The Senior year is intended, on the one hand, to be the gradual synthesis of all prior education—the great stock-taking and preparation for the next stage in learning—and, on the other, the fully conscious placement of oneself in the center of all that has been learned. The Senior curriculum serves both purposes by offering subjects that synthesize many themes—world history, architecture, Faust—and that relate these themes to the centrality of the human being.
The students study our relationship to the varied animal kingdoms or to the great thinkers and writers who have wrestled with the question of our place in this world. Assignments increasingly call upon the students to pull together, to synthesize disparate disciplines in an attempt to address the central question of the senior curriculum: Who? Who am I? Who is the human being? What or who stands behind the outer play of events and natural phenomena, pulling them together into a synthesizing whole?
In this sense, the curriculum of the 12th Grade not only recapitulates the themes of the four years of high school but also returns to the place where the Waldorf curriculum began in Grade 1 – with the image of the whole. Now, however, the difference, one hopes, is that the student will truly “know their place for the first time.”
In summary, the Denver Waldorf High School Senior will have trained the powers of:
Observation in Grade 9 through the question: What?
Comparison in Grade 10 through the question: How?
Analysis in Grade 11 through the question: Why?
Synthesis in Grade 12 through the question: Who?
Russian Literature, Writing Seminar, Transcendentalism, WW II Literature, and Goethe’s Faust
Calculus I, Calculus II, Polynomials and Rational Functions, and Chaos Theory.
20th Century History, History of World Religions, Psychology, History through Architecture, Contemporary Issues Seminar, and Computer Science.
Biochemistry of the Cell, Optics, Zoology, and Planet Earth.
Artistry: Cooking, sewing, stone-carving, drama, blacksmithing, veil painting, woodwork, and oil painting.
Music: Vocal and instrumental music continues.
Physical Education and Athletics: Gymnastics and a variety of games; interscholastic sports as extracurricular activities after school hours.