A walk through the grades
In broad strokes, each of the four years of the MWHS curriculum embodies an underlying theme that helps guide students not just through their studies of the world, but through their inner growth as well. Adolescents pass through developmental landscapes at varying speeds, yet they will cover similar terrain. The Waldorf curriculum is thoughtfully designed to work in conjunction with the struggles common to most any teenager.
the power of observation : What?
As they navigate a new high school experience, the curriculum challenges freshmen to observe, question and imagine alternatives. They are ready for abstract analytical thinking and academic rigor, yet sometimes see the world in only black-and-white. Courses reflect the polarity in this stage of adolescence as students explore comedy and tragedy, thermodynamics, mathematical probability and the struggle between personal ideals and reality in revolutionary history.
the power of comparison : How?
Sophomores seek to understand growth and transformation, as they experience it in themselves. They are able to look more deeply at the world around them and how it continues to evolve. In studying ancient cultures, students think comparatively about religion, social organization and geography. In Euclidean geometry and inorganic chemistry, students recognize patterns and relationships after careful observation of phenomena. Embryology explores the development of human life.
the power of analysis : Why?
Juniors have a growing capacity for self-reflection and begin to examine questions of identity and consider their own paths. Literature and humanities courses delve into the expression of great artists, convictions of great leaders and pursuit of one's destiny in classics like Hamlet. New powers of abstract thinking guide students’ exploration in the invisible worlds of electricity, magnetism, atomic theory and cell biology. Projective geometry introduces new concepts of space, time and infinity.
the power of synthesis : Who?
Seniors synthesize knowledge and experience and begin to see their emerging place in the world. The curriculum supports developing abilities to assess multiple viewpoints, find common elements and imaginative solutions. Students are challenged with questions of morality through Goethe’s Faust. They explore the interrelationship between the living and non-living worlds in biochemistry. They study economics, zoology and optical physics we well as create a senior project.
Every April, MWHS 12th graders present to the public their senior projects — always a widely anticipated school event. These projects are a year-long commitment undertaken by each senior to study or learn something in depth. Key to any project is the student’s working with a skilled mentor in an ongoing mentor/apprentice relationship. Seniors conceive these independent projects on their own and commit large blocks of time to pursuing them, alongside regular class and extracurricular commitments. 2017 projects include working with special needs adults in Camphill communities, acquiring a private airplane pilot’s license, fashion design and manufacturing, and mastering violin under the tutelage of the 1st violinist of the world-famous Apple Hill String Quartet.
continuing the journey : college & beyond
Waldorf high schools have a notable reputation for excellent college placement, where our students flourish academically, socially and personally. With no shortage of passionate interests, some students opt to take a gap year for travel, service projects or other personal work.
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