More than a dozen statewide New Hampshire organizations and 14 institutions of higher education that prepare future educators and their school partners came together to co-host a two and a half day invitational summit on “redefining educator development for 21st century learners.” The summit will assist the state’s colleges and universities to form intensive partnerships with schools committed to transforming K-12 education and educator preparation, to more effectively preparing K-12 students with the skills they need for lifelong learning and economic opportunity and development. Summit participants will form a statewide network of such school/university partnerships, so they can share resources and successful approaches to educational reform.
Most important, summit steering committee chairperson Bob McLaughlin notes, “through the summit we’ll begin an urgently needed conversation among New Hampshire’s educators, school board members, administrators, legislators, and others about what together we want our schools and educator preparation programs to look like. Many people talk about how schools and preparation programs need to change dramatically to meet the needs of 21st century students, but there isn’t any consensus about what that really means. The New Hampshire way is to have a statewide conversation about these vitally important issues. Our statewide network of partnerships will work together to show what 21st century instruction, student and teacher assessment, and educator development needs to and can become.”
The New Hampshire conversation about educational change is very timely, for several reasons. First, a number of federal stimulus grant programs are investing billions of dollars nationwide in transformation of school and educator preparation and in intensifying statewide systems for holding schools, educators, and colleges of education accountable for improving K-12 student learning. Second, with the dramatic increase in online education for K-12 and postsecondary students, educators need to rethink whether and how they too embrace online teaching. Third, the skills needed for economic opportunity and lifelong learning have changed in the past decade – employers emphasize that today it’s not enough for high school graduates to master the 3 R’s, they also need to be skilled in problem solving, critical thinking, effective oral and written communication, and collaboration. Fourth, nearly half of the nation’s K-12 teaching work force, born during the Baby Boom, are due to retire in the next decade, requiring that we as a society rethink the role of teachers and how we staff our schools.
The summit will be broadcast live as web-based streaming videos during the summit and then archived for viewing later at www.nhsummit.org. The summit is being sponsored by Promethean Corporation, a global leader in interactive whiteboard technology. Several other organizations have made key contributions, including Southern New Hampshire University (donating free use of its excellent meeting facilities and over $5,000 in expanded Internet connectivity so that all summit participants can interact online throughout the summit), and the New Hampshire Foundation for Teaching and Learning, which is providing fiscal management. The “ActivClassroom in Motion”, a traveling 21st century classroom, is being nationally unveiled at the summit.
For more information, please contact Bob McLaughlin at (603) 509-2728 or firstname.lastname@example.org.