The curriculum at the Cincinnati Waldorf High School is based on the knowledge that learning is not only an intellectual exercise but a process that engages a child’s empathy and initiative. High School students here develop moral, intellectual and aesthetic capacities through focused inquiry and seminar-style classes taught by specialists. Students become Renaissance thinkers with keen powers of observation, preparing them for college and beyond.
The ninth grade student arrives in High School craving analytical thought and academic rigor, yet often seeing the world as though in black and white. Therefore, the 9th grade curriculum engages the realm of abstract thinking and objectivity, exact observation and clear reflection. In Organic Chemistry, students hone skills of precise observation through experiment-based work that demonstrates the carbon cycle. In mathematics, Descriptive Geometry, students further exercise precision and accuracy through technical drawing of three-dimensional objects from various views. In History Through Drama students contrast comedy and tragedy, and analyze how an author's choices communicate their message. In Art, students delve into black and white drawing to really focus on their observational skills, attention to detail, and accuracy of light. Lastly, in classes like History of World Revolutions, students are thrust into more difficult political and moral conflicts that require objective and critical thinking.
The tenth grade student yearns to learn how things work. Our curriculum incorporates balance as students practice the power of comparison. Students develop logic to understand the underlying structures of the world and within themselves. In math, deductive proofs bring a logical framework to build something complex and rigorous while deriving truths. Students compare the role of acids and bases in bodies of water, and compare the hero's journey in Ancient Epic Poems with their own lives. 10th graders study the history of ancient Greece. These many facets of Greek culture help illustrate the contributions of ancient Greek civilization and how it shaped the world we live in today. In Art, 10th graders must use this new sense of balance and comparison in sensitive mediums such as silk and watercolor painting.
The eleventh grader, balanced on their inner fulcrum from tenth grade, is ready to explore newfound depths of the inner life. They consider their future through a growing capacity for self-reflection and a new type of thinking--one that is not anchored only in the senses. They welcome open-ended questions with no clear answer, and ask deeper “why” questions. The curriculum allows students to practice flexible thinking. Projective Geometry transcends the limits imposed by Euclidean Geometry. Dante and Parzival take students on physical and metaphysical journeys. In 11th grade, students begin to be more attuned to questions such as: Why do we know certain events, places and people in history and not others, and why has it evolved that way? In answer, history classes increase in scope, both chronologically and geographically.
The twelfth grader is ready to synthesize knowledge and experiences in their final year of High School. They begin to ask questions such as,”Who am I?” and “Who do I wish to become?” as they begin to forge their own path in the world. The experiences of senior year help them build the skills and confidence to answer these questions. In evolutionary theory, they explore the emergence of the individual out of nature. In math, students use calculus to break down problems into infinite pieces to create a finite answer. They are challenged with questions of morality in Goethe’s
Faust, and they explore the interrelationship between the living and nonliving worlds in Biochemistry.
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