In the 2017-2018 academy year, over 30 electives courses on a wide range of academic and arts subjects will be offered to high school students at Fei Tian Academy of the Arts. These include academic electives such as Business Management, Marketing, Computer Programming, Fashion Construction, Creative Writing, Public Speaking and Debate, Chinese Language, Chinese History, Mythology, Environmental Science, College Economics, and over 10 Advanced Placement (AP) courses, and many arts electives in Chinese dance, ballet, and music.
Our newly established Fine Arts Department will offer a number of electives such as Chinese Painting, Chinese Calligraphy, Drawing, Basic Sculpture, Graphic Design, Photography, and Film Production.
The following are the descriptions of some of the electives courses offered in academic year 2017-2018.
Introduction to Computer Programming
This course is an introduction to computer science and software engineering for all students interested in developing software applications, not just using them.
Through a project oriented approach, students will explore a variety of programming systems and languages to create interactive applications and systems. By collaborating in a hands-on environment, students will learn problem-solving, software design, debugging strategies, and the foundations of computer science (data structures, procedures, and algorithms). Students will work on projects (both individual and team) in the areas of graphics and games, animation and art, electronics systems, and interactive fashion, all using open-source software tools such as Scratch, Arduino, Processing and Python.
Prerequisite for this course is basic familiarity with computers and software applications, plus a curious spirit and a willingness to experiment and learn.
The objective of this course is to make the educational process investigative and personal. Students are encouraged to develop interdisciplinary thinking skills (problem solving, critical thinking, communication, creativity). Understanding basic business principles is an essential part of professional, personal, social and ethical decision-making. Students will acquire an understanding of key business management concepts and ideas, and develop an awareness of the relevance that business organization and planning, human resource management and leadership have on institutional, professional and personal levels.
Introduction to Marketing
Introduction to Marketing provides students with an introduction to the principles of Marketing. This course focuses on basic marketing concepts, marketing functions, entrepreneurship concepts, national and global economies, international marketing, and human relations.
Students will be expected to meet all of the course goals and be able to demonstrate their understanding of the underlying concepts. The instructional strategies will include small and large group discussion, lecture, role play, research reports, presentations and problem-based learning activities used to integrate process skills such as decision making, problem solving, and critical thinking.
Creative writing is a one semester elective course, which places emphasis on improving each student’s ability to communicate using the written word. Students will communicate the written word through a variety of methods including: exploring the writing process, through the writing of journals, poetry, short stories, and plays; construction of writing pieces in varying genres.
Students will read, interpret, and analyze a variety of poems, nonfiction and fictional works by a variety of authors. Through reading and writing activities, students will gain a sound understanding of the elements and forms of writing to create their own written creations.
Over the course of the semester, students will be able to identify and utilize their writing style and original voice. Students will be responsible for submitting at least two ―perfected pieces into contests. Aside from broadening students’ literary scope, helping them read with a critical eye, and exposing them to constructive criticism, this class will most importantly cultivate an artistic appreciation for the beauty of language.
Public Speaking and Debate
Public Speaking and Debate is a one-semester beginning level course offered in the spring for students who are interested in learning more about public speaking or have never debated before. After completing this course, students will have a set of portable argumentation and advocacy skills that they can use in a variety of experiences throughout the curriculum at FTAA-MT.
Students will initially learn about and practice structured extemporaneous speeches with emphasis on verbal and nonverbal delivery skills (organization, projection, inflection, eye-contact, hand gestures, and more). Students will then build a foundation for effective argumentation and advocacy (claim/warrant/evidence) by participating in “SPAR” debates and finally, students will develop and deliver one research-based persuasive speech.
Because public speaking functions in a larger democratic context, the class will also consistently stress critical listening skills and an attitude of appreciative inquiry with diverse perspectives.
Every culture has myths and traditional stories that have endured the test of time. They stand at the intersection between the world of gods and that of mortals, often in a time immemorial, as heroic and cautionary tales that contain moral codes and universal truths.
This course will focus on the myths and tales of ancient China, Greece and Rome. We will look at some of these myths and stories that have shaped these cultures and the way in which they portray the divine order – a ubiquitous theme in all the world’s cultures. The course will give students a chance to read and analyze some of the most fascinating stories and determine their relevance in the context of modern culture. Some of the themes that we will explore include the creation of the universe, the relationship between gods and mortals, human nature, good and evil, religion, the family, love, and death.
The objective of this course is to make the educational process investigative and personal. Students are encouraged to develop interdisciplinary thinking (problem solving, critical thinking, communication, creativity). Understanding the science behind major environmental issues of the world today on both local and global scales is an essential part of personal, societal and ethical decision-making. Students will strengthen their awareness of their role in our environment and the responsibilities that role carries.
Introduction to Graphic Design
This course explores the basic foundations of design through a series of visual projects that explore the principles and elements of design, introduces the interaction of text and image and the fundamental components of graphic communication. Students will work both with analog and digital media as they explore two-dimensional design, hone skills in working with text and image as they create solutions to a series of design problems. Students will be expected to expand their proficiency in all aspects of the design process, including the use of formal design principles, type as image, creative brainstorming, conceptualizing, critical thinking, collaboration, and presentation.
Introduction to Photography
In this course, students will learn the basic principles of photographic composition, lighting, and development to move from taking “snapshots” to great shots. The class is designed to allow students with entry level to intermediate photography skills to advance their understanding and knowledge of photography. Students will develop their visual literacy through the study of fundamental principles in fine art. They will take careful study of the visual masters, from renaissance artists through to contemporary professional photographers. The course will provide an introduction to various fields of photography and equip students with a sound general knowledge of each.
Fashion Construction Using the Golden Proportion
The Golden Proportion can be found in nature’s animate as well as inanimate elements. It underlines the order found in the structures of plants, animals and the human body – quite simply, it is all around us and within us as well.
The Golden Proportion has been used for centuries in fine arts, architecture, and is currently being used in graphic design, film making, photography and lately, even in the field of plastic surgery, in order to achieve balance, harmony, and beauty. Surprisingly, it has never been adopted in fashion design, despite the fact that that we use clothes to cover our human bodies.
In this course students will learn the advantages of using the Golden Proportion in fashion construction in a workshop environment. The emphasis will be on structure over style. Students will apply the GP to produce garments that reflect their understanding of the GP and their ability to manipulate this simple mathematical rule so as to achieve a harmonious garment. By the end of the course, students will have a small collection of garments and a portfolio of experiments which will serve as a stepping stone in their college applications, should they wish to pursue a carrier in fashion design.
Fei Tian Academy of the Arts is arguably the first school in the world to offer such a course.
Chinese Calligraphy and Painting
This course helps students develop the basic knowledge and techniques in Chinese calligraphy and painting, two separate, yet closely related, major art forms in traditional Chinese culture. Chinese painting, also known in Chinese as “national painting” (國畫 guohua), has a long history and long-standing tradition in China. Students will learn the two main techniques in Chinese painting: “fine brush” (工筆 gongbi) and “freehand style” (xieyie 寫意). There will be painting sessions focusing on landscape painting, bird-and-flower painting, and figure painting. In calligraphy, students will be introduced to the theoretical bases of the art form as well as the practical skills. Throughout the course, students will imitate the works of famous painters and calligraphers in Chinese history with the purpose of developing an appreciation and aesthetic understanding of the beauty in them.
Introduction to Chinese History
This course is designed for students to acquire a general knowledge of Chinese history. The course comes in a two-part sequence offering a general history of China from the earliest records of Chinese civilization through the Ch’ing [Qing] Dynasty. The course is designed for students who have no prior knowledge of China.
The course will be taught in Chinese, therefore students are required to understand spoken Chinese. The organization of the course is basically chronological, but within that framework we will be approaching China from a wide range of viewpoints, taking up political, economic, social, religious, philosophical, and artistic developments.
AP Calculus AB
Calculus brings together methods and skills the students have learned throughout their high school years and is thus the culmination of their high school Mathematics. Calculus is also a gateway to more advanced courses in Mathematics. This course is a one-year introductory course on Calculus following the AP Calculus AB curriculum standards and preparing students for the AP Calculus AB exam.
The course is primarily concerned with developing students’ thorough understanding of the concepts of Calculus, and providing experience with its methods and applications. The course emphasizes a multi-representational approach to Calculus, with concepts, results, and applications being expressed verbally, numerically, graphically, and analytically. Historical perspectives that developed the field of Calculus are incorporated into the course. To be eligible, students must demonstrate exceptional ability and achievement in prior math courses.
This course is constructed around the AP Biology Curriculum Framework, which focuses on the four big ideas, enduring understandings, and science practices, with an emphasis on the connections between the big ideas. Students will have opportunities to engage in hands-on laboratory investigations, which will make up at least 25% of instructional time. Students will complete all the 13 required labs in the AP Lab Manual for Students, and a variety of additional labs. Students will also conduct a minimum of 8 inquiry-based laboratory investigations (two per each of the big ideas). These labs will provide opportunities for students to develop and test hypotheses, collect and analyze data, as well as communicate the results of their investigations. Through hands-on activities, formal labs, inquiry-based learning, and student-directed investigations, students will be able to apply, and integrate the seven science practices with biological knowledge. Students will be required to report on all laboratory investigations according to the criteria specified in the lab report rubric of the AP Lab Manual.
In addition to hands-on lab experience, students will improve their critical thinking skills, and problem solving abilities through journal readings, group discussions, and scientific writings. These activities will also let students apply biological and scientific knowledge to major social concerns.
AP English Literature and Composition
The AP English Literature and Composition course will engage students in the careful reading and critical analysis of imaginative literature.
Through the close reading of selected texts, students will deepen their understanding of the ways writers use language to create meaning. Students will learn to consider a work’s structure, style, and themes, as well as smaller-scale elements such as the use of figurative language, imagery, symbolism, and tone.
This course is intended to provide the experience of a typical introductory college literature course. It includes intensive study of representative works from various genres, periods, and cultures, concentrating on works of recognized literary merit. Reading in the course builds on the reading done in previous English courses.
Students will read deliberately and thoroughly, taking time to understand a work’s complexity, to absorb its richness of meaning, and to analyze how that meaning is embodied in literary form. Students will also learn to consider the social and historical values a work reflects and embodies.
Careful attention to both textual detail and historical context provides a foundation for interpreting a text. Writing is also an integral part of the AP English Literature and Composition course and of the AP Exam. Writing assignments in the course will address the critical analysis of literature and will include expository, analytical, and argumentative essays. In addition, creative-writing assignments such as response and reaction papers, free- writing, or keeping a journal will help you see from the inside how literature is written. The goal of both types of writing assignments is to increase students’ ability to explain literary works clearly and cogently and how to interpret them.
Physics and AP-Physics 1
This course is a combination of HS Physics and algebra based AP Physics 1, as the both contents overlap for a large extent. AP Physics 1 requires a deeper conceptual understanding of each topic. HS School Physics topics follow the NY state requirements whereas AP Physics 1 topics closely follow those outlined by the College Board and also mirror an introductory level university Physics course. Students must have completed Algebra I, Geometry and be concurrently taking Algebra II course. Physics involves the scientific approach to the study of nature in its simplest form. The study of Physics will allow students to better understand their physical world. Emphasis will be placed on independent learning and laboratory investigations.
This AP Chemistry course is designed to be the equivalent of the general chemistry course usually taken during the first year of college. This course will focus on six “Big Ideas” in chemistry: structure of matter, bonding and intermolecular forces, chemical reactions, kinetics, thermodynamics, and chemical equilibrium. A special emphasis will be placed on the seven science practices, which capture important aspects of the work of scientists. This course adopts various lesson formats, including Socratic seminars, jigsaw type presentations, and small group discussions. “Hands on” laboratory time and inquiry-based investigations will account for 25% of instructional time. By the end of the course, students will be able to develop their critical thinking and problem solving skills, teamwork abilities, laboratory techniques, and effective oral and written communication skills.
AP Art History
AP Art history at FTAA covers all aspects to achieve a high score in the AP Art History test. The exam is completely aligned with the course learning objectives and content. Students explore works of art through observation, discussion, reading, and research. Students develop skills in visual, contextual, and comparative analysis. They learn through class discussions on specific works, historical contexts, art periods and styles, and themes. They learn to critically analyze works of art within diverse historical and cultural contexts, considering issues such as politics, religion, patronage, gender, and ethnicity. There is a focus on the major forms of artistic expression of architecture, sculpture, and painting from across a variety of cultures.
The curriculum limits the required course content to 250 works of art, aligning with college and university faculty expectations of the number and types of works students should know. The AP Art History course and exam are structured around ten content areas: Global Prehistory, Ancient Mediterranean, Early Europe and Colonial Americas, Later Europe and Americas, Indigenous Americas, Africa, West and Central Asia, South, East, and Southeast Asia, The Pacific, and Global Contemporary. The depth of learning students experience in AP Art History prepares them for advanced college coursework in art history and other disciplines.
AP Chinese Language and Culture
Designed for students who were raised in a Chinese speaking country and came to the English speaking country in elementary school or junior high school, this course aims to consolidate and enhance the students’ Chinese as the mother tongue of the language ability, emphasize the students’ appreciation of classical literature, develop students’ appreciation and awareness of Chinese culture. Prerequisite: Placement test and teacher consent.
AP Studio Art: Drawing
The AP Studio Art-Drawing course is a two-semester course of study. Students will develop a portfolio of their work to be evaluated by AP evaluators. The final student portfolio will comprise three components: 1) a Quality series of five artworks most representative of the student’s best effort; 2) Concentration in an area where the student conceives, develops, and submits a series of 12 works related by content; and 3) Breadth that demonstrates the student’s mastery of all basic elements of design.
The process of developing a portfolio requires a great deal of time. Besides the four 50-minute classes each week, students will be required to draw outside of class to practice and discover where they excel. Students will use a sketchbook as a visual journal to work through ideas, practice drawing and design skills, and record their artistic journey throughout the course.
Courses Offered by Fei Tian College-Middletown
MAT105 Calculus I (equivalent to AP-Calculus BC)
Instructor: Associate Professor Kevin Ren, PhD
Location and Time: R206, M/F 4:55-6:10pm
This course covers calculus of functions of one variable. Topics include limit, difference quotients and the derivative, applications to graphing, optimization (min/max) problems, and an introduction to the definite integral, anti-derivatives and indefinite integrals. The main objectives are to develop and strengthen the students’ problem-solving skills and their abilities to read, write, speak, and think in the language of mathematics. In particular, students learn how to apply the tools of calculus to a variety of practical problems. Besides lectures, students are required to take the lab and discussion session.
Main Textbook: James Stewart, Calculus: Early Transcendentals, 8th Edition. Brooks/Cole products Cengage Learning, 2016
ENG103 Effective English
Instructor: Adj. Assistant Professor Brad McDuffie, PhD
Location and Time: R206, Tu 6:30-7:45pm /Sa 5:10-6:25pm
The goals of the writing program are to help students think, read, and write critically. Through these interrelated activities, students will learn to develop and communicate ideas about focused subjects; for particular audiences; in a clear, convincing manner. Our fundamental assumption is that writing is a way of thinking and that the process of writing is an act of discovery.
Main Textbook: Kennedy, X.J, Dorothy M. Kennedy, Jane E. Aaron, and Ellen Kuhl Repetto, eds. The Bedford Reader. 12th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2014.
ECO101 Principles of Economics
Instructor: Adj. Assistant Professor Davit Sahakyan, PhD
Location and Time: R206, Silver Building, Tu/Th 3:30pm-4: 45pm
This course is designed to introduce students with the basic principles of economics, such as scarcity and opportunity cost, supply and demand, market failures, and government’s role and government failures. In addition, students will learn about productions costs, different types of competition, inequality, unemployment and inflation, GDP and its measurement, money, banking and financial institutions, as well as basic ideas about fiscal and monetary policy.
Main Textbook: Campbell McConnell, Stanley Brue and Sean Flynn. Economics. McGraw-Hill Education. 21st edition. 2017
BMS132 Nutrition, Health & Wellness
Instructor: Associate Professor Ann F. Corson, MD, Assistant Professor Margaret Jiang, PhD
Location and Time: R206, Silver Building, M/F 3:30pm-4: 45pm
Understanding nutrition is essential for lifelong health and wellness. This course will describe the anatomy and physiology of nutrient digestion, absorption, and utilization throughout all stages of human life. The various classes of nutrients, essential vitamins and minerals and their role in metabolism will be explored. The importance of proper nutrition for health, wellness and longevity has been acknowledged by traditional cultures throughout history. From the earliest times, food has been used not only for the acquisition and maintenance of health but also for the treatment and prevention of disease. Ancient Chinese people emphasized the importance of the proper selection and preparation of food based on the five energies, flavors, and movements to regulate, tonify and cleanse the body. This course will explore traditional Eastern and Western principles of diet and lifestyle that are aligned with the course of nature, the four seasons in the cycle of physical, emotional, social and spiritual life. This course will focus on teaching behavioral change and personal decision making so that students will be able to monitor, understand, and affect their own nutritional behaviors.
Main Textbook: Thompson, Nutrition: An Applied Approach (5th Edition) 2017