Curriculum and Instruction » Instructional Philosophy

Instructional Philosophy

Instructional Philosophy

Our instructional model is based on the Greco-Roman Trivium. We emphasize memorization, logic and technical speech. Students at Maspeth High School will partake in the following classroom activities: 

  • Socratic Seminar – Students will sit in a circle and have an additive dialogue where they will use a text (I.e. The Iliad, Satyricon) to back up their thought. Students will be assessed on their active listening, locution and organization of facts. Socratic Seminar will be used as summative assessments primarily in English and Shakespearean Theater classes. 

  • Debate – At MHS we use debate in our History and Civics classes. Students will participate in Team Policy, Parliamentary and Lincoln Douglas style debates as a form of assessment. We adhere to same rules and regulations that are used in competitive debates. In debate, student will learn to use technical speech to further their arguments while rebutting the arguments of their competitors. 

  • Declamation – Students at MHS will perform 3 declamation pieces per year. A declamation is public recitation of powerful, persuasive and often political speech (i.e. The Gettysburg Address by Abraham Lincoln). Students will memorize a great speech and present it to their classmates for declamation 1, they will present to the whole school for declamation 2 and declamation 3 will be open to the greater Maspeth community. 

  • Public Speaking – We strongly encourage public speaking at MHS. Students will be encouraged to declaim in the presence of their peers and teachers whenever possible. Students will be routinely assessed on their speaking techniques and delivery. We will train students to be able to disseminate information using logic and reason and then speak using facts and figures in a public setting. 

  • Hands on Science – Our science program at MHS will follow the sequence: Biology -> Chemistry -> Physics -> Astrophysics & Natural Cosmology. We also offer Earth Science, SAT Biology, AP Biology, AP Chemistry, AP Physics B and AP Physics C as electives. All of our science classes are 6 or 7 periods per week with hands on laboratory experience and inquiry work.
  • Language - It is our goal to have all of our students take four years of language. We believe that foreign language is not exclusive and that all students would benefit from being exposed classical languages.