With Congress’s reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, the charge to develop professional development resources geared toward teaching today’s learners is critical. Rider University’s School of Education has launched its first Summer Institute for 21st Century Teachers beginning Monday, June 28, 2010. This series of workshops running through mid-July are targeted toward teachers, school administrators, pre-service teachers and School of Education alumni. 

“Our alumni are among the finest teachers in New Jersey. What we are doing is giving them and their fellow educators the tools and the forum to further develop their skills and collaborate with their colleagues in the areas that affect their practice including acquiring deep content knowledge, rich database decision-making strategies, a blueprint for developing professional learning communities and embedding technology use into their classrooms,” Dr. Sharon Sherman, dean of the School of Education, said.

The Summer Institute for 21st Century Teachers features interactive sessions that implement state and national standards through graduate courses and workshops facilitated by Rider faculty and partnering teachers on incorporating technology, building interdisciplinary connections and infusing global perspectives in the classroom. 

“We are calling for our districts and schools to support teachers in their learning so that they can create and use collaborative professional learning structures to support student learning,” said Victoria Duff, Teacher Quality Coordinator for the New Jersey Department of Education Office of Professional Standards, in a recent presentation to Mercer County educators.

Summer Institute participants will not only have the opportunity to take part in practical workshops that will earn them valuable continuing education units, but they could also be earning graduate credit in one of the many new masters programs Rider University will be launching later this year.

“I think that teacher professional development programs are among the most vitally important parts of education — it's where higher ed, P-12 ed, theory, and practice all come together, and can mean the difference between preparing innovative, reflective professionals for a career in education and simply graduating ed majors, 50 percent of whom will leave the profession within five years,” said Damian Bariexca, North Hunterdon High School Special Services School Psychologist.

The Summer Institute for 21st Century Teachers, organized by Rider University’s School of Education, provides opportunities for lifelong learning through collaboration with teachers and professionals. For more information about Rider’s School of Education workshops and programs, please call 609-896-5033, e-mail [email protected], or visit www.rider.edu/summer.