Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Education and Human Services


Curriculum & Instruction/Literacy Studies

Committee Chair

Phyllis C. Durden

Committee Member

Sharon Z. Brisbin

Committee Member

Ernest R. Goeres

Committee Member

Perry D. Phillips

Committee Member

Floyd L. Stead


This study investigated the nature and types of events that will affect the future of public education in West Virginia. A three round modified Delphi design was used to identify the events, estimate when each might occur, and determine their level of impact and desirability.

In Round 1, surveys were mailed to forty-seven educational leaders representing various educational agencies and constituencies in West Virginia. In response to the first survey, panelists generated a total of one hundred thirty-four events which had at least a 50 percent probability of occurrence between the present and the year 2020. In Round 2, panelists were asked to predict the time frame of occurrence, and the level of impact and desirability for each event generated in Round 1. Round 3 results identified a total of forty-seven events which 80 percent of the panel members indicated would occur.

The total return of surveys was 89.4 percent in Round 1, 91.5 percent in Round 2, and 89.4 percent in Round 3. A total of 83.0 percent of the panelists participated in all three rounds of the Delphi.

A scenario was constructed based on the time frames of the events. Time frames were organized according to topical areas including Students, Personnel, Curriculum, Governance, Finance, Facilities, School-Community Relations, Technology and Miscellaneous. Levels of impact and desirability for each event were identified within each topical area.

Seven long term trends were identified which should be of significant importance to iii educators and educational planners. Among these trends are that (1) accountability and expectations for student achievement and behavior will increase; (2) schools will play an increasing role in the resolution of the problems of society; (3) a projected teacher shortage will affect changes in funding and staffing patterns; (4) public education will experience increasing competition from the private sector; (5) technology will play an increasing role in the education process; (6) new systems of financing public education will be developed, and (7) there will be continued emphasis on improving and replacing school facilities throughout West Virginia.