Kurt Estep

Kurt Estep
  • Kurt Estep

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9th Grade Agriculture - Course Description

This class studies all aspects of agricultural practice “from farm to table”. Students compare and contrast ancient agricultural practices with modern ones and large-scale industrial food systems with local systems. They also explore the practical implications of a more sustainable food system. Moreover, students gain skills to make informed choices about their own eating habits and how they can support the food systems they believe to be best for their health and the health of the Earth.

Age of Reason - Course Description

The Enlightenment was a time when philosophers and scientists challenged one another. Rejecting the authority of church and king, they trusted the authority of their own reason and sought to discover the natural laws that governed the movements of bodies in the heavens and the society of humans on earth. This revolution in human thinking coincided with a time of political revolution. England's bloodless Glorious Revolution of 1688 ushered in the period and France's bloody Reign of Terror in 1793 ended it. Students read Immanuel Kant, Rene Descartes, Francis Bacon, John Locke, Voltaire, Thomas Paine, Alexander Pope, and Joseph Addison.

Revolutions - Course Description

This class addresses three political revolutions: the American, French, and Chinese. The class begins with an overview of the three-fold social organization and the idea that major imbalances in this organization are almost always at the heart of any revolution. Students study the events in the American colonies which lead directly up to the revolution, plunge right into the action of the French revolution that ends with the execution of Robespierre, and finally, examine Confucius' role in Chinese culture and consider how nineteenth-century trade relationships with powerful western countries influenced the dramatic end of the Qing Dynasty. Students create a presentation, complete with artistic element and written text, on a revolution not covered in class.

Transcendentalists - Course Descriptoin

A small group of thinkers, educators, and writers, many of whom lived in and around Concord, Massachusetts in the years leading up to the American Civil War, addressed the great questions of existence in ways that still shape our thinking today. Students are often shocked when they first encounter the essays and poetry of Emerson, Thoreau, and Whitman as well as their associates Bronson Alcott and Margaret Fuller. In keeping with transcendentalist traditions, the class converses and writes in their journals on a daily basis.