THE EIGHTH GRADE students are ready to study modern history and have the ability to see the wholeness of the globe. History becomes an intensive study of the period from the French and American Revolutions to the modern day, focusing on outstanding individuals such as Lincoln, Jefferson, Edison and great figures from the 20th century such as Gandhi, Albert Schweitzer, and Martin Luther King. Geography takes up the same theme, showing the role played by every part of the earth in modern industrial civilization.
In science, lessons bring thermodynamics, mechanics, climate, electricity, magnetism, hydraulics, aerodynamics, meteorology, and ecology. Chemistry is also considered in relation to industry. Mathematics emphasizes the practical applications of arithmetic, algebra, and geometry. Human beings are again the subject of nature study through physiology of the human organism. Literature often focuses on the theme of human freedom in the short story, letters, and Shakespearean drama.
The task of elementary education is to give children an understanding of humanity and the world they live in, to offer them knowledge so rich and warm that it engages their hearts and wills as well as their minds. Such an understanding is the basis of all real learning in later years. With the completion of the eighth grade, the children have a well-rounded general picture of human life and the universe. This last year of elementary school should not only bring all previous experiences to a new peak but should enable the children to enter fully and potently into the life of their own time.