W.Va. Department of Education Hosts Forums Statewide

November 30, 2007

CHARLESTON, W.Va. _ What does it mean to be a 21st century teacher? Teachers, administrators, county personnel, higher education representatives and other education stakeholders have been participating in forums across West Virginia in an effort to begin to answer this question.


Sponsored by the West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) and the eight Regional Education Service Agencies (RESAs), the forums have been designed to continue the 21st century teacher effectiveness discussions from the Principal and Teacher Leadership Institutes held this past summer. The forums included a discussion on current 21st century teaching and learning research, as well as innovative methods of building common understanding.


“These forums are designed to help participants develop a clear definition of the knowledge, skills and abilities needed by 21st century teachers and to understand how to use this information to inform others,” said West Virginia Superintendent of Schools Steve Paine. “The forums are one way the West Virginia Department of Education is striving to involve as many teachers, principals, county administrators and higher education representatives as possible as we build support for our 21st century teaching and learning initiative.”


The next step in this process is to convene a stakeholder group to review the forum findings and to identify law, policies and procedures that may need to be revised in view of any new information about what the 21st century teacher needs to know and be able to do.

The forums are funded with a grant from the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation. Based in Pittsburgh, the foundation is an independent organization established in 1944 by West Virginia natives Michael and Sarah Benedum. It funds education, health and human services, community development and economic development projects in West Virginia and Southwestern Pennsylvania.

“This project will help West Virginia teachers identify and refine the knowledge and skills needed to be effective in improving student achievement in the 21st century,” said Benedum Vice President James Denova. “We’re pleased to support such a noble project in West Virginia.”

For more information, contact Donna Peduto in the Office of Professional Preparation at (304) 558-7010 or the Office of Communications at (304) 558-2699.

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