Beyond IQ

The Hero's Journey for Teens: Finding Your Mythic Story

Register for the Hero's Journey for Teens: Finding Your Mythic Story here!

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Instructors: Justin Schwamm and Nancy Vander Veer
5-10 students
Suggested Age Ranges: 13+
Meets: Wednesdays, 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm Pacific time


Course Description

Do you love epic adventure stories, book series, movies, fanfic universes? If so, you may have noticed some similarities (along with some major differences) between the stories you love. Joseph Campbell, a well-known 20th-century scholar of mythology, observed those differences too and has claimed that there is an underlying “monomyth” or Hero’s Journey story which is reflected, in various ways, in the stories we love. But is he correct? And are there other ways to view the similarities among our favorite stories? In this course we will take a deep dive into Campbell’s work along with the insights of “stage theory” (Piaget, Erikson, and Kohlberg among others) and Christopher Booker’s work on the “Seven Basic Plots.” We’ll use these tools not only to examine our favorite stories, but also to look at our own personal Stories. Join us on a Quest … or will it be a Rebirth or a Voyage and Return?

Prerequisites:

None.

Syllabus

  • 1/30 Week 1 - Intro to the Hero’s Journey and to Stage Theories of personal development

  • 2/6 Week 2 - First sharing session: Participants bring their favorite Hero’s Journey stories

  • 2/13 Week 3 - Introduction to Socratic Seminar process. Seminar based on one or more texts from Week 2. The Seminar Development Cycle, Part 1.

  • 2/20 Week 4 - The Seminar Development Cycle, part 2. Brief student-led Opening and Core 1.

  • 2/27 Week 5 - Mission #1 due and shared (should you choose and have time to accept it).  The Seminar Development Cycle, part 3. Brief student-led Closure.

  • 3/6 Week 6 - 7 Basic Plots overview and instructor-led seminar.

  • 3/13 Week 7 - Second Sharing Session: participants analyze plot structure of that favorite Hero’s Journey story (or another favorite).

  • 3/20 Week 8 - Student-led Seminars based on one or more texts from Week 7. The Seminar Development Cycle, Part 5: Pre-Seminar content and process.

  • 3/27 Week 9 -  Student-led Seminars based on one or more texts from Week 7 (Round 2). The Seminar Development Cycle, Part 6: Post-Seminar process and content.

  • Spring Break 4/3

  • 4/10 Week 10 - Mission #2 due and shared (should you choose and have time to accept it).

  • 4/17 Week 11 - Character archetypes and stage theories. Mission #2 presentations, round 2.

  • 4/24 Week 12 - Third Sharing Session: participants analyze character(s) of a favorite Hero’s Journey story through the lenses of character archetypes and stage theories.

  • 5/1 Week 13 - Mission #3 (full-fledged seminar) presentations, round 1.

  • 5/8 Week 14 - Mission #3 presentations, round 2.

  • 5/15 Week 15 - Remaining Mission #3 presentations; wrap-up and next steps.


Register for the Hero's Journey for Teens: Finding Your Mythic Story here!

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