Archer’s discussion-based English courses inspire students to share ideas and develop skills of collective inquiry. Our classes serve as spaces where humor and curiosity thrive, where students question the human condition, and where they hone their expression. Through careful and iterative selection of content and course design, we ask students to read widely and deeply from classic and contemporary texts and media, and we provide developmentally appropriate ways of challenging and engaging students with diverse perspectives. Students write in varied modes, from personal narratives to analytical and argumentative pieces, and always with attention to their audience and purpose. In every effort, we encourage students to build their voices by embracing the process and revising work.
Faculty apply student-centered pedagogies to meet department standards rooted in the core areas of reading, writing, speaking, thinking, and metacognition, with discrete attention to collaboration skills. Some key learning outcomes include an appreciation of the importance and impact of storytelling, the ability to write controlled and purposeful arguments, heightened listening and speaking skills, and an understanding of varied approaches to rhetoric and analysis. Archer English students graduate as fluid, thoughtful writers with critical vision and confidence.
Our approach to English at Archer commits to the multidisciplinary nature of learning and to the recognition that student learning and creation needs to be authentic and resonant with their world and interests. To this end, courses draw strong links to history, art, film, contemporary life, and media studies. Original and dynamic assessments and writing tasks allow for student agency, and the department offers a variety of terrain for Archer writers to apply their efforts. These include our nationally recognized newspaper - The Oracle; our nationally recognized yearbook - Hestia Flame; our nationally recognized literary magazine - Pillars of Salt; our annual interschool Literature &... Conference; and our Advanced Study Humanities Symposium.