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Current Events

This course satisfies a high school level current events credit. It meets once a week throughout the school year and serves as a meaningful supplement to American Government, History, or Informal Logic (The Art of Argument) but with a moderate workload. The course will focus on reading and understanding major news events from the present and recent past. Along with considering political and global events, we will also look at news in science, art, technology, and even sports. As a Great Hall course, the content will be taught from a Christian worldview but also under the assumption that each student will bring their own tradition and culture with them to the conversation. Focusing on ways to interpret and discuss the news, we will learn how bias is present within news sources as well as within ourselves. This will not be a debate class, but instead a class where we cover important events occurring in our world, how to discuss them respectfully, and how we are to respond to these events as followers of Jesus.

Required Materials:
Books and supplies are not included in the purchase of the course.

  • No books are required, but access to the internet (with parent approved site) will be expected
  •  All extra reading material will be provided by the teacher 

Chris Marchand (pronounced mar-shan) is a music pastor and priest within the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), serving in Peoria, Illinois. He holds a Master of Theological Studies and a Master of Arts in Music Ministry from Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary, and was trained as a hospital chaplain in a residency program at Saint Francis Hospital. A former headmaster and teacher at Aletheia Classical Christian School, he has taught humanities, history, science, and government courses. He is married to Elisa and they have four children. The author of Celebrating the 12 Days of Christmas: a guide for churches and families, he also produces podcasts, composes music, and loves to discuss anything related the arts and his favorite sport tennis. cmarch34@gmail.com

Quarter 1

** Introduction to the News**

  1. News categories: politics and world events, science, health, sports, arts and entertainment, technology, and business.
  2. Forms of news media: articles (print and digital), television, radio/podcasts, documentaries, social media.
  3. Forms of news articles: general reporting, editorials, interviews, long form investigations.
  4. Assignments: weekly assignments and end of quarter reflection paper.

Quarter 2

Understanding New Sources and Bias

  1. Taking a look at different news sources and where they tend to fall on the political spectrum.
  2. Recognizing where bias exists in a news source, how to be aware of it and still learn from it, as well as addressing “Fake News.”
  3. Assignments: weekly assignments and end of quarter reflection paper.

Quarter 3

Investigative Journalism

  1. Along with regular current events, a few long term investigative journalism stories will be explored showing how the news goes beyond straightforward factual articles
  2. Further discussions and articles about how bias plays into how the news is reported.
  3. Assignments: weekly assignments and end of quarter reflection paper.

Quarter 4

Putting it into Practice

  1. The concepts learned during the first part of the year will be applied to the current events we continue to discuss.
  2. Assignments: weekly assignments and end of year research and reflection paper.

Red checkmarkComputer: You will need a stable, reliable computer, running with a processor with a speed of 1 GHz or better on one of the following operating systems: Mac OS X with Mac OS 10.7 or later; Windows 8, 7, Vista (with SP1 or later), or XP (with SP3 or later). We do not recommend using an iPad or other tablet for joining classes. An inexpensive laptop or netbook would be much better solutions, as they enable you to plug an Ethernet cable directly into your computer. Please note that Chromebooks are allowed but not preferred, as they do not support certain features of the Zoom video conference software such as breakout sessions and annotation, which may be used by our teachers for class activities.

Red checkmarkHigh-Speed Internet Connection: You will also need access to high-speed Internet, preferably accessible via Ethernet cable right into your computer. Using Wi-Fi may work, but will not guarantee you the optimal use of your bandwidth. The faster your Internet, the better. We recommend using a connection with a download/upload speed of 5/1 Mbps or better. You can test your Internet connection here.

Red checkmarkWebcam: You may use an external webcam or one that is built in to the computer. Webcam Recommendations: Good (PC only) | Best (Mac and PC)

Red checkmarkHeadset: We recommend using a headset rather than a built-in microphone and speakers. Using a headset reduces the level of background noise heard by the entire class. Headset Recommendations: USB | 3.5mm

Red checkmarkZoom: We use a web conferencing software called Zoom for our classes, which enables students and teachers to gather from around the globe face to face in real time. Zoom is free to download and easy to use. unnamed-e1455142229376 To download Zoom:

  1. Visit zoom.us/download.
  2. Click to download the first option listed, Zoom Client for Meetings.
  3. Open and run the installer on your computer.
  4. In August, students will be provided with instructions and a link for joining their particular class.

Red checkmarkScanner: In this class, students frequently submit homework assignments by scanning pages from their workbooks. Students and/or their parents should have easy access to a scanner and the ability to use it.

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First, read the available course descriptions, noting prerequisites, target grades, and course objectives. If you think your student is prepared for the course, go ahead and register. After registration, a placement assessment may be provided to students, depending on the course and the student’s previous enrollment with Scholé Academy. Registration is finalized when the student’s placement assessment has been returned by the course instructor with placement confirmation.

 

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