Heart's Wishes for Winter Term

Friday, 07. March 2014

by Daniel Davis Wood

Today was the ‘Heart’s Wishes’ day for the Winter Term. This morning, all Ecole students were given the opportunity to express their intellectual interests and make wishes for academic courses that they would like to take next term or at some stage in future.

The Heart’s Wishes are one of the most unique aspects of the academic program at the Ecole d’Humanité. Instead of having to choose their classes from a list of courses to be offered next term, Ecole students can ask teachers to volunteer to teach the subjects that they, the students, are most interested in. The morning begins with students sitting down for in-depth talks with their academic advisors — the teachers responsible for ensuring that each student will earn the course credits required to graduate with a high school diploma — after which students fill out their Heart’s Wishes sign-in sheets to make their interests known to teachers and encourage teachers to offer a fresh selection of courses each term.

To help with the process, teachers in the American Program put together a catalogue of personal profiles in which they reveal what subjects they studied at college, what courses they have taught in the past, what subjects they are currently interested in, and what courses they would like to teach in future. The course catalogue — downloadable here — gives students a starting point for their discussions with their advisors, to see which teacher would best be able to teach the courses the students hope to take.

In the Ecole's American Program, the Spring Term is known as the 'Inquiry Term.' Each course is built around a particular question to be investigated, and all juniors and seniors are required to take at least one hour per day of a course known as 'Source Theme' in which they will come up with their own question and write a research paper in response to it.

The picture at the top of this page shows the Heart's Wishes sign-in sheet.


Summer Term Course Catalogue.pdf