Featured Imgaes Opinion

One is Greater Than Three: Why Pinewood Humanities Should Be Taught as One Class

By OWEN TERRY

Staff Writer

   Last semester, I took humanities, a one-semester freshman class that has three rotations of about six weeks each. The three subjects taught, each covered by a different teacher, are the histories of art, music, and theatre. Two different periods took this class, with one period rotating through the subjects in a different order than the other. While in this class, I noticed that, through no fault of the teachers, the way the class is structured made it hectic and disorganized, and provided very little time to thoroughly go over all of the riveting material. I believe that Pinewood should abolish the rotation system for the humanities class in favor of turning it into one class that covers all three aspects at the same time.

   In each of the six-week rotations, there were parts of the curriculum that we didn’t get to. In order to finish as much material as possible, we spent almost all of our time rushing through notes, sometimes at a pace that made it hard to actually understand all the information. The content covered in class always proved intriguing, but the time allotted never gave us the ability to study it in depth. If humanities were one class, the teacher would have more realistic expectations of all the material that would be learned in the class, allowing them to delegate an entire semester to fully immerse in it.

   A single class would also avoid going over the same information repeatedly. Every rotation that I was in covered background information on the periods we learned about. Because of this, we learned about things such as the Medieval Catholic Church and the history of the Baroque period three separate times. Also, since the subjects are closely related, there were some things that could be categorized under multiple subjects that we learned about twice. For example, we covered operas in both the theatre and music rotations. This repetitiveness in a time-crunched class could easily be prevented.

   Another benefit to changing from three classes to one is maintaining consistency between periods. Because the two class periods rotate in a different order, everybody gets a different amount of time in each class. For example, my class period had the least amount of time in the music rotation. This lead to everybody learning a slightly different curriculum, which is an unnecessary complication. On the final exam, there were some questions that only one class period knew the answers to because they had more time in a certain section. This problem only exists because of the rotation.

   Having one humanities class with one teacher who teaches art, music, and theatre together is a more logical approach than having three shorter classes. It’s very important to learn about all three humanities subjects as a freshman in order to get an idea of which one to pursue in the future, and a single class would be a better way to do it. It would eliminate unpredictable factors such as amount of time spent in the class. Replacing the rotational system would solve many problems and make humanities a much better class.

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