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Brunswick High School offering wizardry classes

PHOTO: Colin Smith explaining theme development to a student during Harry Potter: the Early Years elective course.
Posted at 9:28 AM, Dec 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-17 09:28:59-05

BRUNSWICK, Ohio — Attention muggles – while you’re not able to learn Potions or Defense Against the Dark Arts just yet, Brunswick High School is now offering two elective classes on the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

"Harry Potter: the Early Years" and "Harry Potter: the Dark Years" are taught by English teacher Colin Smith, and give students who love the hugely popular J.K. Rowling series the opportunity to view the books in a more academic light, according to a report by Brunswick High student journalist Jonathan Yokiel.

“I was not sure how high schoolers would view this class, but the reaction has been great,” Smith said in Yokiel’s article. “This first few weeks with my first group of students have been even better than I expected. The content knowledge that these students have is inspiring and their want to expand their knowledge is wonderful.”

The courses analyze the individual novels and the series as a whole, considering themes of identity, gender and morality.

The courses are currently available for upperclassmen at Brunswick High.

“Being in this class has opened up new ideas that I never thought would have been associated with the series, such as the commentaries on social issues throughout the novels,” senior Noah Juchum said. “Overall, this class completely exceeded my expectations.”

The classes have had high enrollment during their first year of being taught, and Smith hopes to expand these classes in the future.

“I want people to know that the Harry Potter series is not just for students. There can be very complex conversations about these stories that go beyond the magic that is in the plot,” Smith said.

Jonathan Yokiel, a senior at Brunswick High School, is one of 50 “backpack journalists” in the award-winning BEAT Video program. Learn more about the program here.