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Derek DeSantis

Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.
~ William Butler Yeats

Educational Goals & Objectives

My primary goal of teaching science is to prepare students for the twenty-first century, a time requiring increased scientific knowledge.  I hope to be a positive role model for my students while helping them to develop science process skills that will be of use as citizens or as scientist.  The social and economic well-being of our students depends on the skills they take with them when they leave a formal educational environment.  I aim to prepare my students for the future through active engagement in science labs that brings current research to the classroom.

My teaching methods provide meaningful learning experiences for all styles of learners.  I implement activities in every instructional unit that involve lectures, group discussions, structured group activities, audiovisual materials, and inquiry-based activities.  I strive to not only impart knowledge, but to influence changes in attitudes and values for science throughout the entirety of my courses.

Currently, I instruct Anatomy and Physiology at a high school in north central Florida.  Rather than presenting details for memorization, I have designed courses that transform how students think about and assimilate new relevant content. I use common surgical and medical cases as the core of the anatomy courses.  I have found that this clinical approach focuses student’s attention on the critical skills of spatial reasoning and the application of structure-function relationships.  Additionally, I bring my background in exercise science to the classroom through inquiry-based labs that integrate anatomy, physiology, and biology, while inspiring students to consider careers in the health sciences.  In order to improve the effectiveness of my lessons I also quantify the effects of new inquiry-based modules on test performance and student excitement through Institutional Review Board approved surveys and tests.  The results of these studies have helped me to better design laboratory lessons that will improve a student’s ability to retain and synthesize the science content discussed.  I aspire to continually grow as an educator, developing effective means of increasing a student’s interest and excitement for science.

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