or the equivalent and have the permission of the Department.
FR830
AP French Language
Y
This demanding course is designed to prepare students for the Advanced Placement French Language Examination. Students need to have a strong command of all four language skills. Throughout the year students read unedited literary and journalistic prose and watch streamed news programs on line. All students participate in a live performance at the end of the first semester. Students learn to express their opinions using argument and analysis and study advanced vocabulary and syntax. Supplementary work is offered in order to prepare students for the SAT II French test. Students are expected to take the Advanced Placement French Language Examination in May. Open to students who have completed FR240, FR330, or FR432 and have the permission of the Department.
FR940
Post-AP French Literature
Y
This post-AP course is designed for students who have shown exceptional interest, ability, and achievement in French. Students broaden their knowledge of French literature, culture and history through the study of different genres. The course is divided into three parts: nineteenth century Romanticism, World War I and World War II, and French comic books. The fall is dedicated to the nineteenth century French poets who launched the Romantic period in Europe. Students explore the Romantic movement and its impact on French life and read a selection of poems by the classic French poets Hugo, Musset, Lamartine, and Vigny. In the second semester students will continue their study of the 19th century from a political and artistic point of view. The impressionists and the post-impressionists will provide perspective on France and 19th century life. Novelists, Maupassant and Zola, will complete the study of 19th century France. Students then move into the 20th century as France and Europe head inevitably towards war. Through a selection of literature and films, students will gain a different perspective on this transformative period in history.
FR941
Survey of French Theatre
1
This French Literature course is open to highly motivated students who have displayed exceptional interest, ability and achievement in French. The course is divided into two semesters. During the first semester students study the French theatrical tradition by exploring the long and profound history of French theatre, beginning with the three giants of French literature: Corneille, Racine and Molière. Students then move on to contemporary French theatre through the plays of Giradoux and Anouilh. Open to students who have completed FR940 or its equivalent and have permission from the department.
FR942
Survey of Contemporary French Literature and Film
2
This course is designed to complement the offerings of Survey of French Theater. Throughout this semester students are exposed to contemporary literature, reading the works of Nothomb, Gavalda and Levy and studying the French cinema movements and the evolution of French cinematic tradition. Finally, students will follow current events by watching weekly French news reports that provide a French perspective on French, European, and global issues today. Open to students who have completed FR940 or its equivalent and have permission from the department.
FR991
Independent Tutorial in French
1
This is an opportunity for an individual or a small group of students to work with a member of the Department on a language or literature project in which they share an interest. Open to Upper Middlers and Seniors who have completed the French curriculum and have the permission of the Department and the Dean of Academic Affairs.
FR992
Independent Tutorial in French
2
This is an opportunity for an individual or a small group of students to work with a member of the Department on a language or literature project in which they share an interest. Open to Upper Middlers and Seniors with the permission of the Department and the Dean of Academic Affairs.
SP120
Spanish I Intermediate
Y
As an introduction to the study of Spanish, this course emphasizes fundamental grammatical structures and the acquisition and assimilation of practical vocabulary. During the year, students will learn present, past, and simple future tenses. The use of audio and visual materials both in class and in the Pinto Language Lab helps students develop listening and speaking skills, enabling them to express themselves in Spanish from the start of the course. Class is conducted entirely in Spanish. Students with little or no previous exposure to Spanish should select this course.
SP130
Accelerated Spanish I
Y
The objectives of this course are identical to those of SP120; however, this course is for students who have already studied Spanish and display a good understanding of the language, but who are not sufficiently prepared for the second level. The pace will be faster, and those students who receive an honors grade at the end of the year will be recommended for Spanish II Honors.
SP210
Spanish II
Y
This course is offered to students who would be otherwise unable to complete the Intermediate Spanish II course. Enrollment is open to students who have completed SP120 and who have the permission of the department. Not open to new students.
SP220
Spanish II Intermediate
Y
This course is a continuation of the work begun in SP120 and SP130, focusing on the continued acquisition of basic grammatical structures and vocabulary. Students read a number of short stories throughout the year. The use of audio and visual materials both in class and in the Pinto Language Lab helps students develop listening and speaking skills, enabling them to express themselves in Spanish from the start of the course. Students are expected to incorporate new grammar and vocabulary into written assignments, and class is always conducted in Spanish. Open to students who have completed SP120, SP130 or the equivalent.
SP230
Honors Spanish II
Y
This course is for students who have demonstrated exceptional ability and achievement in the first level. Intensive study of grammatical structures, vocabulary and culture is supplemented by outside reading to provide an introduction to Hispanic literature. The use of audio and visual materials both in class and in the Pinto Language Lab is a regular component of the course. Open to students who have completed SP120, SP130 or the equivalent and have the permission of the Department.
SP310
Spanish III
Y
This course is offered to students who would be otherwise unable to complete the Spanish III Intermediate course. Enrollment is open to students who have completed SP210 or SP220 and who have the permission of the department. Not open to new students.
SP320
Spanish III Intermediate
Y
The final phase of the three year language requirement, this course is a comprehensive review of the grammar presented in the first two years as well as an introduction to more advanced Spanish grammar. The course aims to increase students' communicative skills by reinforcing grammatical structures and by stimulating students to think about a variety of issues and concerns of the Hispanic world. Students will read selected literature, view films and videos, and make regular use of the Pinto Language Lab. Open to students who have completed SP220, SP230 or the equivalent. Students who finish the course with a strong grade are encouraged to continue on to Spanish IV.
SP330
Honors Spanish III
Y
This course is designed to challenge those students who have demonstrated both high ability and interest in the second year and who intend to study Spanish at the Advanced Placement levels. Students read selections from both classic and modern literature, and they are introduced to a variety of cultural and historical topics. Although this course presupposes a command of grammar, a review grammar text supplements the literary and cultural readers. Students also work extensively in the Pinto Language Lab, and oral proficiency is stressed. The objective throughout the year is to prepare students for the Advanced Placement Spanish course. Open to students who have completed SP220, SP230 or the equivalent, and who have the permission of the Department.
SP380
Spanish For Heritage Speakers
Y
This course is designed for native or heritage speakers of Spanish with oral proficiency but little or no formal training in the language. The purpose of the course is to develop reading and writing skills through the use of a text and the study of literature, articles, recordings and film. Interested students should contact the head of the department. Students who complete this course will be strongly encouraged to continue with SP430, SP830 or SP850.
SP410
Spanish IV: Spanish Culture
Y
This course is designed to enhance the Spanish language learning process through exposure to historical, cultural and literary themes. Students will do individual and group projects, read works of short fiction, and follow current events in the Hispanic world. This course is only open to students who have complete Spanish 310.
SP421
Spanish IV
1
This course is designed to give Spanish students who have completed SP320, SP330, or the equivalent the opportunity to explore the culture and history of the Hispanic world through literature and film. Students focus on short stories by a variety of Spanish and Latin American authors as well as undertake an in depth study of different films. Students will write essays, give oral presentations, and participate in group projects. This is a one-semester course, but students are encouraged to continue with SP422.
SP422
Spanish IV
2
This course is designed to give Spanish students who have completed SP421 the opportunity to further explore the language, culture, and literature of the Hispanic world. Students continue their study of both Spanish and Latin American literature in the form of short stories and plays. Students will give oral presentations, keep journals and participate in group projects. Students who complete this course will be encouraged to continue to SP520.
SP430
Honors Spanish IV
Y
This course is designed to give students the opportunity to explore Hispanic culture and history in greater depth through literature, film and art. This honors section of Spanish IV will include an emphasis on advanced grammatical structures, and students will be expected to incorporate these topic in their writing, speaking and laboratory work. This year long course is a natural segue to the Advanced Placement level for the following year. Open to students who have completed SP320, SP330, or SP380 with the permission of the department.
SP440
Senior Honors Spanish IV
Y
The objectives of this course are identical to those of Spanish 420, but the topics are explained in greater depth, and the expectations are higher. The course is designed for motivated students who have demonstrated strong interest and ability throughout the third year language course. Students will explore the culture and history of the Hispanic world through literature, film, and historical readings. At the end of the year, students will undertake a significant project as a culminating experience. Open to students who have completed SP320, SP330 or the equivalent and have the permission of the Department.
SP521
Spanish V: Hispanic Culture Through Literature and Film
1
This course will use informative and thought-provoking films to focus on the contemporary history, art and culture of Spain and Latin America. Films will include fictional portrayals of real-world events and dramatizations that portray the various viewpoints and opinions that exist in the Hispanic world regarding its history and current events. Supplementary literature, texts, articles, video clips, music and presentations will provide background to historical events. Students will participate in debates and activities that promote effective oral and written communication. Open to students who have completed SP420 or with the permission of the department.
SP522
Spanish V: Hispanic Culture Through Literature and Film
2
This course will use informative and thought-provoking films to focus on the contemporary history, art and culture of Spain and Latin America. Films will include fictional portrayals of real-world events and dramatizations that portray the various viewpoints and opinions that exist in the Hispanic world regarding its history and current events. Supplementary literature, texts, articles, video clips, music and presentations will provide background to historical events. Students will participate in debates and activities that promote effective oral and written communication. Open to students who have completed SP420 or with the permission of the department.
SP830
AP Spanish Language
Y
This course prepares students for the Advanced Placement Spanish Language Examination in May. Students who qualify for this class have a strong command of both written and spoken Spanish and are ready to undertake a demanding curriculum. Consistent with the composition of the examination, students will be required to read unedited literary and journalistic prose, understand lectures and conversational language, participate effectively in class, and write essays in Spanish. The Pinto Language Lab will be used extensively, and students will work independently with the resources. Students are expected to take the Advanced Placement Language Examination. Open to students who have completed SP330 or SP430 and have the permission of the Department.
SP850
Post-AP Hispanic Literature
Y
This course is designed to provide the advanced Spanish language student the opportunity to explore Hispanic literature, history and culture in depth. The fall will focus on 20th century Spanish literature as students consider works by Miguel de Unamuno, Federico García Lorca and others. The second semester will be devoted to 20th century Latin American literature with a focus on the works of the Latin American "boom". Students will read and analyze works by greats such as Jorge Luis Borges, Julio Cortázar, Carlos Fuentes, Gabriel García Márquez, Isabel Allende, and Pablo Neruda. This course is open to students who have completed SP830 or who have the permission of the Department.
SP991
Independent Tutorial in Spanish
1
This is an opportunity for an individual or a small group of students to work with a member of the Department on a language or literature project in which they share an interest. Open to Seniors by permission of the Department Head and the Dean of Academic Affairs.
SP992
Independent Tutorial in Spanish
2
This is an opportunity for an individual or a small group of students to work with a member of the Department on a language or literature project in which they share an interest. Open to Seniors by permission of the Department Head and the Dean of Academic Affairs.

Sciences

BI320
Accelerated Biology
Y
This year-long laboratory course will cover topics common and fundamental to both AP Environmental Science and AP Biology. As a natural and logical progression from general chemistry, students will investigate topics starting with the chemistry of life: the molecules of which cells are comprised, including DNA replication and synthesis. Moving from a survey of microbiology to macrobiology, the course will examine cellular reproduction, evolution of cells, organelles and tissues, animal and plant systems. Further topics that include modes of inheritance, systematics, natural selection and evolution, population genetics, botany, cycling of nutrients, biomes and ecology all will be investigated. The course will include a strong laboratory component and students will be expected to polish and improve their data collection and analysis skills. A student who successfully completes this course will be conditionally prepared to take the SAT 2 Subject Test in Biology (E or M) given that this student also completes extracurricular assignments and attends additional preparatory classes given by teachers of this course scheduled throughout the Spring semester.
BI501
Evolutionary Biology
1
This course will examine evolution, a scientific theory that unifies virtually everything in the biological sciences. We will examine the mechanisms by which evolution proceeds, including Charles Darwin's theory of natural selection, genetic drift, and sexual selection. Topics will include genetic analysis of evolutionary relationships, studies of Darwin's finches on the Galapagos Islands, patterns of human evolution, the evolution of sex and psychology, and the debate between creationists and evolutionists. Contemporary applications of evolution in medicine, agriculture, and the environment will also be discussed. While actual evolution is difficult to model in the classroom in one semester, we will make extensive use of case studies, simulation activities, videos, websites, and readings from books and magazines. Open to Seniors and Upper Middlers with permission of the Department.
BI505
Human Anatomy
1
The principle objective of this course is to provide the students with a working knowledge of the human body and how it functions. In order to accomplish this in a one-semester course, the class will move rapidly through a study of many of the body systems, typically spending one or two weeks per system. As the title of the course implies, study will encompass both the structures found in the body (anatomy) as well as the functions of those specific body parts (physiology). The students will come to an understanding of how the different systems work together to allow the entire body to function. In an effort to allow students to work cooperatively and collaboratively, this course will be largely hands-on and laboratory-based. In class, students will do a variety of activities including: readings, class discussion, dissections, computer work, debates, oral reports, and other activities. The major project for this course is for each student to design a class lesson. Each student will be assigned a body system during the first week of class, and they will become the class expert for that system. Students will then attempt to express themselves, clearly, creatively, and purposefully by designing and teaching a lesson that summarizes their system. Open to Seniors and Upper Middlers with permission of the Department.
BI830
AP Biology
Y
Advanced Placement Biology is a rigorous survey course providing an in-depth coverage of topic areas designed to prepare the student for future scientific study and the Advanced Placement Biology Examination. Students will be encouraged to actively engage in the process of learning by developing individual and group projects for class presentation requiring clear, purposeful and focused research and expression. The completion of AP Biology will not only effectively prepare students for the AP examination, but also allow for study in areas not prescribed in the Advanced Placement curriculum. AP Biology places a strong emphasis on laboratory data collection, analysis and reporting, which includes using the latest technologies available for the study of simple and complex biological systems. BI830 is open to students who have successfully completed BI320, CH220, or CH230. All must have departmental approval.
BI930
Post-AP Biology
Y
This course is a capstone research experience for chemistry and biology students at Taft. Students will be guided through hands-on research in a small group format. Topics of research will be determined by group interest and faculty expertise. Potential topics include, but are not limited to: genetics of model organisms, gene mapping, protein purification and detection, bacterial transformation and manipulation, ecology and animal physiology. Students will be expected to spend at least 3 supervised hours in the laboratory each week and one hour of recitation. The culmination of this research experience will be a student presentation of the research open to the school.
BI991
Independent Tutorial in Biology
1
This is an opportunity for an individual or a small group of students to work with a member of the department on a project in which they share a common interest. Open with permission of the Department Chair and the Dean of Academic Affairs.
BI992
Independent Tutorial in Biology
2
This is an opportunity for an individual or a small group of students to work with a member of the department on a project in which they share a common interest. Open with permission of the Department Chair and the Dean of Academic Affairs.
CH210
Chemistry
Y
This introductory course offers the student the fundamentals of chemistry and an opportunity to analyze modern environmental and biological problems from a chemical perspective. A conceptual understanding of chemistry is taught through lectures, demonstrations, laboratory experiments, and seminar discussions. A diversified study format includes problem-solving sessions, small group presentations, and small-scale research projects. This course will be considered for students who have completed PH110. All must have departmental approval.
CH220
Accelerated Chemistry
Y
This introductory chemistry course integrates a conceptual understanding with a mathematical approach to chemistry. Topics covered will include safety in the laboratory, matter, nomenclature, chemical reactions and composition, energy, atomic theory, chemical quantities, solids, liquids and gases, acids and bases, and equilibrium. This chemistry course is taught through lectures, demonstrations and laboratory experiments. Review sessions are offered several times a week. This course will be considered for students who have completed PH120 or PH130. All must have departmental approval.
CH230
Honors Chemistry
Y
This course is similar in scope to CH220 but will cover that material in greater depth and use a more mathematical approach. Middlers and Upper Middlers who have completed PH120 or PH130 and are advanced in mathematics will be considered for this course. All must have departmental approval.
CH501
Organic Chemistry
1
Knowledge of organic chemistry is essential to the future study of chemistry or modern biology. This course will look into the complexities of organic chemistry. After reviewing bonding, students will learn about the structure and nomenclature of aliphatic and aromatic compounds. A study of stereochemistry will give students a way to ponder the fascinating way that molecules can be assembled. A study of functional groups, featuring an in-depth look at alcohols, phenols, and ethers, will begin an in-depth study of the way that organic compounds react. At the end of the semester students will learn about the important types of macromolecules. Each of the topics will be enhanced by extra work in nomenclature and a series of experiments in a microscale laboratory program that will emphasize qualitative relationships. Open to upper mids and seniors who have completed a full-year course in chemistry.
CH830
AP Chemistry
Y
Chemistry is "the central science" that provides an explanation of much of what occurs in our universe. It is fundamental to work in other sciences. As a continually developing science itself, significant applications of chemistry have inspired progress in biology, physics, medicine, geology, astronomy, environmental science, and other areas of science. After a quick review of topics from the first-year chemistry course, the first semester will examine the factors that influence the speed and extent of chemical reactions. Topics included will be solutions; kinetics; equilibria; thermodynamics; environmental chemistry; and electrochemistry. The second semester will center on a survey of nuclear chemistry; the chemistry of non-metals and metals; and organic and biochemistry. After completion of these topics, students will enjoy a thorough and intensive review of topics in preparation for the AP Chemistry examination. The classroom emphasis of the course centers on active student involvement in learning key concepts which are then immediately applied to problem solving. An extensive laboratory program will support and extend student learning. Students will learn required lab technology and techniques and participate in the design of new lab activities. Laboratory reports in a variety of formats will allow students to develop skills in presentation as they work both independently and collaboratively to complete projects. Students should be prepared to use free periods to complete extended laboratory exercises. CH830 is open to Upper Middlers and Seniors who have completed completed a one-year Physics course (PH120 or PH130) and or a one-year Chemistry course (CH220 or CH230). All must have mathematics through Algebra II and departmental approval.
CH991
Independent Tutorial in Chemistry
1
This is an opportunity for an individual or a small group of students to work with a member of the department on a project in which they share a common interest. Open with permission of the Department Chair and the Dean of Academic Affairs.
CH992
Independent Tutorial in Chemistry
2
This is an opportunity for an individual or a small group of students to work with a member of the department on a project in which they share a common interest. Open with permission of the Department Chair and the Dean of Academic Affairs.
PH110
Physics
Y
This is an introductory course in physics that emphasizes conceptual understanding and laboratory experience. Topics covered will include motion, Newton’s laws of mechanics, energy and momentum, thermodynamics and the description of gases, electricity and magnetism, waves and optics, and quantum phenomena. While conceptual understanding is emphasized, students will also be introduced to a precise, quantitative description of nature with a problem solving approach that uses elementary math skills. All new Lower Middlers and Middlers who will be enrolled in Algebra I at Taft should sign up for this course.
PH120
Accelerated Physics
Y
This is an introductory course that integrates conceptual understanding with a rigorous mathematical approach to physics. Topics covered will include motion, Newton’s laws of mechanics, energy and momentum, thermodynamics and the description of gases, electricity and magnetism, waves and optics, and quantum phenomena. Laboratory work will be frequent and students will learn how precise observations are analyzed and interpreted. Quantitative problem solving using algebra I skills will be emphasized. This course is open to new Lower Middlers and Middlers who have finished an Algebra I course and will be enrolled in Geometry or a higher math level at Taft.
PH503
Astronomy
1
Explore the fascinating night sky! Topics in this survey of astronomy will range from stars, planets, and galaxies to black holes, the Big Bang, and exobiology. This course will bring the wonders of the cosmos to life as students learn the basic principles of astronomy. Open to Upper Middlers and seniors with the permission of the Department.
PH518
Physics of Everyday Life
2
In this course, students will investigate the basic physical principles that govern several popular sports. Topics covered will range from the flight of a golf ball to that of a high jumper, and from the propulsion of a crew shell with an oar to the motion of throwing a ball with a lacrosse stick. Students will read scholarly articles on specific aspects of the sports covered, and will investigate the mechanics of these sports through a series of hands-on activities in the lab and in the field. This course will encourage students to think critically and scientifically about our athletic pursuits, resulting in a deeper understanding beyond participation. Open to Seniors and Upper Middlers with permission of the Department.
PH730
AP Physics 1
Y
AP Physics 1 is the top-level first-year physics course for high-achieving science and math students. It is equivalent to a 1st semester college course in algebra-based physics. Topics to be covered include Newtonian mechanics (Newton’s Laws, work/energy, impulse/momentum, rotational dynamics, angular momentum, gravity), mechanical waves (sound, standing waves), electricity, and magnetism. Deep conceptual understanding is expected to be gained through in-depth, student-led inquiry. Students will learn important methods in practicing science, including principles of scientific inquiry and reasoning. Upon completion of AP Physics 1, students will be expected to sit for the AP Physics 1 exam. Having taken AP Physics 1, students can enroll in AP Physics 2 or AP Physics C as upper schoolers. Students should be concurrently enrolled in Honors Geometry or Algebra II.
PH740
AP Physics 2
Y
AP Physics 2 is a second-year physics course for students in the upper school who have already successfully completed AP Physics 1 or have completed and earned an honors grade in PH120. AP Physics 2 is equivalent to a 2nd semester college course in algebra-based physics. Topics to be covered include forces and energy (review of 1st year topics), fluid mechanics, thermodynamics, electricity, magnetism, optics, and modern physics (quantum, atomic, and nuclear physics). Deep conceptual understanding is expected to be gained through in-depth, student-led inquiry. Students will learn important methods in practicing science, including principles of scientific inquiry and reasoning. Upon completion of AP Physics 2, students will be expected to sit for the AP Physics 2 exam. Precalculus is a co/prerequisite.
PH840
AP Physics C
Y
The AP Physics C course is designed for students with an intense interest in the inner workings of the physical world and a desire to be challenged both conceptually and mathematically. The curriculum has been developed by the participating college physics departments to cover the material of a first-year college physics course for those students focused on careers in the technical fields. Specifically, the course consists of a one-semester study of mechanics and one semester of electricity and magnetism. The topics in mechanics include the description of motion, the analysis of motion using Newton's laws, and the application of the three major conservation laws to a wide range of systems. Familiarity with differential calculus is assumed from the beginning, and all of the topics studied will make some use of this level of math. Topics involving the use of integral calculus arise in the first semester, but these are developed slowly with an eye to the second semester when this aspect of calculus will be embedded in much of what is studied. The second semester consists of a study of the laws of electricity and magnetism. Beginning with Coulomb's law, electrostatics is introduced. Gauss's law, electric potential, and capacitance are examined in detail. Steady state DC circuits and the transients of RC circuits finish the electricity section. About one-third of the second semester is spent studying magnetism. The nature and effects of the magnetic force as well as the origins of magnetic fields in electric currents are examined. Students learn to apply Ampere's law to current distributions to determine the field created. The semester concludes with a study of electromagnetic induction. Faraday's law is developed and applied to a variety of physical systems including inductive circuits. The focus of the course is on the quantitative application of the basic laws to the analysis of a wide range of systems. In practice this means problem solving, and each chapter includes a lengthy assignment of problems from the book. Optional "extra credit" problems are also frequently assigned. These explore the concepts and math at a somewhat higher level than required by the AP syllabus. Laboratory work is done regularly, and it is important that students remain familiar with the basic apparatus available as well as with data collection and analysis. Students must also become familiar with the simulation program Interactive Physics. There are several major computer projects that involve independent design and analysis by each student. The AP Physics C course has two separate AP tests, one for mechanics, the other for electricity and magnetism. Thus students will have two grades reported to the colleges they choose. AP Physics C can be elected with consent of the Department by Seniors who have completed PH 130 or a one-year course in physics and CH220 or CH230. Students must also have completed a course in calculus or are concurrently taking the BC level AP calculus course.
PH991
Independent Tutorial in Physics
1
This is an opportunity for an individual or a small group of students to work with a member of the department on a project in which they share a common interest. Open with permission of the Department Chair and the Dean of Academic Affairs.
PH992
Independent Tutorial in Physics
2
This is an opportunity for an individual or a small group of students to work with a member of the department on a project in which they share a common interest. Open with permission of the Department Chair and the Dean of Academic Affairs.
SC502
Shades of Grey: Scientific Ethics
2
In preparing to become leaders in a global community, one cannot avoid considering the many consequences of the advances in science and technology. This class will study important figures in scientific ethics from Kant to Caplan. Combining historic cases and current events, the approach will be case-study based, using many forms of media that may include journals, magazines, newspapers, novels, and even movies. Possible topics include pharmaceutical research and marketing, environmental law, regulation of chemical use in everyday products, and testing of nuclear bombs. The goal of the class is to provide students with a framework to analyze difficult situations in science, using their own moral compasses and theories in ethics as guides. Open to Seniors and Upper Middlers with permission of the Department.
SC504
Forensic Science
2
This course introduces students to the principles and practices found in the field of forensic science, which draws from the biological and physical sciences. The course begins by examining the theories and concepts necessary to effectively examine, analyze, and reconstruct a major crime scene. Specifically, the legal issues related to the search and seizure of physical evidence, crime scene documentation techniques, and basic crime scene reconstruction methods will be studied. Students will also study trace evidence and how it is analyzed, compared, interpreted, and used in criminal investigations. Types of trace evidence to be discussed will include glass, paint, hair, fiber, and fingerprints. Case studies of actual crimes and trials will be discussed to illustrate how the science and techniques may be used in the real world. This course is taught through lectures, laboratory work, and student presentations. Open to Upper Middlers and Seniors with permission of the department.
SC513
Oceanography
1
This course offers a holistic view of the basic principles of ocean science. It is designed to focus on both physical and geological characteristics (oceanography) as well as the chemical and biological characteristics (oceanology) of the ocean. Topics include the formation of oceans, ocean floor and sediments, chemistry and physical properties of seawater, weather and climate, waves, tides and currents, origin of life in oceans, habitats, marine biology, fisheries, maritime cultures and heritage, and current issues related to the interactions of science and technology. It is a lab-based course, and it will deploy a variety of teaching styles including lectures, readings, activities, and labs. The course has the potential to include a variety of field trips to areas such as Woods Hole, MA. Open to Seniors and Upper Middlers with permission of the Department.
SC523
Adolescent Psychology
1
What is adolescence? Why is the study of adolescence important? These are two of the many questions which inspire our search for understanding of this particular life stage. This course is a basic introduction to the field of psychology, with a focus on adolescence. The course examines the many ways in which adolescence has been defined and analyzes the way that adolescence is currently portrayed. The course exposes students to psychological, biological, sociocultural, and ethical perspectives regarding adolescent development. The course also provides a forum for discussion of issues such as experimental strategies, education, the nature vs. nurture debate, puberty, identity development, teenage drug abuse, stress and coping, and social networking, as well as Hollywood portrayals of adolescence. Evaluation is based on class participation, homework assignments, short critical reflection papers, tests, an oral presentation of current research, and final project. Open to Seniors and Upper Middlers with permission of the Department.
SC720
AP Psychology
Y
This course introduces students to the systematic and scientific study of the behavior and mental processes of human beings. Students will leave the course with an understanding of psychological facts, principles, and phenomena associated with distinct paradigms (such as: biological, behavioral, cognitive, humanistic, psychodynamic, and sociocultural). The course will promote student awareness of and respect for the psychological diversity of human beings with reference to biological, social, and cultural influences. Students' learning experience will be equivalent to that obtained in most college introductory psychology courses. In addition to the mastery of the historical and fundamental concepts of psychology, students will explore the manifestations of psychology in research designs, methods, statistics, clinical practice and scientific ethics. The culminating assessment for the course is the Advanced Placement Psychology exam in May. Open to Seniors with permission of the department.
SC730
AP Environmental Science
Y
The challenge of understanding and maintaining a sustainable environment may be the single most pressing scientific issue that will confront students throughout their lives. Today, environmental science is not only relevant to students' personal experience, but it is also vital to the future of the entire biosphere and human civilization. As humans continue to alter the Earth's land, water, and atmosphere at local, regional and global levels, the resulting environmental dilemmas can seem overwhelming. Educated properly, students may confront these problems and contribute to their ultimate solution in the future. This course will equip students with a fundamental understanding of our environment from which the solutions to these problems may spring. An initial goal of this course is to instill an understanding and appreciation of the complexity and precise functioning of the natural ecosystems that form our biosphere. Therefore, this course will begin with a close examination of the basic ecological principles that govern the natural world followed by the many ways that humans affect that world through the investigation of the topics of human population growth, energy production and consumption, natural resource depletion, and agricultural and industrial pollution, among others. While exploring these issues, students will integrate knowledge from the fields of physics, chemistry, biology, history, political science, geology and demography. In addition to class discussion, lecture, reading, and field investigations of various ecosystems, the study of industrial and agricultural processes and methods of transportation will be accomplished. This course will prepare students for the AP Environmental Science examination in May. Open with permission of the department to Seniors and the occasional Upper Middler who have successfully (85 or above) completed one year of physics (PH120 or PH130) and one year of chemistry (CH220 or CH230)and also acquired the permission of the Taft science department.
SC991
Independent Tutorial in Science
1
This is an opportunity for an individual or a small group of students to work with a member of the department on a project in which they share a common interest. Open with permission of the Department Chair and the Dean of Academic Affairs.
SC992
Independent Tutorial in Science
2
This is an opportunity for an individual or a small group of students to work with a member of the department on a project in which they share a common interest. Open with permission of the Department Chair and the Dean of Academic Affairs.
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