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Welcome to Mr. Trapasso's Language Arts and Social Studies Classes!   Mr. John Trapasso teaches our middle school Literature, Language Arts, and Social Studies classes. He has a B.A. from Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York and a Masters in Education with a concentration in Social Studies from Tufts University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. As part of this program, he worked as an apprentice at the Shady Hill School, gaining hands-on training in a progressive approach to education. He has taught English and Social Studies for 20 years, including 14 years at the San Francisco Day School. In addition to teaching, he worked as chairperson of a school committee researching current ideas for improving teaching and learning and worked to bring critical thinking to the top of the school's agenda for self-improvement. In 1995, Mr. Trapasso began studying with Dr. Richard Paul, the nation's leading expert on critical thinking, and started reshaping his teaching and curriculum to create a thinking-centered classroom. From 1998-2002, Mr. Trapasso joined Dr. Paul's team of experts at the Center for Critical Thinking in Dillon Beach, California, and worked part-time as a professional development trainer for educators, leading workshops that taught educators how to infuse critical thinking skills into the classroom. With a love of both English and Social Studies, as well as a passion for infusing critical thinking skills into teaching, Mr. Trapasso brings an innovative and challenging edge to Hilldale's curriculum. He believes that excellent teaching is active, engaging, and focused on developing understanding and the core skills of learning: close reading skills, complete analysis, and proper essay writing. Mr. Trapasso is an avid outdoorsman. He also loves to travel and experience other cultures and has spent many years of study in India.