Albert J. Lewandowski, Ph.D.
Geography/Social Studies and Technology Instruction

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Competencies

I am a practitioner of research based instructional strategies founded on a thoughtfully considered educational philosophy. I am an experienced geography/social studies instructor, practiced in leading students on field-based learning experiences. I am committed to delivering courses that integrate rigorous content with the use of technology and experiential learning. I have formal training and teaching experience in a broad range of content areas including social studies, science, language arts, and computer studies. I am a proficient computer user, including educational applications of GIS, GPS, and remote sensing tools. I have demonstrated ability to integrate technology use in content area.

Philosophy

I hold that a need exists for change in the way we prepare life-long learners. Technological and cultural changes are converging in a manner that demands implementation of more effective ways to transmit knowledge and thinking skills. Available information is so vast, yet transitory, that learners must be provided with new tools for discerning its meaning. Computer systems hold the potential to serve as a tool and focal point in the search for a more effective instructional model. At the same time, I believe teachable strategies are available to assist learners in developing the critical thinking and problem solving skills necessary to manage and analyze this flood of information.

Instructional Strategy

I am particularly adept at implementing learning environments designed to create opportunities for directed exploration in a collaborative atmosphere. I provide students with a set of learning tools consisting of a collection of content organizers, a specific problem solving language, strategies for creative thinking, and a set of appropriate technology tools. Given specific content parameters, learners are directed to define problem areas that are both of personal interest and relevant to the content field. Investigation of these problems provides opportunity for development of critical thinking, problem solving, and information management skills. Students report progress and present alternative solutions through use of process based writing activities, formal publication, group presentations, and graphic displays.

Testimonials

“Thanks to Dr. Lew I can answer most of my own questions, he has taught me to rationally think of what the problem source is, why it happened and the way you can work them out or work around the problem. This will come in handy in college when professors will not answer my every question.
Technology Student Response

There are a number of characteristics that make Dr. Lewandowski a great teacher. Dr. Lewandowski always maintained a vision of high expectations for all his students, and they in return worked to meet those expectations. Dr. Lewandowski’s greatest asset is his love of learning, something that he openly shares with his students. He has a high energy approach with his students and definitely enjoys the time he spends in the classroom with them.”

—Mr. Charles Mossett, Principal
Port Huron Northern High School

“....I thought I would tell you how much my friends and I loved your science class. You really helped me learn to love knowledge and look at the world with curiosity. I still remember your enthusiasm, humor, and a particular note you wrote in response to something I said in a paper – you told me that having your hair go flat was a small price to pay for a chance to visit the desert. That comment stuck with me, I suppose, because it was somewhat rare for me at that time to hear a message that my hair WASN’T what mattered most. Thanks for being a voice that helped me rethink my potential.”

—Shauna Bona, a former student

“In my position as Education Manager at Environmental Systems Research Institute, I am in contact with hundreds of educators each year. In my experience in geography and GIS education over the past 20 years, I would place Dr. Lewandowski in the top 1% of all of the individuals I have worked with in terms of integrity, knowledge, and ability. He is one of those rare individuals who makes each of his students feel important. He would be a valued colleague and would bring innovation and service to every project he touches.”

—Dr. Joseph Kerski,
Education Manager, ESRI, Inc.

“...I have gained huge amounts of information since the beginning of this class. Then after gaining knowledge I learned about how to think critically. I learned that synthesis is the highest level of thinking. I’m very glad that I took this class because I will benefit from it now and in the future.”

Geography student response

“Over the past four years I have worked with and under the guidance of Dr. Al Lewandowski in a co-teaching geography course. I have experienced his enthusiasm, energy, and strong work ethic and found it to be contagious. He is creative, resourceful, and imaginative; an educator who has the capacity to elicit the best from his colleagues and his students.

Dr. Lewandowski engages students and their learning through higher-order thinking skills and differentiated student learning styles. He utilizes a variety of technology based learning activities which emphasize individual cognitive expression, while incorporating small group investigation. He delegates responsibility to students, but is careful to check their progress.”

—Mr. Philip T. Haeck
Special Education Teacher
Port Huron Northern High School

 

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