There’s a new course at the high school this year, and it has students “flipping out.” The course is Mrs. Steinkamp’s AP/Dual Credit US History Class. The class is offered for students (sophomore through senior) who want a greater academic challenge and a different learning format. Students have the option of taking the course for honors credit, Advanced Placement examination, dual credit through Wesleyan University, or all three. The class is set up on a “flipped” format, which means that students work independently outside of class doing reading and viewing lectures. The classroom itself is a workshop for the study of history, offering students the opportunity to dive in and study history in a more in-depth way. The class requires students to have digital access (i.e., some sort of computer access from home and school). The textbooks are on-line. The lectures are from professors at major institutions like Yale, Harvard, Columbia, and Amherst. Students work directly with primary source documents, maps, data, and other raw materials that historians use in their work every day. Lessons include how to use primary source documents, how to compile and analyze data from historic sources, how to analyze and draw conclusions from maps, comparing and contrasting the views of various historians, how to form and defend a thesis, analyzing popular media for historic content. Students benefit from the collaboration that takes place in the classroom. They learn the basic skills to write history themselves, and they are free to openly debate ideas with their partners or other groups, exploring the various points of view that exist within any historic event. While this is a big class, students also benefit from more one-on-one time with the teacher. They connect daily with their teacher for assistance and instruction at just the time and in just the way that they need it, and they are encouraged to connect with the teacher for individualized lessons on college-level skills and personal study habits. What does the teacher do? The teacher is the guide, establishing the atmosphere, compiling and coordinating the resources, developing the learning plan, encouraging students, and facilitating classroom discoveries. The atmosphere is quite different than the traditional classroom. It’s not for everyone, but for 23 students, this is the wave of their educational future.