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Humanities Semester 2 Syllabus

                                              

Humanities Syllabus 2017   Semester Two:  Truth and Knowledge                               

Course Description:

  This honors Humanities course will focus on the careful reading and critical examination of literature through the varied lenses of history, philosophy, mathematics, natural and human sciences, music, theater, art, and film.  Through this multidimensional approach, students will have the opportunity to identify and analyze societal constructs that shape and define the individual in today’s world.  The class centers on essential questions for four key units:  Truth, Knowledge, Power, and Beauty.  Through “close reading” of selected texts, works of art, and film, students will deepen their understanding of the ways artists communicate to create meaning, pleasure, and intertextuality. Literature includes various genres such as drama, short story, novel, poetry, essays, articles, and journals where appropriate to teaching objectives and student interest.  We will organize most daily activities as a seminar with large and small group discussions, lectures, debates, student presentations, projects, and dramatizations.  We are here as fellow learners and questioners, and we hope to learn a great deal from each other.  This is only possible if we are willing to take some risks to trust and respect each member of the group.  The success of this class depends significantly on sharing questions, insights, observations, and information as we help each other to find answers, no matter how tentative, to the profound topics we discuss.

Writing will also be an integral part of this course, as it was originally conceived to be a class to extend student study beyond AP Language and AP Literature and the AP examinations.  Writing assignments will focus on the critical analysis of literature in a historical, creative, or philosophical context and will include expository and analytical essays, critiques of Independent Reading, and papers that connect literature to other disciplines. The goal of all writing assignments will be to increase students’ ability to explain clearly, cogently, confidently, and elegantly what they understand about literary works and why they interpret them as they do.  Required writing assignments include:  timed essays, longer at-home assignments on mandatory or independent reading, journal response writing, metacognitive reflections, and poetry analysis when appropriate

Late Work:

       I do not accept late work. UConn doesn't accept late work.  As college professors rarely accept late work, and this is a class modeled on college expectations, it only makes sense to introduce you to some of the challenges you will be facing next year.  Time management is vital to your success in life.  Learn how to work with a yearlong syllabus and plan ahead to ensure your academic success. Please contact me by email, make an appointment, or talk to me after school if you are having trouble with an assignment before that assignment becomes due.

Plagiarism:

All written assignments are submitted to the teacher via Turnitin.com.  All grading (both rough and final drafts) is also done on Turnitin.com under the GradeMark feature.  As you all know, Turnitin.com is also a plagiarism prevention site that will automatically run all your work through an originality check.  Students who plagiarize will receive failing grades on their work as well as being required to attend a meeting with your parents and an administrator.  You will also be required to rewrite the paper of course.

Disclaimer:

  The instructor reserves the right to make changes in the syllabus when necessary in order to meet learning objectives and to cover emergency schedule changes (like last year’s hurricane and blizzard in October).  Students will be notified of these changes in class as well as through the school web site or Turnitin.com email features. Students are responsible for all material covered in class and for all classroom announcements.

Required Texts for Semester Two:

Akutagawa, Ryunosuke.  “In a Grove.”

Auburn, David.  Proof.

Joyce, James.  Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man.

Russell, Bertrand.  The History of Western Philosophy. (Assorted Readings)

Shakespeare, William.  Hamlet.  

Stoppard, Thomas.  Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead

Assorted essays/articles from scientific/philosophical/artistic theorists on truth and knowledge

  Required Work:  

  The four critical essays (one for each quarter) are to be approached as a writing process.  That means each student must submit a rough draft, participate in peer editing activities on Turnitin.com and in class, conference with the teacher, write a reflection on proposed revisions, and submit a final draft. Students who neglect to fulfill any part of the writing process will receive a failing grade on that particular essay.  Due dates for each of these components are given on the syllabus that follows.  With essays and other writing assignments, we will follow the 30 pages of polished prose that the University of Connecticut Freshman English Program requires.  (However, you should be aware that we will be writing a great deal more than 30 pages in order to get that “polished prose”).

  Book Critiques are your opportunity to read any book from the extensive Humanities Supplemental Reading list on the class web site.  You must then follow the directions for the Book Critique assignment (directions and rubric on-line) to summarize, analyze, and synthesize your reading in relation to the unit we are studying.  You are also asked to clarify, focus, and define the author’s idea.  In this way you will be able to recognize effective writing strategies, rhetorical purposes, literary devices, and conventions of Standard English.  All of this will make you a better reader, writer, and thinker, which is the main goal of this class.

As Humanities is an interdisciplinary subject, the best way to incorporate your personal interests is through the quarterly Creative Project.  For each unit you will use class discussions, independent reading, and your own talent, skill sets, and thinking processes to demonstrate your new learning through a discipline of your choice.  Students are expected to pursue projects that will extend their learning, not simply to demonstrate something you already do well.  Intellectual risk taking is always appreciated.  Please keep an hourly work log to demonstrate your investment of time.  This assignment is also accompanied by a written reflection with open-ended prompts (on class web site under “Creative Projects”) to help guide you in self-assessment of your learning.  Art, filmmaking and film review, creative writing, poetry, dance choreography and performance, photography, acting, music composition and performance, and architecture have all been successfully used to demonstrate impressive mastery of curriculum objectives.

  In-class writing assignments and homework assignments consist of prompts for short writing exercises (1-2 pages) and journaling designed to free write and brainstorm and to organize and develop your thinking for the reading and discussions as we work toward the longer papers.  

            Finally, “DIRT (Did I Read This?) Quizzes” will be given when students’ class participation is uneven or nonexistent.  In a perfect world such assessments would not be necessary.  We do not live, however, in a perfect world, nor do students always follow directions regarding homework, nor do they always manage their time well.  The DIRT quiz will be the result of such phenomena.

  "What is Knowledge?" Essential Questions:

1.  How do we know what we know?  How is knowledge gained?  How is it measured?

2.  What role does personal experience play in the formation of knowledge definitions and measurements?

3. What are the differences among the following:  information, fact, data, belief, faith, opinion, knowledge, and wisdom? 

Humanities Semester Two Syllabus 2016: 

Unit #3  "What is Knowledge?" Essential Questions:

1.  How do we know what we know?  How is knowledge gained?  How is it measured?

2.  What role does personal experience play in the formation of knowledge definitions and measurements?

Literature:        David Auburn, Proof.

                        James Joyce, Portrait of An Artist as a Young Man.

                        Plato, “Allegory of the Cave” (Russell 124-132)

                        Research on IQ testing and theories of knowledge, human development, and                                                 education (choices listed specifically on web site)

Date:                                            Topics, Activities, and Homework:

1/23-27 Finish Beauty Creative Projects

1/30-2/3 Essential Questions for "What is Knowledge" Unit

Student Choice Bildungsroman and Learning Styles

2/6-10 David Auburn.  Proof  Discussion  DIRT

2/13-17                 Plato's "Allegory of the Cave" and Socrates              (Russell)

Library Research on Learning Styles                           

2/22-24             James Joyce Portrait of an Artist Due DIRT          Or 

Student Choice of a College Level Novel about Knowledge 

IQ Guest Speaker Rescheduled Here. 

2/27-3/3 Knowledge Paper Prompt HERE

                  Portrait and Bildungsroman Novels Discussion     

2/27     *Rough Draft Knowledge Paper Due

3/1                                        *Peer Editing Due for Knowledge Paper

3/6-10                     Common Core State Standards Assignments and

Small Group Discussion into Whole Class Share

3/7-11 Evaluation of Education at NFHS

3/13:                               *Portrait:  Education and Growth Paper                                                           Final Paper Due

Knowledge Seminar Paper Assignment:  

Writing Process on Turnitin.com:

                                     Rough Draft 2/27

                                                         Peer Editing Due 3/3

                                                                 Final Draft:  3/13/13

3/20-24                           Creative Projects Due 

      3rd Quarter Ends Somewhere here depending on Snow Days and other acts of Fate.

Unit #4:  "What is Truth?" Essential Questions:

1.  Presented with a belief system of a community of knowers, how can we decide what we personally believe to be true?

2.  What are the differences among the following:  information, fact, data, belief, faith, opinion, knowledge, and wisdom?            

 Literature:        William Shakespeare, Hamlet (Optional)

  Tom Stoppard, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead  (Optional)

                        Ryunosuke Akutagawa, “In a Grove”  (Handout)

                        Bertrand Russell, The History of Western Philosophy (Plato, Aristotle, Sophists)

                        Choice Reading on Creation Myths

                        OED Research with Truth/Knowledge Assessment Terms

OR Students design their own Truth unit based on their interests, curiosity, and motivation. 

 Date:                                     Topics, Activities,and Homework:                         

4/3-7/16               Initiation for Truth: Essential Questions 

  Theories of Truth (Russell)

4/10-14 Spring Vacation

4/17-21 Ryunosuke Akutagawa “In a Grove”  In-class reading                                                               and discussion Correspondence, Coherence, and                                                               Pragmatic theories of Truth-- Handouts      

           OED Research Project on Terms for Truth

4/24-28 The Sophists (Russell) or Individual Truth Projects begin Poetry on Truth 

4/27 Reflections Due (Truth Paper) 

5/1-5      *Truth Creative Projects Due

5/8-12       Presentations as desired.                                                   

5/15/17     SEE Projects Begin

                                              Happy Graduation!             

 Suggested Readings in Russell (For help with schools/philosophy of eduction)

            St. Augustine (p352-365)

            Thomas Aquinas (p 452-463)

           Francis Bacon (p 5431-545)

            John Locke (p 604-616)

            Rene Descartes (p 557-568)

            Spinoza (p 569 -580)

            Leibniz (p 581-596)

           George Berkley (p 647-659)

            David Hume (p 659-674)

            Immanuel Kant (p 701-718)

            Nietzche (p 760-773)

            Henri Bergson (p 791-810)

            William James (p 811-818)           

            John Dewey (p 819-828)

Individual Research on theories of knowledge and/or human development (Help with Critical Paper):

    John Dewey

    Eric Erikson 

    Paulo Freire (Pedagogy of the Oppressed

    Sigmund Freud 

    Friedrich Wilhelm August Fröbel

    Herb Gardener (Multiple Intelligences)

    Carl Jung 

    Maria Montessori

         Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi

    Jean Piaget

    Rousseau

    B.F. Skinner

           Philip Zimbardo 

Truth and Knowledge Links:

Unit:  Truth

Introductory Information and Definitions:  http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/truth/

Definitions:  http://www.iep.utm.edu/t/truth.htm 

  Topic: Art

Egyptian Art Powerpoint:

Egyptian Art.ppt 

Topic:  Photography/Photo Documentaries

Photography Powerpoint: 

Truth- Documentary Photography.ppt 

Dorothea Lange:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xcb90Q5Mrkg

http:www.museumca.org/global/art/collections_dorothea_lange.html

http://www.oac.cdlib.org/institutions/Oakland+Museum+of+California

http://www.openphotographyforums.com/art_MICHAEL_STONES_001.php 

Gordon Parks:

http://www.masters-of-photography.com/P/parks/parks.html

http://www.pdngallery.com/legends/parks/mainframeset.shtml

http://www.time.com/time/photoessays/2006/gordon_parks/ 

Walker Evans:

http://www.masters-of-fine-art-photography.com/02/artphotogallery/photographers/walker_evans_01.html

http://www.metmuseum.org/special/walkerevans/walker_images.html

http://xroads.virginia.edu/~ug97/fsa/welcome.html 

  Unit:  Knowledge

  Topic: Problem-Solving

Mr. Rodier's Problem-Solving From an Engineer's Perspective PowerPoint: Final Engineering Powerpoint.ppt 

Ms. Dani Capalbo's Problem-solving from an Investigative Reporter's Perspective

Topic:  Brain Research:

History of Neuroscience Research:  http://faculty.washington.edu/chudler/hist.html 

PBS 3-D Brain "Tour":  http://www.pbs.org/wnet/brain/3d/

PBS Mind Illusions (Perception): http://www.pbs.org/wnet/brain/illusions/index.html

Literature on Brain Research:  www.brainresearch.com/

Classroom applications:  www.brains.org/

Articles and News about Brain Research:  http://web.mit.edu/mcgovern/index.html 

Interactive Atlas:  http://www9.biostr.washington.edu/da.html  

Interactive Tour of the Brain:  http://www.alz.org/alzheimers_disease_4719.asp  

Whole Brain Atlas (Harvard Medical School): http://www.med.harvard.edu/AANLIB/home.html 

Topic:  Einstein:

Einstein:  http://www.amnh.org/exhibitions/einstein/lab/index.php 

  Topic:  IQ History and Measurements:

www.geocities.com/rnseitz/Definition_of_IQ.html

www.mensa.org (mensa test:  www.mensa.org/workout2.php)

Topic:  Proof:  Madness and High ("Genius" ) IQ:

Daily Mail Article: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-434938/The-link-genius-madness.html

Psychology Today:  http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/beautiful-minds/200903/schizophrenic-thought-madness-or-potential-genius