High School students here develop moral, intellectual and aesthetic capacities through focused inquiry in seminar-style classes taught by specialists. Students become Renaissance thinkers with keen powers of observation, prepared for college and ready to meet the world.
Ninth grade students are far more interested in contemporary issues than in the more remote past; the curriculum focuses on broad 20th/21st century issues. Students read works of modern literature. Modern history is now taught less biographically and more theoretically. In the science blocks, ninth-graders study many practical applications of technology. The math curriculum includes an introduction to statistics, permutations and combinations, and conic sections.
As the high school student matures, it becomes more difficult to generalize about their inner experience. In chemistry, the tenth-graders study acids and bases, and the formation of salts. A major emphasis of the physics block is the study of structures in which opposing forces exist in equilibrium. Students also study moving bodies in which the forces are not in equilibrium. The history and English blocks explore the mythological consciousness of ancient and indigenous cultures. The English curriculum then moves on to cover the history of epic and lyric poetry, in which the students can observe the gradual emergence of individual styles. In the spring, they write their own poetry.
In the eleventh grade, the focus of the science blocks is twentieth-century developments made possible by the scientific revolution. Cell biology, study of the periodic table, and atomic theory take center stage. The history of science also plays a role within the English and history blocks. The Galilean/Cartesian distinction between primary and secondary qualities is studied as both a key tenet of the scientific revolution and a profound symptom of modern divided consciousness. The English curriculum covers classic texts such as: The Divine Comedy, Parzival, and several plays by Shakespeare. The emergence of Europe out of Roman antiquity is presented in the history blocks.
Twelfth graders study zoology, ecology, biochemistry, optics, economics and civics. As part of the zoology block, they spend one week on the coast of Maine studying invertebrates. An architect teaches the history of architecture in preparation for a study tour to Italy. In English, the students read Goethe’s Faust, excerpts from Moby Dick, The Scarlet Letter, selected writings of Emerson and Thoreau and several novels. Russian literature can be chosen as an elective. The culmination of the senior year is the performance of a senior play.
Because all students at Rudolf Steiner High School have chosen to attend this school, it is assumed that students want to be successful and will do their best to be so. Graduation requirements are as follows: