The Arts & Education Academy inspires students to embrace the humanities with pathways focusing on early education, K-12 education, theatre production, visual arts and digital media production. View detailed descriptions for courses offered in the Arts & Education Academy below.

The Arts and Education Academy logo for the ISD Academies.
A chart displays all pathways and courses offered in the Arts and Education Academy for the ISD Academies.

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Arts & Education Course Descriptions:

Advanced Digital Media Production (1 credit PAR, Gr. 11-12)
Course Number: 8151

Prerequisite: Digital Media Production

This advanced course will allow students to further their skills in all areas of media and convergence media through the creation of products for student programs (i.e. newspaper, yearbook, broadcasting, online, social). Students will continue to build and update their online portfolio and social media presence.

Advanced Photography (0.5 credit FAR, Gr. 9-12) Course Number: 8148

Prerequisite: Basic Photography

This advanced course is designed to continue developing photographic knowledge and skills with an emphasis on technology and photo editing software (Photoshop).  Students will further develop critical thinking and decision making skills, expanding on concepts of composition and color theory.  Students are required to supply their own digital camera (not a phone camera).   

Advanced Theatre Design and Production (1 credit FAR, Gr. 11-12) Course Number: 7825

Prerequisite: Theatre Design and Production

Students create technical and graphic designs, artistic elevations and scaled building plans, which are then applied to actual theatrical productions. Students learn and work in the four phases of production: design, build, run, and strike. Precisely written plans, original ideas and fully executed designs are required for each phase. Each student will fulfill a theatre position for school productions. Organization, creativity, management of student crews, dependability, and practicality of the designs are emphasized throughout the course.

AP Studio Art (2 credits FAR, Gr. 11-12, weighted) College Credit by Exam Available, Course Number: 7108

Prerequisite: Advanced Photography, Drawing II, Graphic Design II, Painting II, or Sculpting II

*Portfolio submission in content area

Students in this course will develop a portfolio of a wide range of works of art. An area of concentrated study will be chosen by the student. A select number of art pieces will be required for portfolio submission. Work outside of class is required to meet course expectations.

Basic Photography (0.5 credit FAR, Gr. 9-11) Course Number: 8145

This introductory course is designed to develop knowledge and basic skills in photography with an emphasis on technology and photo editing software (Photoshop). Project work will develop the student’s critical thinking and decision making skills through application selection, as well as concepts of composition and color theory. Students are required to supply their own digital camera (not a phone camera).

College Art (1 credit FAR, Gr. 11-12, weighted) College Credit Available, Course Number: 7131

Prerequisite: Introduction to Visual Arts

Explores the idea and practice of the visual arts in modern society. A study of style, form, content, and aesthetic judgment emphasizing the visual arts as a means of communicating ideas. Exploration and use of various materials and methods of expression in studio applications.

College Photography (1 credit FAR, Gr. 11-12, weighted) College Credit Available, Course Number: 8154

Prerequisite: Basic Photography

Fast-paced, project-based photo course for the college-bound student focused on developing intermediate photo and editing skills. This course explores both a conceptual foundation and a practical application of the photographic medium, investigating the many ways photography impacts our culture and our daily lives. Consideration of aesthetic qualities, concept, context and meaning through creation of original artwork. Project work will be based on current cultural contexts of the medium.

Design Thinking (1-2 credits ELE, Gr. 12) Course Number: 5126

Prerequisite: Approved Capstone Project

This capstone is a project that allows students to learn about themselves by moving an idea or dream toward a topic of interest, specialization, community need, or career choice. As part of this course, all students must complete a capstone experience which may include, but is not limited to: senior project, virtual enterprise, internship, externship, work-based learning, service learning, community service, etc.

Digital Media Production (1 credit PAR, Gr. 10-12) Course Number: 8149

Prerequisite: Introduction to Journalism 

The course will explore all areas of digital media (newspaper, yearbook, broadcasting, online, social) and teach skills needed in all areas. Students will learn media convergence skills and continue to build their online portfolio presence.

Digital Media Production Capstone (2 credits PAR, Gr. 12, weighted) College Credit Available, Course Number 8152

Prerequisite: Advanced Digital Media Production

This capstone course will allow students to further their skills in all areas of media and convergence media through the creation of products for student programs (i.e. newspaper, yearbook, broadcasting, online, social), as well as creating products for the Independence School District and community. Students will learn higher level production skills and explore other skills needed to be successful in the field.

Drawing I (0.5 credit FAR, Gr. 9-12) Course Number: 7121

Prerequisite: Introduction to Visual Arts

This course is an advanced art course. Students will focus on skill building and drawing from observation. A strong emphasis will be placed on in-depth study of advanced drawing skills in a variety of media; graphite, ink, colored pencils and pastels are some of the media that will be used. Students will use formal critique criteria in viewing work to encourage discussion and the building of art vocabulary. Art history will be incorporated with projects to give students a base of aesthetic knowledge on which to create their own artwork. Students will continue to develop a working portfolio. In addition, students will participate in subject-related reading and writing activities and will have outside classroom work.

Drawing II (0.5 credit FAR, Gr 9-12) Course Number: 7122

Prerequisite: Drawing I

In this course students will focus on skill building from observation. A strong emphasis will be placed on in-depth study of advanced drawing skills in a variety of media; graphite, ink, colored pencils, oil pastels, and permanent markers are some of the media that will be used. Additional time will be spent on portrait and figure drawing and mixed media. Students will use formal critique criteria in viewing work to encourage discussion and the building of art-related vocabulary. Art history will be incorporated with projects to give students a base of aesthetic knowledge on which to create their own artwork. Students will continue to develop a working portfolio. In addition, students will participate in subject-related reading and writing activities and will have outside classroom work. 

Early Childhood Professions I (4 credits PAR, Gr. 11-12, weighted) College Credit Available, Course Number: 6125

Prerequisite: Human Growth and Development. Students must be able to provide their own transportation to Child and Family Learning Centers, no carpooling is allowed per district policy.

For students interested in early childhood careers as well as those who want to enhance their knowledge of child care and development. Areas of study will include: professional child care techniques, development and psychology of the child, child care management skills, problem solving, emergency care information, and formal observation. This class includes on-site experiences with children.

Early Childhood Professions II (4 credits PAR, Gr. 12, weighted) College Credit Available, Course Number: 6126

Prerequisite: Early Childhood Professions I. Students must be able to provide their own transportation to Child and Family Learning Centers, no carpooling is allowed per district policy.

For students interested in early childhood careers as well as those who want to enhance their knowledge of child care and development. Areas of study will include: professional child care techniques, development and psychology of the child, child care management skills, problem solving, emergency care information, and formal observation. This class includes on-site experiences with children.

Graphic Design I (0.5 credit FAR, Gr. 9-12), Course Number: 7128

Prerequisite: Introduction to Visual Arts

This course will explore the elements and principles of art with today’s ever-increasing need of knowledge regarding art technology.  This class will utilize computer software, such as Adobe Illustrator, in creation of original artwork.  Some basic Photoshop and digital camera skills will be introduced.  This is a class for the student who desires to explore their art in a computer-based medium and for future career paths in design.

Graphic Design II (0.5 credit FAR, Gr. 9-12) Course Number: 7129

Prerequisite: Graphic Design I

This second level course will further explore the elements and principles of art with today’s ever-increasing need of knowledge regarding art technology.  This class will utilize computer software, such as Adobe Illustrator, in creation of original artwork.  Some basic Photoshop and digital camera skills will be introduced.  This is a class for the student who desires to explore their art in a computer-based medium and for future career paths in design.

Human Growth and Development (1 credit PAR, Gr. 10-12)
Course Number: 1806

Prerequisite:  Professions in Education or Introduction to Public Services

In this course you will gain an understanding of the areas and stages of human growth and development. The course provides an examination of the physical, intellectual, emotional, and social components of human growth and development from birth through adolescence. You will learn to meet the needs of children and promote optimum growth and development in the prenatal, infancy, toddler, preschool and school-age stages.

Introduction to Journalism (0.5 credit PAR, Gr. 9-11)
Course Number: 1600

This introductory course focuses on a broad knowledge of journalism. Students will examine the production of all media formats.

Introduction to Social and Online Media (0.5 credit PAR, Gr. 9-11) Course Number: 1602

This introductory level class pairs with Introduction to Journalism to give students the background information and skills needed to be successful in the Digital Media Pathway. This class will introduce students to the benefits and use of social and online media options, analyze issues in society with social media, create an online portfolio to maintain throughout the pathway, and build a professional media presence.

Introduction to Theatre Design and Production (0.5 credit FAR, Gr. 9-11)
Course Number: 7822

This is an introductory course in which students will learn the basic design in all technical theatre. This will include: sets, properties, lighting, sound, costumes, make-up, house management, and publicity. Various career opportunities in technical theatre will be explored.

Introduction to Visual Arts (0.5 credit FAR, Gr. 9-11)
Course Number: 7110

This course is designed for all students to review or learn basic knowledge of art by mastering the competencies of art history, criticism, aesthetics, and production. Students will learn the elements and principles of art, know how to use them, and create pieces of artwork that display this knowledge. In addition, students will be participating in subject-related reading and writing activities and have outside class assignments. Students will be expected to solve problems using higher-order thinking skills. This course is the prerequisite for all future art courses.

Office Productivity Suite (0.5 credit PAR, Gr. 9-12) Course Number: 5124

This course is designed to help students master beginning skills in the areas of word processing, spreadsheet software, and the proper creation and application of professional presentations. Students will learn file management, how to save and find files, use a network, and share files with others for collaboration. Students will learn the software skills needed in Microsoft and Google to be effective in school and the workplace. Advanced projects combining all of Microsoft Office and Google software will be included in the course.

Painting I (0.5 credit FAR, Gr. 9-12) Course Number: 7112

Prerequisite: Introduction to Visual Arts

In this course students will focus on skill building using transparent painting techniques. A strong emphasis will be placed on in-depth study of landscapes, portraits, and still life. Water color will be the main medium used and a variety of styles will be incorporated in production. Students will use formal critique criteria in viewing work to encourage discussion and the building of art-related vocabulary. Art history will be incorporated with projects to give students a base of aesthetic knowledge on which to create their own artwork. Students will continue to develop a working portfolio. In addition, students will participate in subject-related reading and writing activities and will have outside classroom work.

Painting II (0.5 credit FAR, Gr. 10-12) Course Number: 7113

Prerequisite: Painting I

In this course students will focus on skill building using opaque paints. A strong emphasis will be placed on in-depth studies of landscapes, portraits, and still life. Tempera and acrylic paint and oil pastels will be the media used and a variety of styles will be incorporated in production. Students will use formal critique criteria in viewing work to encourage discussion and the building of art-related vocabulary. Art history will be incorporated with projects to give students a base of aesthetic knowledge on which to create their own artwork. Students will continue to develop a working portfolio. In addition, students will participate in subject-related reading and writing activities and will have outside classroom work.

Pathways to Teaching Profession I (1 credit PAR, Gr. 11-12)
Course Number: 1811

Prerequisite: Human Growth and Development

You have been sitting in a classroom for almost twelve years. Now it is time to see what it is like to be on the other side of the desk! This course explores a variety of aspects from the teaching profession. Areas of study include classroom culture, assessments, educational philosophies, classroom strategies and ethical issues in teaching. Classroom observations and visitations at various levels, from elementary to secondary, complete this look at education.

Pathways to Teaching Profession II – 2 credits in 1 semester (1 credit PAR and 1 credit ENG, Gr. 12, weighted) College Credit Available, Course Number: 1812

Prerequisite: Pathways to Teaching Profession I. Students must be able to provide their own transportation to on-site experiences, no carpooling is allowed per district policy.

This course is for students interested in teaching careers as well as those students who want to expand their knowledge of educational professions. Areas of study will expand upon units previously covered in Pathways to Teaching Profession I and their real world applications. This course includes on-site experiences with current Independence School District classroom teachers and students, ranging from elementary to the secondary setting.

Professions in Education (0.5 credit PAR, Gr. 9-11) Course Number: 1805

Do you want to make a difference in the lives children? In this course you will have the opportunity to explore a variety of careers in education. You will examine the historical, theoretical, psychological, and social foundations of education. This course will provide the framework for a career in education.

Psychology (0.5 credit SOC, Gr. 10-12) Course Number: 2407

This course is designed to assist students in gaining an appreciation of psychology as the science of studying and understanding human behavior. Major units of study will include: the development of philosophies and methods used to gain insights into behavior, a study of the brain and nervous system, human psychological development, psychological processes and disorders.

Psychology – Online Dual Credit (0.5 credit SOC, Gr. 11-12, weighted) College Credit, Course Number: 2406

Student must have a minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA. 

This online college course, through Missouri Western State University, covers general information about psychology in everyday life, designed to correct misconduct and to give the students a better understanding of self and others. 

Public Speaking/College Speech (0.5 credit ELE, Gr. 10-12, weighted) College Credit Available, Course Number: 1529

This course is designed to improve students’ public speaking skills in real-world communication situations. The class challenges students to become more effective speakers and listeners in a variety of communication tasks. Students will participate in group discussions, research, listening exercises, and prepare various speeches individually, and learn to both give and receive constructive criticism.

Senior Capstone (1-2 credits ELE, Gr. 12), Course Number: 5126

Prerequisite: Advanced Theatre Design and Production 

This capstone is a project that allows students to learn about themselves by moving an idea or dream toward a topic of interest, specialization, community need, or career choice. As part of this course, all students must complete a capstone experience which may include, but is not limited to: senior project, virtual enterprise, internship, externship, work-based learning, service learning, community service, etc.

Sculpting I (0.5 credit FAR, Gr. 9-12) Course Number: 7118

Prerequisite: Introduction to Visual Art.

In this course students will develop skills in using a variety of materials and technologies to create three-dimensional projects. A strong emphasis will be placed on learning how to manipulate the materials to work successfully. Students will also develop a deeper understanding of three-dimensional composition. Clay, wood, and plaster are some of the media that will be used. Students will use formal critique criteria in viewing work to encourage discussion and the building of art-related vocabulary. Art history will be incorporated with most projects to give students a base of aesthetic knowledge on which to create their own artwork. In addition, students will be participating in subject-related reading and writing activities and will have outside classroom work.

Sculpting II (0.5 credit FAR, Gr. 10-12) Course Number: 7119

Prerequisite: Sculpting I

This is an advanced art course. Students will expand their three-dimensional experience by creating more advanced projects. Students will also develop a deeper understanding of three- dimensional composition. Clay, found objects, wood, and plaster are some of the media that will be used. Students will use formal critique criteria in viewing work to encourage discussion and the building of art-related vocabulary. Art history will be incorporated with most projects to give students a base of aesthetic knowledge on which to create their own art-work. In addition, students will be participating in subject-related reading and writing activities and will have outside the classroom work.

Sociology (0.5 credit SOC, Gr. 10-12) Course Number: 2411

Sociology, the study of human behavior in groups, is designed to acquaint the student with the types of groups we form, how we function in these groups and how we deal with social problems resulting from the interaction within and between these groups. These topics are analyzed through sociological perspectives in order to evaluate various interpretations and explain why people behave the way they do.

Sociology – Online Dual Credit (0.5 credit SOC, Gr. 11-12, weighted) College Credit, Course Number: 2412

Student must have a minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA.

This online college course, through Missouri Western State University, covers basic sociological concepts and theories. Major topics included in this course are culture, society, societal interaction, crime, race/ethnicity, class, gender, the family, education, religion, medicine, the economy, politics and cross-cultural comparisons.

Theatre Appreciation (0.5 credit FAR, Gr. 11-12, weighted) College Credit Available, Course Number: 7809

Prerequisite: Advanced Theatre Design and Production or Acting IV

This course will refine acting skills, provide instruction in both production projects and preparing audition materials. Students will demonstrate knowledge of historical periods, production styles utilized within historical periods, research historical topics relative to theatre, and correlate research materials into a written paper.

Theatre Design and Production (1 credit FAR, Gr. 10-12)
Course Number: 7823

Prerequisite: Introduction to Theatre Design and Production

Students learn to research, appreciate and interpret both technical and graphic design for the theatre. Creativity, practicality, and the economics of the designs are emphasized throughout this full-year course as students learn to take direction and work in the four phases of production. Students will learn to organize and analyze appropriate designs that will fulfill the responsibilities of various school productions. Knowledge of theatre safety, equipment, and power tool usage will be a foundational element of the course.

Video and Live Broadcast Production (.5 credit PAR, Gr. 10-12)
Course Number: 8627

Prerequisite:  1600:  Introduction to Journalism, 1602: Introduction to Social and Online Media

This course will focus on shooting and editing promotional material for various stakeholders, both inside and outside of the Independence School District, as well as planning and producing live broadcasts. Students will start with the basics of learning to shoot technically sound video. They will build on that and incorporate ways to make their video more engaging and dynamic. They will learn to edit the video they shoot using Adobe Premiere Pro. Students will also learn the process of generating ideas, planning, shooting and producing their own video.