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Traditional Student: It's Not Just About A Traditional Classroom Anymore

When you refer to “traditional” education, you are more than likely referring to what a majority of us consider “traditional” education. But University of Idaho professor John Cannon sees it much differently.

“We are just as traditional. The courses aren’t the traditional sit in rows of desks, we don’t do that," Cannon says. "But we do help students further their education by getting a higher degree or getting them out into the workforce.”

Cannon prepares secondary and post-secondary teachers who specialize in programs based around professional-technical education (PTE). The topics his students teach in either high school or college programs range from health occupations to auto mechanics.

“We are preparing teachers to prepare their students for the skills necessary for the global workforce,” explains Cannon. “Most are taking non-degree programs.”

The former high school teacher, baseball coach and FFA advisor started his teaching career in an Illinois High School.

“They started as a freshman, and it was great to watch their young minds grow and learn during the developing stages, then leave as a senior.”

After several years, Cannon set his sights on furthering his education “I wanted to go to the next level. My brother has his PhD and it was one of those things…he had it, so I was interested.”

Cannon earned his doctorate at Virginia Tech, made a quick stop in Ohio, finally landing in Idaho.

“It was a great move. I enjoyed the adventure of moving three quarters of the way across the country. I am getting used to being where it is sunny in the summer and a lack of snow in the winter,” says Cannon. “No no, I have not experienced a tough winter yet and I have not experienced a tough summer yet.”

Cannon says his students, current teachers, bring a different level of learning to his classes. They are looking for more, and wanting the necessary knowledge to help their students successfully move into the global workforce.

“They [his students] are bringing in the experience of industry from their careers and we provide them the course work and training to be a teacher.”

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