The AHS English Department provides rich and diverse curriculum to foster, first and foremost, the development of students who possess strong critical thinking skills, rhetorical tools for developing arguments, and metacognitive training to enhance close reading practices.
A unified department philosophy places an emphasis on the student’s ability to work with a sense of purpose and independence—to take charge of one’s own learning. For instance, students play a significant role in planning for writing conferences, setting writing goals, and taking the lead on the crucial revision process. Similarly, students are challenged to read actively and develop an awareness and control of analytical reading strategies. The reading curriculum itself offers challenges ranging from relevant contemporary works, such as In the Time of the Butterflies, Kite Runner, and Prisoner of Tehran to the classics, including The Odyssey, Dante’s Inferno, Antigone, and Hamlet, just to name a few. At the same time, the English department is keenly aware of the necessity for the 21st century citizen to not only navigate the media world but to also possess the sophistication to interact with the multitude of written, aural and visual data.
Shaping arguments and making formal inquiries into topics is ongoing both in written work as well as text-based discussions and Socratic seminars. Finally, the English department strives to instill a love of literature and a passion for ideas. One-on-one writing conferences and a strong independent reading program provide ideal structures for that engagement to occur. Ultimately, there are numerous ways that every student can become a stronger reader, writer and thinker.
English Department Faculty
Brian Gutherman -- English Curriculum Leader
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