With components drawn from the International Baccalaureate program and the Alverno College Assessment, Park Tudor's unique Global Scholars program augments the school's Advanced Placement program. The Global Scholars program serves Park Tudor’s highly able and motivated juniors and seniors with a liberal arts program that is competitive with the best schools in the United States and abroad. Nearly half of all juniors and seniors participate in this program.
The focus for students is:
» becoming a well-rounded person.
» becoming a self-directed learner.
» becoming eligible for advanced standing in college.
Blended with existing opportunities at Park Tudor, such as the service-based learning program, the senior project and the college counseling process, the program offers rising juniors who enroll in this two-year course of study a valuable understanding of the ethical, aesthetic, linguistic and philosophical nature of the human experience.
- Philosophies of Knowing Course
- Independent Research Project
- Community Service Hours
- Five AP Exams
- Four Years of Foreign Language
Prerequisites: junior standing, permission of Global Scholars Program Coordinator
Philosophies of Knowing is the centerpiece of the Global Scholars Program. The course provides an introduction to epistemology by giving students practice in reflecting on how they know what they know. The first year is spent considering the “The Philosophic Enterprise” and “The Role of Language in Human Affairs.” During the first semester, students spend considerable time studying the nature of metaphysics and epistemology. During second semester, they study the nature of language itself; the interrelationship of language, thought, and perception; the rhetorical uses of language; and how language informs logic.
With this background, students move during the second year to the exploration of ethics during the first semester, aesthetics during the second semester. During the first semester, students examine the knowledge claims of philosophy and the knowledge claims of religion. They also explore the nature of moral judgments, how value systems are derived, and ethical problems and decisions. The final semester is divided roughly in half: the first quarter is devoted to the study of aesthetics, the second, to recapitulating what has been learned throughout the course and making formal connections from one discipline to another. The final portion of the last quarter is spent preparing the presentation of their individual research projects.
It is fair to think of this course as an extended exercise in reading-talking-thinking-writing, for a considerable amount of time is spent in class discussion as preparation for writing in-class and out-of-class essays on a wide range of topics. Preparation for such writing also involves reading numerous small pieces aimed at provoking critical thought and some larger pieces, both primary and secondary sources, which explore philosophical concepts in some depth. Considerable care is taken, however, to see that this not become a college philosophy course taught at the high school level in which the student is expected to master an introductory text in philosophy. Instead, the focus remains clearly on “introducing” students to philosophical inquiry and enabling them to make personal sense of the many courses they are required to take during the high school experience, that is, helping them leave high school with a clearer understanding of what a liberal education means.
Students begin early in the first quarter of grade 11 to explore possible topics for a two-year research project which is conducted independently under the guidance of a mentor, either a faculty member or a professional person from the community. In the course of the project, students learn various heuristics for identifying an appropriate topic; protocol involved in engaging the services of a mentor; methods for acquiring and validating information from a wide range of sources, including traditional sources in print; current sources available electronically; and the use of human resources as well.
Students engage in a series of self-assessments, intellectualizing as they do, their own work habits, the personal qualities they possess which promote or impede effective scholarship, and the readiness they demonstrate for independent work at the college level. These assessments are coordinated with the activities of the school’s college counselor and are designed to dovetail with the college application process. By the time the students complete the Global Scholars Program, they will have compiled a personal profile of themselves which may be presented to university personnel or prospective employers; this profile will be in the form of a program portfolio.
Global Scholars complete at least 200 hours of community service during the two-year program. By volunteering their time to help others, students enhance their understanding of the world around them beyond what is taught in the classroom. The community interaction engages students in a world of cultural and ethnic diversity.