Amanda Reid-Cossentino
Garnet Valley High School
Glen Mills, Pennsylvania USA
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I have a deep and sustained interest in learning about WWII, sparked in high school and nurtured ever since through history coursework and independent research. In 2016, I took part in Understanding Sacrifice: WWII in the Mediterranean. My favorite component was the chance to research a local Fallen Hero interred at an ABMC cemetery. I also enjoyed getting to go on a research trip to the National Archives which helped turn up exciting sources for my lesson plan.

My teaching philosophy reflects my personal intellectual experience. Learning the craft of history in graduate school provided me a sense of the practical value that study in the social sciences imparts in its broadest sense, and this insight has shaped my approach to the diverse course load I teach at Garnet Valley. From AP Macroeconomics to U.S. History, I stress critical thinking skills and immersive experiences.

When students engage in primary research, their findings resonate much more deeply than if they were passive recipients of lectures. From writing a newspaper article based on a Jacob Riis photograph they have selected to interviewing a woman who lived through the passage of Title IX, I encourage my students to be active participants in learning and to consider history from multiple viewpoints. I believe students learn best when they are active participants, and I can think of no better way than having them assume the role of the historian!