Journeys and Explorations
|Sites Offered||SPE, WLA|
|Previously Offered||ALE, BDA, LAJ, NRS, OMS, SAN, STP, WIN|
From the CTY Course Catalog (1999):
Since the beginning of time, people have longed to travel, to seek out foreign lands, and to contact unfamiliar cultures. From the expeditions Sacajawea guided through the Pacific Northwest to Carmen San Diego’s world treks—real and imagined—have fasc inated us. In this course students follow the journeys of people as well as the evolution of objects and ideas.
First, they follow in the steps of great explorers. For example, one student may decide to sail with Marco Polo to China in search of silk and spices, and another may take the giant leap to the moon alongside Neil Armstrong off the lunar module Eagle . Then, students retrace the journeys of objects and ideas. An example of such an anthropological journey is following the evolution of the printed word. From handwritten texts transcribed by monks to the word processor, students analyze the differ ent uses, physical changes, and cultural significance of the written word. Throughout the course, the class explores the United States as a group by planning and following a cross-country trip. Along the way they stop off to learn about the people, poli tics, and history of each state. Through research that ranges from a state’s song to its industries, students gain a greater appreciation of the diversity and commonalities within the United States.
By studying famous explorations, cultural artifacts, and their own country, this course introduces students to the fields of intellectual and cultural history. Students understand better how ideas and societies have developed through exploration and inno vation, and they develop the research and reporting skills necessary to follow their own intellectual pursuits.