New humanities course begins on freshman campus

AP Human Geography teacher, Kelley Ferguson, talks to her first period class about an upcoming assignment in the library on Sept. 11. Ferguson and pre-AP English 1 teacher, Cassie Madewell, both took turns talking about each subjects’ assignments.

photo by Ashna Haiderali

AP Human Geography teacher, Kelley Ferguson, talks to her first period class about an upcoming assignment in the library on Sept. 11. Ferguson and pre-AP English 1 teacher, Cassie Madewell, both took turns talking about each subjects’ assignments.

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A new humanities course made up of AP human geography and pre-AP English 1 is being offered to freshmen this year to give them the opportunity to learn both subjects all year long.

AP human geography teacher, Kelley Ferguson, and pre-AP English 1 teacher, Cassie Madewell, teach the class together first and fourth period. The teachers combine the subjects together and teach it as one class.

“[Humanities] is working out really well,” AP human geography teacher Kelley Ferguson said. “We are trying to find the commonalities between social studies and English – [showing] how real world human geography is also relevant in literature.” 

 Freshman Asil Mithani said both teachers are doing a good job of separating and combining the two subjects when necessary. 

“The class is really spaced out, and we get a lot of time to study and actually understand the concepts of both subjects,” Mithani said. “[Ferguson and Madewell] both really care about the [students] and want us to be able to get the idea of both subjects.” 

Sophomore Carissa Merchant, who took AP human geography last year, thinks the new humanities course could provide some advantages and disadvantages.

“Even though [humanities] sounds easier than last year, I feel like some of the theories in the vocab is what really helped me understand the concepts more and the units made more sense to me,” Merchant said. “Taking some of those concepts out would make it harder to understand. I liked having a separate English class because I’d rather have my mind focusing on one thing at a time.” 

In June, The College Board also made some changes to the AP human geography curriculum by eliminating some vocabulary and units in the curriculum such as Morphology, Rimland and Heartland theories so teachers can focus more on skills and application. 

Ferguson said the changes The College Board made are going to benefit the students, and is so far affecting them in a positive way. 

“Overall they are good changes,” Ferguson said. “In the end, we are trying to use the two courses to support each other.”