Projects 9-12 is a series of Independent Directed Studies that are generated through student and teacher collaboration – and which vary widely depending on the particular students involved each year.

An integral part of the block for the past two school years is the bi-weekly ‘Coffee Shop Critical Thinking Discussions’.  Topics are generated through from student input and using the ‘Right Question Strategy’, ( developed and researched by the ‘Right Question Institute’ (  Students are responsible for writing meaningful reflections for each discussion to express their experience of the discussion and topic.

We will continue to update this page with details from these critical thinking discussions.

Intelligence – Fall 2014

  • what is IQ, how is it tested
  • are IQ scores biased
  • cultural difference on the understanding of intelligence
  • do IQ tests actually assess “real” intelligence
  • what is EQ (emotional intelligence) and is it more important than IQ
  • will having a high IQ make you happier/have a better life?
  • the difference between school smarts and street smarts
  • is intelligence static (unchanging through one’s life), or is it dynamic (can grow or shrink over a person’s lifetime

How has the internet and technology changed our concepts of love – Fall 2014

  • bots: fake online people (programs) who try to scam you by pretending to be a person interested in you
  • Facebook status updates –how to break up when you can’t “get away” from your ex’s online presence
  • texting and how it’s changing dating/human interaction
  • the dangers of digital pictures and how they NEVER go away
  • do relationships that start online result in better or worse outcomes?
  • what are the repercussions of such a huge amount of adult content online – how is it changing expectations/norms? is it addictive? should it/could it be completely banned/censored?
  • cross-cultural comparisons and expectations when meeting online
  • online arranged marriages, electronic-mail ordered brides etc.
  • Japanese dating computer games

Cultural Perspectives on death and dying – December 1, 2014

  • death phobias, why are we so scared of death in our culture (the last big taboo)
  • suicide (assisted), should euthanasia be legal or not?
  • cross-cultural understandings of the afterlife (or lack thereof)
  • the death penalty
  • book focus: Tuesday with Morrie
  • how could we face death bravely?
  • how have attitudes/responses to death changed over time
  • Body worlds exhibition controversy
  • Victorian Post Mortem photography

Post Secondary Realities – coming up

  • how does post-secondary education actually work?
  • differences between college, university, and trade
  • what kind of salaries/job opportunities/ quality of life do different credentials open up?
  • what is university or college actually like?
  • How do you decide whether or not you should go?
  • what is the difference between a diploma, BA, a BSC, a MA, a PHD, or a MD?
  • what are possible majors?
  • how much will it realistically cost, and how realistic is it to make enough for this to be worth while?

 Class Suggestions – possible topics

  • What are the effects of video games on teenagers?
  • Islamaphobia: should we be afraid of/go to war against Muslims?
  • What are the coolest upcoming technological breakthroughs?
  • Can we still be optimistic about the future?