DC Trip-Inspire Academy 6th Grade

My name is Ari Hurwitz and I am the 6th Grade Teacher at Inspire Academy-A School of Inquiry in Muncie, Indiana.  For this spring semester, my 6th grade students are embarking on a full-semester social studies expedition called, “The Other: Bringing Empathy to History and the Now.” Students will begin by studying history through the lens of multiple perspectives, covering the Indiana State Social Studies Standards of Western Civilization of the last 3,000+ years. We will look at a variety of cultural, religious, societal, and other perspectives in our study and will also give serious care to the perspectives of individuals of the given time as those so frequently get lost in the macroscopic lens of history. We will grapple with our guiding questions, “What is otherness?,” “How has what defines otherness changed/stayed the same throughout history?,” “How have dominant perspectives limited our resources for understanding history?,” and “How does considering multiple viewpoints enrich our knowledge of history and ourselves?” At each point, we will consider questions of identity, otherness, belonging, and dominant and non-dominant perspectives. This will not only help illuminate the study of history, but also help us understand how people are made to feel a sense of otherness and what gifts these "others" have to offer society if they were accepted and appreciated.

We believe a fieldwork opportunity to Washington, DC from April 8-12th would be a uniquely life-altering experience for our students in many ways. Beyond an opportunity to learn about our nation's capital and build togetherness through mutual experience, this fieldwork would provide extraordinary opportunities to explore our expedition topic at the many and varied museums, cultural centers, neighborhoods, organizations, and individual meetings that Washington, DC offers. Please give any and all you can and share this site with everyone you know. All money will directly pay for travel, food, and educational costs to make this fieldwork experience a reality! We are counting on your support!

Read below for more on Inspire Academy-A School of Inquiry:

We are an inner city school and serve a multi-racial population, over 80% that qualify for free lunch.    We are an Expeditionary Learning school and, as such, teach through semester-long, in-depth studies, called expeditions. These expeditions provide an in-depth lens through which we teach all the state standards in a way that allows students to achieve a genuine level of expertise.  We focus on hands-on, deeply intellectual learning incorporating primary sources, in-class activities, and revision-based writing as well as a large number of local experts and out-of-class fieldwork.  The culmination of the expedition is a final product.  Our goal for the final product is for the students to create an authentic product for an authentic audience; something that will live on and be appreciated beyond just the family of the student and have a lasting positive effect on our community, the environment, or some other area of life.  Students can feel a previously unknown level of pride in their achievements and level of quality they have achieved through hard work and perseverance.
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Ari Hurwitz
Muncie, IN

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