Urban Laboratory Makes School Cool for New Yorkers

Nate Berg profiles an innovative program being taught at a private school in the Bronx, or as he calls it: "The High School Curriculum Every Urban Planner Wishes They'd Had."

Led by Andy Meyers, a history teacher at the Ethical Culture Fieldston School in New York City, "City Semester is an immersive, city-focused course that combines classwork and field studies for juniors at Fieldston," and sounds like the perfect solution for overcoming the interminable boredoms of high school.

Berg describes the multidisciplinary course as such: "It's like other semester away programs run by the school, but instead of sending kids out to the Rocky Mountains or the Maine coast, students in the City Semester program turn their attention to their own neighborhood and city. Meyers has compiled a broad range of teachers from the school to participate, including teachers focusing on history, ethics, language, theater, literature, film, photography and music."

One of the focal points of the section of course dedicated to neighborhood and community renewal is a two-day canoe trip down the Bronx River, in which "The students collect scientific data about the water and the ecology and make presentations about both the history of the neighborhoods and the development of the river habitats. Meyers says this approach pulls in what the students are learning and relates it to things they see in their day-to-day experiences and the neighborhoods around them."

"Adolescents are at a place in their lives where understanding the relevance of what they're learning can make an enormous difference in terms of their engagement," Meyers says.

Full Story: The High School Curriculum Every Urban Planner Wishes They'd Had

Comments

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $199
Planetizen Courses image ad

Planetizen Courses

Advance your career with subscription-based online courses tailored to the urban planning professional.
Starting at $14.95 a month
Book cover of Unsprawl

Unsprawl: Remixing Spaces as Places

Explore visionary, controversial and ultimately successful strategies for building people-centered places.
Starting at $12.95
Book cover of the Guide to Graduate Planning Programs 2012

Thinking about Grad School?

You need the essential resource for prospective planning students
Starting at $24.95