The Movement

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The concept of a seminar designed expressly for teachers originated in 1962 by Roger Garrison at Westbrook College in Portland, Maine. Since that time, the concept has become a national movement with programs in numerous states across the nation and around the world. The Virginia Master Teacher Seminar was founded in 1991 by Dr. John J. Cavan, past President of Southside Virginia Community College, and Dr. W. Terry Whisnant, formerly Professor of Behavioral Sciences. Dr. Whisnant has conducted annual seminars in Arizona, Indiana, and the The Virginia Teachers’ Academy -- a five-day seminar for public school teachers.

The Sole aim of the Virginia Seminar is a practical exploration of ways to improve teaching. Roger Garrison founded the original seminar on the beliefs that:

>> Much excellent teaching takes place in American higher education
>> Teachers who are striving toward mastery of their craft have much to share with others
>> Bringing teachers together in a relaxed, informal atmosphere to share their successes and their problems will enhance the skills of all.

Teachers from across the nation share experiences, strategies and instructional methods in the quests of improving teaching – resulting in improved student performance, better grades, and higher graduation rates.