Web site Document Outlines W.Va.ís 21st Century Learning Journey

September 12, 2008

CHARLESTON, W.Va. While historically West Virginia may have been at the bottom of many national statistics, state leaders believe efforts to systematically change what teachers teach and how they teach in the 21st century will soon put West Virginia at the top.

Already, other states are turning to West Virginia for guidance on 21st century teaching and learning. The state’s path to incorporating 21st century skills into the classroom is now outlined on the department’s Web site in a document, “A Chronicle of West Virginia 21st Learning Initiative.” The document, which was compiled by Edvantia, can be accesses at http://wvde.state.wv.us/tt/2008/21stChronicle082008.pdf.

This Chronicle helps parents and teachers alike understand where we’ve been and where education is headed in West Virginia in the 21st century,” state Superintendent Steve Paine said.  “West Virginia Department of Education’s 21st century learning and teaching model will assure that West Virginia students have the knowledge and skills needed to succeed and prosper not only today but tomorrow.”

Paine first learned about 21st century skills at a Council of Chief State Schools Officers conference in 2004 when he was deputy superintendent.

One year later, West Virginia became the second state in the nation to join the Partnership for 21st Century Skills, an advocacy organization that includes members from the business community, education leaders and policymakers. Highlighted by four core 21st century student learning outcomes, the unified vision of the partnership is to develop teaching and learning for the 21st century to strengthen education in America.

In joining the Partnership, the West Virginia Department of Education collaborated with West Virginia leaders from business, government and education, committing themselves to systemic change that will prepare the youth of West Virginia to be productive and successful citizens globally, both now and in the future.

The chronicle is organized into nine major sections. It is adapted from the nine steps to build momentum and seven strategies for a successful statewide 21st Century Skills program.

Those sections are 21st century vision; data analysis, planning and process design; management and organization; standards and curriculum aligned with 21st century skills; programmatic initiatives to support rigorous content and student achievement; technology integration to support rigorous content and student achievement; 21st century assessments; ongoing professional development in 21st century skills; and collaboration with outside partners.

West Virginia’s process for implementing its 21st Century Learning program includes targeted stakeholders receiving focused professional development. As part of the program, the department has conducted professional development for state staff, county superintendents and district leaders as well as Regional Education Service Agency (RESA) staff, principals and teachers.

For more information, contact the Office of Communications at (304) 558-2699.


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