- Snapshots of St. George's
Humanities students dip into the past to consider the future
One of the innovative assignments in our place-based Humanities I program introduces third-form students to the SG Archives to consider how SG’s identities throughout the years have been influenced by place and landscape.
The assignment, part of a curriculum unit called, “Land and Storytelling” first asks students to choose a historic photo from the St. George’s Archives exhibit Yonder Changeless Sea, and then recreate it within the landscape as it appears today.
The archives exhibit features SG students of the past enjoying favorite local spots such as Purgatory Chasm and Third Beach and here are some recent examples of photos created by students in Ms. Samantha Reuss’ Humanities I course:
Overall the "Land and Storytelling" unit focuses on human interactions with the environment, stewardship, responsibility, and reciprocity; and gratitude. Students are asked to consider: How has the SG identity changed over the years? How has it remained the same? If the place/landscape has changed in the photo, has the identity of the school and/or space changed as well? Or does it remain the same?
Ms. Reuss’ class also considered the fourth verse of the School Hymn: “Here let Thy love and Truth abound, Changeless as yonder changeless sea. And ever may these walls resound, With grateful voices praising Thee.”
“One thing that really struck me was how, in their final presentations, many groups discussed how SG has changed for the better,” Ms. Reuss said. “For example, one group mentioned how in the SG of the past, the student body was primarily white males; however, now we are a more diverse community with both male and female students, as well as students of color and different ethnicities and cultures — and many groups discussed how that makes us a better school.”
Many of the groups, she added, also discussed how important stewardship to the land is when considering how place influences the SG identity. “The group that did the Purgatory Chasm photo mentioned specifically, ‘If we want the opportunity for SG students to recreate our recreated picture 100 years from now, it's up to us to take care of the space to ensure that it's still here for them.’”
The Humanities I course was designed and introduced into the curriculum in 2021.