Seven Hills teachers believe that diversity, inclusion, empathy, and global citizenship are inextricably tied to meaningful learning experiences. Our teachers work intentionally to infuse learning methods with these living concepts that affect real people and situations across the globe. The lessons are not only intentional and thoughtful, they are often interdisciplinary and thematic.
Take a look at a few of the units that engage students in exploring issues of equity and social justice.
At Seven Hills, the science of teaching students to value inclusion and acceptance is a fluid, intuitive, and intentional art. Teachers often work together to present learning opportunities that not only teach facts; they provide background that allows our youngest students to have a multilayered and personal understanding of the importance of equity. For example, while our Lower School social studies teachers are guiding students through the history of slavery in the United States south, their music teacher may teach the same group of students code songs used in the Underground Railroad, and our math teacher may incorporate in a lesson the geometric shapes found in slave quilts. As another example, in science class, Lower School students who are learning about the effects of the environment on our waterways will also travel to Sudan via the book, A Long Walk to Water, in order to better understand the widespread struggle to obtain clean water in most parts of the world.
Our eighth-graders study social justice in a number of ways, including in an extensive unit around human rights and responsible authority. The in-depth study incorporates a number of activities and discussions that challenge students to find their personal positions by exploring the concepts of human rights in a variety of socio-cultures. Many of our Middle School students also attend the annual Bystander to Upstander: Youth Leadership Summit, which is hosted by the Center for Holocaust and Humanity Education. The event is an all-day program that encourages students to stand up to anti-Semitism, bigotry, racism, and bullying.
The study of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) is pervasive throughout Seven Hills’ multilayered curriculum. An exciting point about STEM at Seven Hills, however, is it’s not limited to our growing number of designated makerspaces, science labs, and math classrooms. In English 12, our Upper School students are incorporating design thinking into the way they explore social issues on campus, including gender equity, race relations, and mental health. So our students are learning to apply the design thinking process—empathize, define, ideate, prototype, and test—to all aspects of their social lives, not just STEM. Which is exactly what design thinking is all about.