I was lucky enough to sit down with Ms. Ebner and Dr. McCreary to learn more about the new courses they will be teaching next year: The Design and Innovations of Medicine, Visual Representation of Medicine, Marketing Medicine to the World, and Black Studies. Continue reading to get excited if you did sign up for any of these classes! If you didn’t though, still feel free to read on so you can think about what classes you might want to take next year.
Medicine-focused Courses: (grades 11 and 12)
The Design and Innovations of Medicine (1 history or science credit)
Visual Representation of Medicine (1 visual art or science credit)
Marketing Medicine to the World (1 English or science credit)
Teacher: Mrs. Ebner
By focusing on something everybody has had experiences with, Ms. Ebner hopes that the science taught in this course will seem less “out there” and that it will be less difficult for students to apply what they learn to the real world.
Each trimester course she has created not only explores connections to the world but to other disciplines as well (hence why some courses can be taken for a history, visual art, or even English credit). This is important because in the real world, science is rarely done in isolation without a connection to some other field of study or goal. Mrs. Ebner was inspired to create these courses because of this element of intersectionality and because she thinks medicine is just a super cool area to explore! And she sure makes it sound like it.
When asked what topics she was most excited to teach, Mrs. Ebner exclaimed, “all of them!” However, she also said that if she had to choose, it would be the synthesis of the active ingredient in birth control and the organic chemistry in general that will be taught in the class.
To further engage students, Mrs. Ebner would like to take a field trip to a pharmaceutical company at some point during the year and invite doctors or patent lawyers to give guest lectures (no details have been set in stone yet, so stay tuned!). She also made it clear that a goal she has for the course is to make it very interactive (more so than a typical science class), so she wants discussions to be at the center of the class.
Finally, Mrs. Ebner encourages students to take this class because of the multidisciplinary approach to science it provides. And, what better opportunity to explore a possible career path than to take this course! So, go ahead and try out these courses whether it is just for fun or because you think medicine might be something you want to study in the future.
Quick note: Taking just one or all of the courses is okay! Taking all of them might help you see the “bigger picture,” but they are all designed to stand alone.
Black Studies: (grade 12 only)
Teacher: Dr. McCreary
While the history department had been discussing the idea of having more course options for juniors and seniors, this course ultimately was created because students wanted it. In recent years, many students have expressed their interest in such a course and, when asked, Dr. McCreary was excited to engage their curiosity and help them pursue their passion. He has since worked closely with Mr. Semioli and Mrs. Justice (as well as the rest of the history department and the Academic Committee) to create this course.
Dr. McCreary hopes that this course will provide students an overview, or holistic picture, of the history of black people around the world. Black history is often taught starting with the Atlantic Slave Trade or slavery in the South, but Dr. McCreary would like to begin when their history actually started thousands of years before that: in ancient African civilizations. He is looking forward to all of the topics he plans to cover but mostly about how he will be able to give students a pre-western hemisphere introduction. He also is looking forward to discussing the lives and contributions of black people outside the realm of slavery. Specific topics Dr. McCreary intends to focus on are the following:
African background- major empires (Ghana, Egyptians, and the Moors in Spain)
Africans in America
Major movements in the US
Black politics and economics
The ethics of reparations and immigration
Black Lives Matter
Aside from traditional classroom learning, Dr. McCreary hopes to bring in guest speakers from within the Kent Place faculty. In an ideal world, he would also love to visit places like Military Park, Harlem, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture or other culturally significant places in the New York/New Jersey area. (However, nothing has been finalized yet. These are just places that might be touched on during the year, and Dr. McCreary believes that visiting them would enhance students’ learning experiences.) Dr. McCreary will also highly encourage his students to go on the annual BCA trip to the African American History Museum in Washington, DC.
Overall, it is clear that Dr. McCreary is creating this course with students in mind and wants to help introduce them to the history of the black experience in different time-periods and locations. This course is a full-year one and is sure to be packed full of new and interesting information. Definitely consider taking this as your history course next year or the following!
Both Mrs. Ebner and Dr. McCreary are so thrilled for their new classes next year and are in the process of finalizing their plans (some course details above are subject to slight change,). It’s really awesome to see that teachers are able to share all of their passions with students and even bring the passions of the students to life! Get excited!