Interdisciplinary work is a key component of the Fieldston Upper experience. This work has emerged organically, fostered by administration policy that has given teachers the support to launch such projects.
Examples include Interdisciplinary Independent Study for seniors and 10th-Grade Humanities. City Semester is the most robust interdisciplinary program offered. Here, 11th and 12th graders take math classes along with their classmates but spend at least two days a week outside the classroom in a variety of experiential academic pursuits.
This is a team-taught interdisciplinary course that meets eight times a week, for which students receive English, ethics, and history credit. The theme of the class is freedom: its meanings, its conflicts, and the ways it has changed over time. In particular, we look at the relationship between freedom and six other concepts: tolerance, independence, slavery, equality, progress, and intervention. The course begins with the English colonization of North America and ends with the Second World War. In addition to reading major American literature that includes the works of Nathaniel Hawthorne, Toni Morrison, and Tony Kushner, we also study principles of ethics--from Aristotle to the contemporary American philosopher John Rawls. Students who take this course participate in many of the same academic rituals as their counterparts in other 10th-grade courses, among them field trips, a major research essay, and Fieldston's annual History Fair.
This option falls within the structure of the existing independent study program. Students who take related courses may propose an independent study that integrates the content of these courses. The independent study is a separate major or half-major course for the semester and requires one or more teachers from the related disciplines.
This option is available to seniors and juniors who want to connect related courses through interdisciplinary work. Students may complete an assignment, such as a paper or project, in place of a regular assignment in one or both of the courses if they receive approval from one or both of the teachers. Teachers of these courses will be encouraged to support this option and meet together with the student to coordinate this work.