By Hannah MacDonald, World Division Head, Greta Risgin and Isabella Lahoue, Editors-in-Chief.
Lexington Christian Academy is a college preparatory school, and one of the notions of a college prep school is to prepare students to be well equipped for college. LCA does an amazing job of upholding this task, but there are three important classes the curriculum lacks which students have demonstrated a strong interest in. This past week, our World Division head produced a survey which polled students on their desire to add anatomy, psychology, and government classes. An overwhelming majority of students were in favor of adding anatomy—72.7% of the 66 responses voting yes—and when asked to pick their top two history class preferences, 40 of the 67 responses voted for Government and a strong 55 votes went towards psychology. In regards to college, students argue that that having the opportunity to educate themselves in anatomy is crucial, especially for those that want to pursue medical careers. Moreover, students have also expressed interest in having a psychology class for those that have an interest in pursuing a behavioral based career, while others are passionate about adding government in order to assist those who want to engage in political science as well as gain a firm grasp of how our government works before being sent off to college. The addition of more classes can only help the student body in their academic pursuits, building better foundations for their next educational steps.
Anatomy: the Study of the Body
LCA has some amazing programs for the general sciences i.e. physics, chemistry, and biology, but doesn’t have as many classes focused on more specific fields. The school has taken valuable steps towards expanding the science program recently with the addition of intro and advanced placement computer science, taught by Ms. Chang. However, anatomy can currently only be found at LCA through units in the biology program. An anatomy course would be invaluable if incorporated at the academy, and it is actually a class that was once offered years ago. Almost half of our surveyed students felt that they would be using anatomy in their future careers — why not start that foundation in high school?
One student wrote in saying, “anatomy is a crucial class that I need to take, and it will really prepare me for my future.” Even if one doesn’t feel that they will be using anatomy is their career, it doesn’t mean that it won’t be useful in day-to-day life. Many high school athletes can relate to a moment when they felt injured but had no idea what was going on inside, or what was even the root of that pain. Wouldn’t anatomy help in those moments? The subject is also crucial to budding artists; as one student put it: “having human anatomy, especially muscle structure, memorized is a requirement for my future career.” It’s important to know your body, how it works and what it’s made of, and that’s what anatomy is all about. High school is a time to discover what you’re interested in and learn in a more carefree way than what we might in a college curriculum. Anatomy is both important to learn about ourselves internally, but also what we might want to do externally, as in a future career path. From future athletes, scientists, physical therapists, artists, and more, it is obvious that anatomy is a course worth adding, and a course we hope to have.
Psychology: the Study of the Mind
Most of the classes we currently take are directly applicable to our understanding of human nature, such as physics, humanities courses, and health. But none relate to our individual experience nearly as much as psychology — the study and understanding of the human mind and behavior. It shouldn’t be a surprise that psychology is the clear winner among student voters; we all go through life questioning our own behavior and rationale, seeking to understand what makes people tick. What drives connections between certain people? How can we change our behavior, become smarter, and treat others with more understanding, knowing why they react to situations differently? These questions will go unanswered without a Psychology class.
More than 70% of student voters agree that a Psychology class is important, even necessary. One student wrote, “I have always been fascinated with how the mind works, why we think the way we think, certain behaviors we do, I could go on forever… having a course that gives me the fundamentals to further my understanding in the practice would help me a lot during college.” In fact, the consensus is that Psychology would be the spitting image of a college preparatory class, which is all the more reason to include it in LCA’s curriculum. As one student believes, “A rigorous psychology program at LCA could boost interest and help students decide if it’s a topic they want to study further in college.” Psychology is a basic requirement for most majors in college and having a solid understanding of its principles will be highly beneficial to students in their studies.
Not only is it a much-needed college prep class, Psychology would provide next-level knowledge for students, not merely for academic purposes, but as one student wrote, “To know how the mind works so they can develop empathy for others.” LCA is focused on cultivating the whole person — heart, body, mind, and spirit — and the addition of a Psychology class would strengthen self-awareness in students and offer an understanding view into the lives, struggles, and feelings of those around them. From a believer’s perspective, Psychology sheds insight on how God created us — what desires and feelings all humans have, why we feel compelled to act certain ways in situations, and what incredibly intuitive design He used on us.
Government: the Study of Our Country’s Heart
Government is a class necessary for LCA and arguably a class which should be necessary for all students before going to college. With many of us turning the corner on 18 years of age, some sooner than others, we will be experiencing the 26th Amendment first hand. As famously quoted in Spiderman, “With great power comes great responsibility.” Voting is a privilege, a powerful and meaningful privilege which should be taken seriously. Think about it. How scary and dangerous is it, to have groups of kids right out of high school voting on government issues with no knowledge of how the government operates? Ignoring any kind of college prep, educating students on government should be a priority among all schools, as high schools are given the incredible opportunity of equipping and educating future generations of voters. Local Government is even on a list of classes which should be mandatory, but aren’t. The list is produced by “The Quad,” a subsection of a web college advising organization. The article is written by a member of the National Association for College Admission and Counseling and it states that “school should be the outlet for teaching children to take part in matters impacting their community and to evolve into positions of local leadership.” One student so keenly shared this opinion when writing, “I think AP Gov would be extremely beneficial because it is important that we know how our government functions before going off to college.” Another student continued on this idea and exclaimed, “Students turning 18 soon will begin to vote and should know how everything regarding the government works including policies, voting, and important people in the government.” It is the students themselves who are recognizing this lack of knowledge around government, and one student even stated that we “should know how the gov. works, further than just 8th-grade U.S history.”
However, above all else, we are a Christian school. With Christianity at our core, a government class becomes all the more necessary. One student emphasized this notion by stating, “Adding a government class is essential for our school in order to bring up Christian leaders.” The people in government are the most influential people in our country, and equipping strong Christians who are well versed in their faith and in their government will allow for the country to move more towards God when it comes to even local votes. Some students may even go on to become those people in higher authority, and it is crucial that, as members of a Christian school, students can root their political and governmental knowledge with God’s will at the core of their beliefs in order to create a more Godly country.
In light of the desire for such classes, many current LCA teachers have expressed interest in taking on the courses. The teachers interested are both equipped to teach these classes and want to teach these classes. Moreover, students want to be educated in topics such as anatomy, psychology, and government, and their thirst for knowledge should be catered to at a college prep school. With an interest from both the staff and students, isn’t there anything we can do to implant these classes and satisfy the students’ cravings to pursue these interests?