Christa McAuliffe was born on September 2, 1948, in Boston, Massachusetts. She is best known for being the first high school teacher chosen to join the NASA Teacher in Space Project on July 19, 1985. Christa and the rest of the crew died on January 28, 1986, when her shuttle, the Challenger, exploded shortly after liftoff.
After Christa's death, she received the Congressional Space Medal of Honor. She was also honored with having a planetarium, asteroid, and star named after her. The world will never forget that brave young woman who inspired so many to follow their dreams no matter how “far-out” they may seem.
The McAuliffe Approach differs from other teacher profiles in this text, because it outlines her contributions both in and out of the classroom, and why NASA finally chose her to represent the nation’s teachers. It will apply a teacher/student-centric hybrid approach to a soft-skill communications methodology that produces high degrees of metacognition. But lest we consider that Christa is only profiled here because of that fateful explosion, it was her incredible talent in the classroom that is her forgotten legacy. She was in fact a Great Teacher. After reading this touching portrayal of Christa’s life and approach to teaching, one can only wonder… “What if?”
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The “Field Trip Teacher; An Extraordinary “Ordinary” Person; The McAuliffe Approach: McAuliffe Strategy #1: Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously; McAuliffe Strategy #2: Take Command of Your Classroom; McAuliffe Strategy #3: Generate Metacognitive Opportunities; McAuliffe Strategy #4: Don’t Forget Oral Communication; McAuliffe Strategy #5: Promote Experiential Learning; Bonus Profile: McAuliffe’s First Year as a Teacher; Summary; Reflection
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