Upper-School Western History: Enlightenment to Industrial Revolution
Term: Yearlong 2020–21, September 8–May 28
Target Grade Levels: Grades 9–10; 11th–12th graders welcome (see placement details below)
Schedule: 2x / week, 60–75 min.
Course Sections (choose one)
Section 1: W/F 11:00 a.m. ET with Phaedra Shaltanis
History/Literature Discount: Save $195 when you enroll in this course and the corresponding literature course! The discount will be applied automatically to your shopping cart when you add both courses.
Ongoing Enrollment and Placement
- if the student falls outside of the stated age/grade range for the class.
- if the student needs to demonstrate a certain level of skill and proficiency for the course.
- if the student has completed prerequisite requirements somewhere other than Scholé Academy (e.g., at home or with another school). In this case, our instructors will need to verify that the student has adequately fulfilled the prerequisite requirements.
- if a placement assessment has been recommended by a Scholé Academy instructor.
- If a placement evaluation has not been administered, withdrawals requested before May 1 are granted a full refund, including the full $75 deposit.
- If a placement evaluation has been administered, withdrawals requested before May 1 are granted part of their $75 refund: $35 will be paid to the instructor for the placement evaluation, and the remaining $40 of the original deposit will be refunded.
This course will trace the transformation of culture beginning with early Enlightenment and ending with the late Industrial Age. It will investigate the relationships between ideas, institutions and practices; consider the roles of science and reason in promoting the Age of Enlightenment; analyze components of the American and French Revolutions; follow burgeoning thought throughout the Western world; recognize the influence of the Enlightenment on the industrial Age; and examine the interplay between philosophical, political, religious, scientific, intellectual, technological, and social ideas vital to the advancement of these eras. The primary sources studied will present themes and ideas that require active reading and discussing, in which the class will partake together.
Using tracts, essays, books, and treatises, the teacher will guide the class in contemplating questions of purpose and perspective. Studying influential writings will further students’ ability to make connections and follow the progression of ideas throughout a changing culture. Students will derive satisfaction from the deep commitment of hard work and serious inquiry, leading to enhanced capacity for responsible citizenship. Students will be expected to create outlines, write essays, expound on thesis statements, and debate informally with their peers. Additionally, participants will practice rhetorical skills through presentations and essays.
Throughout the year, students will:
- engage actively with others through discussion and debate, practice respectful listening and thoughtful speaking, and construct logical arguments as they synthesize ideas
- grow in critical reading skills and learn to analyze primary documents by asking questions and comparing sources
- progress in writing ability, particularly in the realm of persuasive essays, succinct response papers and expository summaries
- broaden their breadth of knowledge and understanding in regards to people and events of the Enlightenment and Industrial Age
- recognize the attributes and behaviors of human nature recurrent throughout history
While this course primarily features historical study, it also integrates some study of literature from the Enlightenment and Industrial Revolution eras, helping students to see and enjoy the integration of both history and literature. This class is paired with our upper-school British Literature course, taught by the same instructor, and scheduled back-to-back with that course in a “block.” Students who take both courses receive a discount. This course may also be taken as a standalone history study.
Placement: Please read about our new process above.
The target grades for this course are 9th–10th grade. Students must have successfully completed an 8th-grade-level writing course; they will be expected to have competency in vocabulary, annotation, essay-writing (various forms of written discourse) and know how to write a summary and reflect on a text (though the instructor will work to develop and extend these skills throughout the course). Students are expected to have strong reading and writing skills as well as the interest and capacity for engaging in discussion about literature and history. Students well suited for this course will continue refining the following scholarship skills as they approach mastery:
- Generally understand the historical events leading to the Reformation
- Actively and independently engage in note-taking
- Apply teacher critiques
- Adhere to deadlines
- Be responsible for class and project preparedness
- Take initiative to ask questions for understanding and comprehension
High School Credit: This course is the equivalent of one high school credit in history.
Course Syllabus: View course syllabus here.
How much time will students spend on homework?
This varies by student according to his or her pace. However, the average reader can expect to spend approximately 1.5–2 hours per week reading course materials, and approximately half an hour to an hour working on the questions. Students will be asked to write persuasively and analytically using text and conversations to form their thesis. Students should anticipate involvement in class discussion, quite often in the framework of informal debate.
How is faith integrated with these courses?
These seminar-style discussions unfold organically. One could approach the texts with a focus on defensive critiques of classical authors. By contrast, we seek to read charitably. We treat classic authors as if they were friends, gleaning every available truth while also examining them from a robustly Christian perspective.
At Scholé Academy, we have carefully considered how we should engage our contemporary culture as those who believe that Christ is the Truth (John 14:6), and that all truth has its source in him. We think it is important to provide our upper school students (in grades 7-12) with tools and opportunities for critically examining various cultural trends, issues and mores through the lens of orthodox, Christian beliefs. Being confident in the truth revealed to us in creation, the Scriptures, and the tradition of the church, we are not afraid to follow the truth and its implications nor to address error and falsehood. … Read more about our Faith & Culture.
Required Reading List:*
- The English and Their History, Tombs**
- Magna Carta
- Animal Farm, Orwell
- The Communist Manifesto, Marx & Engles
- A Tale of Two Cities, Dickens
- On Liberty, Mill
- Second Treatise on Government, Locke
- A Modest Proposal, Swift
- The Wealth of Nations (Excerpts), Smith**
- Self-Reliance, Emerson
- Democracy in America (Excerpts), DeTocqueville
- Experience and Education, Dewey (1938)
- Beyond Good and Evil, Nietzsche
- Meditations on First Philosophy, Descartes
Please note: Many of the readings are public domain and readily available online. Texts marked with ** need to be purchased in advanced.
*Required texts are not included in the purchase of the course.
- Notebook for annotating, dialectical exercises and class notes.
Optional Course Texts:
The following may be helpful to the ambitious student who desires to pursue a deeper understanding of concepts throughout the course:
- How to Read a Book, Adler
- The Great Ideas: A Syntopicon
- From Dawn to Decadence, Barzun
Phaedra Shaltanis is a seasoned classical educator with twenty years of experience teaching in the classical tradition. Her experience includes home-educating her four children, teaching in private schools, creating a classical curriculum for young learners, serving as a leader in various programs, and mentoring parents and teachers in classical education. Phaedra cherishes conversations built on God’s truth and strives to engage others through discourse, particularly in the areas of literature and history. She hopes to encourage her students toward a stronger ardor for language as they seek after God and treasure their membership in Christ’s kingdom. firstname.lastname@example.org
Computer: 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.
High-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.
Headset: 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
Zoom: 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. To download Zoom:
- Visit zoom.us/download.
- Click to download the first option listed, Zoom Client for Meetings.
- Open and run the installer on your computer.
- In August, students will be provided with instructions and a link for joining their particular class.
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This registration will be finalized when the student's placement assessment has been returned by the course instructor with placement confirmation.