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Liberal Arts

Students discuss a reading in class.

Liberal Arts give us an opportunity to explore the human experience through literature, language, history, philosophy, world cultures, and more. Our students take these courses while examining the world through multiple views, being exposed to a variety of thoughts, and gaining insight into their own place within humanity.

For the first time in my life, there were adults who modeled what it meant to live a passionate life of the mind. It was a community of the most concentrated brilliance that I have ever been in in my life.

Garth Greenwell (Arts Academy '94-'96)

Liberal Arts Departments

Literature provides the awareness of a complex world through a multiplicity of views focused upon the fullness of life rather than upon any given accepted social, political, or religious orientation. Concomitant to the study of literature is the study of language, which provides the ability to perceive and formulate meaning. The objectives of the Interlochen Arts Academy English Department allow us to assist students in the exploration of human experience through the pursuit of literary appreciation and language skills.

Core Curriculum

The English as a Language Department offers a curriculum structured to meet the needs of those international students with limited English proficiency. Current linguistic, psychological, and educational research offers insight into the process of learning additional languages and the pedagogy that supports second language learning. Language learning takes place in the community and in classrooms. In the school setting, several general principles underlie successful language teaching and learning for all students.

Core Curriculum

Language is the art of communication through behavior, speech, and writing. The study of a world language, therefore, involves the student in the communication patterns of other cultures.

In an effort to encourage communication, all of the languages are taught exclusively in the target language, and all communication between the teacher and students takes place in the target language, including grammatical explanations and cultural topics. In essence, the language classroom begins to approximate a microcosm of the foreign country. Contextual clues, cognates, gestures and visual aids assist the learner in understanding without the need to translate to or from his or her native language. Participation at weekly language tables is required to promote meaningful communication in a less structured environment.

Core Curriculum

The History and Political Science curriculum at Interlochen Arts Academy assumes the responsibility for stimulating an awareness of the human condition. The goals of the department, therefore, emphasize the application of rational thinking to an understanding of man's historical, economic, political, and social development. The consideration of societal issues and the acquisition of the knowledge and skills that are fundamental and basic to the disciplines of History and Political Science are taught.

Core Curriculum

Meet Our Faculty

Our Liberal Arts instructors are an eclectic group of writers, journalists, travelers, film buffs, choir members, and even former Peace Corps volunteers. What they share is a passion for teaching, a dedication to their subject matter, and an enthusiasm for their students.

Eric Blackburn

Eric Blackburn

Dean of Academics & Academic Support

231.276.4708 231.276.4708 eric.blackburn@interlochen.org
Abbi Gee

Abigail Gee, M.Ed.

Instructor of English & Humanities

231.276.4711 231.276.4711 abigail.gee@interlochen.org
Jean Gaede

Jean Gaede

Instructor of Liberal Arts

231.276.4715 231.276.4715 gaedejm@interlochen.org
Karen Libby

Karen Leland-Libby

Instructor of English & Humanities

231.276.4802 231.276.4802 karen.libby@interlochen.org
Brian McCall

Brian McCall

Instructor of History & Political Science

231.276.4714 231.276.4714 mccallbd@interlochen.org
Leah Mosher

Leah Mosher

Instructor of History & Humanities

231.276.5616 231.276.5616 leah.mosher@interlochen.org
Nora Robinson

Eleanor Liu Robinson

Instructor of English as a Language

231.276.7469 231.276.7469 robinsonel@interlochen.org
Angela Blair

Angela Blair

Instructor of English as a Language

231.276.4714 231.276.4714 angela.blair@interlochen.org

Chad Kamrow

Instructor of History & Political Science

231.276.4710 231.276.4710 chad.kamrow@interlochen.org