Second Annual Institute, 2001
Theme: Differentiated Instruction and Brain-Based Learning
Keynote Speakers: Dr. Carol Tomlinson, University of Virginia
Dr. M. Layne Kalbfleisch, Sackler Institute for Developmental Psychobiology at Weill Medical College of Cornell University
Author: Dr. Nikki Giovanni
Technology Consultant: Ms. Suzanne Bazak
Dates: June 18-20, 2001
Roanoke College's second annual Margaret Sue Copenhaver Institute for Teaching and Learning was held June 18-20, 2001, in the Colket Center. Fifty full-time residential participants attended. This group included K-12 teachers, administrators, reading specialists, Roanoke College students, an educational consultant, and a faculty member from a neighboring college. Thirteen public school divisions were represented (listed sequentially per number of participants): Franklin County, Roanoke City, Roanoke County, Virginia Beach City, City of Salem, Isle of Wright County, Craig County, Montgomery County, Alleghany Highlands County, Bristol City, Albemarle County, Henrico County, and Greensville County. Several independent schools were also represented, including Roanoke Valley Christian School and three schools operated by Evangelical Lutheran Churches, located in North Carolina, South Carolina and Arizona. In addition to full time participants, a number of professional colleagues from neighboring colleges and universities attended one or more sessions across the course of the three-day institute. Institutions represented were Hollins University, Virginia Tech, University of Virginia, and Longwood College. Several of these individuals served as breakout speakers and small group discussion leaders. We were also privileged to have Dr. David Gring and Dr. Leslie Lambert each take part in a keynote event. Finally, it was an honor to host Miss Margaret Sue Copenhaver throughout all three days of the institute, as well as many teaching and administrative representatives from our local advisory council. Cumulatively, approximately eighty individuals participated in the 2001 Institute.
In 2001, applications increased significantly, with the total number of applicants reaching 151% of the number received in 2000. Fifty applicants were accepted as participants and a waiting list was established for both K-12 teachers and Roanoke College students.
In 2001 the institute continued its commitment to constructivist theory and built on the previous year’s agenda by continuing to offer sessions that were well received in 2000. These included keynote addresses, roundtable discussions with keynote speakers, technology workshops, grade-level specific breakout sessions relevant to the institute’s theme, literature discussion groups, and small group curriculum planning sessions. Recommendations from participants in 2000 and the MSCI advisory council prompted revised offerings as well. These included a formal Wednesday luncheon with a children’s book author and Tuesday evening’s “Show and Tale” event and reception. In addition, several breakout sessions were designed to focus on topics requested by former participants or the advisory council, such as the Virginia Standards of Learning, faith and learning, and a session reflecting classroom applications of the 2000 institute theme.
Participants were provided with a common text, The Differentiated Classroom (Tomlinson, 2000), and asked to read it prior to the institute. Keynote speakers included the text’s author, Dr. Carol Tomlinson, University of Virginia, as well as Dr. Layne Kalbfleisch, Sackler Institute for Developmental Psychobiology at Weill Medical College of Cornell University, a scholar in brain-based learning whose work complemented Dr. Tomlinson’s expertise.
Instructional technology consultant, Ms. Suzanne Bazak, was invited to return to the institute to conduct three technology workshops each targeted for specific grade levels. Dr. Nikki Giovanni, a nationally recognized author and poet for children, addressed participants at the institute’s formal luncheon on June 20th.
“If I can help pique my students’ interest in research and scientific careers, I feel that I have done my job as a professor to promote an extended education,” Dr. Balasubramanian says.