11th Grade - Honing Powers of Analysis


Developmental Picture of the Student

In the second half of high school, existential questions begin to arise. Eleventh grade is the “Parzival year” with its theme of the quest and inner journey. Students learn to live with open–ended questions and begin the long path towards answers that may not be what they expect. This is a fiercely idealistic age. Individuals feel the call to find their own path in life, and some may wish to make serious changes. They need real opportunities to accomplish tasks and take responsibility for important work.

How the Curriculum Meets the 11th Grader

The curriculum invites the eleventh graders to investigate with conceptual reasoning, entering areas of study not fully accessible to the senses. In chemistry, they study the periodic table of the elements with insight gained through intuition. In physics, they study the invisible forces of electricity and magnetism; in astronomy they contemplate the origins of the stars. In literature, this journey is captured in Parzival, a legend of the grail quest. In all of these subjects, the dimensions of the classroom are enlarged to embrace realms reached primarily through human imagination. These subjects pose a central question intended to strengthen the powers of independent analysis and abstract thought: the question of “why.” Why are things this way? Why did the events of history take this course? Deep questions of destiny, purpose in life and social responsibility find their way into the classroom discourse. 

Bookbinding, limestone carving and enameling are new processes demanding artistic vision and attention to detail. In drama, students are confronted with the art of the monologue, in which each individual stands alone with poise and grace to tell a personal story. 

Students begin to live with open–ended questions and...need to be met with real opportunities to accomplish tasks and take responsibility for important work.

In the junior year, students have more choices as to the classes they will take. Once they have fulfilled the two-year world language requirement, they may take an elective or go on to higher levels in Spanish or German. Many eleventh grade students take advantage of travel and study abroad, most often spending three months at schools in Colombia, Germany or Austria. The eleventh grade class is also enriched and enlivened by visiting international students from partner schools in our foreign exchange program.

The service learning trip to Kimberton Camphill Village is an ideal close to the junior year. Students meet the visionary adults who guide this intentional  residential community and form strong friendships with the developmentally disabled adults who live there.


11th grade: Students study analytical sciences, math and the reasoning and philosophy of the Enlightenment.




- Earth Science: Astronomy
- Physics: Electricity and Magnetism
- Chemistry of the Elements
- Biology: Embryology and Genetics
- Mathematics Track Options: Geometry,
  Pre Calculus and Trigonometry, or Calculus

- Medieval History
- The Enlightenment
- Parzival
- History through Music
- English Track Options: The American Novel,
  Dante’s Inferno, Hamlet, Romantic Poetry,
  Research Skills, SAT preparation

- Landscape Painting
- Bookbinding
- Drama: The Monologue
- Metalwork: Enameling and Etching
- Drawing: The Human Form
- All High School Chorus
- Music Elective Options: Chamber Ensemble,
  Jazz Band, Vocal Ensemble, African
  Drumming, Guitar I or Guitar II

- German & Spanish, levels 1 – 5


- Gym: physical activities and team-based
 sports promote health, movement,
  coordination, team dynamics and
  collaboration as well as social development
- Eurythmy: artistic movement in a social
  context includes complex patterns,
  coordinated group movement and
  interpretations of the roles of language
  translated into movement

- World Issues
- Journalism
- Creative Writing
- Independent Science Seminar

All High School Camping Trip: Three
  days at the Indiana Dunes, building
  community and solidarity among students
  and faculty

- Community Service: Four days throughout
 the year working for a variety of local service
  and non-profit organizations.

- Service Learning: Two weeks in May
  working and living in community with disabled
  adults at Camphill Village, in Kimberton,