Through the grant awarded to the BHS English Department, several senior teachers collaborated to develop the Senior Capstone, a year-long, multi-genre investigation of an inquiry question of the student’s choosing that is tangible, practical, intellectually challenging, and emotionally engaging. In this project, students ask, explore, and ultimately answer the inquiry question that they have about the world and the people in it. The culmination of the year’s work is a formal community-wide presentation to demonstrate their final thinking as well as their intellectual curiosity.https://drive.google.com/file/d/12r4A0itso7qxCalVnJ8vDmKInPzoeSij/view?usp=sharing
Two English teachers, Kim Masterson and Anne-Marie Fant, piloted the Senior Capstone class in 2018 – 2019. Throughout that year, they developed the scope and sequence of the curriculum and the Capstone project. Students explored inquiries such as: How do the interactions between communities of differing belief systems reflect, or not reflect, the similarities in their legends and mythology?, What can food tell us about culture?, How does the way someone dress affect memory or certain parts of our brains? How can the rise of artificial intelligence both benefit and harm us?.
After developing their questions, seniors in the pilot researched multiple genres to inform their thinking about their questions and demonstrated their understanding through a portfolio of writing and a creative piece. The energy was electric and contagious on the day of the presentations and community members including students, faculty, staff, and family members left the small gym feeling inspired by this community of learners.