A cluster is an interdisciplinary study that is focused on one theme or question and that weaves together learning in the subjects of English, Social Studies, Science, and the Arts in a coherent and meaningful way.
A cluster is a course of study that is designed by EAO and led by the Learning Coach. Within each cluster there are opportunities for the learner to explore questions and interests that arise during the cluster study, so the learner can lead some or much of his/her learning in every cluster.
Each cluster is the equivalent in quantity of learning to 1.5 semester courses in a conventional high school curriculum (0.75 credits).
The United States has the highest documented incarceration rate in the world, 754 inmates per 100,000 U.S. residents. Why?
The number of Americans in prison has risen dramatically since 1980. Why?
You'll explore these questions as you learn about the theoretical and practical foundations of the justice system in the United States. You'll consider the various purposes that people have used to guide their systems of justice: for example, punishment, retribution, prevention, and restoration. You'll also learn about the legal rights of American citizens and their foundation in the United States Constitution.
Forensics is the application of science to law. As technology advances, the scientific tools available to the criminal investigator are redefining how evidence is used in the investigation and prosecution of crimes.
You'll explore some of the ways that serology, toxicology, ballistics, and DNA analysis are used to establish the patterns and sequences of unknown events at crime scenes.
Crime in Literature
"Whodunnit?" and why?
Crime has long been a central element in fiction, both serious and popular. "Mysteries" fill a large section of every bookstore, physical or virtual. So what is our fascination with crime stories?
You will explore the world of crime and punishment through a literary lens, reading both classical and contemporary works. You'll consider the ways in which writers have portrayed criminals throughout history, and how those portrayals may reflect as well as shape societal views regarding criminals and systems of justice.
Rituals Across Cultures
Why do we greet each other the way we do? Why do we mark and/or celebrate and/or mourn certain moments in our lives the way we do? What is a ritual?
You will explore the nature of ritual and how various cultures use rituals to formalize social behavior and life cycle events, for example, birth, courting, rites of passage, marriage, retirement, and death. You will examine the concept of the ritual through a multicultural, anthropological perspective. You will explore the meaning, function, and significance of rituals in an attempt to better understand human nature, individual identity, and our own culture.
"Who am I" is a question almost everyone asks in our culture.
You will consider this question through both a literary lens and a psychological one. You'll read several fictions about "coming of age" and also consider what psychology tells us about how children move through adolescence and become adults in our modern society.
How is the human body structured?
You will explore the structure of the human body as a complex, interconnected system of systems. As you learn about how the human body is structured, you will also learn about how to promote your own physical health and well-being.
Other clusters available: