Opinion | Courses I’d Love to See at GALA

Opinion | Courses Id Love to See at GALA


Disclaimer: The following is an Opinion Piece from The Echo’s Editorial Section. It is a writer’s approach to expressing what they believe and why they believe it. Any opinions stated in by-lined editorials reflect the author’s views, not the administration or student body of GALA.

One of the exciting things about GALA compared to other schools is its ability to combine disciplines, connect humanities and science classes, and turn that into a fun and unique course. For example, GALA offers two electives that have done just that: Architecture, taught by Ms.Thomas, combines art, math, and history through a multitude of projects, including walking students through the process of designing a building, from drafts to prototypes to construction. Similarly, Art History, taught by Ms.Lee, surrounds art history in different periods and how art can be interpreted over time. 

GALA could incorporate more interdisciplinary courses similar to the ones we already have. After asking my peers what classes they would like to be available at GALA, we devised a shortlist. The most popular answer among my peers was Home Economics.

Many people have realized that the topics covered in traditional home economics classes can seem particularly patriarchal. Still, with a few reforms, I think GALA could incorporate a perfectly feminist home economics class. If you’re unaware, Home Economics, sometimes called Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS), is a class that was popular in the earlier ages of the public school system in the United States.

The American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences, or the AAFCS, is the founding organization of Home Economics. The standards are as follows:

  1. Personal, Interpersonal, and Family Relationships
  2. Parenting 
  3. Child Development and Education
  4. Food and Nutrition Science 
  5. Food Preparation, Service, and Hospitality
  6. Fashion, Textiles, and Apparel 
  7. Housing and Interior Design 
  8. Consumer Education
  9. Leadership
  10. Field Experience 

I and many others believe that while this course has become outdated and expensive to upkeep for many schools, it would be beneficial to send students off into the world with real-world knowledge and understanding of how to be an adult. 

Another class that I want to see at GALA is Molecular Gastronomy. I came across a blog post written by a teacher in 2017 that wanted to start a food science class at her school. In the post, she describes the process it took to develop and establish the course and an entire outline of the course. One way I could see GALA making a cooking class into something STEM-related would be to include chemistry. Molecular Gastronomy, according to Britannica, is “the scientific discipline concerned with the physical and chemical transformations that occur during cooking.” This course would fall under the category of uniquely interdisciplinary classes at GALA. By combining science and cooking, I think this is a class that many students at GALA would love to take. 

A little bit about myself here. Before I came to GALA, I wanted to be a crime scene investigator or an aeronautical engineer. Don’t ask me how I came to choose those things. I just did. I wanted to make planes and solve crimes. Now that I am almost finished with high school and on my way to college, I have changed my mind and decided not to pursue my original, naive dream of becoming a member of a CSI team. What would have helped with this decision, though, is if I had the chance to take a forensics science class. I am still interested in forensics, but not enough to major in it. I think a forensics class would be an excellent elective for GALA. Again, I have found a resource from Park Hill School District in Kansas City, Missouri, that outlines their Forensic Science curriculum. Having looked at this, I think GALA could easily incorporate a class that combines science, technology, and the scientific method with crime and justice. 

Aside from combining STEM with humanities, I think a couple of fun classes would be lovely to break up the average GALA high school student’s rigorous schedule. Ceramics, Geography, and Drivers Ed were my favorite class options discussed. Ceramics just seemed like a fun thing to learn to do for the simple fact that it’s fun to play with clay. 

Geography is one of my favorite things in the entire world. Learning where each country is and quizzing myself on how much I know about them is enjoyable. So, a whole class dedicated to it would be so awesome. 

Drivers Ed being a class in school, was something I was looking forward to as a part of my high school experience. Hearing my friends at other schools talk about how students would take these courses out of class and drive a car in the school parking lot made me envious of the fact that they could do that while I had to sit at home watching 58 ten-minute videos. Having Drivers Ed as a class on campus would make it much easier and more accessible for students to take the required Drivers Ed class instead of having to pay for it and attend courses outside of the school day. 

Of the many suggestions, these are only a few classes I would’ve loved to have taken during my high school years. After all, the school day is long and tiring – but courses like these can change that.