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Science & Nature

History of Environmentalism: Reading Silent Spring

We'll read Rachel Carson's Silent Spring chapter by chapter, explore historical influences and context, analyze the author's style and argument, and discuss what we learn along the way.
Tara Swoboda, MA, Certified Yoga Instructor
42 total reviews for this teacher
2 reviews for this class
Completed by 3 learners
  There are no upcoming classes.
60 minutes
per class
Twice per week
over 4 weeks
year olds
learners per class
per learner - per class

How does a "Multi-Day" course work?

Meets multiple times at scheduled times
Live video chats, recorded and monitored for safety and quality
Discussions via classroom forum and private messages with the teacher
Great for engaging projects and interacting with diverse classmates from other states and countries

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Class Experience

This course blends reading analysis with understanding nature and history. Learners will:
- Gain an in-depth understanding of Silent Spring through close-reading and group discussion.
- Identify and describe major aspects of the environmental movement of the 1960s and 1970s.
- Understand and articulate the differences between fictional literature and non-fiction genres.
- Analyze narrative style and explain what makes for credible evidence in an argument.
I love reading! Whether you're a fellow bookworm or a hesitant reader, my classroom is a welcome space to explore literature without expectation or judgement. There are no tests or quizzes in my courses -- I even hand you notes with what to watch for as you read! Flipping the reading process and telling readers which ideas to be on the lookout for makes it easy for learners to focus their reading. Students will complete the course feeling confident in their understanding of the book and able to explain how it relates to the environmental movement taking place today. I always offer additional suggested reading for students who want to continue exploring the subject further, too.

I hold a Master of Arts in English Literature and a Bachelor of Arts in Comparative Literature. Although originally an architecture major, I embraced my inner lit nerd while studying at UC Berkeley, where my favorite classes were small, discussion-based literature courses. I loved the endless options for studying different authors, time periods, genres, and literary canons, and found myself with a minor in Russian Literature just for the fun of it, too.

I originally learned about Silent Spring when I was a high school student taking Advanced Placement (AP) US History. I read it then and it helped me to gain a stronger understanding of the content in my APUSH class. Now I'm a high school counselor, and I continue watching students in APUSH learn about the impact of this book. Those who decide to pick it up often walk away with a much deeper understanding of the time in which it was written, and I'm excited to bring that further understanding to our classroom here.
Students can expect to read approximately 30-50 pages between each class session, or about 80-90 pages per week. Additional suggested reading will be offered for those interested.
Students should purchase or obtain from the library: Silent Spring by Rachel Carson (ISBN 0-395-68329-7) *Highly recommend obtaining the 1994 edition with an introduction by Vice President Al Gore. *Student choice: If you prefer audiobooks, or wish to try an audiobook for the first time, you are welcome to substitute the printed or electronic version of this book. As long as you learn the material and come prepared for discussion, your choice is welcome! Links for current news articles and related readings will be provided by the instructor. Weekly notes will be provided by the instructor to guide student reading and discussion.
Learners will not need to use any apps or websites beyond the standard Outschool tools.
2 hours per week in class, and an estimated 2 - 4 hours per week outside of class.


Tara Swoboda, MA, Certified Yoga Instructor
Lives in the United States
Certified Yoga Instructor
42 total reviews
33 completed classes

About Me

Bachelor of Arts - UC Berkeley
Master of Arts - Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles
Yoga Teacher Certification (RYT200) - Big Bear Yoga
Hi there! I'm a certified yoga instructor and mom of two young learners. After many years of teaching... 
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