Usually a school year ends with final exams — at Weston and elsewhere. As we know, final exams are designed to reduce stress and pressure by providing a relaxing time when classroom temperatures are over 90°.
You say that’s wrong? Of course it’s wrong. So Weston finally decided to do something about it. We cut two weeks off the curriculum of each course (a daring move in a suburban school that buys into heavy academic competition), moved finals two weeks earlier, and devoted the last two weeks to a very wide area of intensive mini-courses with no grades, no homework, and no tests. Most classes met for three hours a day for five days, though a few met for more hours or more days. Peruse the word cloud above for an idea of the amazing variety of courses that were offered. We were encouraged to teach topics outside of our standard subject area, as you can readily conclude from the list of course titles.
On the whole it was a roaring success, although a few details need to be tweaked, as is inevitable the first time one runs an experimental program. My next two posts will discuss the two courses I taught: Egyptian Hieroglyphics the first week and Create Your Own Country the second week. At some other point I’ll discuss the reactions of some non-Weston teachers.