New history course offered for sophomores

Alexandra Liang, Staff writers

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Exploring the world. Recognizing perspectives. Taking action. These are the underlying themes of the new history course in the 2018-2019 academic year. Originally, sophomores were only offered CP or AP history courses. Due to the drastic change in levels, the history department has added an honors option to increase the opportunities for students who want to challenge themselves.

The honors course provides an opportunity to challenge students without the stress of the AP workload. The new course was introduced by history department head Kerry Dunne due to a community request.

“We wanted to provide students with different options of learning and the responses to the new honors course this year will bring changes in future years to make the course more engaging to students,” Dunne mentioned.

Dunne further explained the positive outcomes of this honors course, which is combined with the CP course.

“The honors and CP courses are combined because if they were separate, it would have resulted in more conflicts in scheduling,” Dunne said. “It is an advantage to have multiple teachers teaching the same course to allow for collaboration. Also, if students wanted to switch levels, they could do it easily without any scheduling problems.”

History teacher Donald Benson commented on the differences in the honors course compared to the CP course.

“The honors and CP course is similar in many ways with the tests and classwork, however there is an additional book and project each quarter that honor students must complete. In March, they also must submit a research article in a contest,” Benson said.                                                                                                                                                                                   

Additionally, sophomore Josh Corbett has enjoyed the course and noted his thoughts on his positive experience with the course.

“The course has a healthy amount of homework and outside class work that we have to do. I think it is great that CP and honors is combined because it is easier for someone to switch levels,” Corbett noted.

However, sophomore Madeline Tremblay gave feedback to further improve the combined course.

“CP and honors should be split because we have different needs and it is difficult to work together with different styles. It is hard learning in an environment where we don’t discuss the books or the outside class work,” Tremblay said.

Furthermore, junior Katie Huang expressed the theoretical benefits of the new honors course option.

“I would have liked to see an honors course when I was a sophomore. The CP course goes at a really slow pace while AP course is very fast and a lot of information is thrown at you, I feel that an honors course would be a perfect balance,” Huang said.

After Dunne received students’ feedback from the first semester, she commented on improving the course in the future.

“We will review and reflect upon all aspects of the course at the end of the year to make any changes needed moving forward,” Dunne said.

The three teachers that currently teach the new course are history teachers Donald Benson, Michiko Kurata, and Moncrieff Cochran. Benson commented on what he wishes the students take from the course.

“I am hoping that the students taking honors history are able to make deeper and broader connections in class for the books that they are reading outside of class,” Benson said.