Category Archives: History

Greek Mythology (Ella)

Note: This class was added after the blog was initially published.

In this Greek Mythology class, we will dive into some of the most fascinating stories of Classic Greek Mythology while asking philosophical questions and analyzing whether or not a story has a moral or modern significance.  Along with that, we will be learning about the history of Greece and Rome from the Trojan War to the Roman Empire.

We will watch movies that relate to mythology and judge them on their accuracy and relevance.

Please note that this class is open to middle and high school students.  You do not need to have taken my previous mythology class to participate.

There will be a small to moderate amount of homework.

Sapiens (hannah)

Note: This class is open to high school students only.

Human history is shaped by three major revolutions: the Cognitive Revolution, the Agricultural Revolution, and the Scientific Revolution. These revolutions have empowered humans to do something no other form of life has done – create and connect ideas that do not physically exist (religion, capitalism, politics, etc). These shared “myths” enabled humans to take over the globe and are now putting humankind on the verge of overcoming the forces of natural selection.

This is the theory of humanity put forth by Yuval Noah Harari in his excellent and illuminating book, Sapiens. In this class, we will explore and analyze the newly released graphic novel version of this book. If you are interested in discussing ideas about where we came from, where we’re at, and where we’re going – this class is for you!

Connection to Place (hannah)

Through place-based learning, this class aims to immerse students in the heritage, culture, landscape, experiences, and opportunities of your immediate environment. 

This class will be divided into two units: your home and your neighborhood. We will begin by learning about the tribal lands which our homes now occupy. Later in the term, you will make a community asset map of your neighborhood to learn about the social organizations, structures, and services shaping the sociocultural landscape today. 

A lot of this class will be outdoors. Your yard and your neighborhood will be your classroom. Lessons will be interdisciplinary, including sociology, science, civics, language arts, and self care, with the objective to deeply learn about your immediate surrounding environment.

Old Tactics, New Times: Pushback and Breakthroughs in the Struggle for Civil Rights , Part 2 (Larry Metzger)

Note: This class is open to high school students only.

This class is a continuation of the winter term course, Old Tactics, New Times: Pushback and Breakthroughs in the Struggle for Civil Rights, Part 1. Students who did not take Part 1 can still enroll in this class. In Part 2 of the course we will pick up the story of the Civil Rights Movement in the late 1950s with the struggle for school integration in the South. Our exploration of the Civil Rights Movement will culminate with its great victories – the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. We will also look at the history of housing segregation in Seattle. From there we will turn to the ongoing fight for racial justice in contemporary America, focusing on the struggles against police violence and efforts to suppress voting in Black communities.

We will organize our exploration around the following big questions:

  1. What were the goals of the Civil Rights Movement?
  2. What strategies did Civil Rights activists use?
  3. Why did certain strategies succeed?
  4. Why did so many whites oppose equal rights for African Americans?
  5. What choices did both supporters and opponents of the Civil Rights Movement make and how did their choices affect events?
  6. How successful was the Civil Rights Movement?

About the instructor: I was a full-time history teacher a several independent schools for many years until my retirement in 2015. Since then I have been volunteering at PSCS, where I have taught a version of this course, as well as classes on the Vietnam War and Nazi Germany. What I enjoy most about teaching PSCS students is their love of learning, enthusiasm, and willingness to engage with tough issues. During my first four years as a volunteer at PSCS, I was living in Seattle. This summer, however, my wife, Elizabeth Alexander; our dog, Dr. Norman; and I moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico in the high Southwest desert.

Required texts/materials: Pdfs of photocopied materials that I will provide. The instructor will procure the texts/materials.

Power to the People (Anya)

Note: This class is open to high school students only.

This class is going to be a mix of protest history, and learning about what’s going on right now both locally and on a larger scale in terms of demonstrations and protests. We will cover some BLM, LGBTQ+, Women’s rights, and Indigenous celebration/rights focused protests through things like YouTube vids, podcasts, guests, etc… I (Anya) acknowledge that I am a white/able-bodied/cisgendered person who cannot speak to the experiences of people in communities I do not fit into in the US. That’s why it’s really important to me to have POC, LGBTQ+, Indigenous, female identified, etc.. guest speakers who can speak to those perspectives. Our hope is that this will be a chill space where people feel comfortable enough to ask questions and learn through mistakes. If you’re open to come and join us, we’d love to have you!

Art through the Ages (Sam)

 

This class will introduce art within historical, social, geographical, political, and religious contexts. How do we look at different works of art and express the deeper meaning behind them? Let get into great conversations about the things we experience and do some creating of our own.