School board approves new courses for ORHS

The Oak Ridge School Board recently approved five new Arts and Humanities courses at its last meeting: World Mythology, Ancient History, Art of Printmaking, Detective/Mystery, and Dual Enrollment College Achievement.

School board member Ben Stephens moved approval of the new courses for Oak Ridge High School, and Vice President Laura McLean seconded her motion.

“We looked at where we could put things that would be of great interest,” said Oak Ridge High School vice-principal Amber Roberts. She described the school system as previously “dry” in terms of optional courses in the humanities.

The measure is passed unanimously. Board of Education President Keys Fillauer explained that these electives were possible thanks to the block programming system.

The Ancient History course covers the “social, geographical, religious, economic and cultural aspects of the major periods of ancient history from prehistory to 1500 CE”. Cultures covered include the River Valley Civilizations, Classical Greece, Gupta Empire, Roman Empire, Islamic Civilizations, American and African Civilizations, and the Middle Ages to the early Renaissance.

Art of Printmaking is for students who have received at least a “B” or better in Art Foundation and includes various printmaking techniques such as relief printing, monotype, screen printing collagraphy, and collage.

Detective Fiction/Mystery is aimed at students in Years 10-12 after completing English 9 and includes novels and short stories focusing on elements of detective fiction in world, American and British literature.

“These assignments invite deductive and inductive reasoning which is very high level critical thinking,” the course description reads, while stating that the course teaches students to be “critical thinkers, communicators, collaborators, and creatives.” .

World Mythology features Greek, Roman, Norse, Celtic, Egyptian, and Hindu myths with an emphasis on common ideas, but also cultural differences in the myths of these cultures.

Ben Pounds is a reporter for The Oak Ridger. Call him at (865) 441-2317, email him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @Bpoundsjournal.

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