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David C. Virtue - Western Carolina University. Cullowhee, NC, US

David C. Virtue David C. Virtue

Professor | Western Carolina University


David C. Virtue is the Taft B. Botner Distinguished Professor of Middle Grades Education in the School of Teaching and Learning.



David C. Virtue Publication David C. Virtue Publication



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David C. Virtue is the Taft B. Botner Distinguished Professor of Middle Grades Education in the School of Teaching and Learning at Western Carolina University. David teaches courses in the middle grades education program and pursue his research that focuses (a) on middle grades teacher preparation and credentialing and (b) on the creation and implementation of person-centered curricula. He also serves on the board of the Catamount School, WCU’s middle grades lab school. David came to WCU from Auburn University in Alabama, where he was professor and head of the Department of Curriculum and Teaching for four years. David also was a faculty member and department chair at the University of South Carolina, where he began his academic career in 2003. David helped launch an undergraduate program in middle level education at USC, led several funded projects, and was a Fulbright scholar in Norway. David has been an active member of the Association for Middle Level Education (formerly National Middle School Association). He served as editor of the organization’s flagship journal, Middle School Journal, from 2009 to 2013, and he has served as editor of Research in Middle Level Education Online and as a member of AMLE’s Research Advisory Committee since 2014. David's publications have appeared in Middle School Journal, Middle Grades Review, Research in Middle Level Education Online, Current Issues in Middle Level Education and the Handbook of Research in Middle Level Education and the Handbook of Resources in Middle Level Education series. David edited The International Handbook of Middle Level Education Theory, Research, and Policy (Routledge) and is coediting Middle Level Teacher Preparation across International Contexts: Understanding Local and Global Factors Influencing Teacher Education (Routledge).

Industry Expertise (2)



Areas of Expertise (5)

Comparative Analysis

Anthropology of Curriculum Policy

Middle Level Teacher Preparation

Curriculum Design

Middle Grades Education

Education (3)

University of Georgia: Ph.D., Social Science Education 2002

University of Georgia: M.Ed., Education 1997

Lafayette College: B.A., Sociology and Anthropology 1989

Affiliations (2)

  • Association for Middle Level Education : Member
  • AMLE’s Research Advisory Committee : Member

Languages (1)

  • English

Media Appearances (1)

WCU’s Newest Professor Sees ‘virtue’ in Middle Grades Students

WCU Stories  online

David Virtue has been involved with middle grades education for 20 years. So, when he first learned that he was named Western Carolina University’s Taft B. Botner Distinguished Professor of Elementary and Middle Grades Education this summer, it’s no surprise that he compared his reaction to the excitement of a middle schooler learning “they were getting a snow day.”

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Articles (5)

Preparing Middle Grades Candidates for edTPA in Uncertain Times

Current Issues in Middle Level Education

2022 Teacher candidates in North Carolina must earn a passing score on the edTPA assessment to get certified. The middle grades education program at Western Carolina University integrates aspects of the edTPA assessment throughout pre-student teaching coursework and field experiences to prepare candidates for this high-stakes assessment.

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Exploring experiential learning processes in the context of an international school–university partnership

New Directions for Teaching and Learning

2022 Ongoing professional learning is essential for P−12 teachers to remain effective (Main & Pendergast, 2015). Professional learning can improve teachers’ pedagogical content knowledge, enhance teachers’ motivation and commitment to student learning, and build sustainable professional networks.

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Middle Level Teacher Preparation across International Contexts

Middle Level Teacher Preparation across International Contexts

2022 The authors describe characteristics of programs that prepare teachers of young adolescents and to gain a deeper understanding of essential program features and the factors and forces that influence the way programs are designed, implemented, and evaluated. The authors conducted a qualitative metasynthesis of 15 case studies of teacher preparation programs based in higher education institutions in 11 different countries: Angola, Australia, Canada, Democratic Republic of Congo, Guatemala, Japan, Norway, Spain, Turkey, Uganda, and United States.

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Simulating Collaboration in a Blended Course for Preservice Middle Grades Teachers: Attending to Team, Task, and Time

Current Issues in Middle Level Education

2021 Collaboration and teamwork are essential aspects of the work of a professional middle level teacher and an integral part of AMLE Standard 5. Preservice teachers typically experience collaborative practices firsthand during field experiences, but the COVID-19 pandemic has caused many schools to shift instruction online thereby limiting the opportunities for teacher candidates to experience daily life in schools.

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A Review of Trends in the Scope of International Scholarship in Middle Level Education, 1989-2019

Middle Grades Review

2020 Middle level education as a field of study has expanded during the last 30 years to include a growing, international knowledge base. The primary purpose of this review essay is to highlight trends in the extent to which refereed scholarship in the field of middle level education has reflected international content and perspectives during the last 30 years.

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