In this era of emphasis on science, technology and math in schools, a high school humanities program shows promise as it cultivates a school within a school environment.
The collaboration between McKinley High School in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and LSU’s English Department is called “Humanities Amped”. It started with 27 juniors last year and is now twice that size.
The goal of the program is to move beyond English into social studies and elective courses, ampifying student learning through a means of inquiry grounded in activity and creative thinking. The long term goal is to have the program which serves students in a diverse high school of 1,400 students become a a”civic humanities academy”.
Student participants come from the traditional and advanced tracks. A quarter of the students are in Advanced Placement courses or are part of the gifted or Great Scholars programs. Most of the students are from the traditional academic track. All juniors who joined last year have stayed as seniors.