Students in AP Seminar doubled in number for the 2015-16 school year, with thirty students opting to take the class. Although AP Seminar is currently an elective credit, students are beginning to understand the transformative power it has on their learning. With twenty skills to master by the end of each year, students take time to reflect through a growth portfolio.
Students share highlights of their growth and development through AP Seminar.
Hannah Mallard (Grade 11)
As I have grown in my ability to cull and analyze various sources, I have similarly grown in my ability to evaluate the multiple perspectives of the evidence. At the start of the year I felt confident in being able to analyze and evaluate individual perspectives, but struggled with making deep connections or articulating and finding reasons for disparities between different perspectives. Throughout the course of the year, I realized the value of really understanding each perspective not only to understand their arguments but also to better compare and contrast them with other perspectives. I found this approach extremely helpful and use it now to evaluate multiple perspectives.
Jessica Yoon (Grade 11)
I have always been an extremely, perhaps excessively, curious person. Yet while I have always been intrigued by things, I have not always been as skilled at articulating what I wanted to learn more about in the form of a question. One of my favorite quotes is that “Articulating your ignorance in a form of a question is 90% of the learning process,” and AP Seminar has helped me grow in this area. I now feel much more comfortable determining what it is I want to know.
Jocelyn Meyer (Grade 11)
Something that distinguished AP Seminar from all of the other classes I have taken was the chance it gave me to independently explore the background and context in which a certain issue took place. In AP Seminar, the whole process, from finding a topic to narrowing down the scope of the issue to one that is more complex, was all done independently. This gave me the chance to take a subject as general as feminism, explore its many implications on society and to narrow it down to a subject as specific as the extent to which female subordination could be changed in the Japanese workforce. This process of brainstorming a research question put me in a position where I thoroughly understood the context and background in which my topic was established. Not only has this helped me to clearly understand the context of my topics and the implications of my issue within those settings, but it has also helped me when constructing an argument given limited sources under timed conditions, as in the synthesis essay.
Rashi Sethi (Grade 11)
Keito Ido (Grade 12)
One area that I have grown particularly in is my ability to read, understand and analyze complex issues in different contexts, to formulate complex research questions and to justify my inquiry-based approach to complex issues. During the first few weeks of this course, I did have minor difficulties in understanding and analyzing context because I did not understand the core aspects of the skill—understanding the audience, considering all stakeholders and specifying the area of research. After harnessing this skill with a few analysis assignments in the first semester, I became very comfortable with understanding and analyzing context and also became prepared for our independent research assignment in the second semester.