Active Learning

The Upper School curriculum asks students to apply what they learn by participating in a variety of creative projects:

Visit Literary England

“Visit Literary England” has been a rite of passage for the sophomore class at Prep since 1996.  Each winter, students in our 10th-grade British Literature classes immerse themselves in the life, times and works of an author of their choice in the English tradition.  The culmination of the project is the fair, Visit Literary England, to which the community is invited to “meet the authors,” who are none other than the students themselves impersonating the subjects of their research.  Guests are encouraged to question the “authors” about their lives, works, philosophies, writing style, etc.  Informative and entertaining, the sophomores are rarely stumped, and students and families return year after year just for the fun of trying!

Lannan Foundation

Every year the humanities departments are fortunate to collaborate with the Lannan Foundation and expose Prep students to major academics, activists and writers whose work focuses on the pressing social issues of our day.  Juniors and Seniors regularly attend Lannan lectures and occasionally work with these scholars on campus.  Prep students understand that learning does not stop at the classroom door and are encouraged to ponder complex contemporary issues. Our very special collaboration with the Lannan foundation has been a highlight for many of our students most engaged with writing.

Integrated Earth System Sciences (IESS)

IESS is a senior science elective designed to get Prep students into the field. Emphasizing “doing science,” the elective allows students to design an individual research project, conduct library and field research, collect and analyze their own data, and produce a professional-quality Impact Assessment at the conclusion of the semester. Availing themselves of the proximity to Northern New Mexico’s fabulous wilderness areas, students are invited to participate in 4 overnight camping excursions that merge outdoor fun with serious learning: students argue climate change while sitting around the camp fire, talk philosophy whilst stargazing, and learn valuable field research skills.

Honors Seminars

Prep’s Honors English and Honors History Seminars are semester-long elective courses offered each year that allow students to delve deeply into a specific subject matter with a high level of academic rigor. Recent courses have included “The World Between Wars,” “The Modernists: Woolf, Eliot, and Joyce,” “The Rise and Fall of the Roman Republic,” and “Shadow and Act: Literary and Cultural Explorations of Invisible Man.” Students in the Honors English Seminar, “The Lost Generation: Hemingway, Faulkner, Fitzgerald,” broached a contemporary form of literary analysis in their final project by creating podcasts in which they discussed specific elements of the course and the texts they had studied. Click on the following links to hear two sets of students converse: Podcast 1  Podcast 2