May 27, 2024
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May 27, 2024
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The Idea School Examines Democracy Through an Interdisciplinary Lens

At The Idea School, they focus on developing the skills they need to use their citizenship responsibly and to better the world. Nancy Edelman, head of humanities, and Rabbi Tavi Koslowe, Judaic studies principal, have created an interdisciplinary Democracy Project. In Ms. Edelman’s Humanities classes, sophomores and juniors explore the questions: What is democracy? What is American democracy? They are exploring these ideas in both non-fiction as well as in fictional works and started the year by writing poems about their views of American democracy using Walt Whitman’s poetic technique in “I Hear America Singing.” Sophomores and juniors in Beit Midrash each took a famous founding speech or document and analyzed whether the Biblical verses in it were appropriately used. They presented their findings in their own speeches.

Also this year, Ms. Edelman is teaching all Idea School students proper research skills. Finding accurate information and sources and being able to discard misinformation are crucial parts of being a responsible and informed citizen. Ms. Edelman is using Stanford University’s Civic Online Reasoning Curriculum.

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