Living Large: Spiritual Design in Small Space Living (in New Orleans)

As an intentional community founded on Quaker testimonies of simplicity, equality/equity, and stewardship of the earth, George School has been a champion of social justice movements. The recent focus on our impact on the environment and being mindful of our footprint is one such movement. What better place to start to understand these relationships than with the concept of “home”? This course will provide students with educational and experiential opportunities that will help them understand their roles and responsibilities in the communities in which they live.

Students will be asked to read and analyze writings – both fiction and non-fiction – to develop the skills of discussion, close reading, literary analysis, and technical writing. Prior to our immersive service learning experience, students will establish an understanding of philosophical drivers, architectural design concepts, and spiritual significance of the space we call home. We will explore the Quaker testimonies of community and simplicity. The intention to consider “tiny” cultivates a process of self-reflection and spiritual growth as we understand our relationship to those around us in addition to what we possess. Students will participate in a two-week service project with Habitat for Humanity in New Orleans, LA, where they will learn about the rebuilding
process following the devastation left by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and develop their understanding of the relationship between human geography and the climate crisis. We will return to George School for the final three days of the term to debrief, complete journaling, and work on final projects.

Students earn 1 credit in religions, 1 credit in English, and fulfill their service requirement. IB diploma candidates will be able to use this experience for their Creativity, Activity, and Service (CAS) project. This domestic-travel course requires parental consent.