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Our humanities and arts curricula are thematic, drawing from a spectrum of curricular areas, and highlighting the ways in which these domains interact. Because the scope of content in these areas is limitless, thematic programs provide frames of reference for the integration of vast amounts of knowledge and cross-curricular insights necessary to effectively think critically and creatively.

Below are samples of the themes and questions to be explored at Sparhawk Upper School:

Becoming Human: What does it mean to be human? How have human beings evolved through time? How did our ancestors live? How do we know what we know about our prehistoric past?

Global Village: What is culture? How are gender roles defined, perceived, and perpetuated in diverse cultures? What is a developing nation? How do our own biases affect our understanding of other cultures?

Ancient Civilizations: What is civilization? Why do civilizations flourish and fail? How have ancient civilizations shaped our modern understanding? What are the origins of science, philosophy, poetry, art, music, and literature?

Medieval to Renaissance: Who were the great artists, philosophers, authors, leaders, and scientists of the Renaissance? In what ways did this rebirth shape our world? How do the ideas and products of the Renaissance influence people today? What can we learn from looking back at changes in ideology?

The “New” World: Who are the indigenous peoples of North, Central, and South America? How did Native and European cultures experience and perceive the events that led to colonization of the Americas? What can we learn from studying the cultures of indigenous peoples?

Enlightenment to Industry: Why did people create revolutions? What is the Enlightenment? What is modernity? How have countries pursued independence? How has industrialization changed our world?

American Civics & Law: What does it mean to be an American? How do we live as citizens of a nation? In what ways do the laws and ideologies of our nation shape our lives as individuals? In what ways do the individual citizens shape the laws and ideologies of our nation?

20th Century & Beyond: How did the achievements and crises we currently experience come to be and what does that imply for the years, decades, and centuries to come? In what ways have scientific discovery, globalization, and technology influenced how people see themselves and others? How do societies respond to the accelerating rate of knowledge?