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Upper School Curriculum

  • Interdisciplinary Studies
Introduction to Sustainability: A Positive Future
Grades: 10, 11, 12

Every day, we breathe, eat, drink and move about on Planet Earth. What natural systems and resources enable these essential functions of life? How are they being protected for future generations, and how are they being threatened? Which groups are most affected due to geography, race or poverty? These questions drive an interdisciplinary exploration of sustainability that combines experiences (field trips, observation of nature, interviews) with classroom study. Elements of math and science include data collection and interpretation. Readings address the intersection of sustainability with psychology, economics, history and public policy. The class follows current events and considers future possibilities through reading and discussion of Kim Stanley Robinson’s novel The Ministry for the Future. 

To support Durham Academy’s commitment to sustainability, students in this course make presentations to various segments of the school community and publish short essays on the DA Living Sustainably blog. Peers and adults are invited to join them in viewing and discussing a documentary series, The Week. Final projects about favorite mechanisms for improving sustainability are shared in an exhibition or seminar. 

  • Grade 10
  • Grade 11
  • Grade 12