Last week in AP Seminar, the first class in the two-course AP Capstone progression, students participated in fishbowl discussions while exploring wealth, labor, and civil disobedience. In fishbowl discussions, a small group of students engages in active debate while surrounded by their listening peers, who rotate into the circle to continue the conversation. Dr. Hannah Chapple and Dr. Jessica Doble, who co-teach the class in its first year at Weber, stressed the importance of the fishbowl structure for "encouraging in students the active listening and careful consideration, as well as the confidence in their own knowledge and voices, with which we hope they will approach all of life's questions."
Students worked with various primary and secondary sources for each fishbowl topic, including Jewish Studies texts. Dean of Jewish Studies Rabbi Adam Mayer, working in partnership with Dr. Chapple and Dr. Doble to offer AP Seminar as a Jewish Studies integration class, said, “These themes are at the center of Jewish discourse. Jewish texts, which are usually framed with the language of personal or communal obligation, bring questions of relevance and application to the forefront.”
In their final summative fishbowl, students wrote their questions to explore the complexities of interconnections between these topics. In the 70-minute discussion, students interrogated the relationships between labor and wealth, protest and inequality, continuing to redefine the problem and find the new approach that has been the backbone of critical exploration in the course this semester. After observing the fishbowl discussion, Rabbi Ed Harwitz reflected with pride on the experience. “The fishbowl discussion in AP Seminar represents Weber’s mission and Jewish education at its highest level. Scholarly, erudite, and open discussion and debate during class enables each participant to expand their knowledge and perspectives and foster deep critical thinking around essential ethical questions.”
Following their fishbowl discussions, students will work in research groups to compose arguments in which they propose a solution to some element of the problems they have focused on in this unit.
The Weber School, a Jewish Community high school serving students from all Jewish backgrounds, prepares students for success in college and in life with comprehensive academic and co-curricular programs that inspire student exploration, leadership, and Jewish social consciousness. Many of our programs and academies are unique to Weber and can't be found at any other Atlanta-area high schools.
The Felicia Penzell Weber Jewish Community High School admits students of any race, color, and national or ethnic origin.