AP European History is out and two new CHS classes in history and English are being paired in a flexible learning model starting next year.
Social studies teacher Kate Deemer and English teacher Dr. Daniel Harrold have come up with the two courses, called CHS European History and CHS Literature and Philosophy.
The courses will be available next year to seniors, but they must take both classes. The two classes would be set up in a 90-minute block, like a lab period for science classes.
Students will be able to earn CHS credit in each class through Mount Aloysius College in Cresson, Pa. Those credits can be transferred to four-year colleges that accept CHS credit.
“The ultimate goal of this course would be to break down traditional learning, which will be the challenge for Ms. Deemer and me. We want the students to learn in a real-world way rather than basing learning by their grades,” Harrold said.
Deemer agreed, adding that the new course would provide more flexibility in the learning experience.
“On an AP track, the curriculum is so strict and classes have to move at a certain pace and cover specific content because the curriculum is designed pertaining to one AP test at the end of the year. This will be a great opportunity for students who want to be challenged in history and English, or want to earn college credits in those subjects, and enjoy non-traditional learning,” Deemer said.
The CHS European History class will take the place of AP European History, which is currently offered at the high school.
The new CHS classes represent a third alternative for students, compared to Advanced Placement courses or regular classes in history or English.
Senior Olivia Brophy, a current AP European History student, said she thinks these classes will be a great opportunity for next year.
“I think the combination will give people a broader understanding of how philosophy and the humanities influence European history. We talk about philosophy a lot in class, so I think it’ll be helpful to give students a deeper understanding of those concepts. AP Euro is already a great class and I think this will make it even better,” Brophy said.
Junior Rebecca Pantone planned on taking AP European History, and now she’s more excited to take these new classes.
“It’s great because now I’ll get an English college credit (as well),” Pantone said.
As for the flexible learning, Deemer and Harrold said the plan isn’t to have one period with each teacher every day. Students might have both periods with one teacher one day and then switch another day, or have both teachers for both periods. Deemer and Harrold also plan on using spaces such as the LGI to work on projects collaboratively.
Baldwin already has started promoting more flexible learning for students with the introduction of Flexible Friday this year.
In social studies teacher Rich Deemer’s Senior Seminar and Harrold’s senior English classes, students have the option to stay in class, work in another part of the building, or leave early on certain days if all of their work is in turned in by the Flex Friday. This promotes productivity in these classes by encouraging students to get their work in.
Kate Deemer and Harrold look forward to using similar techniques in their CHS classes next year.
Next year, the high school plans to continue using and possibly expand Flex Friday opportunities.
“Flex Friday was designed to assist in productivity and mental health for students, and it’s been successful. I’m excited to see where Flex Friday goes next year, and I’m excited to use similar flexible learning tactics for CHS European History and CHS Literature and Philosophy next year,” Kate Deemer said.