Full-Year Honors Mythology and Bible Class for 2011-12

Addressing the Class: Christina Richardson teaches her period 3 Mythology and Bible class. | Photo by Madeline Hardy '11
Students now have the opportunity to take two different versions of Mythology and Bible: the A level semester elective or a new full year honors course.

Currently, the semester class commonly known as “Myth and Bible,” is split up into one quarter mythology studies and one quarter bible studies. In the past it usually has had four sections with about 25 students in each, making it one of the more popular English electives, said English 6-12 Coordinator Lisabeth Comm.

The full-year honors course will allow more time to delve more deeply into each topic.

“We definitely could’ve spent more time on certain topics, but we couldn’t because we had so much to cover,” AJ Green ’11 said.

Myth and Bible teacher Christina Richardson said part of the drive behind creating the new course was student interest.

Students find the topics fascinating and continually express the desire to go into more depth, which is exactly what this honors class will allow students to do.

“I would have loved an opportunity to take an honors level class as an upperclassman,” Jeremy Rubel ’11 said.

During the summer of 2010, all three Myth and Bible teachers, Richardson, Christine Radler, and Elizabeth Humphrey, outlined a curriculum and designed writing assignments for the full year version of Myth and Bible.

With an entire year to cover the Myth and Bible material, Richardson said the curriculum will not be rushed.

Juniors should be aware, however, that the full year course does not include the research paper and must be taken in addition to another course that offers the graduation requirement.

In addition, expectations will be higher for the honors-level class.

“There will be an expectation of sophisticated critical thinking in terms of assessing papers and projects,” Comm said.

Radler said the focus of the course is comparing varying cultures and religions by identifying similarities and differences. Students will be able to explore certain topics in greater depth.

Since it is not an AP class, “it’s a good option for kids who don’t want to take an AP class, but want to challenge themselves in English,” Richardson said.

Also, this course will be the first honors English class available to both juniors and seniors. In previous years, only sophomores and freshmen were able to take an honors English course.

This new course could be the beginning to a number of other potential honors English elective courses.

“It’s a pilot project that we might be able to do with some of our other courses, as well,” Comm said.

For instance, British Literature contains a lot of content for one semester, Comm said.

Just like the new Myth and Bible full year honors course, a British Literature fullyear honors course has the potential of working in a similar way.

Radler said that adding this course “puts us more in line with other departments and their levels.” She hopes that this leads students to consider taking more English electives.

However, although teachers are encouraging students to take the new honors course, they still want students to consider if it is for them, as the A level class will still be offered.