Derryfield is the only school in New Hampshire that is a member of the Malone School Online Network (MSON), which offers advanced, college-style seminar courses in an online, synchronous format. Students often choose Malone courses because they want to attain a higher level of understanding than AP courses or to explore a new subject area. Some of the most popular MSON classes among Derryfield Students are multi-variable calculus, forensics, pop culture, and Arabic.
Malone courses are taught by faculty from the forty-eight consortium schools. In the past, Regina Assetta and Lindley Shutz of the English department at Derryfield taught American Food Systems, a course developed by former faculty member Brent Powell. Currently, Diane Hotten-Somers of the upper school English department is teaching a two-semester survey course on feminism. Dr. Hotten-Somers has a Ph.D. in American Studies from Boston University. She spent twenty years teaching at the college level before joining Derryfield in 2015.
In the fall of 2021, Hotten-Somers taught The History of Feminism and Gender: 1792-1992. The essential course questions were: How does our society define feminism and gender, and what socio-cultural historical forces have shaped these definitions/understandings? And, how do feminism and gender affect your understanding of yourself and your place/experience in American society? The final project for the course was a Gender and Feminism Digital Museum.
This spring Hotten-Somers is teaching Ensuring Equity: Women in 21st Century American Culture. The essential course questions are: What does it mean to be a woman in American culture today? If and how have the third and fourth waves of feminism ensured equity for American women? What and how has the media represented and shaped the contemporary definition of and real lived experiences of contemporary American women?
Hotten-Somers offers this advice to her students:
“When you take risks in your thinking, writing, or in life, oftentimes you get it wrong on the first (and sometimes second, third, fourth times). But, those missteps, those moments where you take a chance on an idea, a new writing style, a different perspective of a text, but do not quite hit the mark are opportunities for tremendous growth, and as such have value in this course.
The best advice I can give is to stop working for the grade and start working for the learning that will accrue. You’ll have more fun, do better work, and emerge as a stronger student.”
All schools participating in MSON are recipients of a transformational endowment gift from the Malone Family Foundation that enables Derryfield to provide scholarships to highly capable students with financial needs in grades 7 through 12. In 2012, Derryfield was named as one of 50 schools in the United States to be part of the Malone Scholars Program. The MSON Curriculum Guide is available online.