Thursday, December 6, 2012

Our Philosophy

Open Letter to Students:
Welcome to Riverside Virtual School.  If you are a returning student expect some changes that will hopefully enhance your educational experience.  If you are new to RVS, we are looking forward to helping you engage in a new educational experience that will certainly be different from your past experiences.
We love helping students to become inquisitive scholars, and develop and hone their academic skills.  A few thoughts on that so you can think about the journey you are about to undertake:  our purpose is to help students develop a deeper awareness of who they are and how they fit into this crazy world.  Our studies in history, the social sciences, and English Language Arts will lead us to ponder questions that have intrigued mankind since the dawn of human existence.
Much of our time as students and then as a teachers has been focused on the question, “How do we create the good person, living the good life, in the good society?”  As you will see this leads not to answers, but to more questions to ponder.  What is a good person? What is a good life? What is a good society?  As you move through your educational experience at RVS expect more questions than answers if we are doing things right.
Our roles are to be partners in an investigation of eternal questions, the answers that have been posed, developing our own understanding of the questions and answers based on rigorous academic work.  We will ask questions, identify and analyze sources, piece together evidence from multiple sources, and draw our own sound conclusions.
To start you thinking about the journey, we would suggest that one way to define the good person, living the good life, in the good society is that it is an educated person, who uses their knowledge to help create a more just and fair society.  So, what would that look like and how does that relate to your experiences and educational studies?
Our job is to help you become a literate person capable of being “the good person, living the good life, in the good society.”

Mrs. Courtney Hanes - English Department Chair
Mr. David Dillon - History Department Chair

“It is only this more expansive and demanding meaning of literacy, or what Dewey calls “popular enlightenment," that can inform and animate a vital democracy. Indeed, Dewey reminds us, a successful democracy is conceivable only when and where individuals are able to “think for themselves,” “judge independently,” and "discriminate between good and bad information.”