English department removes two classes
While there is still another semester for the 2018-2019 school year, Manhattan High’s English department is already looking forward to the next year, when many changes will be taking place.
Planned department changes include changing ninth and 10th grade English class titles from advanced to accelerated, removing the Advanced American Literature and Composition and the Advanced Humanities and Composition courses and focussing more on teaching through the “growth mindset.”
Teachers in the department read “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success” by Stanford University professor Carol Dweck, which focused on the idea of developing a growth mindset as opposed to a fixed mindset. English Language Arts department chair MaryKris Roberson hopes that upcoming department changes will encourage this growth mindset in students.
“We believe that so much of what students can do is based more on their willingness to try, their desire, their effort they put into it,” Roberson said, “and so we started talking about what are we doing that’s promoting a fixed mindset, rather than a growth growth mindset to help all…students feel like they can continue to learn and grow and to achieve at high levels.”
According to Roberson, the removal of the two advanced junior english classes was done in part to encourage high-achieving students to take the AP course that is available. The department additionally hopes that it will lead to a greater mix of students in the typical English courses.
While these departmental changes are extensive, teachers are hopeful that they will be beneficial to students and instructors alike.
“We just want it to be the best experience for…all of our students regardless of which path they choose,” Roberson said. “So we’ll evaluate after we’ve done it for a year or so and see if it’s working, and then if we have to rethink it , we’ll have to rethink it.”