2005 Conference

Sixth Annual Institute, 2005

Theme: “Concept-Based Curriculum and Differentiated Instruction”
Keynote Speakers: Dr. Lynn Erickson, Dr. Carol Tomlinson
Guest Author: Mr. Guy Doud
Dates: June 20-22, 2005

The sixth annual Margaret Sue Copenhaver Institute for Teaching and Learning was held June 20-22, 2005, on the Roanoke College campus. Dr. H. Lynn Erickson and Dr. Carol A. Tomlinson presented keynote addresses focused on the Institute’s 2005 theme, concept-based curriculum and differentiated instruction.

Four public school divisions and one independent school organization partnered with Roanoke College to sponsor the 2005 Institute. The partners were Botetourt County Schools, City of Salem Schools, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Division for Schools, Roanoke City Schools and Virginia Beach Schools. Sixty-four teachers and administrators represented these sponsoring schools and divisions at the Institute as full-time participants. An additional 59 individuals were accepted as full-time Institute participants based on application submissions, steering committee membership, or service as a breakout speaker. In total, 123 full-time participants attended.

The Institute was privileged to host special guests, such as Dr. David Gring, recipient of the third annual Margaret Sue Copenhaver Contribution to Education Award; Mr. Guy Doud, bestselling author and the 1986 National Teacher of the Year; Ms. Mary Zimmerman-Bayer, Principal at Grafenwoehr Elementary, a U.S. Department of Defense Dependents School; Ms. Donna Braband, Assistant Director of the ELCA Division of Schools; and Ms. Naomi Wachs, Project Harmony Program Coordinator with the Armenia School Connectivity Program and Azerbaijan Connections and Exchange Program. A team of individuals from Barry University in Miami, Florida, also participated in the Institute as part of a collaborative research project with Copenhaver Institute directors and two beginning public school teachers from the Roanoke area. The Barry team included a university faculty member, the Associate Dean for teacher education, two beginning teachers from the Miami area and one undergraduate student. Dr. Priscilla Miller, of Westfield State College in Massachusetts, also attended the Institute interested in learning how to develop a similar professional development venue for the Northeastern United States. Many Roanoke College faculty and staff also took part in various Institute events. These guests included Dr. Sabina O’Hara, Dr. John Day, Ms. Judi Nelson, Mr. Greg Wells, Dr. Gerald McDermott, Dr. Lisa Earp and Dr. Gary Whitt.

This year’s Institute attendees represented nine states and the District of Columbia. The states included California, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Ohio, Vermont, and Virginia. From across the state of Virginia, 20 public school divisions were represented (Albemarle County, Alleghany County, Bedford County, Botetourt County, Franklin County, Gloucester County, Henry County, Mecklenburg County, Montgomery County, Newport News City, Norfolk City, Prince William County, Richmond City, Roanoke City, Roanoke County, Rockingham County, Salem City, Stafford County, Virginia Beach City, and Williamsburg-James City Schools). Participants also represented 12 independent schools (Charlotte Lutheran School, Faith Lutheran School, First Presbyterian Church Preschool, Good Shepherd Lutheran School, Hope Lutheran School, Mountain Mission School, North Cross School, Phoenix Alternative Center, St. Luke’s Lutheran School, Summit School, West Park Lutheran School, and Wilbur Pence Middle School).

The number of full-time participants continued its pattern of steady increase in 2005. The chart below reflects the number of full-time attendees since the Institute’s inaugural offering in 2000.

 

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

Total Participants

65

80

85

250*

147

161



In addition to the full-time participants in attendance at the Institute each year, a number of additional guests have attended one or more events across the course of the three days. These guests have included donor family members, Roanoke College faculty and administration, partner school principals, session leaders, and regional colleagues in education. The table below reflects the annual total number participants at each Institute, including both full-time participants and additional guests.

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

Total Participants

65

80

85

250*

147

161




*In 2003, the Institute’s keynote events were open to the public. The number of total participants has been estimated here to include approximate attendance at the public sessions.

A continuing Institute initiative during 2005 was to accept a balanced group of applicants, representing teachers at all grade levels**, as well as administrators (both at the building and central administration level). Established acceptance criteria were used for this purpose. Attendance across these groups is reflected in the table below. The Institute will continue to cultivate interest among middle and secondary school teachers as the 2006 Institute is advertised.

Elementary
(K-5)

Middle
(6-8)

Secondary
(9-12)

PK-12 Administration

College and University

Preservice
Teachers

% Group: 2002

59%

17%

10%

14%

**

**

% Group: 2003

42.5%

16%

17%

24.5%

**

**

% Group: 2004

34.5%

20%

14.5%

13.5%

8.5%

9%

%
Group:
2005

40%

15%

12.5%

20%

6.5%

6%



**In previous years, college and university faculty representing teacher preparation programs and preservice teachers were classified within the elementary, middle and secondary categories based upon grade level emphases of their courses. Because these groups have grown significantly over the course of time, they are now reported as separate classifications.

The 2005 Institute was advertised through mailings, news releases, online and by various announcements and personal invitations. In November 2004, brochures were distributed to administrative offices of Virginia public school divisions and all public and independent schools across the Roanoke Valley. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s Division for Schools included the 2005 Institute brochure in their fall mailing to ELCA schools. Special advertising attention was also extended to the following groups through individual correspondence: Roanoke College preservice teachers, former Institute participants, area teachers who supervised Roanoke College preservice teachers during 2004 and “partner schools” of the Roanoke College Education Department (Andrew Lewis Middle School, Hidden Valley High School, Huff Lane Micro Village, Oakland Intermediate School and Troutville Elementary School). Each partner school was offered three reserved participant positions. Partner school principals were invited to attend the Institute at no charge and were given a copy of the Institute’s text.

This year’s Institute focused on concept-based curriculum and differentiated instruction. Grounded in constructivist theory, this emphasis furthered the Institute’s commitment to offer annual themes that build on a consistent theoretical base.

Recommendations from 2004 participants and the Institute steering committee prompted the faculty to continue offering sessions that have been well received in the past, such as keynote addresses, question and answer sessions with keynote speakers, technology workshops, curriculum planning sessions designated by grade level range and a variety of breakout sessions. Breakout sessions focused on areas of continuing interest such as faith and learning, academic standards, and hands-on classroom application of Institute themes. Additionally, a breakout session, presented by the Coordinator of the Armenia School Connectivity Program and Azerbaijan Connections and Exchange Program of Project Harmony Program, introduced participants to concept-based curriculum projects promoting international student interaction through technology. Several special events were offered to participants as well, such as Monday afternoon’s “tea” and Tuesday afternoon’s wine and cheese reception at the historic Monterey House. The Art Museum of Western Virginia provided a display at Tuesday’s reception, introducing the museum to participants and distributing complimentary entrance passes. On Monday and Tuesday evenings, participants were invited to interact on campus and at various local sites. The Institute also provided access to the college’s fitness center and computer labs. On the second afternoon of the program, two local vendors, Ram’s Head Book Shop and The Learning Source, provided displays from which participants could purchase literature and teaching materials.

The 2005 participants received Stirring the Head, Heart and Soul: Redefining Curriculum and Instruction (Erickson, 2001), approximately six weeks prior to the Institute. Each participant was asked to read the text and to prepare a list of questions and discussion points based on their reading to bring to the Institute. The text was also distributed to breakout session speakers, each of whom was asked to read the text and frame his or her session in relation to the ideas and issues presented in the reading. Speakers for breakout sessions and discussion groups were selected from a pool of proposals submitted to Institute faculty. This year’s 34 presenters represented a wide range of experience and expertise; they included college and university faculty and administrators, public and independent school teachers and administrators, a librarian, reading coordinator, two gifted program coordinators, and six educational specialists representing various organizations (American Institute for Research, Blue Ridge Public Television, and Project Harmony). Dr. Gary Whitt, of the Roanoke College Education Department, conducted four 75 minute technology workshops at the Institute. The hands-on workshop sessions were designated for teachers and administrators at specific building levels.

At the Institute’s closing luncheon on Wednesday, June 22, Dr. David Gring was honored as recipient of the third annual Margaret Sue Copenhaver Contribution to Education Award. The award recognized his outstanding work in the field of higher education and his role in founding the Margaret Sue Copenhaver Institute for Teaching and Learning.

Mr. Guy Doud, bestselling author and the 1986 National Teacher of the Year provided an inspirational address at the award luncheon. After lunch, he remained to autograph books and talk personally with participants.

 
Roanoke College graduate and teacher takes learning full circle at prominent summer education conference

Roanoke College graduate and teacher takes learning full circle at prominent summer education conference

Now a full-time teacher, Danny McNamara '01 has returned to the Margaret Sue Copenhaver Institute for Teaching and Learning as a participant and a small group leader for the past two years.

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