The Graduate Manifesto of George CassuttoFinal Thoughts
Two years of on-line course development, taking on-line courses, acting as a mentor, interacting with a mentor, traditional classroom interaction, chat room discussion, and reflecting on professional growth has had a cumulative effect on me as both a teacher and as a person. An entire world of teaching and learning has been made available to me in ways that I could not have suspected. The innovations and revolutions within my own pedagogical approach will undoubtedly find their way into my regular classroom, which I have always tried to enhance with technology and on-line learning for my students.
|My own methods for teaching history and government, which already have a foundation of critical thinking and evaluation, have been renewed and refreshed by the influx of new paradigms for student achievement. The constructivist approach, where students discover and develop their own learning medium through research and self-expression, will continue to be one primary method for building student skills and knowledge. In teaching on the secondary level, we teachers have an opportunity have a wide-ranging impact on the lives of young people. Teachers have the rare opportunity to instill core values such as acceptance, tolerance, cultural understanding, patriotism, the abhorrence of violence, recognition of the value of participatory democracy, and the appropriate use of technology in American society and in the global marketplace of ideas. Sometimes teachers have to overcome years of counterproductive family experiences that students often bring into the classroom as well as provincial thinking that they bring with them from the local community. The Virtual High School experience has enhanced my own ability to have a positive impact on the lives of my students because being involved in the program has made me a more introspective and effective teacher.||
New methodologies will continue to find their way into the classroom of the 21st century. American education as an institution is never static or in want of new things to try. If student learning benefits from an innovation, I am ready to put it to use. I have been an advocate for technology in the classroom for the past ten years. As the technology continues to change and improve, I am confident their will be new applications for it in the secondary classroom. Communication is at the heart of teaching, and technology is revolutionizing communication. The two processes are so closely linked in our society that teachers like myself must be willing to embrace new and innovative approaches. Innovation by its very nature includes improvement. Trends in education come and go, and unfortunately, many of my colleagues have become bitter and cynical because education often changes for the sake of change. As long as a new approach to teaching and learning gets a chance in my classroom, possibly leading to change in how things are done, then I know I am in the right place.
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