Academics
Overview
High School (Grades 9-12)

Campbell Hall Advanced Inquiry (CHAI)


Campbell Hall Advanced Inquiry courses are designed to engage students in constructing meaning through authentic, rigorous study of a discipline at the college level.

These courses aim to expand students’ curiosity through the pursuit of inquiry wherever it leads and to give students an experience of the transformative power of essential questions. Students can expect these courses will require more work and time than standard courses; they will demand a great deal of intrinsic motivation and independence as well as a strong work ethic and highly developed time management skills.

CHAI students will...

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  • Mission-Driven Innovation: Redesigning AP Courses

    From the Summer 2017 Issue of "The Good" Magazine
    By Carolyn LaGaly, High School Principal
    The Good - Summer 2017 IssueIn a community of inquiry, innovations in teaching and learning are always underway and reflected in changes both big and small. Indeed, our commitment to provide the best program for students compels change when we feel that a current offering falls short in some way. Thus, in an exciting and dramatic new initiative, the high school has committed to eliminating roughly half of the currently offered 25 Advanced Placement courses and replacing them with Campbell Hall Advanced Inquiry (CHAI) classes beginning in the fall of 2018.

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  • Frequently Asked Questions

    What is CHAI?
    • CHAI is an acronym for Campbell Hall Advanced Inquiry. CHAI courses are a result of our process to replace those Advanced Placement courses that do not serve the school’s community of inquiry model with our own advanced courses that will cover roughly the same subject areas as the APs in question but allow for more discussion and inquiry and prioritize engagement, depth, and quality over quantity.

    Is Campbell Hall getting rid of AP courses?
    • No, the school will continue to offer those AP courses that serve the school’s mission of inquiry and replace those that do not.

    Why is Campbell Hall replacing some AP courses and not others?
    • Some AP courses serve the school’s mission of inquiry well and are being retained. Those that are being replaced do not allow for the level of discussion and inquiry, engagement, depth, and quality to which Campbell Hall is committed.

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CHAI Physics with Calculus Honors

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  • + Course Description

    This Advanced Inquiry course takes a rigorous academic approach to Classical Mechanics as well as select topics in Electricity and Magnetism (E&M). Throughout the course, calculus is used as an analytical tool to solve realistic problems. Each unit includes a significant amount of time working on hands-on projects and labs. The course features multiple comprehensive projects that integrate relevant engineering concepts into the curriculum including 3D-printed rocket design, fabrication, and analysis; balsa wood bridge design, fabrication, and analysis; and a series of independent E&M projects. This course emphasizes scientific writing and communication in the form of lab reports, in-class presentations, short reflection papers, and class discussions. The class is designed to engage students to move beyond the textbook to real-life applications while gaining experience with high tech tools (3D printers, high speed video, and more) and becoming more proficient at technical writing and communication.
  • + Rationale

    Due to the nature of the AP Physics curriculum, a significant amount of time is spent reviewing material and studying for the AP test. De-emphasizing this test preparation allows students to gain approximately 10 weeks of instructional time, which will be used to increase the amount of time spend on labs and hands-on activities as well as introducing some topics in Electricity and Magnetism into the curriculum.

CHAI Art History Honors: Global Approach

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  • + Course Description

    The Advanced Inquiry Art History Honors college-level course is a survey of the development of artistic expression throughout history and from around the world. Students learn how people have responded to and communicated their experiences through art making by exploring art in its historic and cultural contexts. Students engage with forms and content of works of art as they research, discuss, read, and write about art, artists, art making, and respond to interpretations of art. Students develop critical analysis skills and make thematic connections among global traditions, which allows students to develop a profound understanding of representative works of art from diverse cultures, including fundamental information that places these works in context and reveals relationships among them. The curriculum includes the exploration of major museums in Los Angeles, both in class field trips and in required independent visits. This course integrates academic content with industry knowledge through the examination of various professional areas such as museum studies, art conservation, art evaluation, connoisseurship, and market trends.
  • + Rationale

    Without the confines of preparation for the AP exam, this course allows for truly profound understanding of works of art within historical and cultural contexts. The curriculum provides greater opportunities for in-depth critical analysis of artworks as well as more meaningful study of art historical periods and artists. Furthermore, the course affords the ability to investigate current issues in collection, evaluation, and market trends in addition to learning about careers in the arts, thus integrating academic content with industry knowledge.

CHAI English Language and Composition Honors

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  • + Course Description

    The Advanced Inquiry English Language and Composition college-level Honors course requires students to read and analyze a variety of challenging texts, with a focus on nonfiction, in order to determine the author’s purpose and how the author uses language to convey his/her ideas. Students are taught to read carefully and annotate each text, taking note of structure, word choice, sentence variety, and tone. With each text students read, they consider the author’s persona, audience, purpose, and the argument he/she is making. Students analyze the effectiveness of the argument, taking note of how linguistic choices either help or hinder an author’s message. Students will read to write, using the writers explored in class as models of how to communicate effectively. By identifying and understanding the rhetorical tools in the texts they read, students are able to shape their own language and ideas in more effective ways.
  • + Rationale

    By removing the need for AP multiple choice and essay test preparation, more time for authentic inquiry is gained; students will be enabled to conduct a more rigorous, focused study of a particular author, genre, or movement during the school year, and teachers will be more free to select books that reflect a wide array of literature and nonfiction.

CHAI English Literature and Composition Honors

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  • + Course Description

    The Advanced Inquiry English Literature and Composition Honors college-level course engages students in the careful reading and critical analysis of a variety of genres of literature, enabling students to deepen their understanding of the ways writers use language to provide insight into the most profound human concerns. Each thematic unit begins with a classic work of literature, then looks at more modern, diverse, multicultural works. The choice of themes and readings is designed to educate students about today’s most important cultural, social, and political issues. It accomplishes this goal by investigating the historical context and social values each work of literature embodies, inviting comparison to the social issues of our day and our own values. In addition to challenging reading, the Advanced Inquiry course places special emphasis on the importance of student writing, persuasive and personal, while honing students’ command of the English language by improving technical skills and stylistic finesse.
  • + Rationale

    By removing the need for AP multiple choice and essay test preparation, more time for authentic inquiry is gained; students will be enabled to conduct a more rigorous, focused study of a particular author, genre, or movement during the school year, and teachers will be more free to select books that reflect a wide array of literature and nonfiction.

CHAI Modern World History Honors

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  • + Course Description

    The Advanced Inquiry Modern World History Honors college-level course requires students to investigate how individuals, groups, and societies make decisions; how they act in response to complex, global issues; and how these actions can have far-reaching implications. The course employs a case study approach that encapsulates multiple perspectives and provides students with an opportunity to understand issues through in-depth inquiry, deliberation of their own positions, engagement with diverse sources of information and technologies, and collaborative and constructive problem-solving activities. The course emphasizes patterns of development in the world’s major civilizations and the consequences of the interactions among them. Themes of the course include cultural and intellectual trends, revolution, the power of the individual, developments of political culture and organization, the impact of technology, strategies of power acquisition, change and dissent, and changing systems of social structure, power, and identity. Throughout the course, efforts are made to tie the study of the past to its consequences in the world today and to the central question around which the course is structured: How does the study of world history help us understand the world today?
  • + Rationale

    In order to engage successfully with others in 21st century society, students must have an understanding of complex world issues and interdisciplinary perspectives and also be prepared with the proper tools. The AP European History curriculum that this course replaces does not offer a global perspective, and the amount of content required for students to prepare for the AP exam limits the exposure to contemporary issues and global citizenship. By eliminating the need to prepare for the AP exam, students are able to expand their inquiry and dedicate more time to discussion, research, revision of writing, collaboration, problem solving, and presentation skills. Teachers can focus more on assessing students on what they can do with what they know rather than how much they know at any given time and will help them build the skills needed to live and work in an increasingly connected world. This curriculum will prepare students to engage actively in a much wider range of global issues; develop research, writing, and presentation skills; foster creativity and flexibility; and understand the impact of human choices.

Dr. William Fitzsimmons, Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid, Harvard College

It’s clear that the Campbell Hall faculty spent a great deal of time constructing the new Campbell Hall Advanced Inquiry program. Each year the Harvard Admissions Office considers applicants from thousands of secondary schools and other academic experiences. As part of our whole-person admissions process, we consider all information we have for each applicant. High-school transcripts and standardized tests are two components of this larger review and provide a common measure that allows some comparison among applicants from very different backgrounds and academic institutions. The fact that your faculty has been so excited about creating this new program will no doubt lead them to approach the coming years with renewed enthusiasm. Students are always inspired by teachers who care deeply about what they teach.”

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4533 Laurel Canyon Blvd., Studio City, CA 91607
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Campbell Hall is an independent coeducational day school for grades K-12, located in Studio City, CA. We are affiliated with the Episcopal Church and its 500-year history of academic excellence, and are also one of the most religiously and racially diverse schools in southern California.

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