Student Rob Ranalli to Teach a Summer Philosophy Course at St. Benedict's Prep

5/8/2013

Stevens Junior Rob Ranalli will spend the summer teaching philosophy at his former high school, St. Benedict’s Preparatory School in Newark, NJ. Ranalli, a History and Philosophy major in the College of Arts and Letters and joint student in CAL’s graduate program in Technology, Policy, and Ethics, will be teaching “Introduction to Philosophy: Ethics” to students in their sophomore, junior, and senior years at St. Benedict’s Prep.

“I want to introduce the students to philosophy in a practical way,” Ranalli said. “I plan to include the philosopher Wittgenstein and St. Benedict to cover some issues in language and religious and political institutions.”

Ranalli decided to return to his high school hallways because the school did not offer philosophy during his time there as a student. In fact, it wasn’t until his first philosophy course at Stevens that he realized he wanted to switch his major.

“I came to Stevens and realized my philosophy course was more interesting than my other courses, and because I knew I wanted to go to law school, I decided to switch over,” he said.

Teaching philosophy to high school students is no easy feat – and Ranalli says discussion will be the most important part of the classroom experience.

“I want the class to still feel like it fits in with the rest of the school,” he said. “I remember a lot of my classes being really fun and engaging because of the teachers and the relaxed atmosphere – I don't want to lose that. It's a truly special place and so I want to keep that aspect alive in the class while using some of what I've been exposed to at Stevens.”

As for a future career in teaching after he graduates next year, Ranalli believes that it’s a possibility.

“I plan on going to law school when I graduate, but teaching is on my radar. The future is open, or so they say!”

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To read more about Rob Ranalli’s experience as a CAL student at Stevens, visit his section of CAL Student Blogs.