Modern Day History

The Enlightenment Period


Green Careers Pathway

          The Green Careers Pathway, a course designed to teach students about nature and saving energy, can be linked to the Enlightenment in many ways, but is connected mainly to the knowledge associated with women. During the Enlightenment, it was primarily women who knew about what kind of herbs you could use to heal an injury. Due to the witch trials, the practice of herbalism decreased tremendously, but Green Careers Pathway is trying to remind students that understanding plants and their many benefits to our world is still extremely significant today. Vitalism, the belief that life and nature has a specific energy essential to it, was a losing idea during the Enlightenment. Because Vitalism cannot be proven with a physical source or cause, it was in many ways overlooked.  Now, in present day, it is even more disregarded, as we concentrate more and more on new and improved technology instead of the beauty in nature.  This is a large contribution to why we have so much green house gas emissions in our atmosphere.  If people focused more on our environment and less on machinery, our planet would not be struggling the way it is. The contaminating of our environment did not initiate in the recent past, but originated in the Enlightenment, when the importance of nature first began being dismissed. The Green Careers Pathway is trying to restore this information about nature and habitats that we lost over time.
This link shows the importance of herbalism and knowing what different plants can do to the human body.

Health Careers Pathway

         The Health Career Pathway is linked to the Enlightenment in a number of ways. One such connection is the link between the scientific thinkers of that period, and the fields of physical and mental health care today. Newton, considered to be the father of modern science, postulated the idea that nature must be predictable and works according to natural laws, and if it is predictable, then we can study it. Newton’s theories became the basis of all modern sciences.  Newton and the other scientific thinkers of the Enlightenment laid the foundation that helped to identify and discover how the human body works. Often called reductionism, they believed that things can be understood and explained by breaking them down and subjecting them to study and analysis.  These ideas are directly related to what students study in the Health Career Pathway, and are the essentials for the information you have to know to work in the medical field to become a doctor, scientist or virtually any other health care profession. These scientific thinkers presented problems and ideas that are still being studied today.
This fun link is an animated description of how a human body works.  It is broken down for children to understand; thus, it is a form of reductionism.

Liberal Studies

         The Enlightenment had a tremendous effect in shaping our world and culture into what it is today and a huge part of our community is our public school system.  In our schools, the Liberal Studies cluster has many direct connections to the Enlightenment, focusing mainly on subjects related to culture, conflict, and creativity, all of which are major ideas of the Enlightenment.  In Liberal Studies, students have the opportunity to explore the background of politics and society regarding our financial system and other political affairs.  But the Enlightenment had many other attributes besides politics.   There was also growth in desire for creative aptitude, which many of the electives in the Liberal Studies cluster concentrate on-such as art, photography and sculpture.  A core element to the Enlightenment are winning and losing ideas on how people view and thought about the world.  In the Enlightenment time period, materialism and mechanism triumphed over the beliefs in vitalism and tradition.  In classes like psychology, Liberal Studies students have the opportunity to get a better understanding of exactly why these ideas became so accepted in the first place.  Though all of the clusters at Casa Grande are strongly influenced by the Enlightenment, I feel that the Liberal Studies cluster is the most directly persuaded by its beliefs.
Vitalism vs. Mechanism can be a very hard concept to grasp, but with the help from this article, anyone can become an expert on these two concepts.

Marketing, Media & Management

         A small learning community program at Casa Grande High School can easily be traced back to many philosophies from the Enlightenment era: developing, designing, mathematical applications; all of which originated with the scientific thinkers of the Enlightenment time period.  Marketing, Media & Management focuses on furthering a student's knowledge on developing and designing new products, strategies on marketing slogans and information on entrepreneurs.  During the Enlightenment, many scientists thought rationally about how they could improve the world.  They thought about the difference between mind and matter, science and religion.  These ideas are not only seen back in the 1500's, but they are also present in our school's programs today.  This cluster uses the knowledge from the scientific thinkers and harnesses it into information useable to create new technology.  Marketing Media & Management also uses thoughts from the political thinkers of the Enlightenment.  These political thinkers thought about society, government, and leadership.  They actually came up with the idea of the government having the three separations of power.  Marketing, Media & Management provides electives for students to become leaders and make a difference in their school; but without the Enlightenment and its great thinkers, our schools, communities and world would not be the same.
 This article displays the three branches of government in action.  It proposes a problem and forces the government to work together to fix it.
Pictute 1: Ten Faces Boutique. Web. 12 Dec. 2010. <>.
Picture 2: Breed, By. "ENLIGHTENMENT." Loldogs, Dogs 'n' Puppy Dog Pictures - I Has A Hotdog! Web. 03 Oct. 2010.
Picture 3: Wilkinson, Signe. "SBOE Shames Texas, Part I: Wilkinson on Cutting the Enlightenment out « Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub." Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub. 17 Mar. 2010. Web. 04 Oct. 2010.