What is a Class Like?
Inspired Writing and Literature classes are highly interactive and provide a stimulating academic environment in which students and teacher see one another's faces and hear each other's voices. Both literature and writing courses incorporate spoken dialogue as well as instructor-led, chat-room dialogue. Chat-room dialogue has the advantage of making it easier for more hesitant students to participate and providing all students the time to think their responses through more carefully before responding. We meet all together in online classrooms, but frequently break off into smaller private online rooms for small group activities.
Early courses build a knowledge base as well as the reading, thinking, and analytical skills necessary for students to engage in the more in-depth rhetoric-level discussions and exploration of ideas so pivotal to teens in solidifying their convictions. Later courses center around lively discourse, respectful debate, and collaborative problem-solving. They call on students to actively process the ideas and information they encounter, both during instruction and during the week in their studies and private learning communities.
As part of our upper-level writing and literature, instruction and group discussion focus on students developing the following abilities:
- To think critically in a search for truth.
- To recognize differing worldviews and inherent biases in what they read.
- To explore multiple sides of an issue and analyze each one in depth.
- To synthesize ideas and information to reach sound, biblical conclusions.
- To express and defend those conclusions, both orally in discussion and in writing.
- To engage in, from the perspective of a Christian worldview, "the Great Conversation" —a discussion of the truths and falsehoods in Western civilization's leading ideas and philosophies—as students encounter them in their reading.
- To evaluate source documents and other information sources for reliability and credibility.
- To employ both literary and rhetorical analysis as they explore both fiction and nonfiction works.
- To collaborate with others to accomplish goals and develop ideas.