Program Development


Contents of this section:

Annual Report 1996: Table of Contents | Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute


The ongoing development of the Institute is guided by teachers from the Schools and the University, and by the National Advisory Committee. In August 1995 the Institute reconstituted the teacher Steering Committee, a group of school teachers who have played leading roles in the Institute at various times since its inception. The Steering Committee was convened first in 1993 to plan the further development of the Institute s work in New Haven and to explore in specific terms the relationship between Institute resources and the priorities established by the new Public Schools administration. The Steering Committee meets biweekly during eleven months of the year. Each member of the Committee assumes responsibility for working outside these meetings on one or more of the following areas: a new videotape program depicting the process and structure of the Institute s annual program; the relationship of Institute-developed curriculum units to systemwide curricula; Institute Centers for Professional and Curricular Development; Fellows' use of the Institute's on-line resources and electronic communicaions; and Academies for Fellows and other teachers to teach Institute-developed curricular material to New Haven students in after-school, Saturday, and summer programs.

In addition, in the fall the Institute convened an Ad Hoc Group consisting of the four Steering Committee members who have been part of that process continuously since its inception. This group was asked to take stock of the long-range plans that have been made and the new activities that have been undertaken as a result of the work of the Steering Committee since it was formed. The Group met every Monday after school to examine the several new ways of working the Steering Committee devised for the Institute, to consider which of these should be continued, and to construct the best organizational structure to ensure strong teacher leadership throughout this work in the future. By December the Group had decided on the next steps the Institute should take in four areas:

1. The annotated reference list and chart of Institute resources and New Haven curriculum standards for teaching about diversity and community, developed in July by the Institute Curriculum Committee

2. The 1996 Academy where Fellows taught Institute-developed curricula to New Haven students

3. The already existing and newly developing Institute Centers for Curriculum and Professional Development

4. The Institute s partnership with Dwight Hall that provides coordinated Yale student services in schools with Institute Centers


The ongoing development of the Institute is guided by teachers from the Schools and the University, and by the National Advisory Committee.

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University Advisory Council

Yale faculty members advise and assist the Institute through the University Advisory Council and its Executive Committee, both appointed by the Yale President. The University Advisory Council meets once each year, the Executive Committee twice each semester, and the Council co-chairs meet and communicate frequently with the director between meetings. Members of the Executive Committee and the Steering Committee meet jointly from time to time to share information about their respective activity and to explore appropriate ways of working together.

During 1996 the Executive Committee met in March, April, October, November and December. These meetings concerned priorities and plans for the Institute s work locally and nationally, in particular, the Institute Centers in New Haven schools, and various possibilities for working with other institutions nterested in adapting the Institute s approach to their local conditions. Members of the Steering Committee participated in the April meeting, and in December the Executive Committee held its meeting in the Institute Center at Career High School. The Executive Committee recommended to President Richard C. Levin the appointment of several Yale faculty members as new members of the University Advisory Council, each of whom accepted the President's appointment: Margaret A. Farley, Stark Professor of Christian Ethics; A. Patrick McCaughey, Director of the Center for British Art; and David Pease, Dean of the School of Art. The Executive Committee, acting as the Institute's course of study committee, also approved the Institute's 1996 offerings so that the Institute might certify Fellows' course of study to institutions where they may be pursuing advanced degrees.

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The University Advisory Council meeting held on April 11, 1996. (Clockwise from left: Harry S. Stout, Sharon M. Oster, Sidney Altman, Roberto Gonzalez-Echevarria, Richard C. Levin, Linda H. Peterson, Jared L. Cohon, Robert A. Burt, Mary E. Miller, Paul H. Fry, Rev. Frederick J. Streets, Sabatino Sofia, Jules D. Prown, James R. Vivian, Thomas R. Whitaker, David B. Marshall, Lawrence Manley, and A. Patrick McCaughley.)
On April 11, the full University Advisory Council held its third annual meeting with President Levin. Co-chair Jules D. Prown opened the meeting by describing the work of the Executive Committee of the Council, as it has met during the year since the Council's last meeting. Frederick J. Streets described the new partnership between the Teachers Institute and Dwight Hall through which Yale undergraduates are paid to serve as interns in four New Haven schools. The students are responsible for coordinating the provision of Yale volunteers in schools that are developing Institute Centers for Professional and Curricular Development. Thomas R. Whitaker spoke about the first Institute video, "Teaching on Common Ground," that was intended to acquaint people in New Haven and across the country with the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute, which the Council saw at its 1995 meeting. He also described plans for a second video, being supported by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, for which he has been engaged to write the script. The new video will be designed to supplement the first, but it will be coherent and complete enough to stand alone. It will address teachers and administrators in both schools and universities, in New Haven and in other cities, as well as members of foundations and other funding organizations, and, more generally, all those who are interested in the future of public education in the United States. Whitaker also described the progress made in publishing the periodical On Common Ground.
Frederick J. Streets described the new partnership between the Teachers Institute and Dwight Hall
University Advisory Council meeting. (Left to right: D. Allan Bromley and Rev. Frederick J. Streets.)
President Levin then welcomed new members of the Council. He said that he appreciates the ways in which Council members assist the Institute and that he wished to underscore how central and important the Institute is to Yale and to its interaction with New Haven. He said that the Institute is an early model of university-school partnership that takes what we know and do best at Yale and applies that knowledge effectively in assisting local schools. This is an activity for which Yale has a demonstrated capacity, and he encouraged Council members to consider participating also by leading an Institute seminar. He said that these seminars are a "two-way street," and that he knows that University faculty members also benefit themselves from the experience of leading the seminars.
President Levin said the Institute is an early model that takes what we know and do best at Yale and applies that knowledge effectively in assisting local schools.
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University Advisory Council meeting.(Left to right: Sharon M. Oster and Sidney Altman.)
Levin then spoke of the event held in December 1995 when the Institute celebrated the completion of two challenge grants for the endowment of its operation in the humanities. The President said that it was a pleasure to remind the Council that those challenges, which had been awarded several years earlier by the DeWitt Wallace-Reader's Digest Fund and the National Endowment for the Humanities, had been successfully completed. He said that James R. Vivian and colleagues in the Institute had raised a portion of the matching funds the challenges required. "To demonstrate the commitment of the Officers to the Institute," he said, he himself had "topped off" the match by encouraging several key donors to designate their generous gifts to the University for this precise purpose.
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University Advisory Council meeting. (Left to right: Margretta R. Seashore and Robin W. Winks.)
Vivian then reported on recent developments of the Institute's work in New Haven and possible plans for assisting other cities to develop Teachers Institutes through national seminars and colloquia, consulting relationships with other institutions, and new publications. The Council commented on, and raised questions about, these plans.

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National Advisory Committee

A National Advisory Committee, composed of Americans distinguished in the fields of education, private philanthropy, and public policy, assists the Teachers Institute with the further dissemination, evaluation, and development of its program. New members are invited to serve, from time to time, by the Yale President. In advance of National Advisory Committee meetings, members of the University Advisory Council and the Steering Committee meet separately and together to discuss program development and evaluation, national dissemination, and finance. On each of these and any other timely topics, they prepare papers that are circulated to brief the Committee before the meetings.

As the Teachers Institute plays a leading role in the national movement for university-school collaboration, the National Advisory Committee assists in determining how to make the most effective contribution to institutions and schools in other communities. With respect to evaluation, the Committee provides a variety of perspectives that aid in examining what each constituency for such collaborative programs would regard as the best evidence of their effectiveness. Before the National Advisory Committee met in New Haven on May 8 for a full day of focused discussion, they received a detailed briefing paper providing them background on the Institute s work since their last meeting.

Vivian opened the meeting with remarks about two of the original members of the Committee who died since the Committee last met. Because of their early prominence in advocating partnerships between universities and schools in order to strengthen teaching and learning, Fred M. Hechinger and Ernest L. Boyer were invited by President A. Bartlett Giamatti in 1984 to become members of the Committee. From that time until their deaths in late 1995 they assisted and brought attention to the Institute in numerous ways. Morning sessions then focused on the continuing development of the Institute program in New Haven and the ongoing plans for the further dissemination of the Institute approach across the country. A panel of New Haven participants made brief presentations on, and answered questions about, teams of the Fellows and the seminars, the new Institute Centers, and the summer Academy. Superintendent of New Haven Public Schools Reginald R. Mayo and Associate Superintendent Verdell Roberts also took part. Discussion turned in particular to the involvement of the Institute and its Fellows in the school s systems initiatives in curriculum and staff development, and ways in which that role might be more amply documented.


The National Advisory Committee assists in determining how to make the most effective contribution to institutions and schools in other communities.
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National Advisory Committee meeting. (Reginald R. Mayo.)
After viewing the Institute video, "Teaching On Common Ground," the Committee then focused on the existing and potential means for dissemination of the Institute's work, including publication of the periodical On Common Ground. A luncheon afforded the opportunity for more informal exchange among members of the Committee and Institute participants from New Haven.

President Levin joined the Committee for the afternoon session, which Gordon M. Ambach, Executive Director of the Council of Chief State School Officers, opened by summarizing the results of the Committee's meeting thus far. The Committee noted how much progress had been made in developing the Institute s programs in New Haven since the Committee s last meeting. Much of the discussion then concerned what should be the appropriate balance between deepening the Institute's efforts in New Haven and extending its reach to other cities.


The Committee noted how much progress had been made in developing the Institute's programs in New Haven since their last meeting.
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The National Advisory Committee meeting held on May 8, 1996. (Clockwise from left: Richard Ekman, Glegg L. Watson, Linda K. Lorimer, Jules D. Prown, Frank M. Turner, Richard C. Levin, James R. Vivian, Rev. Frederick Streets, Milton P. DeVane, Thomas R. Whitaker, Gordon M. Ambach, Luis A. Recalde, Sabatino Sofia, Margretta R. Seashore, Carolyn N. Kinder, and Robert A. Burt.)

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Computer Resources and Assistance

From the Institute's inception, Fellows have been full members of the Yale community with access to resources throughout the University, including borrowing privileges at the libraries. For several years the Institute has been exploring how computing can provide an effective instrument for enhancing its partnership because of the ways in which computing overcomes the barriers of time and distance that can impede collaboration, and because it is a non-hierarchical form of communication and therefore quite consistent with the collegiality that is a tenet of the Institute's approach. In 1995 Fellows first became eligible for Yale computer accounts; in 1996 a number of Fellows gained Internet access in this way. In addition, as described above, the Institute engages undergraduate and graduate students who serve as computer assistants to the Fellows, a role that is modeled to some extent on that of the computer assistants in the undergraduate residential colleges.

During 1996 the Institute made substantial progress in creating an electronic version of its curricular and other material and in promoting and facilitating electronic communication between schools and the University. (Its Internet address, where the resources may be viewed, is http://teachersinstitute.yale.edu.) As the Institute increases resources on-line, these become available nationally to a much greater extent than was possible when its dissemination depended heavily on printed material. To call attention to this growing resource, the Institute s Web location was advertised prominently on the cover of On Common Ground.


The Institute has been exploring how computing can provide an effective instrument for enhancing its partnership.
In July, Institute computer assistants demonstrated the Institute's electronic resources to groups of New Haven teachers and administrators. One such session was conducted in the electronic classroom of Yale's Cross Campus Library and featured the unveiling of the on-line version of the New Haven Public Schools' new Curriculum Framework document. Diane Garber, Director of Curriculum for New Haven Public Schools, and William J. Derry, Coordinator of Library and Media, were both in attendance.

By the end of 1996, the Institute s electronic resources included all Numbers of On Common Ground,guides to all the curriculum units written since 1978 which may be searched using key words, the topical Index to these units, and approximately 200 of the individual curriculum units in their entirety. In 1996 the Institute urged Fellows to submit their units on a diskette, as well as in printed form, and three quarters of Fellows did so. This accelerates the process of placing the units on-line in that they do not have to be scanned and proofread first. The curriculum units now on-line include all the units that have ever been submitted on disk, together with a number that have been scanned and processed through optical character recognition software.


The Institute's electronic resources included On Common Ground, guides to curriculum units, the topical Index and units in their entirety.
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Teacher Institute computer assistant Ken Stern demonstrating the Institute's Web site to Diane Garber, Director of Curriculum for New Haven Public Schools, Fellow Carolyn Kinder, and William J. Derry, Coordinator of Library and Media.
During the summer, the Institute engaged a vendor to scan all the remaining curriculum units. This material then will be converted into the proper electronic format and placed on-line. The Institute also undertook to upgrade its Web space so as to increase the ease with which teachers may search electronically for curriculum units that may prove useful in their teaching. At the same time, Web sites were constructed for the Institute Center schools, all of which now have within their Center a computer that connects to the Internet and provides ready access to the Institute s electronic resources.

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Teams of Fellows

During the past three years especially, the Institute has explored various new ways for working with inividual schools. For example, a team of four teachers from Beecher Elementary School participated in the 1994 seminar in "Poetry" led by Paul H. Fry. The Fellows team developed related curriculum units that, using poetry as a focus, were designed for students to gain a broader understanding of their particular cultural group. For a culminating activity students presented a school-wide assembly in 1995 featuring poetry, drama, music, and dance pertaining to their units of study.
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Paul H. Fry and Jean E. Sutherland describing the work of the 1994 Beecher Fellows' team at the National Advisory Committee meeting.
The Beecher team's experience demonstrated how, by working together, Fellows can magnify the results of their Institute participation for their school. In 1996 the Institute therefore encouraged teams of teachers from any school to apply to take part together in an Institute seminar. In this way, they might develop complementary curriculum units that envision teaching a seminar topic in an interdisciplinary and inter-grade fashion. Each team also would plan a culminating activity for its work in the school during the year following seminar participation. In 1996 Fellows teams from Beecher, as well as from Career High School and Polly T. McCabe Educational Center, participated in the seminars on film, astronomy, and environmental and occupational health, respectively. It was, in fact the strong interest of Career High School teachers in an interdisciplinary offering related to health that led to that seminar, into which teachers from other schools were also accepted. The teams prepared interrelated curriculum units for using film to teach about negative stereotypes, astronomy to teach science and math, and several disciplines to teach about the environmental consequences of war. In their evaluations, the Fellows who were team members spoke of the advantages they saw in this form of participation:
Two years ago, I participated in a team effort through the Institute which proved to be highly successful, both in the classroom and for the entire student body of our school. Again, I feel that our team has great potential for offering curriculums that will benefit a large portion of our school s student population in individual classrooms and through collaborative teaching. I am very excited about getting together as a team this fall and beginning our team effort for the coming school year with a final gala in the spring of 1997.

By working together as a team, Fellows can magnify the results of their Institute participation for their school.
I feel the unit I have written this year is a strong one and a valuable one for my third grade pupils. As part of a school team, I feel my material will help students on other grade levels. I also feel that the units written by other team members will feed into the growth of my classroom. I also hope that the work of our team will positively affect and involve other members of our staff and will draw parents into the curriculum material we have developed.

When a team is involved, there is a better chance for that team to exert influence on the school curricula. In fact, change starts in the classroom when a Fellow is writing a unit. If there is more than one Fellow working on one particular unit, more students are going to be touched by this material and by the communication between the teachers. This is what is happening in our school. As we gain more experience things get more clear and defined. We are also more prepared to take risks.

In my school as a whole, past Institute activities, which other staff members and I have participated in and promoted, have helped to attract seven of sixteen classroom teachers as Fellows this year. We now have a team of five teachers who will present their units in an integrated effort and, once space is available, we will officially apply as a "Center school." In many ways, we are already fuctioning in this capacity.


"When a team is involved, there is a better chance for that team to exert influence on the school cirricula."
-Institute Fellow

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Institute Centers for Professional and Curricular Development

With the New Haven Public Schools, the Institute in 1996 undertook a new program designed to broaden and deepen its long-standing efforts to strengthen teaching and learning in the schools. The Institute offered several elementary, middle, and high schools the opportunity to establish an Institute Center for Professional and Curricular Development within their buildings. At a Board of Education meeting on May 28, the Institute and the Schools formally announced the establishment of five Centers. The New Haven Public Schools Director of Curriculum introduced the topic to the Board, and the leading teacher in each school Center briefly described the Academic Plan for their Center to the Board. According to Verdell Roberts, Associate Superintendent of Schools, "The interaction among teaching professionals in the Centers will promote collegiality, staff development, self growth, and creativity in the classroom. This is a terrific way to assure that Institute resources will directly benefit many more of our students." Each Center houses a complete set of the Institute s printed volumes and reference materials. In addition, the Centers will provide computer links to the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute s extensive curricular resources on-line. The established Centers include the two elementary, two middle, and one high school. Each Center developed an Academic Plan that outlines how Institute resources can assist teachers to improve student learning while addressing school and district goals. Assuming the success of the pilot phase, this opportunity will be extended in coming years to all schools in the New Haven system.

"The interaction among teaching professionals in the Centers will promote collegiality, staff development, self growth, and creativity in the classroom."
-Verdell Roberts
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Diane Garber, Director of the Curriculum, at the May Board meeting.
Teachers at Career High School intend to use their Institute Center to act on the thematic interdisciplinary approach to teaching and the "collaborative, problem-based learning activities" called for in their school s magnet implementation plan. The Institute Center at Roberto Clemente Middle School will provide impetus to team teaching and the development of thematic units. Teamwork and technology combine at Mauro s Institute Center where teachers develop lesson plans of an interdisciplinar--and--multicultural nature. Teachers also work on personal assessment portfolios, evaluating their own teaching methods and status as a learner. At the Hill Central Middle School Institute Center several teachers participating in the 1996 Institute seminar on Astronomy used the Center to develop closely related curriculum units. Grade-level meetings were also held in the Center, encouraging team teaching. Teachers at Jackie Robinson Middle School intend to use their Institute Center as a place where both individuals and teams can gather to develop classroom curricula and plan school initiatives.
A Center Academic Plan outlines how Institute resources will assist teachers to improve student learning while addressing school and district goals.
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Roberto Clemente Middle School teacher Raymond W. Brooks describing his Institute Center to the Board of Education
As with other Institute programs, then, the Centers emphasize teachers' on-going collaborative development of their curricula. In effect, the Centers are an effort to create in schools a place that will be conducive to the kinds of conversationsteachers have with each other and with their Yale colleagues in Institute seminars on campus. Whereas the Fellows program takes place at the University, Institute Centers operate from attractive and properly equipped rooms within the schools themselves. They contain special furnishings designed by Yale faculty member Kent Bloomer, who previously has led two Institute seminars. The Centers are intended to:
  • Increase the visibility and use of Institute resources within the schools
  • Include teachers who have not before been Institute Fellows
  • Disseminate Institute-developed curriculum units more widely
  • Explore the potential of computing as a means of collaboration
  • Apply the Institute s principles in new ways within the school environment itself.
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Kent C. Bloomer presenting the prototype of his design at the National Advisory Committee meeting.
As their name indicates, Institute Centers are designed to encourage and to assist with curricular and staff development that draws primarily on Institute resources. This purpose is in keeping with each of the "Kids First" school district goals. These goals call for more site-based management, improvement of curriculum and instruction, greater staff development, increased parental involvement, and improved physical conditions of schools. The Centers directly address the first three of these goals and provide new opportunities with respect to the last two.

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Involvement of Yale Students

A point stressed in the first University Advisory Council meeting, held in April 1994, and a strong interest of teachers in our leadership, has been to identify additional ways to involve Yale students in the Institute. As mentioned above, the Institute has begun to involve undergraduate and graduate students as computer asistants to the Fellows. In addition, the Institute has been developing a partnership with Dwight Hall, the organization that provides an umbrella for all student volunteer groups on campus. After undertaking a several-months study, two student members of the Dwight Hall Executive Committee drafted a statement on the advantages they believe such a partnership will have for both our organizations. This proposal was presented formally to the Dwight Hall Cabinet and to the Institute Steering Committee and endorsed by both groups early in 1996.

As a result, Dwight Hall has engaged student interns to coordinate existing student volunteer activities in three of the schools that are establishing Institute Centers, and to assist those schools with the implementation of their Center Academic Plan. To coordinate volunteer student services for all the schools, and to assist each Center in formulating and implementing its plans, the Institute for its part has engaged a Yale graduate student as Liaison to the Centers. He works directly with the education "pod leader" at Dwight Hall, who is in effect the coordinator of all Yale volunteer services in the schools.

The student coordinators focus the time and energy of Yale students in areas that school teachers themselves identify as those where their assistance can be particularly helpful. In this way, the Institute-Dwight Hall partnership can create greater leverage for accomplishing each school s own academic plans to strengthen teaching and learning. It also provides a valuable experience for the Yale students who are involved. As one intern wrote:

Working at a high school within the boundaries of New Haven has helped me not only to learn more about the city, but to feel better about my own personal experience at Yale...I came to Yale wanting to work in the city and this has allowed me to do that through the schools, which is the main target that I originally wanted.

"Working at a school has helped me to feel better about my own personal experience at Yale."
-Yale Student Intern

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School District Curriculum Standards and Priorities

The teachers who taught in the summer Academy in August also constituted an Institute curriculum committee that was charged with responsibility for devising ways to relate the Institute's curricular resources to the new curriculum standards that were being drafted by the New Haven Public Schools' administration. To plan this new activity, a number of meetings were held with the Associate Superintendent of Schools and the Director of Curriculum. Because extensive Institute resources have been developed for teaching about diversity and community--and because teaching about diversity is a prominent aspect of curriculum standards being developed for most school subjects--we decided to focus on this topic as a particularly promising one for demonstrating the relationship between Institute resources and school curricula.

We decided to focus on this topic as a particularly promising one for demonstrating the relationship between Institute resources and school curricula.
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Curriculum Committee meeting on July 8, 1996.(Left to right: Marcella M. Flake, Diane Garber, Verdell Roberts.)
The nine teachers involved in the summer Academy met for two weeks in July and produced two draft documents: a chart that correlates all Institute curriculum resources for teaching about diversity with all the New Haven curriculum standards that call for teaching about diversity; and an annotated reference list of the more than 300 curriculum units the committee identified as significantly related to this topic. However these documents may later be used by other educators, this work had particular value for the committee members themselves. As two wrote:
After having worked on the curriculum and standards correlation, I am more aware of the resources available that I can use in my classes. I also now can recommend more units to other teachers.

I benefited greatly from taking part in the process. I am now very aware of the material contained in manyof the units. While working, I also noted units I felt would be valuable for use in my classroom.

As mentioned above, the Ad Hoc Group planned what the next steps should be for determining the value and usefulness of these documents.

In short, the curriculum work in July provided a useful pilot activity for developing, on a broad range of topics, the relationship between curriculum standards and Institute resources. The Institute also worked with the school district to place its curriculum standards on the Institute's Web page, thus expediting an electronic version of this material for various other uses throughout the school system.

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Participants at the Curriculum Committee meeting. (Clockwise from left: Peter N. Herndon, Soraya Potter, Ida L. Hickerson, Jean E. Sutherland, Felicia R. McKinnon, and Carolyn N. Kinder.)

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Academy

In 1994 a first Academy in Multicultural Studies and Environmental Science offered a new summer program to students in grades 3-8. Through the Academy, teams of teachers who had participated in the Teachers Institute taught their own and other teacher' Institute curriculum units to selected New Haven students. This demonstrated the vitality of the teaching and learning the units entail, showed their adaptability to different grade levels and classrooms than their authors may have originally envisioned, and further indicated the desirability and potential for their wider dissemination throughout the school system. This team approach fostered an effective "mentoring" relationship between teachers who designed the curriculum units and those who were using them for the first time.

The success of the pilot summer Academy also demonstrated the potential of this activity for combining individual curriculum units into larger works of curriculum to be introduced as courses or school themes, and as system-wide curricula. In short, the Academy provided a fruitful opportunity for the Institute and the Schools administration to begin to consider concrete plans that led to the establishment of the new Institute Centers for Professional and Curricular Development.

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The Academy demonstrated the vitality of the teaching and learning the units entail.
Fellow Alan K. Frishman teaching at summer Academy.
The Institute therefore planned a second Academy that was conducted in August 1996 by nine teachers (who were Institute Fellows at the same time) for 77 New Haven elementary, middle, and high school students. The Academy was based on the successful experience with the pilot effort in 1994 and, like the earlier Academy, focused on two themes: diversity and community, and environmental studies. Academy activities were located at two of the schools that have established Centers for Professional and Curricular Development, and this will facilitate follow through with students from the summer program. The nine teachers who aught in the Academy completed written evaluations of their own and their students experience. These were transcribed and circulated in advance of four after-school meetings they held together--and with the Ad Hoc Group--in October and November.
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Fellow Felicia R. McKinnon teaching in the summer Academy.
In their evaluations, the Fellows teaching in the Academy described the particular value of the Institute units they used. Four wrote:
These units helped the ethnic students to write with precision about themselves, articulate and describe their ethnic background as well as examine others that make up the diverse population of the United States.

All the units used this summer were extremely beneficial in allowing us to teach students how to write positively about themselves and their experiences.

The Institute units chosen were extremely adaptable. Although most units were written to last for longer periods of time than we had, the units themselves worked as guides for our plans and daily lessons with each of the children.

The materials were high-interest materials, motivational for teachers and students and flexible. The curricular focus was on multicultural studies and environmental science using an integrated approach. Teachers focused on basic skills such as writing, reading, math and problem solving. Diversity and multicultural education were strands throughout the curriculum.


"The units allowed us to teach students how to write positively about themselves."
-Institute Fellow
The teachers spoke as well of the value, for themselves, of teaching in the summer Academy. Three wrote: Working for this summer Academy allowed me to try out several ideas that I plan to use with my classes this year. It also gave me an opportunity to work with students that will hopefully be a part of the YNHTI's Center at Jackie Robinson.

I found it to be a valuable opportunity to collaborate with another teacher and to shape a curriculum that utilizes the strengths and particular areas of interest of the instructors. I feel that [we] were able to learn from each other. This is important to personal and professional growth.


"The materials were high-interest materials, motivational for teachers and students."
-Institute Fellow
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"The advantage is that the teachers who developed these units knew our population and chose motivating and hands-on activities."
-Institute Fellow
Summer Academy participant.
The advantages of utilizing units developed by other teachers is that the teachers who developed these units knew our population and chose motivating and hands-on activities to meet specific objectives.
They spoke as well of the manner of teaching they were able to employ in the Academy. Two wrote:
I felt I was more relaxed...perhaps more energetic due to the high motivation level of the students. There was plenty of time, scheduling was more flexible, and the team approach kept things moving. Both students and teachers were very eager. I felt confident and excited about what we were doing. The emphasis was on fun, getting to know one another better, and helping each other to learn cooperatively in a small classroom setting.

My teaching style, which is generally very familiar (while still rigorous), worked well in this type of setting. Also, I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to team teach; it kept the teachers fresh and the students engaged.


"i felt confident and excited about what we were doing."
-Institute Fellow
The Fellows teaching in the Academy thought there were particular advantages for the students that came from involving them actively in classroom learning. Institute Fellows often report that the excitement they experience for a seminar subject carries over into and helps energize their own classrooms during the school year. In a similar way, the Fellows teaching in the Academy spoke of the stimulating environment they created for their students. Three wrote:
Were the students engaged more actively? Absolutely. The format planned to involve students as "active learners." No one was exempt from this process. We warmed up each day with brain teasers, puzzles, or games. We mixed fun and facts to te extent that students seemed to enjoy the activities we had planned. We worked at variety, dividing the time up into smaller segments of time. Each week was goaloriented, with a culminating activity each Friday that helped engage students and move them forward. We did a lot of videotaping, which was another valuable incentive to "perform" at a high level.

The Academy was designed to facilitate interdisciplinary learning using handson learning. A strange thing occurred, the student assistants commented that the students were working all the time and did not have time for fun. The younger students were having fun, because they thought they were playing. After a few days some of the assistants came over to me and said, "I understand what you mean, this thing is contagious."

For many of the students that learning was more engaging and active than learning they were accustomed to in their regular classroom settings.

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Fellow Peter Herndon teaching in the summer Academy.
In conclusion, Academy teachers spoke of the value of the experience for both themselves and their students. Three wrote:
Inform the Superintendent that the program was very worthwhile and should be expanded. Teachers can have summer teaching experiences that are rejuvenating, and this program is certainly going in the right direction, using teacherdeveloped curriculum. Teachers are given freedom within certain parameters to teach creatively, without sacrificing discipline and structure. Remember that students were given no credit or monetary rewards to entice them, only an enriching educational experience!

Inform the Superintendent that the program was very worthwhile. Teachers can have summer teaching experiences that are rejuvenating.
-Institute Fellow
My overall experience at the YaleNew Haven Teachers Academy greatly exceeded my expectations. The project appealed to me first because it was an opportunity to teamteach with respected colleagues, from whom I acquired a great deal of practical insight into the areas of organization, planning and ways of successfully interacting with students. Being able to interact in a classroom with another teacher is an energizing experience; consequently I plan to invite more teachers and guest speakers into my classroom for more teamteaching experience. Another appeal of the program was the opportunity to utilize and modify lessons from my own Institute units, and to get feedback and suggestions from a colleague and from students. The students proved very responsive to our efforts to combine facts, fun, creativity and structure. From my point of view, the program was energizing. I viewed myself as a participant with students who were giving up valuable summer time to learn valuable things. What could I teach them of value? I forced myself to look at the two weeks from a high school student s perspective; by doing so it made planning much more exciting and fun. What did the experience mean to me? The 1996 summer Academy experience forced me as an educator to rededicate myself to create learning situations for my students that will get them excited about the study of history as it relates to their everyday experience. I owe the Academy a debt of gratitude for giving me the opportunity to reexperience some of what I call my first love teaching students who challenged me to give of myself to the utmost a process which resulted in close personal relationships and mutual respect which I shall cherish for a long time.

The summer Academy was very rewarding for me. I left feeling that my colleagues, particularly at the high school level, are doing an outstanding job with young people. I would love to have the opportunity to work with such a dynamic group of young people on a year round basis.


"The Academy forced me to rededicate myself to create learning situations for my students that will get them excited."
-Institute Fellow

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