ENGLISH: elective in poetic analysis (for example, John Donne and Emily Dickinson; Poetry of the Modern Era; Four Contemporary Poets; or An Intersectional Approach to the Poetry of Gwendolyn Brooks, Audre Lorde, Lucille Clifton and Marilyn Nelson); a required trimester on Greek tragedy and King Lear; and a spring elective on narrative works (Walkers in Cities; James Joyce; Rohinton Mistry and Jhumpa Lahiri; Paradise Lost).
PRECALCULUS AND AN INTRODUCTION TO DIFFERENTIAL CALCULUS: extended study of functions and trigonometry begun in Class X. Additional topics may include vectors, conic sections, parametric equations, polar coordinates, probability and statistics, and sequences and series. Calculus topics include limits and derivatives. This course prepares students for the study of AB Calculus.
PRECALCULUS EXTENDED AND DIFFERENTIAL CALCULUS: extended study of functions and trigonometry begun in Class X, as well as vectors, conic sections, parametric equations, polar coordinates and graphs, probability and statistics, and sequences and series. Calculus topics include limits, derivatives and applications of derivatives. This course prepares students for the study of BC Calculus.
ADVANCED CALCULUS: differential and integral calculus of functions of one variable with applications; power series. Students wishing to take the College Board AP BC Calculus exam will find that this course provides suitable preparation.
STATISTICS AND STATISTICAL MODELING: an introduction to the practice of statistics. Topics include organization of data; probability and random variables; and drawing inferences from data. Computers and calculators are used extensively.
INTERSCHOOL GAME THEORY (half credit; throughout the year): theoretical analysis of game theory taught through applications in economics, politics, business, evolutionary biology, religion, philosophy, computer science and sports, as well as through games such as poker and chess. Quantitative models are developed for strategic situations, and analysis includes optimization and graphical analysis. This course is offered through the Interschool consortium.
INTERSCHOOL NUMBER THEORY (half credit; throughout the year): The study of number theory delves into the foundations of mathematics to understand the integers, their properties, and the application of these ideas to other areas of mathematics. Topics may include, infinity of primes, the Fundamental Theorem of Arithmetic, the Euclidean algorithm, the Greek notion of incommensurable lengths, alternate number systems and their properties, repeating decimals and their connection to infinite series, modular arithmetic, and notions of infinity that arise from counting the integers. This course is offered through the Interschool consortium.
INTERSCHOOL PROBLEM SOLVING (half credit; throughout the year): A collaborative exploration of problem-solving skills and strategies including topics from combinatorics, number theory, advanced algebra, geometry, probability and graph theory. Problems studied include examples from past AIME and US Math Olympiad competitions. This course is offered through the Interschool consortium.
HISTORY [The following list of electives is representative; some may not be offered in 2020–2021.]
HISTORY OF CHINA AND JAPAN: The course starts with the history of the 20th and 21st centuries in China, and then looks back chronologically at political, social and cultural developments in China and Japan, culminating in a consideration of disparate Chinese and Japanese responses to European incursions in the modern period, the legacies of World War II and Japan’s position in the world today (open also to XII).
MODERN EUROPEAN HISTORY: a survey of European history from the Renaissance to the present, with particular attention to nationalism and other sources of identity (open also to XII).
MODERN LATIN AMERICA: an introduction to issues and themes in the history of Latin America since 1800. Students explore the most important political, economic, social and cultural developments that characterize the region as a whole, while keeping in mind the considerable variation among the countries in the region (open also to XII).
HISTORY OF WARFARE: a survey of the history of war from the gunpowder revolution of the 15th century to the present. Students will examine the development of modern armies, military technology and insurgency warfare (open also to XII).
MODERNISM IN ART: a study of significant developments in art beginning with the French Revolution up until the present (open also to XII).
LAW, ECONOMICS AND PUBLIC POLICY: an introduction to the history and structures of American civil and criminal law, with a focus on the ways that law and economic thinking structure foreign and domestic policies (open also to XII).
THE UNITED STATES POST-1945: This seminar-style research intensive course will evaluate historical events and ideas from 1945 on using advanced research methods to examine the relationship between the recent past and the present.
URBAN HISTORY: an exploration of different ways of studying and analyzing urban environments locally and globally. The course will begin by using New York City as a case study in which we examine aspects of neighborhood, community and urban expansion. Next, we will apply what we have learned about New York to an exploration of the urban world outside the US as we consider the relationship between the environment and urban life around the Bay of Bengal. Finally, we will consider mid-twentieth century ideas of urban planning and examples of utopian cities as we take up the question of what an ideal city might look like to different people at different times in different places (open also to XII).
WORLD ART: a survey of world art from Prehistoric through the contemporary period. Formal, contextual and methodological problems in art history are explored in a wide range of cultures. Regular visits to local museums are part of the course (open also to XII).
MODERN AFRICA: an exploration of twentieth-century African history, giving special attention to political, military and religious history (open also to XII).
SCIENCE ADVANCED BIOLOGY: intensive investigation of selected topics, including biochemistry, energetics, information transfer, structure, function and regulation of genes, population genetics, biotechnology, morphology and physiology of plants and animals, evolution and ecology. Investigations include applications using statistics and mathematical modeling. Students write grant proposals on topics of their choice. Prerequisites: Biology and Chemistry (open also to XII).
ADVANCED CHEMISTRY: a deeper exploration of equilibrium, acids and bases, and electrochemistry introduced in Chemistry and new topics including kinetics, thermodynamics, redox titrations, molecular architecture and orbital hybridization. Prerequisites: Biology and Chemistry (open also to XII).
CHEMISTRY: see Class X.
PHYSICS: the investigation of the nature of forces and energy and their interactions with matter. Topics include mechanical, thermal, wave, electromagnetic and nuclear energy (open also to XII).
ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY (full-year non-lab course): exploration of the role of science, economics and government policy in developing an environmentally sustainable world. Topics include human population growth, energy production, climate change, freshwater resources, agriculture, fisheries, waste management and biodiversity (open also to XII).
FRENCH IV: a consideration of classic and contemporary French literature and culture with an emphasis on speaking and writing. Students learn contemporary idioms, review grammar, and read and interpret texts from a variety of sources.
FRENCH IV COMPREHENSIVE: greater independence in the use of the language through the study of complex grammatical structures and extension of vocabulary; analysis of cultural and linguistic materials; discussion and debate.
MANDARIN IV: extensive reading of essays, stories, and newspaper and magazine articles; discussion of current events; analytical and creative writing; participating in Chinese culture workshops and communicating with native speakers of Mandarin.
COMPREHENSIVE SPANISH III: for students who began in Class IX, continued study of grammar with an emphasis on advanced grammar structures. Readings include short stories, excerpts from novels and adapted versions of literary masterpieces.
SPANISH IV: for students who began in Class V, continued formal study of a selection of short stories, poetry and non-fiction about the history of Spain and Latin America. Grammar usage and literary analysis will be reinforced through writing assignments and oral communication activities.
LATIN IV: selections from Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Ars Amatoria, and Heroides and from the poems of Catullus.
GREEK I (half credit; throughout the year): introduction to Attic Greek. Topics include the principles of word formation and syntax, Aesop’s fables and the life of Alexander the Great (open also to XII).
STUDIO ART (half credit; throughout the year): advanced work in the studio with in-depth exploration of various drawing and painting media. One museum study assignment is required.
ART INTENSIVE (half credit; fall or spring semester): for curious and committed students, an opportunity to explore the visual arts and self-expression through a range of traditional and contemporary media, including painting, drawing and printmaking. Thought-provoking and interpretive concepts will be examined in a relaxed, inclusive studio setting focusing on student-driven projects.
DRAWING (half credit; fall or spring semester): through intensive exposure to various drawing materials and techniques, students explore and expand their drawing capabilities. Students use pen and ink, charcoal, Conté crayon, colored pencil, wash and pastel to draw from still life, plants, animals, architecture, landscape and interior scenes.
DRAMA PLAYWRITING (half credit; spring semester): introduction to the art and craft of playwriting. Students write and edit their own short plays; at the end of the semester there is a lightly staged presentation to the public using student actors.
MUSIC: see Class IX.
TECHNOLOGY INTRODUCTION TO COMPUTER SCIENCE (half credit): introduction to the concepts of computer science utilizing the Python programming language. Topics include recursion, computer security, algorithm complexity and game programming.
PHYSICAL EDUCATION: see Class IX.
CO-CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES: Brearley’s numerous co-curricular activities include Middle and Upper School branches of the robotics team, coding and maker clubs, orchestra and chorus, math team, environmental action committee, student publications (the newspapers, literary magazines and the yearbook), drama productions, debate team and an array of art courses, from photography to bookmaking . In the Upper School, students may participate in the Model UN and Model Congress programs and affinity groups like Asian Awareness or Umoja. Organizations like the Athletic Association and the Middle and Upper School Student Government groups are led by students elected from each grade and advised by faculty. These organizations offer opportunities for leadership, public speaking and the planning and execution of events.
COMMUNITY SERVICE (required of all students in Class XI): students are required to make a long-standing commitment to a specific cause, activity or organization . Upper Schoolers may also work through school groups like the Brearley Service Committee, assist in Lower School classrooms or tutor children elsewhere.
JUNIOR SEMINAR (required of all students in Class XI): a yearlong class that encompasses health education, life skills, college advising and the transition to college.
POETRY WORKSHOP: see Class X.
SCIENCE RESEARCH SEMINAR: see Class X.