Courses

Course Catalog

At Insight Colearning Center the curriculum is designed to give students multiple paths through a school year with coherent and overlapping themes. Because students are only required to take 3-4 classes per semester, students may find their own road through the fulfillment of key requirements. 

Insight’s courses are meant to work together in a variety of ways, and through one-on-one advising students will be supported in their efforts to choose a path that appeals to them while also fulfilling their graduation and phase requirements. This support doesn’t end after students have chosen their courses either. During advising they are assisted in the process of drawing connections across their coursework as they look to future courses as well.

Upcoming Courses (Academic Year 2020-21)

Fall Semester

Core Courses

This course seeks to tell a story of (North) America from indigenous settlement through European colonization to the establishment of the United States and its near ruin in the Civil War. Throughout, special attention will be paid to land, because the stories of people always take place somewhere and human life is not self-sustaining. We draw our livelihoods and our cultures from the particularities of our homeplaces. In spite of this general truth, America as we know it today was born in the tragic severing of peoples from their lands and the transformation of both into private property. Doing American history with an eye toward ecology will help us see the ways that ideas are always grounded in material contexts. An underlying question of this course is: What does it mean for the “leader of the free world” to reckon with its own bloodied and poisoned ground? To this end, our course is structured around three interlocking spheres of possession: the possession of land, the possession of people, and the possession of rights.

Each week, we will have one content-focused lecture session, often with guest speakers, and one practice-driven seminar session in which we, as historians, will encounter and interpret primary sources and cultural artifacts. Along with the weekly analysis of sources, this course also requires two projects: a creative presentation that tells the story of an early-American material commodity, and an academic research paper that explores a North Carolina-based historical event that is significant for understanding American race relations.

This course fulfills a Social Studies credit and fulfills a requirement for American History.

Instructor: Mike Conner

Students in ASL I will learn the fundamentals of American Sign Language using a combination of active learning modalities. By the end of the semester students will be able to exchange basic information with a deaf person: name, whether hearing or deaf, where you each live, family information, whether or not you’re a student and what classes you’re taking, and why you are learning ASL. Students will have a basic understanding of differences in deaf culture and hearing culture. Students enrolled in the fall course are expected to continue ASL in the spring semester if they wish to pursue ASL for their Second Language requirement.

ASL I will count towards the Second Language requirement for students who are not already fluent in ASL.

Instructor: Rebecca Coyne

Work is changing. Artificial intelligence and computers can now do much of the routine work once done by people. So what is the uniquely human job description of the future? The stuff that computers can’t do — leveraging the power of teams to solve complex problems. In this course, you will team up with your peers to solve real problems for real businesses and organizations. Through this experience, you will develop the mindsets and tools needed for modern work. This course is supported by District C, an organization committed to preparing the next generation of talent.

This course fulfills an Elective credit.

Instructor: Susan Haws

Outdoor Adventure Education (OAE) provides challenging, exciting, and rewarding opportunities to gain skills across multiple domains, including interpersonal, community-building, leadership, and technical skills, as well as physical fitness and well-being. Not only are these skills associated with high achievement; they will also be particularly useful in the rapidly changing and uncertain world students are preparing for. This course will meet for 3 hours every other week. In addition, it will include 3 multi-day expeditions that include a variety of activities, like backpacking, paddling, camping, and climbing. Together we will explore the interdisciplinary theme for the year, progress, through our adventures and make connections to our other courses, including history, literature, science, and math. All Insight students should plan to enroll in this course.

This course fulfills a PE credit.

Instructor: Banks Dixon, Frog Hollow

At this very moment, each of us is developing our character and finding our voice in the American South, a geographic region whose peoples have committed some of America’s most heinous evils and created some its most dignifying art. What does it mean, what has it meant, to tell the story of such a place? What makes a piece of writing Southern, and what do the authors of Southern stories seek to show us about our history, about human life? Is it possible to reconcile stories that render wildly different Souths? Above all, how would you begin to tell your own Southern story? 

This course will help us to begin sketching our answers to these questions in three units: 

The first unit, “Southern Literature at a Glance,” brings us into contact with Southern authors who write from a variety of social positions and historical periods. Throughout this survey of short stories, poems, essays, memoirs, reportage, and literary criticism, we will chart a constellation of Southern themes. We will also educate one another on the South’s lasting contributions to American music through in-class oral presentations. At the end of this unit, each of you will choose two pieces that we encountered as the subjects of a literary analysis paper. 

In the second unit, “Hurricane Katrina: A Study of Genre,” we will examine how artists working within different genres and mediums each tell the story of the 2005 storm. We will observe how the themes established in the first third of the course – especially race, class, and ecology – come to life and shape these stories, while deepening our appreciation for artists who wrest meaning from times of regional, national, and global disaster.

In the final unit, “Zora,” we will study the novel by slowly making our way through Zora Neal Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God. Our conversations during this unit will be less theoretical and more personal. Our reading will be supplemented with essays written by younger generations writers who are indebted to Hurston’s work. We will conclude our course by asking: How do stories restore dignity, how do they humanize? And finally: What is the American South’s contribution to this legacy of literary storytelling? At the final class period, you will submit your personal narrative paper. 

Students in this course are automatically enrolled in The Shed: A Writing Workshop, a one hour per week writing course. This course is compatible with the Academic Writing Tutorial.

This course fulfills a Cultural Studies credit and fulfills a requirement for American Literature.

Instructor: Mike Conner

Students master mathematical concepts and applications using different approaches and at varying rates. We know that mastery can be enhanced by opportunities for individualized instruction. At the same time, the transferability of math skills can be enhanced through active dialogue with peers and opportunities to articulate mathematical reasoning and problem-solving. Thus, Insight uses a unique combination of 1:1, small group, and large group instruction to provide students with a comprehensive and tailored mathematics education. 

In Fall 2020, all math students will meet once per week for Math Circles, where they will come together to work on complex applied math activities. In addition, all math students will meet twice per week with Chrissy, with at least one individual meeting. During small group and individual meetings, students will receive didactic instruction and coaching on their independent math work, which will be planned out at the beginning of the semester. All students will complete an applied math project during the semester. Students who need to complete the Quantitative Analysis tutorial may pursue that through their final project. Starting this year, Math will be a year-long commitment, with 1 credit earned each semester.

This course fulfills a Mathematics credit.

Instructor:Chrissy Nesbitt

Spanish I and II courses provide students with opportunities to develop four key language skills (listening, speaking, reading, and writing) simultaneously, with an emphasis on basic conversational skills in common, real life contexts. Through varied classroom activities and regular at-home practice, students learn basic elements of vocabulary and grammar, including simple verb tenses. Through weekly “conversation labs,” students at different levels interact with one another, with more advanced students helping novices by engaging them in conversation for a modestly “immersive” experience. Throughout the courses, students are introduced to the geography and culture(s) of the Spanish-speaking world, as well as the diversity of Spanish-language speakers right here at home. They are prepared for and encouraged to seek out opportunities to practice Spanish outside of class settings. Spanish I students enrolled in the fall course are expected to continue Spanish in the spring semester if they wish to pursue Spanish for their Second Language requirement.

Spanish I and II count towards the Second Language Requirement for students who are not already fluent in Spanish.

Instructor: Kyle McQuillan

Sexual Health Matters is a comprehensive, LGBTQ+ inclusive and trauma-informed sexual health course. It will include lessons on puberty, reproductive anatomy & physiology, pregnancy, STIs, birth control & protection, healthy relationships, consent and more. The course will also allow students to dive deeper into sexual health subjects they are particularly interested in such as sex in the media, reproductive healthcare access and sexual health policy. Though sex can be difficult and sometimes uncomfortable to talk about, we will create a space that is comfortable, interesting, safe and fun. Sexual Health Matters will meet once every other week.

This course fulfills a Health credit.

Instructor: Kendra Lampron

Spring Semester

Core Courses

Course description coming soon.

This course fulfills a Social Studies credit and fulfills a requirement for American History.

Instructor: Mike Conner

Students in ASL I B will continue learning the fundamentals of American Sign Language using a combination of active learning modalities. Students enrolled in the fall course are expected to continue ASL in the spring semester if they wish to pursue ASL for their Second Language requirement.

ASL I will count towards the Second Language requirement for students who are not already fluent in ASL.

Instructor: Rebecca Coyne

Outdoor Adventure Education (OAE) provides challenging, exciting, and rewarding opportunities to gain skills across multiple domains, including interpersonal, community-building, leadership, and technical skills, as well as physical fitness and well-being. Not only are these skills associated with high achievement; they will also be particularly useful in the rapidly changing and uncertain world students are preparing for. This course will meet for 3 hours every other week. In addition, it will include 3 multi-day expeditions that include a variety of activities, like backpacking, paddling, camping, and climbing. Together we will explore the interdisciplinary theme for the year, progress, through our adventures and make connections to our other courses, including history, literature, science, and math. All Insight students should plan to enroll in this course.

This course fulfills a PE credit.

Instructor: Banks Dixon, Frog Hollow

Course description coming soon. 

This course fulfills a Cultural Studies credit and fulfills a requirement for American Literature. 

Instructor: Mike Connor

Students master mathematical concepts and applications using different approaches and at varying rates. We know that mastery can be enhanced by opportunities for individualized instruction. At the same time, the transferability of math skills can be enhanced through active dialogue with peers and opportunities to articulate mathematical reasoning and problem-solving. Thus, Insight uses a unique combination of 1:1, small group, and large group instruction to provide students with a comprehensive and tailored mathematics education. 

In Spring 2021, all math students will meet once per week for Math Circles, where they will come together to work on complex applied math activities. In addition, all math students will meet twice per week with Chrissy, with at least one individual meeting. During small group and individual meetings, students will receive didactic instruction and coaching on their independent math work, which will be planned out at the beginning of the semester. All students will complete an applied math project during the semester. Students who need to complete the Quantitative Analysis tutorial may pursue that through their final project. Starting this year, Math will be a year-long commitment, with 1 credit earned each semester.

This course fulfills a Mathematics credit.

Instructor: Chrissy Nesbitt

Spanish II provides students with opportunities to develop four key language skills (listening, speaking, reading, and writing) simultaneously, with an emphasis on basic conversational skills in common, real life contexts. Through varied classroom activities and regular at-home practice, students learn basic elements of vocabulary and grammar, including simple verb tenses. Through weekly “conversation labs,” students at different levels interact with one another, with more advanced students helping novices by engaging them in conversation for a modestly “immersive” experience. Throughout the courses, students are introduced to the geography and culture(s) of the Spanish-speaking world, as well as the diversity of Spanish-language speakers right here at home. They are prepared for and encouraged to seek out opportunities to practice Spanish outside of class settings. Spanish I students enrolled in the fall course are expected to continue Spanish in the spring semester if they wish to pursue Spanish for their Second Language requirement.

Spanish I and II count towards the Second Language Requirement for students who are not already fluent in Spanish.

Instructor: Kyle McQuillan

As we come to understand more and more about the universe, from the workings of neurons to the span of the galaxies, it seems possible that the whole of reality can be explained using the tools of physics. How true is this?

This course will give students a deep understanding of the scientific method. Guided by examples from labs and information we collect using simple computers, we will use Newton’s Laws of Motion to describe one- and two-dimensional motion. We will learn about the laws governing force, work, energy, and momentum, and we will study how these laws apply to rotational motion and movement in space. We’ll also explore vibrations and waves, sound, and electricity.

Physics fulfills a Natural Science credit and counts as a Physical Science.

Instructor: Chrissy Nesbitt