Enlightenment reigns in AP class


Jonah Giuliano (’15) and Ben Fizer (’15) prepare for the AP Euro Enlightenment salon. Jonah dressed as Mozart for the event.

Students in Social Studies teacher Terese Trebilcock’s AP European History class participated in an “Enlightenment Grand Salon.” After researching important figures of The Enlightenment, they then discussed questions in the roles of their figure.

The class of 12 students studies European history from the beginning of time until present day.

“It’s hard if you don’t have any background of European history, which I don’t,” said Amanda Hammersla (’15).

In the classroom, questions were taped on to paper “tablecloths” which the students then wrote their opinions on as they rotated from table to table. Tea and cookies were also provided to add to the salon atmosphere.

Some predominant figures in the discussion included John Locke, a philosopher who believed in the separation of powers, and Catherine the Great, who believed in an absolute monarchy but also wanted to help the people.

Trebilcock also participated in the discussion as a wealthy widow who hosted salons. A salon is a gathering of people sharing their thoughts and knowledge.

Amanda thinks these discussions are beneficial.

“It’s easier to understand the viewpoints of the figure from a classmate instead of just reading from a book,” she said.

Trebilcock also said the discussion helps students relate a figure to their classmates which then helps them during a test.

Some topics discussed were, opinions on freedom of speech, religion and forms of government. The students will write follow up essays on religious toleration, social and political conditions, economics, or science in economics.