Competition between Shipley, Agnes Irwin, Baldwin, and Haverford may be fierce on the playing fields, but inside the classroom these students come together to collaborate with each other and expand their knowledge in an interdisciplinary seminar program.
Since the 1990’s, these four independent schools have participated in an educational consortium, an opportunity for students to explore topics through an enriching and academic experience that goes above and beyond the curriculum offered at their respective schools.
For the 2015-2016 academic year, Shipley is hosting the consortium with a focus on art history.
“Art history at Shipley used to be such a great tradition,” says Kate Gearhart, Shipley Upper School English teacher and this year’s consortium instructor. “The art history department was incredible, so I wanted to keep art history as part of the life of the School.”
The consortium, which runs over the course of four evening sessions, focuses on a different genre each class. Gearhart’s curriculum incorporates portraits, narrative paintings, landscapes and architectural paintings, and abstract and nonrepresentational art. An interactive activity ends each course.
While Gearhart says the main benefit of the program is student exposure to a curriculum they do not generally receive, another benefit is the interaction with their independent school peers.
“The students are really interested to see what’s happening at other schools,” Gearhart explains. “They share opinions and ideas, and collaborate very well.”
“The students are really enjoying it and learning a lot from it,” says Gearhart.