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CT C.H.E.E.R. Message Board

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Exciting Modern European History Course for Middle and Highschool Age Students!

What it is:

An enriching and unique history seminar this fall for students ages 11 - 18 offered through the Westfield Annex, our school’s forum for the deeper academic and intellectual exploration of big ideas! Class will meet Thursday after school (4:25 - 5:55pm) at the Quaker Meeting House (S. Quaker Ln, West Hartford), although students can also attend virtually via skype or google hangouts.

(We are currently working on also offering this class one night a week in Southern CT. Check back in soon for the details.)


What we’ll cover:

The geopolitical and intellectual history of Europe in the 20th century, which means we’ll cover everything from the big events--wars, trade agreements, depressions and diplomacy--to the ideas of important thinkers including names like Albert Einstein, Hannah Arendt, Bertrand Russell, Frantz Fanon, and many more.


How we’ll do it:

This is not your typical history course. We will expand our historical knowledge of Europe by asking hard questions and looking for answers together. We will dive deeper into topics of interest to students, making history real by bringing in ideas and experiences from our lives, and letting the discussion bring us to new places. The intellectual openness and community within Annex classrooms allow each and every student to engage far more deeply and personally with material than they would in traditional classrooms: discovering passions for topics they might have thought boring, or new ways of approaching areas of longstanding interest. This also explains the age range--mature younger students enrich our discussion by bringing different perspectives than their older counterparts. No matter their background, if a student comes willing to join the discussion, they will learn something new, in a unique way. I always do.

If there are readings, they will be extremely short (although I am happy to work with students who want to explore more deeply). Along the way, students will also develop stronger analytical and critical skills--extremely useful in Debate, MUN, college admissions/academics and beyond--as we work to make sense of what happened, and why.


To learn more and sign up:

Check out the Annex website (http://www.westfieldacademy.net/annex-classes), or contact the instructor, Connor Henderson (connorhenderson@gmail.com, 860-995-3401). To preserve the unique classroom community, I only accept a small number of students, so act soon!


A little about me:

Connor Henderson runs the Career Beginnings Office in Hartford Public High School for a local non-profit, where he works to improve college going outcomes for students from one of Hartford’s most underserved communities. Connor is a former CT homeschooler with a professional interest in education policy and the complex relationship between education and society. He graduated with high honors from the Georgetown School of Foreign Service, where he majored in Culture and Politics and was a member of the Parliamentary Debate Team. He has an academic background (and personal interest) in International Relations, Economics, Philosophy and History. In the last 5 years, he has taught more than ten writing, philosophy, economics and history classes through the Westfield Annex and the Great Books Program. He also runs a tutoring and college advising business, which focuses on writing skills, the humanities and college and scholarship essays and applications.