Lamps and sofas set a comfortable new tone in Karl Dawson’s Philosophy and Character Development class, the relaxed environment intended to promote discussion about the important questions of life. In his class, students are discussing the merits of Kantian Ethics vs. Utilitarianism, planning a massive community service project, or even debating Economic Justice. These topics are all essential pieces in the high school Philosophy and Character Development program.
Philosophy and Character Development teachers Karl Dawson and Samuel Fennema teach secondary students to ask themselves important questions like “What is my purpose?” and “How do I make choices?” These may not seem like traditional school questions, but the answers these students discover become the foundation of their life’s plans.
These classes are not all about theory. Practical, hands-on strategies put students in the driver’s seat of their own education. Students complete several classroom projects, journals, online and in-person discussions, and readings from the greatest minds in history.
The learning becomes even more dynamic when they step out of the classroom and into one of our many service projects. Under the leadership of the Character Development department, secondary students participate in a wide variety of projects to serve the school, community, and world. These projects are entirely planned and executed by students.
Students recently wrapped up Hope for the Holidays and are gearing up for their next projects: participating in a cultural Exchange project, organizing a sports camp for a local school, working with families affected by autism, and serving various departments on campus.
Through these projects and classes, WYIS is leading the way in raising compassionate and thoughtful student leaders who have a heart for service.
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January 27, 2021
By Karl Dawson