One of the options for Seniors at Dublin School is to engage in a year-ong Senior Project. Senior Project offers students the opportunity to engage in rigorous study centered around a question or topic that is of special interest to them. The course has both a scholarly and a creative, or applied, component and students are given college-level expectations of independence, time management, and advanced analytical and creative problem solving.
Every student writes a research paper exploring the field or fields at the intersection of their project, documents their process with regular unit plans and reflections, works both with their Senior Project teacher and on- or off-campus mentors, and (when applicable) applies for funding for special workshops, internships, lessons or materials necessary for the enhancement of their learning. Ultimately each student channels his/her knowledge, skills and passion into creating an original work that is shared with the community on Mayfair Weekend.
Senior Project Spotlight: Matthew Levin-Nussbaum
By Alexander Maxwell
In the wake of the 2016 presidential election, many analysts have tried to deconstruct the forces at play, and understand the emergence of new priorities for candidates across the aisle. One such ideological basis is that of Populism, a political platform that is meant to represent the interests of common people, especially those in the middle class. In 2016, both Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump represented different brands of populism, albeit in radically different forms.
Matthew Levin-Nussbaum has been exploring the resurgence of Populism using statistical analysis of a wide variety of data. He has examined a wide range of sources, from polling and voting data collected during the election itself to large government databases, to understand correlations between geography, economics, and politics. Matthew’s research has focused especially on understanding the similarities and differences between Populism on the left and right sides of the political spectrum in the areas of the Rust Belt and Appalachia. He is culminating his research in the form of a formal essay and will be presenting his findings to the school on Mayfair weekend.
Senior Project Spotlight: Alexander Maxwell
By Cam Harrington
During the First World War, just after the turn of the 20th century in Europe, there was a new pool of artists fleeing the war from countries that were involved. Many from Germany and Romania fled to one of the only countries that remained neutral: Switzerland. With the wave of new artists there was bound to be the a rise of a new movement; it was called Dadaism. The movement rose in Zurich, mostly because of the neutrality of Switzerland, however many of the artists were from other neighboring countries. Dadaism was a completely experimental, hyper- abstract artform that started out as performance art and later shifted to visual arts, in the form of paintings and sculptures. The art was a response to the politics and wars beyond Switzerland.
Alexander Maxwell started out the year studying Dadaism and the cultural context from which it arose. He researched famous artists, their work, and literature from the movement. Some of the famous Dada artists included Hugo Ball, Dada’s main founder, Tristan Tzara, Jean Arp, and Richard Huelsenback. These guys were all associated with the Cabaret Voltaire where Dada originated. He also studied the modern view on Dadaism from current historians to help him better understand the movement as whole. This spring, Maxwell shifted the focus of his project from research to creating his own Dada-inspired art. He aspires to follow in the footsteps of these experimental artists by creating provocative, hyper-abstract films designed to challenge non-traditional structure, using no explicit narrative and the imagery of war.
Senior Project Spotlight: Hyeong Bin Chu
By Emil Hristache
Hyeong Bin Chu is a Senior from South Korea, he is doing his senior project on teaching math to high school students. He got the idea from a past teacher whose teaching style was based off of concept videos and the flipped classroom model. The class structure is set up so that during the class each student solves problems by themselves so that they are able to work at their own pace and the teacher is available to aid. The students learn concepts for homework through the videos so that they can go back and watch it again or pause it if they need more time to understand. This allows students to fully digest the information at their own pace.
Throughout this year, he has been researching the benefits and challenges of the flipped classroom method as a student-centered technique, teaching classes using that method, and learning some different mindsets that are important to have as a teacher. He has also benefitted from conversations and mentorship from Dublin math teachers Mr. Maguire and Mr. Emerson. He started by working with the Algebra 2 students and is now working with Algebra 1. He found that this “flipped classroom” method is especially effective for people who need more time to learn or people who are learning something totally new, so it has worked well for the Freshmen. It helps him to understand what each individual's learning pace is so that he can help them on a more personal level when circulating around the classroom.For his final project, he is guiding the process for students to record their own videos and share them with their peers so that they can then become their own teachers in preparation for final exams.
Hyeong Bin’s work relates to methods that make a real difference in schools across the globe, and he hopes that this experience will provide him insights as he builds his own career in education. For people who need that extra bit of time to fully understand the information, the flipped classroom method can be extremely effective. By allowing each student to work at their own pace, take notes, and review information, this method of teaching helps students to feel more confident about their own skills and comfortable with the process of learning new math concepts.