9th grade. Many studies have suggested that for the first time 9th graders, the year is one of the critical in the success of adolescents, and as they make their transition not only into high school but to an environment for which seemingly represents a microcosm of adulthood. Most schools have created courses specifically designed to help these students as they make one of the biggest transitions in their lives. These seminar-type courses have specific curriculums that will make this transition easier and focuses more on a variety of students' needs both academically and behaviorally.
In many cases, schools use their positive behavior interventions and support systems or PBIS, to help teach and encourage students to make the right choices behaviorally and not just for the four short years in high school but for adulthood as well. In our school our PBIS model as well as our core beliefs are known as the CRAIGs, or, Compassion, Respect, Action, Integrity, and Greatness. However, this transitional class has another goal in mind as well.
Along with this transition to high school, students will become more aware of truths in their academic lives. Students will learn not only more about themselves but also more about the world around them, their communities, and history. The misfortune of teaching children social studies in younger grades is the problem of textbooks and the narrow narratives that only tell partial parts or the most highlighted parts of history and the world, thus creating half-truths or even false information. Too often, students enter 9th grade with limited knowledge of their world. Over 50% of students do not know every continent on the planet. Most students do know how to describe how a democracy functions. Most students believe that some of the most critical reform movements were caused or led by a single person and not a group of people.
Thus, the goal of a freshman seminar class is to help them develop a better understanding of their world and themselves, on the basis of which they can adopt more positive and accurate mindsets and behaviors for future success.