Empowering Choice: Electives at OC Online
As educators, we frequently teach students subjects which do not, at first glance, draw them in.
So much of the creativity and responsibly, then, of a great teacher or curriculum writer is to enchant. At our best, we help students see (perhaps for the first time) the wonder, mystery, truth, and joy in what they are learning in classes they ‘have’ to take.
Once in a while, however, we get to teach an elective: a class where students choose to be there. In these classes, students join not in order to “get into a good college” or “meet a graduation requirement” but because this subject has already spoken to them; they’re already enchanted.
When we teach these courses, we’re not lighting a match; we’re adding a log.
At Oaks Christian Online, students can take required and elective courses, gaining wisdom from both kinds of learning experiences. Interestingly, this semester OC Online received an unprecedented number of requests for elective courses. For the 2020 Spring Semester, the online program is running five classes: “Fashion and Interior Design”, “International Business”, “Forensic Science”, “Sports and Entertainment Marketing”, and “Music Appreciation”. In addition, “Creative Writing” and “Models of Christian Service in Film” are also up and ready and have been enjoyed by students in the past. These electives present students with newer and deeper ways of thinking about topics that already interest them. While every class might catch ignite passion and inspire future learning, it is so special to have the chance to build on something students already know they want in their lives.
As we begin this new semester, I hope educators and students in required classes will hunt for the magic. I hope they’re up for doing the hard work of appreciating that which does not immediately sparkle. Likewise, I hope these 40+ online/blended students currently taking electives will develop the kind of wisdom that comes when we are choosing what we will learn.
An intelligent heart acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge. –Proverbs 18:15