Our AP Core program is a three-period course of study that includes AP United States History, AP English Language and Social Science Research. The first two courses prepare students for the corresponding Advanced Placement examinations in May; the third course prepares students for the National History Day competition as well as our school requirement for an 11th Grade Research Paper.
The AP Core program is designed to be an integrated approach to learning. The three teachers, Dr. Staudt, Mr. McKenna and Mr. Ardito, collaborate to help the students develop a deeper and richer sense of the humanities. An example of this collaboration took place this past week. As students read parts of the Federalist papers and learned the historical context in which they were written, they also learned rhetorical strategies identified by Aristotle thousands of years ago: logos, ethos and pathos. They studied how these techniques are employed in persuasive argument, analyzing the relative effectiveness of each approach.
When they were told by their teachers that there was an opportunity to erect a new monument to one of the previously unrecognized Founding Fathers, the students worked in groups to identify one of the missing characters, design a persuasive argument, and then present it in what proved to be a raucous debate! Some of the candidates for this new memorial included Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton and James Madison.
The students had a terrific time, and those backing James Madison were thrilled to learn that their persuasive argument won the day!
(Thanks to Dr. Staudt for the pictures!)