The Art of Prediction is a one-mod Integrated Studies course taught by Marilyn Del Donno and Rachel Hirsch, who teach science and history, respectively. The course pushes eleventh and twelfth grade students to examine science, history, and truth, all leading up to a final project in which students review and delve into one specific theme or area from the class.
Marilyn and Rachel love collaborating on The Art of Prediction, not only because they have such a natural teaching chemistry, but also because of how their love of their individual fields pushes them as educators and as lifelong learners. The heart of the class is a look at the work of philosophers Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel and Immanuel Kant, and it’s organized primarily by thinkers rather than by topics. There are many points of historical connection grounded in science, and vise versa, and students drive the discussion with their questions and reactions to the material.
Students work on two major essays and two projects, including a major final project, while also diving into challenging readings and in-depth discussions along the way. Rachel and Marilyn enjoy how the journey of the class is so student-reliant, and how different class dynamics and levels of student discussion can drive the course into new directions each year. The course relies on active engagement of all students in order to keep up its incredible momentum.
Rachel enjoys most how everyone leaves class with many, many questions and thoughts brewing, and that the work is very intentional. “Everything we do in that space is about thinking critically and discussing science, history, and truth,” Rachel notes. “It really maximizes the work of both students and teachers, and it’s a class that has such an incredible process to watch unfold each year.”