2006 Conference

Seventh Annual Institute, 2006

Theme: Social Justice: A Moral Calling for Teachers
Speakers: Dr. William Ayers, University of Illinois at Chicago, and Dr. Gregory Michie, Illinois State University
Award Recipient: Mr. Ken Woodley
Award Luncheon Speaker: Mr. Jerry Mills
Sponsoring Divisions: Botetourt County Schools, City of Salem Schools, and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s Division for Vocation and Education.
Date: June 19-21, 2006

The seventh annual Margaret Sue Copenhaver Institute for Teaching and Learning was held June 19-21, 2006, on the Roanoke College campus. Dr. William Ayers, University of Illinois at Chicago, and Dr. Gregory Michie, Illinois State University, presented keynote addresses focused on the Institute’s 2006 theme, Social Justice: A Moral Calling for Teachers.

Two public school divisions and one independent school organization partnered with Roanoke College to sponsor the 2006 Institute. The partners were Botetourt County Schools, City of Salem Schools, and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s Division for Vocation and Education. Twenty-one teachers and administrators represented these sponsoring schools and divisions at the three-day institute as full-time participants. An additional 69 individuals were accepted as full-time Institute participants based on application submissions, steering committee membership, or service as a breakout speaker. In total, 90 full-time participants attended.

The Institute was privileged to host a number of special guests, including Mr. Ken Woodley, recipient of the fourth annual Margaret Sue Copenhaver Contribution to Education Award; Mr. Jerry Mills, internationally acclaimed educator and singer/songwriter; Dr. Dirk Philipsen, Co-Director of the Institute for the Study of Race Relations at Virginia State University; and Ms. Kimberly Gorenflo, of the Virginia Department of Education. Returning guests included Ms. Donna Braband, ELCA Director for Schools and Early Childhood Education, and Ms. Mary Zimmerman-Bayer, Principal at Grafenwoehr Elementary, a U.S. Department of Defense Dependents School, along with two of Grafehwoehr’s faculty members. A team of individuals from Barry University in Miami, Florida, also returned to the Institute as part of a continuing collaborative research partnership with Roanoke College. The Barry team included a university faculty member, the Assistant to the Dean of Teacher Education, two Miami area teachers and a graduate student. Many Roanoke College faculty and staff also took part in various Institute events. These guests included Dr. Sabina O’Hara, Dr. John Day, Dr. Lisa Earp, Dr. Gary Whitt, Dr. Elisabeth Velazquez, Professor Lisa Updike, and Professor Katie Elmore.

This year’s Institute attendees represented seven states: Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia. From across the state of Virginia, 11 public school divisions were represented: Alleghany County, Botetourt County, Charlottesville City, Culpeper County, Franklin County, Lynchburg City, Montgomery County, Newport News, Roanoke City, Roanoke County, and Salem City Schools. A teacher from the Charter Schools of Delaware attended. Participants also represented seven independent schools: Bethesda Lutheran School, Charlotte Lutheran School, Faith Lutheran School, Grace Lutheran School, Roanoke Valley Christian Schools, and West Park Lutheran School. Faculty members from six Virginia colleges and universities took part in the Institute: Hollins University, James Madison University, Radford University, Sweet Briar College, Virginia State University and Virginia Tech.

The number of 2006 full-time participants is listed below, reflecting a decrease from 2005 to 2006. Further analysis of enrolled participants suggests that the decrease likely resulted from a decline in the number of sponsoring school divisions. In 2005, there were 64 participants attending from sponsoring school divisions, while in 2006 there were only 21 individuals in this group. On a positive note, applications submitted by individuals outside of sponsoring divisions experienced an increase. In 2005, there were 59 participants accepted outside of sponsoring divisions, while in 2006 there were 69 participants in this group. The data suggests a need to focus on cultivating additional sponsorships for 2007.

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

Full-Time Participants

37

50

48

95

98

123

90



In addition to the full-time participants in attendance at the Institute, a number of invited guests attended one or more events across the course of the three days. These individuals included Roanoke College faculty and administration, partner school principals, session leaders, and area educational leaders and colleagues. The table below reflects the annual total number of invited guests. This figure has remained relatively stable across the course of the Institute’s offerings, with the exception of 2003, when the Institute’s keynote events were open to the public.

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

Invited Guests

28

30

37

155

49

38

33



A continuing Institute initiative during 2006 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 numbers demonstrate stability in K-12 teacher participation at all levels. The percentage of administrators decreased this year, while the percentage of college/university faculty and preservice teachers increased.

Sub Groups

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%

% Group: 2006

41%

18%

11%

7%

14%

9%


**In years prior to 2004, 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 2006 Institute was advertised through mailings, news releases, online and by various announcements and personal invitations. In November 2005, 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 Vocation and Education included the 2006 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 2005, and “partner schools” of the Roanoke College Education Department (Andrew Lewis Middle School, Breckinridge 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 at half cost. Roanoke’s Education program covered the remaining expenses for the partner school teachers. In addition to these efforts, an advertising postcard was mailed to all individuals listed in the MSCI database in February 2006, as a tool for increasing applications.

Institute Events

This year’s Institute focused on teaching for social justice. Grounded in constructivist theory, this emphasis furthered the Institute’s commitment to offer annual themes that build on a consistent theoretical base. The 2006 theme lent itself to careful examination of teaching perspectives and foundational beliefs.

Recommendations from 2005 participants and the Institute steering committee prompted both continuing and newly structured event offerings. The Institute continued to offer 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. Topics of high interest included using literature to promote social justice, actualizing an education vision through faith and values, understanding the immigrant experience, and sociocultural awareness in the classroom. The Monday afternoon “tea,” Tuesday afternoon wine and cheese reception, and closing awards luncheon were continued as special events. A new offering, the Wednesday breakfast for veterans, was very well attended and appreciated by participants. In the evenings during open time, participants were invited to interact on campus and at various local sites, and provided access to the College’s fitness center and a computer lab. Two local vendors, The Learning Source and Usborne Books, provided displays from which participants could purchase literature and teaching materials. The College’s bookstore also offered resources for participants’ purchase. In addition, participants were invited to donate literature and teaching materials for the purpose of building a library collection for a school in Malawi, West Africa. In July 2006 Dr. Liz Barber, an Institute veteran and breakout speaker, delivered all collected materials to Malawi.

2006 participants received a copy of Dr. Ayer’s book, To Teach: The Journey of a Teacher (Ayers, 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 the Institute faculty. This year’s 20 presenters represented a wide range of experience and expertise; they included college and university faculty and administrators, K-12 teachers and administrators, school librarians, two representatives from the Roanoke Valley Juvenile Detention Center, and an educational specialist representing the Virginia Department of Education. 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 21, Mr. Ken Woodley was honored as recipient of the fourth annual Margaret Sue Copenhaver Contribution to Education Award. The award recognized his consistent efforts for social justice as Editor of the Farmville Herald, particularly noting his role in initiating Brown v. Board of Education scholarships for victims of massive resistance to integration in Virginia public schools. Mr. Jerry Mills, educator and singer/songwriter, provided an inspirational address at the award luncheon.

 
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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