One real strength of Canisius’ adolescent education program is in preparing its students for the future eventualities of teaching. Every class that I have been enrolled in thus far has emphasized the ever-changing world in which new teachers will be working. Students have grown up with the internet and nearly instant access to information as the norm. Because of this, traditional methods of teaching are no longer as effective as they once were. Canisius does a very good job at preparing future teachers to handle this difficult situation.
For example, the Foundations of Education class explores many different theories offered by current educational thinkers about how the realities of teaching have changed dramatically in the past decade or so. In this class, which meets online, we have discussed and covered the pros and cons of the thoughts of many leading educators about where the teaching profession and student education is headed.
In the Methods class, we have explored in detail the practical uses of technology and new pedagogies in the classroom. We have had a speaker who has won awards for his use of technology in his classroom who shared many of his practices and experiences with us. This presentation of real world experience gives the students an opportunity to really see what being in a modern classroom will be like. It is particularly helpful for students who have been out of high school for several years. For example, I have only been out of high school for about 10 years and many of the experiences of current high school students could not have even been imagined when I was in school.
One amazing statistic that we have had shared with us repeatedly is that the top 10 jobs in the U.S. today did not exist in 2004. Teachers are preparing students for careers and technologies that do not exist yet. It is our job, therefore, to prepare our students as best we can to be flexible and adaptable adults in an ever-changing world. Canisius does a very good job at preparing us for that!