Course Selection Changes
by Iladro Sauls on Friday, March 7th, 2014
As the Milton community gears up for spring, freshmen, sophomores, and juniors are charged with the difficult yet exciting task of choosing classes for the upcoming school year.
Milton students have a window of approximately one month to navigate their myMilton and select classes. Keeping graduation requirements in mind, they may choose from a wide range of courses that accommodate both their strengths and interests. During this process, many students must also face the conundrum of whether to choose classes that they are interested in taking or to choose ones that they think colleges will value. “I had it in my head that I needed to pick classes just based on what I thought colleges would want,” said Helena Thatcher (I) about her first round of course planning following her freshman year. Unhappy with this method of course selection, Helena realized that these objectives did not have to be mutually exclusive. “For my junior and senior year I worked really hard to select classes that I would find hard but also that I could see myself enjoying. It actually worked out really well. I took classes I would never have taken.”
In addition, students struggle to explore their areas of interest during their four short years at Milton. Due to graduation requirements and upperclassmen priority, many feel that only during senior year can they freely explore the full breadth of courses Milton has to offer. Juliet Pesner (III) feels that underclassmen should have the option to “take more electives and more interesting classes.” An applicant to a junior year semester program, Juliet explains that she had to build a schedule around class availabilities in the semester program, filling her otherwise open-ended senior year schedule with core requirements she would not be able to take her junior year.
However, Milton’s English department in particular seeks to allow freshmen, sophomore, and junior students to pick from a diverse range of courses. With courses such as “Performing English” and “The Craft of Nonfiction,” Milton aims to allow individuals to explore areas of interest within the English classroom, whether they be acting or journalism.
Next year, Milton will introduce eight new interdisciplinary classes, some of which are available to sophomores, thus opening up many of its students to a broader education. These additions include courses such as “The Omnivore’s Dilemma: Politics of Food in the 21st Century,” “Documentary Filmmaking,” and even a class on neuropsychology. The implementation of these courses will hopefully provide an even wider expanse of unique classes to Milton students and blur the divisions that lie between academic departments. Typically, students with a strong science or math background shy away from other departments, as they fear that the subject material lies too far outside of their domain. Milton looks to break down these misconceptions with these new courses.
These synthesized subjects look to be microcosms of the future of education, both at Milton and in the rest of the country. Implementing these classes is a logical way to encourage students to compound their interest in a field with information from a class that they might not otherwise have taken. These courses also reflect the real-world employment situation that is present in today’s job market; most of today’s young professionals have prior experience in more than one discipline. By creating more opportunities for students to find the commonalities between disciplines, these new courses could alter and possibly revolutionize the Milton curriculum.
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