Malone Scholars Online Network Courses

MSON courses provide Winchester Thurston students with the opportunity to take special topic courses offered by select private schools around the country. Courses use a blended approach, combining synchronous, real-time video conferencing seminars delivered in high-definition classroom set-ups, with asynchronous instruction such as recorded lectures and exercises students complete outside of the class. Courses are taught by faculty from the Malone Scholars Schools and the Stanford Online High School. Each course has a minimum of six and a maximum of 16 students, allowing for a highly interactive, virtual discussion seminar setting. Courses meet twice each week for an hour and are either one semester (September through December or January to mid-May) or year-long.

Requirements

  • Attendance in class is required: Students may not miss more than five class periods in a semester. However, students can login to their class from home if they have the required technology.
  • Students who enroll in an MSON class that overlaps with the time of a WT class must receive permission from their WT instructors to leave his/her class early or come to class late.
  • Students are responsible for carefully reading the course syllabus and policies for attendance, assignment requirements, due dates, and grading policies.
  • All enrollments for MSON courses will require approval from the Director of Upper School and the Director of eLearning.
  • MSON courses cannot be used to meet departmental core requirements.
  • Courses and grades earned are listed on Winchester Thurston transcripts.

2017 - 2018 Course Offerings

Year-Long Courses

  • Arabic I
  • Arabic II

Fall Courses

  • Building Utopia
  • Creative Writing in the Digital Age
  • Diversity in a Global Comparative Perspective
  • Etymology of Scientific Terms
  • Introduction to Organic Chemistry
  • Medical Bioethics

Spring Courses

  • Advanced Math Topics: Advanced Applied Math through Finance
  • Advanced Topics in Chemistry
  • American Voice, American Speech: Word as Action from Anne Bradstreet to Donald Trump
  • Comparative Ecosystems
  • Creative Non-Fiction Writing Workshop
  • Environmental Bioethics
  • Man’s Inhumanity to Man: Genocide and Human Rights in the 20th Century
  • Positive Psychology

World Languages

ARABIC I (first part of a two-year sequence) (full year)

No Prerequisite
Target Grade Level: 9-12 (juniors receive priority)

This course is an introduction to Modern Standard Arabic, the language of formal speech and most printed materials in the Arab-speaking world. Students will learn to read and write the Arabic alphabet and will develop beginning proficiency in the language. Through frequent oral and written drills, students will develop their basic communication skills.

Section 1: TEACHER: Farha Mohamed, Hopkins School, New Haven, CT
Time: Monday / Thursday 12:10 –1:10 p.m. EST

Section 2: TEACHER: Kaveh Niazi, Stanford Online High School, Stanford, CA
Time: Monday / Thursday 5:45 –6:45 p.m. EST

ARABIC II (second part of a two-year sequence) (full year)

TEACHER: Farha Mohamed, Hopkins School, New Haven CT

Prerequisite: Arabic I
Target Grade Level: 10 - 12

This course is a continuation of the introduction to Modern Standard Arabic, the language of formal speech and most printed materials in the Arab-speaking world. Students will learn to read and write the Arabic alphabet and will develop beginning proficiency in the language. Through frequent oral and written drills, students will develop their basic communication skills.

Time: Tuesday / Friday 12:10 – 1:10 p.m. EST.

Humanities and Social Sciences

AMERICAN VOICE, AMERICAN SPEECH: WORD AS ACTION FROM ANNE BRADSTREET TO DONALD TRUMP (spring semester)

TEACHER: Sharon Louise Howell, Indian Springs School, Indian Springs, AL

Prerequisite: US History (prior or concurrent)
Target Grade Level: 11-12

In this course, students will listen across history to the American voice—from Bradstreet and John Winthrop, through Franklin, Thoreau, Whitman, Dickinson, Jacobs, Douglass, Twain, Cole Porter, James Baldwin, and Gertrude Stein, to MLK, Dylan, Steinem, and Obama. We will listen to music, look at art and film, and consider the more tangled “voice” of advertising, television, and political theater. Even as it has proliferated and transformed, the American voice has maintained an urgent ambivalence about what it means to speak the truth, who should speak it, and to what end. Some of our guiding questions will be: What does it mean to speak as an American--to have an “American” voice? Does it have a distinctive character? Does it want to cause trouble, or solve problems, or both? Does it need to interact with history? We will look at the ongoing, central tension in much of American speech between the individual and the democratic collective, and also consider the related tension between reflection and action as conditions of possibility. We will also investigate what forms of speech are surrounding our students and how we might replicate them in order to understand them. Among other writing assignments, students will maintain an ongoing analytical blog and submit a final paper on a topic of the student’s choosing in consultation with the teacher.

Time: Monday / Wednesday, 3:35-4:35 p.m. EST

BUILDING UTOPIA (fall semester)

TEACHER: Mary Ellen Carsley, Severn School, Severna Park, MD

Prerequisite: None; background in Ancient and European History recommended.
Target Grade Level: 9-12

Utopia, “a good place,” as defined by the Greeks, is a term coined by Sir Thomas More referring to a fictional ideal island society. The act of intentionally shaping one’s environment to be “a good place” modeled after sustainability, economy, and delight is a uniquely human endeavor. This semester long study examines the course of Western Architecture from the Ancient Egyptians to the 21st century through the lens of the primary philosophic ideas that have been the drivers of aesthetic vision of Western civilization architecture through the ages. The course will offer an introduction to design principles, the visual language of architecture, and design analysis. The necessities, desires, and spiritual beliefs which go into the shaping of a culture’s aesthetic vision of their ideal built environment will be examined in a series of seven units of the course of the semester:

  1. Forming the Human Universe: Mark Making and the Necessity of Shelter
  2. Creativity and Humankind: Beauty Defined and the Building of Civilizations
  3. Immortality and the Gods: Building for the Greater Glory
  4. Getting Perspective: Perfect Geometry in Design and Building in the Humanist and Rational World
  5. Power and Production: Society and the Machine
  6. Modern Utopia and the Architect’s Vision: Shaping an Individual World
  7. Back to the Future: Palimpsest and Irony

Time: Monday / Wednesday, 3:35-4:35 p.m. EST

CREATIVE NON-FICTION WRITING WORKSHOP: IF ONLY YOU COULD SEE THIS PLACE (spring semester)

TEACHER: Susan Conley, Waynflete School, Portland, ME

No Prerequisite
Target Grade Level: 11-12

How do we write great non-fiction (and this includes all flavors of essays—college essays, literary journalism, memoir, and more), so that our stories have an injection of narrative tension that invites the reader to sit down inside our stories and stay a while? This workshop will help you become a better writer so that your stories contain an electrical charge that starts at the sentence level and travels through the entire piece. This tension, or electrical charge, is the engine that great non-fiction runs on. Students will search the places in one’s life that have mattered most, and using a series of fun writing prompts, generate new writing, using place as a portal to help land on the life stories that students’ most want to tell. Later, the class will move into workshops of each student’s work. Each session will also look at other specific craft aspects: primarily beginnings, endings, and the weaving of multiple story lines in one essay.

Time: Tuesday / Friday 2:30–3:30 p.m. EST

CREATIVE WRITING IN THE DIGITAL AGE (fall semester)

TEACHER: Julia Maxey, Severn School, Severn Park, MD

No Prerequisite
Target Grade Level: 11-12

Storytelling is as important today as it was hundreds of years ago. What has changed, in many cases, is the media through which writers tell their stories. Today’s literary artists take advantage of digital tools to spread their messages and tell their stories in new ways that combine narrative and contemporary form. Students will begin with the traditional forms of poetry, short prose, and literary non-fiction and then go beyond those forms to explore how contemporary tools can enhance expression. We will study master writers in each of the traditional forms and be inspired by their examples. Then, we will look at how communication in the 21st century has provided us with even more ways to share our thoughts and to be creative. Possible explorations include hyperlinked narratives, social media as inspiration and tool, animated text, audio, videos, and all manner of nonlinear narrative. The class will ask an essential question: What happens when communication becomes wider and has an instant audience? The class routine, based around writing, reading, and discussion, will include weekly critiques of student work and required writing, including in some non-traditional, contemporary formats.

Time: Tuesday / Friday 2:30–3:30 p.m. EST

DIVERSITY IN A GLOBAL COMPARATIVE PERSPECTIVE (fall semester)

TEACHER: John Aden, Canterbury School, Ft. Wayne, IN

No Prerequisite
Target Grade Level: 11-12

This course examines the ways our Human Family has sought to create, marshal, contest, and maintain identities through Culture and relations of power. These identities can be appreciated through “lenses of analysis.” The course critically engages the traditional “Big Three” lenses of analysis: Race, Class, and Gender, understanding that Culture serves as an important backdrop against which these identities emerge. Once students appreciate the important ways the Social Sciences have engaged with, written about, and debated these three core modes of analysis, the course expands to incorporate other, equally rich, lenses: age, ableism, intellectual diversity, geographic diversity, cognitive and neurological diversity, and the business case for Diversity, as well as how to study synergistically intertwined phenomena. Film and Critical Film Studies, as well as the role Colonialism has played in the major conflicts of the last 500 years, each serve to enrich student understandings of Diversity.

Time: Tuesday / Thursday 3:35 – 4:35 p.m. EST

ENVIRONMENTAL BIOETHICS (spring semester)

TEACHER: Ellen Johnson, Wilmington Friends School, Wilmington, DE
Target Grade Level: 11-12

No Prerequisite

This course will focus on such cases as environmental sustainability, global energy and food resources, gathered from sources in literature, journalism, and film. The academic study of ethics examines how we make the decisions. Curricula will build on a foundation of theoretical moral theories, more specifically, how one makes decisions when faced with complex, often controversial, issues. No prior knowledge of philosophy is assumed, however, authentic assessment of students’ initial facility with logical analysis will ensure that all students are challenged to grow and deepen their theoretical and practical understandings of the subject.

Time: Tuesday / Friday, 3:35 – 4:35 p.m. EST

ETYMOLOGY OF SCIENTIFIC TERMS (fall semester)

TEACHER: David Seward, Winchester Thurston School, Pittsburgh PA

No Prerequisite
Target Grade Level: 11-12

The purpose of the course is, to quote the textbook, "By teaching … the root elements of medical terminology – the prefixes, suffixes, and combining forms of Greek and Latin … not only to teach students modern medical terminology, but to give them the ability to decipher the evolving language of medicine throughout their careers." This is in many ways a language course, and deals with the elements that are used to create terms to meet the specific needs of medical scientists. As material is introduced, students will complete practice exercises during each class meeting, as well as complete approximately one quiz per week. Outside of class, students are expected to analyze and define fifty terms each week. Additional material deals with especially complex etymologies, the history of our understanding of certain aspects of medical science, and relevant material from Greek and Latin texts.

Time: Tuesday / Friday 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. EST

MAN’S INHUMANITY TO MAN: GENOCIDE AND HUMAN RIGHTS IN THE 20TH CENTURY (spring semester)

TEACHER: George Dalbo, Mounds Park Academy, St. Paul, MN

No Prerequisite
Target Grade Level: 11-12

The story of genocide in the 20th century stands in stark contrast to the social progress and technological advancements made over the last 100 years. As brutal culmination of nationalist and racist attitudes and policies, as well as a poignant reminder of both the cruelty and resilience of human beings, these genocides punctuate modern history with harsh reality. This course explores the many facets of genocide through the lenses of history, literature, art, sociology, and law. We will turn our attention to understanding the framing of genocide as a legal concept. Using the holocaust as our foundation, we will examine examples of additional genocides from the 20th century. Ultimately, we will train our attention to the enduring legacy of genocides around the world, especially as we consider attempts to recognize, reconcile, and memorialize genocide from the individual to the collective. Students will read and analyze primary source material, secondary historical accounts, genocide testimony and memoirs, in addition to examining individual fictional and artistic responses and the collective memories and memorials of whole societies.

Time: Wednesday / Friday 4:40 – 5:40 p.m. EST

MEDICAL BIOETHICS (fall semester)

TEACHER: Ellen Johnson, Wilmington Friends School, Wilmington, DE

No Prerequisite
Target Grade Level: 11 - 12

The academic study of ethics examines how we make the decisions. This course will focus on such cases as medical practice, medical research and development, and health care policy, examined through a wide array of case studies, gathered from sources in literature, journalism, and film. Curricula will build on a foundation of theoretical moral theories, more specifically, how we make decisions when faced with complex, often controversial, issues. No prior knowledge of philosophy is assumed, however, authentic assessment of students’ initial facility with logical analysis will ensure that all students are challenged to grow and deepen their theoretical and practical understandings of the subject.

Time: Tuesday / Friday, 3:35 – 4:35 p.m. EST

POSITIVE PSYCHOLOGY (spring semester)

TEACHER: Blake Keogh, Waynflete School, Portland, ME

No Prerequisite
Target Grade Level: 10-12

This course begins by providing a historical context of positive psychology within broader psychological research, and helps explain why the field is of particular importance to those in a high school or college setting. Students will be introduced to the primary components and related functions of the brain in order to understand the biological foundation of our emotional experiences. Current research will be used to develop a broader sense of what positive psychology is and is not, and how it can be applied in students’ own lives. Additionally, students will gain an understanding of basic research methods and their application to the science of psychology. This course will require substantial reading (sometimes on par with 100 level college courses) and writing. Students will be asked to reflect regularly on their individual experiences in order to integrate course material into their daily lives. One of the key learning outcomes is to have each participant identify his or her own strengths while simultaneously recognizing and respecting the attributes others bring to the course.

This course has a split time schedule: Monday 4:40-5:40 p.m. / Thursday 3:35-4:35 p.m. EST

STEM

ADVANCED TOPICS IN CHEMISTRY (spring semester)

TEACHER: David Walker, Maret School, Washington, D.C.

Prerequisite: Chemistry

This semester course explores real-world applications to chemistry that are often skimmed over or omitted in most chemistry courses. Possible topics include nuclear, medical, atmospheric, industrial, food, water, and consumer product chemistry. Learn how a nuclear power plant works, how fuels are chemically altered for vehicles, what chemicals are added to drinking water and why they are added, how ores are processed into useful products, and why a country’s standard of living can be determined by its production of chlorine or other important chemicals. Students will explore the periodic table for daily applications and technologies, from cell phones to photovoltaic cells to medical treatments. This course will be heavy in applications and theory, leaving out much of the problem-solving found in other courses.

Materials required: Personal device/laptop

Time: Monday / Thursday, 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. EST

ADVANCED MATH TOPICS: ADVANCED APPLIED MATH THROUGH FINANCE (spring semester)

Prerequisite: Algebra II
Target Grade Level: 11-12

TEACHER: Julien H. Meyer III, Severn School, Severna, MD

Time: Monday / Wednesday, 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. EST

This one-semester course will provide students a mathematical and conceptual framework with which to make important personal financial decisions using algebraic tools. Specifically, the class will investigate i) the time value of money (i.e., interest rates, compounding, saving and borrowing) using exponential functions; and ii) the characteristics and risk/reward tradeoff of different financial instruments/investments, such as stocks, bonds and mutual funds, using algebra, probability and statistics. Other financial algebra topics selected with student input may include financial accounting, depreciation methods and foreign currency exchange. The course will stress use of the TI-83/84 calculator, Excel spreadsheets, and iPad apps. Students should be comfortable with exponential growth models and, preferably, the concept of the number e for continuous compounding. They should be willing to exhibit an interest in mathematical reasoning and display a hefty dose of curiosity about the language and problem solving nature of personal finance.

Time: Monday / Wednesday, 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. EST

COMPARATIVE ECOSYSTEMS (spring semester)

TEACHER: Marks S. McWhorter, St. Andrews Episcopal School, Ridgeland, MS

Prerequisite: High School Biology
Target Grade Level: 11-12

Time: Tuesday / Thursday, 4:40-5:40 p.m. EST

Comparative Ecosystems will provide an opportunity for students to study and understand large-scale interactions between biological communities and their physical environments on a global scale. Students will study geological processes, soils, and nutrient availability, analyze how these characteristics shape environments, and examine nutrient cycling, weather and climate, water cycles, and organismal interactions among these systems. Students will engage in interactive lab-based projects examining ecosystems within their own environments, and compare these results with their peers, as well as data from ecosystems around the globe. This style of analysis creates an opportunity for students to compare and contrast data and understand how statistics and collection methods are used to appropriately study communities and ecosystem processes. Students will also collect data on the environment in which they live. By studying material in an immersive setting, this approach provides an opportunity for students to see how ecological interactions occur and appreciate how climate systems connect these habitats on a global scale.

Materials required: Lab kit

Time: Tuesday / Thursday, 4:40-5:40 p.m. EST

INTRODUCTION TO ORGANIC CHEMISTRY (fall semester)

TEACHER: David Walker, Maret School, Washington, D.C.

Prerequisite: Chemistry
Target Grade Level: 11-12

This semester course will provide useful background information in organic chemistry by covering topics not typically found in high school chemistry courses. The course will give insight into the importance of the chemistry of carbon compounds to our daily lives. Topics covered will include organic nomenclature, structural formulas, stereochemistry, bonding, reaction mechanisms, chemical transformations of functional groups, and instrumental isolation and detection techniques. Applications to the life sciences (chemistry of proteins, nucleic acids, medicines, and natural products), biochemical applications to medicine, industrial applications, and environmental applications will be explored. Completion of the course should make students more confident in their chemical background when entering college biology or chemistry courses.

Time: Monday / Thursday, 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. EST

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