All students enrolled in the Governor’s School take three courses each day of the program: Argumentation, Global Studies, and a Less Commonly Taught Language (either Arabic, Chinese, or Portuguese). While each course offers its own goals and learning objectives, instructors make every effort to integrate the content across the three courses.
In this class, students develop the skills to identify and analyze arguments in texts, position these arguments within scholarly debates, and articulate their own stance. Students read texts (articles from magazines and journals, web sources, and book chapters), determine a source’s credibility, analyze authors’ arguments, and debate the issues with peers. At the end of each week they work on their Governor’s School portfolio in class and produce, by the end of the course, a 4-piece portfolio demonstrating what they learned from each theme and where on the spectrum of debate their own views fall.
Global Studies is an interdisciplinary field of study that explores multifaceted situations affecting people and the environment around the globe, and what should be done about them. This course breaks the field of Global Studies down into five principal topics: contemporary processes that connect and divide people as they interact with one another and with their environments; the factors that are most significant in shaping them; collective struggles that are taking place around their workings; debates among scholars, journalists, and activists regarding these processes and struggles; and the differences between “global” and “international” perspectives on these issues. Students approach these topics through the study of four themes, that are in themselves interconnected: Commodities and Contemporary Capitalism; Environment; Global Health; and Migration. Throughout the course, students are encouraged to think and act globally, and to develop leadership and cooperative skills that will enhance their ability to work with others both now and in the future.
This course is designed for students with no prior knowledge of the language. Students learn how to speak and read basic vocabulary and structures in order to communicate in common, daily-life interactions. They learn to identify sounds, tones, and vocabulary; read and write simple sentences; and carry out some simple conversations on relevant topics studied. Topics vary, but may include greetings, family, colors, numbers, food, drink, hobbies and interests, school, shopping, sports, clothing, holidays, and music. Students also learn to understand and appreciate the culture(s) associated with their language of study. At the closing ceremony on the last day of the program, students perform a song and dance in their language of study.