At The Field Semester we believe in rigorous interdisciplinary education. Our academic program consists of five traditional areas of concentration: literature and language, history, science, math, and art. In small focused classes, students will read, discuss, and write about topics such as the history of California, literature, environmental ethics, economics, sustainable design, ecology, agriculture, public policy, and climate science. These traditional practices of working with texts in classroom will be alongside innovative, experiential strategies roaming far afield: water management, cob building, alternative power generation, animal husbandry, organic farming, and food production. Instead of treating each subject in a silo, the curriculum integrates academic learning with real-life applications for solving complex environmental problems. If we were to design a sustainable water system for our campus, for example, we would first attain a deep understanding of the ecology of the watershed that this design would affect and likewise its community and economic impacts.
Teachers and students will collaborate increasingly as the students move toward the final projects they will design and implement with the support of the whole community. The faculty aims to help students ask and answer questions about sustainable living communities, strategize solutions for the projects they wish to tackle during their semester, and hone those same skills in order to tackle the many problems they see in the world.
While project-based and interdisciplinary, the curriculum will also attend to curricular expectations for specific subjects. The Field Semester values college preparation and will include a formal College Advising Program with an experienced independent school college counselor on staff.