Academic Disciplines

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Departmental Philosophies

English

In our English and Communication & Theatre classes, we strive to spark and nurture in our students their talents in reading, writing, the dramatic arts, and public speaking. Building upon four key skills – analytical reading, analytical writing, creative expression and performance, and public speaking – we encourage our students’ critical thinking and creativity in exploring complex and diverse classic and contemporary texts, a variety of writing styles, and a wide range of experiences in drama. In all, we hope to create an environment where students develop a lasting appreciation of the literary and dramatic arts as they craft their own voices and vision as writers, performers, and vision as writers, performers, and speakers.

Visual Arts and Practical Arts

The goal of the arts program is to develop an understanding of how art is made and to appreciate the roles art has played through the centuries. Building skills in discovery, perception and analysis, as well as the development of technical expertise, provide the tools for creative problem-solving in individual art-making. The creation of artworks and the understanding of creative concepts, aesthetics, and criticism are essential to one another and form the core of our integrated arts curriculum.

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Music

We believe that the study and performance of music is an integral component of a liberal arts education. Our program creates educated listeners by cultivating aural skills, analytical listening, aesthetic awareness, and the historical context of various styles. Over time, our students grow to acquire sophisticated music appreciation and understanding. Active as performers and educators in the artistic community, the department is affiliated with leading music institutions in and around New York City.

Language

Competency in a second language is an essential tool in an increasingly diverse population and global community. The development of fluency in another language allows one to better understand and appreciate other cultures as well as their own. As students’ progress through the program their ability to communicate will become increasingly sophisticated, as will the content and scope of the topics and issues involved. Those topics and issues will ultimately include: facts about social class, religion, ethnicity, or in the larger community; values and beliefs; art, drama, music, history, and literature; information about and reactions to historical and contemporary events.

Mathematics

The chief goals of our mathematics instruction is the development of problem solving abilities and understanding. We believe that these are at the heart of mathematics, and that they transfer to other academic areas and beyond. Thus, we emphasize creative and alternative methods of viewing and solving problems as opposed to a more mechanical, formula-oriented style of learning; in classroom instruction. Classroom instruction and homework assignments are structured to include problem solving so that students experience the satisfaction and joy of doing mathematics and achieve a sense of mathematical self-reliance.

Science

We aim to inspire more of our students to study science at an advanced level and provide them with a strong foundation. Hands-on investigations and projects are central to science education. Therefore, all core science courses include a dedicated laboratory component. We promote interdisciplinary connections between science, mathematics, history, and the arts. Because science never stands still, we continue to adapt our curriculum and encourage all students to pursue research at the frontiers of science.

History

The History curriculum is designed to achieve four major goals. By the time students’ graduate, they should have an understanding of the history of different areas of the world, and of the cultural, religious, and philosophical traditions of those regions. Students should be able to trace the historical roots of contemporary controversies, debates, and events. They should have an understanding of the foundations, philosophy, and traditions of a liberal democratic society. They should have a thorough knowledge of the history and government of the United States, enabling them to function as citizens of this nation, and citizens of the world. The curriculum is designed to develop critical thinking and understanding of the aethetics, and to foster discussion and debate. All courses offered are aimed at developing research and writing skills.

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