Contents of section:
|The Seminars and Curriculum Units
From its inception, a tenet of the Institute's approach has been to determine its offerings annually in response to the needs for further preparation and curriculum development that the teachers themselves identify. In 1999 this process, which is described later in the report, resulted in the Institute's organizing seven seminars, four in the humanities and three in the sciences.
All seven seminars were assisted by a contribution from the New Haven Public Schools. With further support from endowment revenues the Institute offered the following seminars in the humanities:
"Women's Voices in Fiction,"
"Art and Identity in Mexico, from the Olmec to Modern Times,"
"Immigration and American Life,"
"Detective Fiction: Its Use as Literature and as History,"
With support from the Sherman Fairchild Foundation the Institute offered the following two seminars in the sciences:
"Human-Environmental Relations: International Perspectives from History,
"Electronics in the 20th Century: Nature, Technology, People, Companies,
With support from the Henry and Camille Dreyfus Fund the Institute offered the following seminar in chemistry:
"How Do You Know? The Experimental Basis for Chemical Knowledge,"
The following overview of the work in the seminars is based on the descriptions circulated in advance by the Seminar Leaders, the Guide to Curriculum Units, 1999, and the curriculum units themselves. Each Fellow has prepared a curriculum unit that she or he will use in a specific classroom. But each Fellow has also been asked to indicate the subjects and grade levels for which other teachers might find the curriculum unit to be appropriate. These are indicated parenthetically here for each unit.
|Women's Voices in Fiction
This seminar read short fiction and novels by nineteenth- and twentieth-century English and American women authors. Essays by Virginia Woolf (A Room of One’s Own), Tillie Olsen (Silences), and Alice Walker (In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens) framed the discussion, directing attention to the various ways in which women’s literary voices have been silenced, and to the rediscovery in recent decades of their major contributions to the history of the novel. The novels included Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre, Jamaica Kincaid’s Lucy, Sandra Cisneros’s The House on Mango Street, Gwendolyn Brooks’s Maud Martha, Kate Chopin’s The Awakening, and Fae Ng’s Bone. Shorter fiction included Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper” and Tillie Olsen’s “I Stand Here Ironing.”
The curriculum units take a variety of approaches to the literature of female experience. Several units explore the family—as it appears to Kindergarten-age children, in the context of Chinese culture, and through the words of African-American women writers. Two units focus on mothers and daughters in novels, films, and short stories. Several units place a single work in its historical context, in its contemporary cultural context, or in its biographical context. One unit pairs Black and White authors to illuminate the “ongoing conversation” among American women writers, and another turns to contemporary short stories by women to engage students’ interest in the aesthetic and formal aspects of literature.
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The seminar on “Women’s Voices in Fiction.” (From left to right: seminar leader Laura M. Green; Fellows Francine C. Coss, Jean E. Sutherland, Angela Beasley-Murray, Geraldine M. Martin, and Lisa M. Galullo.)
A team of three teachers (from grades 1, 2, and 3) and a library media specialist from L. W. Beecher Elementary School—Geraldine Martin, Jean Sutherland, Jean Gallogly, and Francine Coss—prepared related units for a project designed to help students learn about families of different cultures, using children’s literature written by women authors.
The curriculum units written in the seminar, with their recommended uses, included: “Sister Outsiders: Black and White Women Writing in America,” by Leslie A. Abbatiello (Honors American Literature, grade 11); “The Politics of Gender in The House on Mango Street,” by Angela Beasley-Murray (English and Reading, grades 10-11); “‘This is Not a Story to Pass On’: Teaching Toni Morrison’s Beloved,” by Sophie R. Bell (English and History, grades 10-12); “My Family: Gender Differences and Similarities,” by Francine C. Conelli-Coss (Language Arts, grades K-5); “Mothers Represented in Short Stories by Women,” by Sandra K. Friday (English Literature and Writing, grades 9-12); “Louisa May Alcott: Her Life, Her Times and Her Literature,” by Jean C. Gallogly (Literature and Social Studies, grades 3-5); “Gothic and the Female Voice: Examining Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s ‘The Yellow Wallpaper,’” by Lisa M. Galullo (English, grades 9-12); “Daughters Come of Age in Women’s Fiction,” by Dianne C. Marlowe (English Literature and Writing, grades 9-12); “Wednesday and Friends: Looking at the Chinese Family Through the Eyes of Women Authors,” by Geraldine M. Martin (Reading and Language Arts, grade 1); “Examining the African-American Family Through the Eyes of Women Authors,” by Jean E. Sutherland (Language Arts and Social Studies, grades 3-5); and “Women Writers and the Contemporary Short Story,” by Douglas F. von Hollen (Language Arts and English, grades 6-10).
This seminar read short fiction and novels by English and American women authors.
|Art and Identity in Mexico, from the
Olmec to Modern Times
In most classrooms in the United States, the history of the Americas begins with Massachusetts in 1620 or Jamestown a few years earlier. In this seminar Fellows worked to see alternative strands in American history and to understand how the question of identity in the past in Mexico relates to identity in the United States today. Their study of the Mesoamerican past, the Spanish Colonial era, and modern Mexico covered the Maya and Teotihuacanos, the Aztec on the eve of the Spanish invasion, the new imagery that took root in New Spain, the preoccupation with race and class that was reflected in the so-called Castas paintings, and the remarkable artistic production in twentieth-century Mexico.
The curriculum units can easily be adapted to different situations and levels and used in English, Spanish, or ESL classrooms. They have been developed to respond to state mandates regarding reading, writing, and mathematics curriculum: they show that such mandates can be met using fresh and imaginative classroom projects. They range from focused investigations of Maya and Aztec art and culture to new understandings of the works of Frida Kahlo. In every unit, hands-on projects play a key role: students can learn to make a work of modern Mexican folk art or play the rudiments of Mesoamerican music. Others offer preparation for tackling long-term projects, such as extensive mural-making. Most also incorporate ways of using local resources, especially museums and WPA mural programs that can easily be adapted to other regions of the U.S. Fellows have provided step-by-step guides to using compasses and learning the concepts of mapping, and they have made it possible to prepare a steaming platter of fresh tamales. In two units, they have written short plays that can be produced in the classroom.
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The seminar on “Art and Identity in Mexico, from the Olmec to Modern Times.” (Front row from left: Fellow Silverio A. Barroqueiro; seminar leader Mary E. Miller; Fellow Dora J. Odarenko, computer assistant Christopher B. Knapp, and Fellow Val-Jean Belton. Back row from left: Fellows Luis A. Recalde, Martha Savage, Mary E. Brayton, Kenneth B. Hilliard, Susan L. Norwood, and Pedro Mendia.)
The curriculum units, with their recommended uses, included: “The Aztecs: A Pre-Columbian History,” by Silverio A. Barroquiero (World Cultures and Spanish I-IV, grades 9-12); “Popular Mexican Arts,” by Val-Jean Belton (Advanced Art, grades 10-12); “Mexicans: Mythology, Movement and Masterpiece,” by Mary E. Brayton (Theatre and Social Studies, grades 5-8); “Artistic Traditions of the Maya People,” by Kenneth B. Hilliard (Music and Social Studies, grades K-8); “The Maya Culture of Mesoamerica: Art Works in Time and Space,” by Pedro Mendia (Integrated Social Studies, Language Arts, and Mathematics through the Visual Arts, with the aid of Media Library and Technology resources, grades 2-4); “Diego Rivera: a Man and His Murals,” by Susan L. Norwood (Social Studies, grade 4); “Broken Shields/Enduring Culture,” by Dora J. Odarenko (Language Arts, Social Studies, Arts, and Science, grades 3-6); “Learning to Appreciate Art: The Influence of Mesoamerica on Mexican Art,” by Genoveva T. Palmieri (Art and Social Studies, grades 11-12); “Popul Vuh,” by Norine A. Polio (ESOL, Language Arts, and Social Studies, grades 4-8); “Art Images of Tenochtitlan—Past and Present: the Case of the Virgin of Guadalupe,” by Luis A. Recalde (Art, Mathematics, Social Studies, and History, grades 6-12); and “Reflections in the Mirror: A Visual Journal and Mural Inspired by Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera,” by Martha Savage (Art, Language Arts, and English, grades K-12).
Fellows worked to understand how the question of identity in the past in Mexico relates to identity in the United States today.
|Immigration and American Life
This seminar examined primary sources on political debates over immigration from the founding era to the present, along with secondary sources detailing the major legislative developments in U.S. immigration history. The first half examined historical immigration debates, including those between the Jeffersonians and the Federalists, the Know-Nothings and their opponents, champions of Chinese exclusion and the literacy test, the adoption of the National Origins Quota system in the 1920s, and its repeal in 1965. Later sessions explored current immigration policies and controversies, including the relationships of immigrants to the U.S. economy, disputes over bilingualism and multiculturalism, and the impact of immigrants on U.S. politics. Discussions centered on why Americans historically had favored or opposed various sorts of immigrants and what current policies should be.
In their curriculum units, Fellows have adapted these themes for students in a variety of courses at a wide range of levels. One unit comprehensively documents U.S. immigration history while deriving from it a range of mathematical exercises; another similarly uses immigration statistics to teach graphing techniques. Others focus in revealing ways on more particular aspects of U.S. immigration history. Several feature particular groups of immigrants. These include the Italians, emblematic of the great immigration from southern and eastern Europe during the late 19th and early 20th century; Africans, involuntary immigrants to antebellum America who are only becoming a significant voluntary immigration stream today; and Puerto Ricans, not truly immigrants, yet not clearly fully equal U.S. citizens either. One unit uses representative figures from New Haven’s past to tell the history of immigration in this city, a microcosm of immigration to America’s northeast. Another focuses on the Irish in New Haven. Still another reverses perspectives, tracing how European immigrants affected the first migrants to this continent, the Native American tribes. One concentrates on a most controversial yet important issue related to current immigration, bilingual education. Another, recognizing that the drama of immigration has inspired great American novels, plays, and films, uses student research on immigration as preparation for training in acting and dramatic presentations.
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The seminar on “Immigration and American Life.” (Clockwise from front center: Fellows Joan A. Rapczynski, Michelle E. Massa, Elizabeth A. Scheffler, Joseph A. Wickliff, Michele E. Sepulveda, Carolyn S. Williams, Joyce Bryant, Peter N. Herndon, David J. Coss; and seminar leader Rogers M. Smith.)
Curriculum units, with their recommended uses, included: “Immigration in the United States,” by Joyce Bryant (History and Mathematics, grade 8); “Those Who Built New Haven,” by David Coss (Social Studies and U.S. History, grades 4-12); “Native Americans and the Clash of Cultures,” by Peter N. Herndon (U.S. History, World History, and Law, grades 9-12); “Immigration and American Life—Graphing Immigration Data,” by Mary E. Jones (Mathematics, grades 6-8); “New Beginnings,” by Michele E. Massa (Drama and Speech, grades 9-12); “The Italian Immigrant Experience in America (1870-1920),” by Joan A. Rapczynski (U.S. History, grade 11); “The Non-Immigrant Immigrants: Puerto Ricans,” by Elizabeth A. Scheffler (History, grades 11-12); “St. Patrick—Symbol of Irishness,” by Michele E. Sepulveda (History, grades 5-8); “African-Americans in Immigration and American Life,” by Joseph A. Wickliffe (History, grades 11-12); “America’s Future Culture,” by Carolyn S. Williams (Social Studies, grade 7).
This seminar examined primary sources on political debates over immigration.
|Detective Fiction: Its Use as Literature
and as History
This seminar was based in part on Professor Robin W. Wink’s book, The Historian as Detective. It had two major goals: to get students reading by introducing them to the single largest body of popular fiction in the United States—mystery, detective, and spy thriller fiction; and to demonstrate how historians ask and answer questions by using the fictional detective as though he or she were a historian. The works read included: Agatha Christie, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd; Geoffrey Household, Dance of the Dwarves; Colin Dexter, Last Seen Wearing or Last Bus to Woodstock; P. D. James, An Unsuitable Job for a Woman; Raymond Chandler, The Big Sleep; Robert B. Parker, Looking for Rachel Wallace; Dick Francis, High Stakes; Adam Hall, Quiller Barracuda; Ed McBain, Lady Killer; Mary Kittredge, Fatal Diagnosis; Tony Hillerman, Dancehall of the Dead; Walter Mosly, Devil in a Blue Dress; John Buchan, The Thirty-Nine Steps; Kenn Follett, Eye of the Needle (accompanied by the film); Josephine Tey, Daughter of Time; Ellis Peters, Pilgrim of Hate; James McClure, The Steam Pig; and Dorothy L. Sayers, Nine Tailors.
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The seminar on “Detective Fiction.” (Clockwise from front center: Fellows Kathleen Ware, Sandra L. Nash, Christine A. Elmore, Paul E. Turtola, John Mac Oliver, Hoyt G. Sorrells, Barbara W. Winters; and seminar leader Robin W. Winks.)
The curriculum units offer material adaptable to a variety of age levels, from the early grades to advanced readers in high school. They reflect the four broad categories within the literature: the puzzle novel, or English “cozy,” represented by Agatha Christie; the private eye novel associated with Raymond Chandler; the story of steady interrogation of evidence and of people, of testing the irrelevant clue against the environment, as in the police procedural, represented by the work of Ed McBain; and the classic novel of espionage, of the exercise of power over others through the finding and possession of information and the spread of disinformation.
Curriculum units, with their recommended uses, included: “Learning English Through Detective Fiction,” by Daisy S. Catalan (English as a Second Language, grades 9-12); “Teaching Reading Comprehension and Writing Skills with ‘Whodunits,’” by Christine A. Elmore (Reading, Writing, Language Arts, grade 3); “Wrapped in Mystery,” by Sandra L. Nash (Reading and Language Arts, grades 5-8); “Reading Clues Closely,” by John M. Oliver (Writing, Creative Writing, and English, grades 9-12); “Chocolate and Ice Cream Across the Curriculum,” by Donnamarie Pantaleo (Special Education, grade 6); “Arousing a Child’s Curiosity—What Is It?,” by Gwendolyn Robinson (Reading, Phonics, Comprehension, Coordinate Geometry, and Geography, grades 3-5); “Lessons in Drama: Detective Fiction and the Interactive Audience,” by Paul E. Turtola (English and Drama, grades 6-8); “Who Did Steal the Cookie from the Cookie Jar?,” by Kathleen Ware (Reading and Language Arts, grades K-2); and “Using Detective Fiction to Raise Interest in High School Readers,” by Barbara W. Winters (English [Repeat], Basic English, and Comprehensive English, grade 9).
This seminar had two major goals: to get students reading and to demonstrate how historians ask and answer questions.
|How Do You Know? The Experimental Basis
for Chemical Knowledge
The goal of this seminar was to develop materials that would encourage students to ask “How do you know?” and to provide some answers. It was hoped that these materials would foster delight in mastering the logic of inference from experimental evidence. Discussions focused on molecular structure, bonding, and reactivity. The seminar first considered how the most powerful present methods for observing atoms and molecules work: scanning probe microscopy, which allows feeling individual particles, and x-ray diffraction, which revealed the double-helix structure of DNA. After discussing how quantum mechanics provides a theory for atomic and molecular structure, the seminar addressed the amazing fact that, in the absence of sophisticated instruments and theories, 19th century chemists were able to develop a detailed understanding of molecular structure. Most attention was focused on experiments from 1780 through the first half of the 19th century, which established the atomic nature of matter.
The Fellows developed curricular materials ranging from college-level second year chemistry to kindergarten-level special education. They surveyed, and incorporated in their units, experimental resources from text books, the primary chemical literature, and the World Wide Web. Some of them developed valuable original experiments. In general they developed activities that would engage the students’ enthusiasm and their minds—including Socratic seminars on the atomic philosophy of the ancient Greeks, use of playground swings to discover harmonic motion, close observation of familiar materials, putting the discovery of molecular genetics in a cultural context, and graphing important scientific data collected nearly 200 years ago. Some of the most imaginative activities are those developed for learning disabled students in elementary and high school. Though accessible to the students for whom they are designed, they also raise fundamental scientific questions that would make them appropriate, in slightly modified form, for all levels of science instruction.
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The seminar on “How Do You Know? The Experimental Basis for Chemical Knowledge.” (Clockwise from front left: Fellows Judith A. Puglisi, Sherry M. Burgess, Eddie B. Rose; seminar leader J. Michael McBride; Fellows Theodore L. Johnson and Michele M. Sherban-Kline.)
Curriculum units, with their recommended uses, included: “Discovery Through Experimentation—Past and Present,” by Sherry M. Burgess (Integrated Science, Chemistry, Physical Science, and General Science, grades 9-11); “Amazing DNA Molecule: Its History, Structure, and Function,” by Monique Y. Gisser (Biology, grades 9-12); “The Rediscovery of Matter: A Historical Trek Through Classical Chemistry,” by Theodore L. Johnson (Chemistry, grades 9-12); “Chemistry for Everyday Living,” by Judith A. Puglisi (Special Education Science, grades 9-12); “Introduction to Chemistry,” by Lucia Rafala (Special Education Science and Mathematics, grades K-5); “How Do You Know? Let’s Try With Math,” by Eddie B. Rose (Algebra and Statistics, grades 9-12); and “Infrared Spectroscopy: A Key to Organic Structure,” by Michele M. Sherban-Kline (Advanced Chemistry, grades 11-12).
It was hoped that these materials would foster delight in mastering the logic of inference from experimental evidence.
|Human-Environmental Relations: International
Perspectives from History, Science, Politics, and Ethics
This seminar was designed to help teachers and their students to understand and critique claims that environmental or health damage has resulted from human action. Its topics included humanitarian concerns, disciplinary and interdisciplinary analyses, history and narrative, public sector innovation, the fragmentation of science and law, private sector innovation, patterns in arguments and logic employed in environmental debates, scientific uncertainty, values and ideology, and ethics. These topics were developed through examining a set of case studies on population growth, food and agriculture, land use and infectious disease, forest and ecosystem management, watershed management, indoor air and built environment, energy and climate change, land use and environmental health, product consumption and waste, environment and warfare, biodiversity loss, and protected areas.
The curriculum units focus on a great variety of topics, including human-environment relations in the Doñana National Park in Andalucia, Spain; the response of plants to pollutants that also affect human health; the relations between asthma incidence and the environmental quality of the school; the integration of science and mathematics in interpreting effects of air pollution; the history and management of a city park, and the geology, hydrology, and ecology of the river that runs through it; basic concepts of ecology; and vector-borne disease, especially the transmission of parasites from other species to humans.
Curriculum units, with their recommended uses, included: “Human-Environment Relations: A Case Study of Doñana National Park, Andalucia, Spain, and the Los Frailes Mine Toxic Spill of 1998,” by Stephen P. Broker (Environmental Science, Honors Anatomy and Physiology, grades 11-12); “Asthma and the Environment,” by Richard R. MacMahon (Biology and Health, grades 9-12); “Making Wise Environmental Decisions,” by Kenneth P. Rogers (Environmental Science and Science, grades 5-8); “Problem Solving Using Mathematics Spatially to Interpret Environmental Issues,” by Creola Smith (Mathematics and Science, grades 6-12); “Edgewood Speaks: Politically, Historically, Scientifically, and Ethically,” by Mary E. Stewart (Science, grades 6-9); “Abiotic Factors and Plants: A Local Pollution Study With Global Implications,” by Maureen E. Taylor-French (Integrated Life Science, grade 7, and Integrated Earth Science, grade 8); “Are You Balanced With Your Environment?,” by Yolanda U. Trapp (Environmental Awareness, Language Arts, Social Studies, Science, and ESL, grades K-4); and “The Impact of Poverty, Waste Management, and Ethics in the Control of Parasitic Infections,” by Concetta F. Welton (General Science/Ecology, Life Science/Health, and Biology, grades 9-12).
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The seminar on “Human-Environment Relations: International Perspectives from History, Science, Politics, and Ethics.” (Clockwise from left: seminar leader John P. Wargo; Fellows Mary E. Stewart, Earnest Bell, Stephen P. Broker, Yolanda U. Trapp, Concetta F. Welton, Kenneth P. Rogers, Maureen E. Taylor-French, and Richard R. MacMahon.)
|Electronics in the 20th Century: Nature,
Technology, People, Companies, and the Marketplace
This seminar dealt with a variety of topics, including communications and warfare, digital electronics, solid state electronics, the space race and ballistic missiles, the field effect transistor, technologies impossible without integrated circuits, and possibilities for the future. Books included were Christopher Evans, Making of the Micro; Hans Queisser, The Conquest of the Microchip; and Roman Kuc, The Digital Information Age.
The curriculum units, prepared for classes that range from Kindergarten to grade 12, deal with a wide range of topics. One unit uses the event of the Titanic catastrophe to teach methods of finding informational source materials. Three units explore the physics of force at a distance in ways designed for primary level students. Another unit, focusing on issues of pregnancy and childbirth for students in a transitional school, reviews some of the diagnostic instruments that have become available in the last two decades. Another shows how the computer has been adapted for use by the visually handicapped, though the design of Web sites and Web pages can either enable or frustrate such persons. Another contrasts modern computer technology as a revolutionary event with the Industrial Revolution. And another encourages students to write scientific fiction based upon their speculations on future science.
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The seminar on “Electronics in the 20th Century: Nature, Technology, People, Companies, and the Marketplace.” (Clockwise: seminar leader Robert G. Wheeler; Fellows Bonnie M. Osborne, Roberta A. Mazzucco, Joanne R. Pompano, and Gail G. Hall.)
Curriculum units, with their recommended uses, included: “From Dusty to Digital: Using Primary Sources in the Information Age—Researching Titanic,” by Gail G. Hall (History, Social Studies, and Library Media, grades 9-12); “Introduction to Magnetism and Basic Electronics,” by Rebecca E. Blood (Science and Literacy, grades K-1); “Modern Electronic Inventions: Changing the Way People Live,” by Roberta A. Mazzucco (Science and Social Studies, grades 2-5); “Technology at Home: An Increase in the Quality of Living Due to Electronic Inventions,” by Jacqueline E. Porter (Science, grades 5-8); “Medical Technology Related to Childbirth and Pregnancy,” by Bonnie M. Osborne (Special Education Science and Parenting, grades 9-12); “Designing Accessible Websites for Blind and Visually Impaired,” by Joanne R. Pompano (Blind and Visually Impaired, grades 7-12); “The Cultural Impact of Computer Technology,” by Sheldon A. Ayers (Sociology, Current Events, and World History, grades 9-12); “From Science Fact to Science Fiction,” by June M. Gold (English, grades 7-9).
|The Process of Determining the Seminar
Between October and December 1998, the teachers who serve as Institute Representatives and Contacts for their colleagues had canvassed other teachers throughout New Haven elementary, middle, and high schools to determine the topics they wanted Institute seminars to address in 1999. (Please see Appendix for lists of teacher leaders.) The Representatives met together twice monthly and communicated individually with the School Contacts with whom they were responsible for staying in close touch. The Director of the Institute then recruited Yale faculty members who were qualified and willing to lead seminars that engaged the desired topics. Their specific proposals were then considered and approved by the Representatives.
In their evaluations, the 1999 Fellows indicated that the Institute Representative for their school had been helpful in many ways: by maintaining frequent contact with them, asking for their views on seminar subjects for the following year, encouraging and assisting them to apply to the Institute, and promoting the use of Institute-developed curriculum units. (Chart 1, reading from left to right, moves from the more helplful to the less helpful activities of the Representatives.) As a result, 46 (72 percent) of all Fellows said in the end that they had, while the program was being planned, sufficient opportunity to suggest possible topics for seminars. This is slightly greater satisfaction with these arrangements than reported last year (68 percent).
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Fellows indicated that the Institute Representative for their school had been helpful in many ways.
|The Fellows’ Application and Admissions
Having worked with teachers in their respective schools during the preceding months, the Institute Representatives met on January 5 to receive for distribution in all schools copies of the Institute application form, brochure, and descriptions of the seminars to be offered. At this meeting a general presentation of the subjects of the seminars ensured that all Representatives could explain to their colleagues the purpose of each seminar.
On January 12 the Institute held an open house for prospective applicants where any teacher might learn more about the planned seminars from the Representatives and from the seminar leaders, who attended and conducted discussions in small groups with interested teachers.
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School Representatives meeting. (Fellow Stephen P. Broker.)
On January 19 the Representatives met to discuss their progress in working with prospective applicants and to hand in their own completed applications. The final deadline for teachers applying to the Institute was January 26. This date was selected so that teachers would apply in advance of the February school vacation. The office would then have the vacation period to process application materials, and the review of applications could be completed during February to provide the earliest possible notification to teachers who were accepted.
There are four principal criteria for teachers to be eligible for consideration as Fellows:
1. The applicant must be a current New Haven school teacher who will be teaching in New Haven also during the school year following Institute participationFor some years it has been the policy of the Institute to allow no more than twelve teachers to enroll in any seminar. The small size of the seminars is necessary both for the collegiality of the Institute experience and for the individual attention that each teacher’s work in progress receives from the seminar leader and from other teachers in the seminar.
During the planning process 95 teachers expressed definite interest in participating in one of the seminars to be offered. Of those teachers, 42 were from high schools, 6 from transitional schools, 28 from middle schools, and 19 from elementary schools. By the application deadline, the Institute Representatives, assisted by the school Contacts, had obtained applications from 81 elementary, middle, and high school teachers in the humanities, social sciences, and sciences, somewhat fewer than the record numbers of the previous four years.
The individual application form calls for the interested teachers to specify the subjects and grade levels they teach, the course or courses in which they plan to introduce the material they study in the Institute, and their willingness to meet each of the Institute’s requirements for full participation. The applicants also write a brief essay describing why they wish to participate in the seminar to which they are applying, and how the curriculum unit they plan to write will assist them in their own teaching. Writing this essay is, in effect, their first step in formulating a curriculum unit through which they will bring the material they study from the seminar into their own teaching.
The team application form requires the interested teachers to demonstrate how the team envisions working together in inter-grade and/or interdisciplinary ways and must outline plans for a culminating activity in the school. Teams may receive preference during the admissions process, and are required to submit a final report on their work together during the following school year. If a team is not admitted as such, however, the members of the team may be admitted to the program as individual Fellows. And the Institute encourages such Fellows to work as informal teams in their schools.
The applications were then reviewed by three groups: seminar leaders, school principals, and seminar Coordinators. The seminar leaders examined the applications for their relationship to the seminar subject. This afforded each seminar leader the opportunity, as well, to tailor or enlarge the bibliography for the seminar so that it would address the specific interests of the teachers who are accepted.
At the same time, the applications were reviewed in the applicant’s own school, in keeping with a recent decentralizing of administrative functions and decision-making in the school district. The Institute’s Representative for each school contacted the school principal to determine who should be involved in this building-level review. The intention is to increase awareness within each school of the projects that teachers wish to pursue in Institute seminars and to afford an opportunity for the principal and other educational leaders to examine the relationship between teachers’ applications and school plans. In a letter of January 21, 1998, to all principals, Reginald Mayo, Superintendent of the New Haven Public Schools, had said: “We believe this is a highly promising way for ensuring that the assistance that the Institute provides to individual teachers and to teams of teachers has the best prospects for advancing each school’s academic plans.” This process informs the consideration of each application, provides each applicant pertinent feedback, and often provides a significant opportunity for Institute Representatives to talk with their principals about the Institute.
As in the past, the Institute formed a group of teachers who served as Coordinators to assist with the organization and smooth operation of the seminars. These Coordinators are selected by the Director from the group of Representatives who had earlier helped to plan the program of seminars. There is one Coordinator in each seminar. They act as liaisons between the seminars and a Coordinators’ committee to facilitate the exchange of information and to provide teacher leadership without diminishing the collegial rapport within each seminar. A seminar Coordinator must be, and must intend to continue as, a full-time teacher in one of New Haven’s public schools. A Coordinator accepts the following responsibilities:
1. To work with school Representatives at the conclusion of the application process, to serve on an admissions committee to consider proposals for curriculum development submitted by teachers applying to become Fellows, and to make recommendations to the Director about whom to accept as FellowsWhen the seminars began, each Coordinator would participate as a Fellow in a different seminar. At this earlier point they served as an admissions committee. They met after school on February 3 to conduct a first reading and discussion of the applications to their respective seminars. They then contacted all teachers whose applications needed to be clarified or amplified. On February 10 the Coordinators met again for a full day, by taking professional leave, for their final consideration of and decisions on the applications.
During their review, the Coordinators considered the findings of the school administrators and seminar leaders and made recommendations to the Director about which teachers the Institute should accept. By these means, the Institute seeks to ensure that all Fellows participate in seminars that are consistent with their interests and applicable in the courses they teach. A meeting of seminar leaders and Coordinators was held on February 25 to discuss the admissions process just completed, and to review the seminar and unit writing process and the policies and procedures of the Institute. On February 26 the Institute accepted as Fellows 74 New Haven teachers, 46 in the humanities and 28 in the sciences. One team of teachers was admitted with the expectation that team members would coordinate their curriculum units and work together during the school year, planning cross-grade and cross-department instruction and school-wide activities.
Consistent with the Institute’s aim to serve the largest possible proportion of all New Haven teachers, 21 (or 32 percent) of the teachers accepted in 1999 were participating in the Institute for the first time. Of these first-time Fellows, 12 were in the humanities and 9 were in the sciences. About one-quarter (24 percent) were Black, slightly less than three-quarters (71 percent) were White, and 5 percent were Hispanic.
The small size of the seminars is necessary for the collegiality of the Institute experience.
“This is a highly promising way for ensuring that the assistance that the Institute provides has the best prospects for advancing each school’s academic plans.” —Reginald R. Mayo, Superintendent of New Haven Public Schools
The Institute seeks to ensure that all Fellows participate in seminars that are applicable in the courses they teach.
|The Fellows Who Were Accepted
Fellows came from 6 of the 8 high schools, 8 of the 9 middle schools, and 2 of the 5 transitional schools. Of the 27 elementary schools, 11 had teachers participating. The Institute first admitted elementary school teachers in 1990; this year 18 (25 percent) of all Fellows were elementary school teachers. Thirty-three percent were middle school teachers, and 36 percent were high school teachers. Four schools had five or more Fellows; twelve schools had three or more. Overall, about 27 percent of the Fellows were 41-50 years old; 35 percent were younger and 35 percent were older.
As Chart 2 shows, about one-fifth of the Fellows (21 percent) had four or fewer years of total experience in teaching. The Institute attracted a slightly lower proportion (18 percent) of teachers with 20 or more years of total experience in teaching. More than one-third (37 percent) of the Fellows, however, had four or fewer years of experience teaching in the New Haven school system. Illustrative of the need for the professional development that the Institute provides, almost half (47 percent) of all Fellows have been in their present teaching position four or fewer years; more than three-quarters (76 percent) have taught in their present position for nine years or less. Thus, even though 54 percent of the Fellows have 10 or more years total teaching experience, almost half have four or fewer years experience in their present position. These figures help to explain why many teachers say they need to develop their knowledge in subjects that they have been recently reassigned to teach, or curricular materials for students of a different age or background from those they have taught before.
(Chart 2 available in print form)
Moreover, as in past years—and as is the case in the school system generally—many of the 1999 Fellows did not major in college or graduate school in the subjects they currently teach. As Chart 3 shows, in no field except biological science did all Fellows teaching a subject have a graduate or undergraduate degree in that subject. In three fields—earth science, general science, and physics—no Fellows had a graduate or undergraduate degree in a field they taught. Of the Fellows teaching in the field of English, only two-thirds had an undergraduate or graduate degree. Of those teaching in the field of social studies, fewer than one-fourth had so much as an undergraduate degree.
(Chart 3 available in print form)
Almost half have four or fewer years experience in their present position.
Many of the 1999 Fellows did not major in college or graduate school in the subjects they currently teach.
|Chart 4 shows the subjects Fellows taught in the 1998-1999
year of their Institute participation. Overall, more than half (52 percent)
of Fellows in the humanities and almost four-fifths (78 percent) of Fellows
in the sciences had not majored either in college or in graduate school
in one or more of the subjects they taught in that year.
(Chart 4 available in print form)
Understandably, therefore, when the 1999 Fellows were asked about the incentives that attracted them to participate in the Institute, they responded (as Chart 5 shows, reading left to right from the most to the least important) that the most important incentives were the opportunities to increase their mastery in the subjects they teach (92 percent), to develop curricula to fit their needs (92 percent) and materials to motivate their students (92 percent), and to exercise intellectual independence (87 percent). Indeed, incentives that might be imagined to be important for teachers with access to Yale University—credit in a degree program and access to Yale athletic facilities—were notably unimportant for Fellows in the Teachers Institute.
(Chart 5 available in print form)
As past Institute studies have shown, Fellows are in most respects highly representative of all New Haven teachers. So, for example, this year’s Fellows continue to reflect the gender and ethnicity of all New Haven teachers, though there are great disparities overall between the ethnic and racial characteristics of New Haven teachers and those of their students. (See Table 1.) Similarly, the Yale faculty members who have led Institute seminars generally reflect the wider faculty at Yale.
Totals may not add to 100% due to rounding.
More than half of Fellows in the humanities and almost four-fifths in the sciences had not majored in one or more of the subjects they taught.
Fellows are in most respects highly representative of all New Haven teachers.
|Activities for Fellows
At the first organizational meeting of each seminar, held on March 2, 1999, the seminar leader distributed an annotated bibliography on the seminar subject and presented the syllabus of readings that he or she proposed the seminar would consider. The Fellows described the individual curriculum units that they planned to develop. This afforded the members of each seminar an overview of the work they were undertaking together and the projects they would pursue individually. The bibliographies both introduced the seminar subject and guided Fellows as they began research on their curriculum units. One wrote, “The work-load was not light but also was not unmanageable. We averaged a book a week, two presentations related to the material being covered, and a discussion of our unit.” Another wrote, “I was able to use in my curriculum unit several pieces of literature that were assigned reading for my seminar discussions. This was exciting because this was literature that I had not previously read.” A third said, “Our seminar leader encouraged us to research more deeply than was necessary for the preparation of a secondary school curriculum unit, but the findings were extremely rewarding.”
“The work-load was not light but also was not unmanageable.” —Institute Fellow
|In contrast, some Fellows emphasized how demanding they
found the reading to be. One said, “Sometimes the seminar became somewhat
overwhelming with many readings, presentations and handouts to prepare,
in addition to our curriculum units and classroom teaching preparation.”
Another said, “Even though the readings were quite interesting, there was
so, so much to read. I found myself skimming through two of the books.”
The seminar leaders also commented on what they perceived to be the Fellows’ responses to the weekly readings. One said:
The quality of my seminar was often similar in quality to my graduate seminars. The Fellows bring experience and judgment to their studies in a way that is normally missing from an undergraduate seminar. Undergraduates normally bring stronger technical training in the sciences and mathematics, but less refined skills and ability to judge context and social relevance of the knowledge they study. Fellows intuitively understand what will be effective in the classroom, and they are in the seminar for a specific and common purpose—to develop innovative curriculum.Before the second seminar meeting all Fellows met individually with their seminar leader to discuss their projects. The Institute requires that Fellows schedule at least two such conferences as part of the unit writing process; many Fellows, however, meet more frequently with their seminar leader. At the end of the program, most Fellows (89 percent) said that they had ample opportunity to discuss their choice of readings with the seminar leader.
During the period that preceded the regular weekly meetings, Fellows continued their reading, both preparing for the upcoming seminar discussions and working toward a brief prospectus of what their final units would contain. At the second seminar meeting, on April 6, Fellows submitted this prospectus, presented their revised unit topics, and began to discuss the common readings. The regular weekly seminar meetings began on May 4; thereafter Fellows continued to develop their units in stages, with a first draft submitted on May 18. The weekly meetings of the seminars continued through July 13, with Fellows submitting the second draft of their units on July 6 and their completed units by July 30.
For several years, Fellows have been asked to submit the prospectus, together with a revised topic of the unit and a list of appropriate readings, at the time of the second seminar meeting. This allows them a full six weeks to write a first draft. The due date for the second draft is late enough to allow Fellows ample time to address the comments they received on the first draft from other Fellows and from the seminar leader. Although some seminar leaders have urged that the revised topic, preliminary reading-list, and first draft be submitted somewhat later, and some have informally instituted yet another draft between the first and second drafts, a high proportion of Fellows have been satisfied with this schedule. In 1999, 74 percent of the Fellows thought the unit writing deadlines occurred at the right time in relation to the school calendar.
The Institute attaches great importance to the process through which Fellows develop their curriculum units.
|The Institute attaches great importance to the process
through which Fellows develop their curriculum units, and many Fellows
commented upon the benefits derived from following this process. One wrote:
“Our seminar leader was extremely thorough in examining our various written
drafts. Her suggestions related to organization and style were particularly
helpful. She required and extra draft and gave assistance to anyone who
was having difficulty.” Another wrote: “Because writing a curriculum was
my reason for participating in the Institute, I found it extremely helpful
(if somewhat painful) to have input from the other teachers during the
course of writing the curriculum.” At the conclusion of the seminars, most
Fellows indicated that the program schedule (74 percent) and the guidelines
for writing a unit (95 percent) had been useful to them to a great or moderate
This year 61 percent of the Fellows said they tried out the subject matter and 70 percent said they tried out the strategies of their units in their classroom. Of those Fellows who did, most (69 percent) said that this influenced what they included in the final units. One wrote, “I tested out much of the curriculum in the unit on my kindergarten class this year. It was well received, interesting and engaging for them. As a teacher it was very rewarding to see my students happily learning from the unit that I was designing.”
(image available in print form)
Fellow Diane Platt and her students at Troup Magnet Academy of Sciences.
Fellows said they tried out the subject matter and the strategies of their units in their classroom.
|During the first two months of the program, which serve
as a reading period, all Fellows also met together on Tuesday afternoons
for a series of talks. Ordinarily, at least some current or prospective
seminar leaders are included in this series, while some other faculty members
are invited to speak on topics the school Representatives believe will
be of particular interest to many Fellows. In 1999, as in 1998, the Representatives
decided that all five talks should be given by current seminar leaders.
In this way all Fellows could listen to an overview or an example of the
work their colleagues are pursuing in other seminars—or, as in the case
of Rogers Smith’s talk, learn about a topic for a seminar in 2000. The
talks given in 1999 were: “Human-Environment Relations,” by John P. Wargo,
Associate Professor of Environmental Risk Analysis and Policy; “Women’s
Voices in Fiction,” by Laura M. Green, Assistant Professor of English;
“Electronics in the 20th Century,” by Robert G. Wheeler, Harold Hodgkinson
Professor Emeritus of Engineering and Applied Science; “National Parks,”
by Robin W. Winks, Randolph W. Townsend, Jr., Professor of History; and
“Constitutional Privacy in the 21st Century,” by Rogers M. Smith, Alfred
Cowles Professor of Government.
(image available in print form)
Rogers M. Smith giving his 1999 talk on “The Right to Privacy in the 21st Century.”
Most Fellows saw in the talks the purposes for which they were organized.
|Although the talks have recently met with more favorable
response than was once the case, they remain somewhat controversial. One
Fellow wrote: “The talks, although I enjoy them, seem to me to lack purpose.
I feel condescended to, as if I need a brush-up on liberal arts issues.”
Another wrote, in contrast: “I feel that the ‘talks’ are too specialized
at times and not meant to hold the interest of people ‘cruising’ through
the offerings.” And another wrote: “I would like to see a rebuttal provided
for those lectures based upon issues clearly partisan in nature.”
Most Fellows, however, saw in the talks the purposes for which they were organized. They said that to a great or moderate extent the talks provided them intellectual stimulation (94 percent) and a sense of collegiality and common purpose among Fellows (90 percent). Three-quarters (78 percent) said the talks were successful in providing an overview of Fellows’ work in the seminars. Most Fellows (92 percent) also said that the Institute scheduled the right number of talks. One Fellow wrote: “The faculty present just enough about the various topics to whet the appetite for more investigation and discussion.” Another wrote: “The talks were always good, but this year they seemed more connected, in that they united the various seminars.” And another wrote: “I thought the talks were very well targeted to the seminar topics and each offered a general knowledge to others who were not a part of the specific seminar.”
Many Fellows reported that the talks prompted them to read about their topics (45 percent), discuss the topics with their students (52 percent), and discuss the talks with other teachers (74 percent).
“The talks were always good, but this year they seemed more connected, in that they united the various seminars.” —Institute Fellow
|As in recent years, the Institute scheduled a session on
curriculum unit writing on March l6, well before the regular meetings of
the seminars began. Before starting on their curriculum units, the Fellows
all need to understand the central role that the process of writing plays
in Institute seminars. As part of their admissions folder, all Fellows
had received Institute guidelines and mechanical specifications for preparing
curriculum units, which outline the Institute writing process and the five
steps for Fellows’ formulating, reformulating, and enlarging their individual
units. During the session on curriculum unit writing, a panel of Coordinators
first spoke briefly to all the Fellows about following the Institute process
for unit development, considering one’s audience, using a computer to write
a unit and put it online, using the computer assistance the Institute and
Yale University provide, and working together with other Fellows in writing
and using units. Then the Fellows were divided into seminar groups, where
each Coordinator led a discussion of purposes and practices in writing
Institute curriculum units. This afforded an opportunity for the first-time
Fellows to learn about the guidelines and other aspects of curriculum unit
writing from experienced Fellows. At the same time, it encouraged experienced
Fellows to share that experience, and it allowed all to discuss how the
completed volume of units might display a range of teaching strategies
and contain a standard form of annotation. By leading these discussions,
the Coordinators also identified themselves as being knowledgeable about
the process of writing curriculum units, so that other Fellows might seek
At the Coordinators’ weekly meetings with the Director, which were held on the day after seminar meetings, they discussed the progress of each seminar and gained an overview of the program. In addition, the Coordinators met with the seminar leaders immediately before the program began to provide them with information about the teachers who had been accepted and to begin to define their role in assisting with the conduct of the seminars. Both seminar leaders and Fellows acknowledged in their evaluations the essential role of the Coordinators. Almost all Fellows (97 percent) agreed that the Coordinator had provided teacher leadership without diminishing the collegial rapport within the seminar. Almost all Fellows also said that the Coordinators helped them by facilitating discussion of Fellows’ work in progress (95 percent), and by providing information about guidelines and deadlines for unit writing (98 percent) and about use of University facilities (95 percent). Few Fellows found the Coordinators unhelpful in any respect.
To maintain current information on the program and to address any problems that arose, the Institute Director met monthly with the seminar leaders as a group. This also afforded the seminar leaders, two of whom were conducting an Institute seminar for the first time, an opportunity to talk with each other about their approaches to the seminar and experiences in it.
Both seminar leaders and Fellows acknowledged the essential role of the Coordinators.
|Rewards for Fellows
The seminars have always been regarded as the core collaborative experience of the Institute, and each year the Fellows’ comments about the seminars have been rich and positive. This year the Fellows often were very enthusiastic indeed. One said: “It has been one of the most positive experiences I’ve had in the four years that I have participated as a Fellow.” Another Fellow said:
I felt as if I brought together so many aspects of who I am—teacher, scholar, writer, student—rather than being forced to be one-dimensional, as so many professional development programs require us to be.Yet another Fellow said:
I applied to work in New Haven in part because the Institute is available to teachers there. It is the kind of collaborative effort in which I strongly believe, one that values high standards of teaching and of scholarship, seeing them as part of the same process rather than as the province of different levels of teaching.
“I applied to work in New Haven in part because the Institute is available to teachers there.” —Institute Fellow
|Seminar leaders described their seminar in both specific
and general terms. One said:
For the first five meetings I spoke for perhaps an hour . . . Beginning with the second hour, we would discuss the texts and the teaching challenges the texts posed. Where a text was clearly too difficult, violent, obscure, or raw for an age group, we discussed how this was so and sought out books written specifically for younger readers. In this the members of the seminar took the lead. From the sixth meeting forward we went directly into discussion, for by this time the seminar members were excited about the material, comfortable with it, and no longer inclined (as two or three had been) to be dismissive of it.Another said:
Once we started teacher presentations, we had two or three a week. In these presentations, Fellows presented a single lesson plan of their unit, and the rest of us participated as if class members, whether 3rd graders or high school seniors. The result of these presentations was a great deal of cross-pollination among Fellows, who learned from each other and spun off new lesson plans based on what others proposed. Fellows also eagerly participated in analysis of others’ lessons—and I think this criticism, both positive and negative, was so active because its basis was teaching, not scholarship—and the Fellows felt confident in their own pedagogy and in their ability to criticize the pedagogy of others.A theme in Fellows’ comments this year, as in many past years, was the appreciation and understanding they gained of their own and other cultures as a result of what they read. One Fellow wrote:
I have participated in the Institute for the last two summers developing curriculum that I have used in my U.S. History II survey course. I developed a unit on the Latino experience in America concentrating on Puerto Ricans, Mexicans, and Cubans. We examined myths and stereotypes about each of the groups and learned to appreciate the strengths of their diversity.Another Fellow wrote:
I was able to draw out from the students their first-hand experiences as regards their lives in their native countries and their present situations in their new country. These were all reflected in their use of the languages when they write journals and essays, discuss orally and listen to each other.As some Fellows have already noted, the seminars afford them an otherwise too rare opportunity to talk and work with other teachers across the artificial boundaries that often separate grade levels, schools, and disciplines. Many Fellows this year spoke of the value of the Institute for them in these respects. One Fellow wrote: “Meeting educators from throughout the city is useful. I have been able to expand my professional relationships beyond the walls of my school.” And another wrote:
Though the group contained four elementary teachers, one from middle school, and six who taught high school, there was considerable interaction among members of all groups. It was interesting to experience the varying reactions of Fellows to the material which was presented and discussed.
“I have been able to expand my professional relationships beyond the walls of my school.” —Institute Fellow
|Ever since the Institute’s inception, its participants
and staff have sometimes been asked whether the co-professionalism among
Yale faculty members and New Haven school teachers, for which the program
is widely known, is authentic. The collegiality on which the Institute
is founded is perhaps best illustrated by the mutual respect between Fellows
and seminar leaders that the seminar experience engenders. Comments made
this year, including some already cited above, are representative:
If I were to advise other faculty about this program, I would particularly ask them to think about their own childhood educational experiences or those of their children, just so that their expectations not be too high. At the same time, I would alert them to the fact that seasoned public school teachers often have many pedagogic skills unknown to Yale faculty—and so one can learn a great deal from the teachers. I particularly enjoyed the way Fellows presented lesson plans this year, and I have a few new cards up my sleeve for Yale students based on these experiences.(image available in print form)
Seminar leader Robert G. Wheeler and Fellow Roberta A. Mazzucco from the seminar on “Electronics in the 20th Century: Nature, Technology, People, Companies, and the Marketplace.”
“I have a few new cards up my sleeve for Yale students based on these experiences.” —Seminar Leader
The collegiality on which the Institute is founded is illustrated by the mutual respect between Fellows and seminar leaders.
|In turn, Fellows expressed their respect for their Yale
colleagues. One Fellow said:
I appreciated my professor’s expertise in her field. She was also able to balance that with an ability to make what we studied relevant to the high school classroom. I thought her attention to precise thought and language use was not only helpful but essential. Shouldn’t we want to think and write as precisely as possible? Absolutely.Another said:
It was truly a joy to see our seminar leader’s excitement and enthusiasm about his field and to participate in the demonstrations and experiments he so carefully planned. He certainly faced a challenge in trying to present very complex material to a group that was, with only one exception, non-scientists. However, the library media specialist, kindergarten teacher, second grade teacher, sociology teacher, special education teachers, and others also had a challenge in connecting the lectures and even the topic to our teaching experience and needs.Yet another Fellow said:
We burst into applause at the end and begged for another seminar next spring; we felt transformed and yet only at the beginning of our study. We had also begun a bonding that we were loathe to give up. Much of this was due to the seminar leader, who is filled with energy, ideas, and respect for each of us. The seminar leader also introduced sophisticated topics in sufficient depth and with sufficient questions so that we were intrigued enough to want to go further.
“We felt transformed and yet only at the beginning of our study.”
|Relating Seminar Topics to Curriculum
Each Institute seminar must balance the complementary and inseparable but sometimes competing demands for studying the seminar topic and developing specific applications of that knowledge for school classrooms. The Fellows, coming from elementary, middle, and high schools, are obligated to develop curriculum units that have some demonstrable relation to the seminar topic, but they are free to work out curricula that enter territory not covered in detail by the seminar. The curriculum units, therefore, have a diversity of subject and approach that one would not expect in a regular university course on the seminar topic. As a result, discussions in the seminar, while doing justice to the common reading, can also range widely over substantive and pedagogical issues relating to the curriculum units. Some comments by seminar leaders and Fellows quoted earlier have already indicated that each seminar approaches these demands somewhat differently as seminar leaders strive to strike an appropriate balance.
In recent years the Institute has also encouraged Fellows to build into their curriculum units both subject matter and skills that are called for by the local curriculum framework and the state Mastery Test. The various strategies for incorporating such elements in what may be quite individual and innovative units can provide stimulating discussion among the Fellows in a seminar.
In the end, a sizable majority of this year’s Fellows (81 percent) said that there had been an appropriate balance in seminar between general study of the seminar subject and Fellows’ work in progress on their units. As one Fellow put it: “I think there was a fairly good balance between unit work and the literature being covered. Perhaps more reactions to how the books we discussed could be or could not be related to the classroom could have proved interesting.” A few others would have preferred either more time or less time discussing work in progress. One Fellow complained that “we never discussed each Fellow’s unit in class because probably we lacked the time.” But another Fellow wrote, “I would have preferred more time on the topics mentioned in the syllabus and less time on participant sharing of lesson plans (even though they were enjoyable.)”
After the curriculum units were completed in July, they were compiled in a volume for each seminar. In October the volumes were deposited in the libraries of all elementary, middle, and high schools, so that New Haven teachers, whether or not they have been Fellows, might use them in their own teaching. As in the past, the Institute prepared a Guide to the new units, based on synopses by the authors and their recommendations of the grade levels and school courses to which their units apply.
The Institute also updated the Index of all the 1,236 units contained in the 136 volumes the Institute has published since its inception in 1978. The Index and Guide, too, were deposited in all school libraries and distributed to the teachers who serve as Institute Representatives for the schools. A full set of the new curricular resources was provided to those school district administrators who have responsibility for curricula system-wide. At the same time, the Representatives conducted an inventory to ascertain whether each middle and high school has a complete set of all 136 volumes of units and whether all elementary schools have each of the volumes that their teachers believe are applicable at those grade levels.
Maintaining a library set of units has proved most difficult in those schools that do not have a full-time librarian or, in some cases, even a library. In 1993-94, the Institute therefore sought to determine the best location for Institute material to be deposited in every New Haven school, and it has since continued to supply units missing from any collection, insofar as the volumes have been still in print. As described below, the Institute has also created an electronic version that makes its curricular resources more widely accessible.
The Institute encouraged Fellows to build into their curriculum units both subject matter and skills that are called for by the local curriculum framework and the state Mastery Test.
|Results for the Participants
As in past years, Fellows in 1999 spoke of the results of their Institute participation especially in terms of intellectual growth and renewal. Just as the opportunity to increase mastery of the subject one teaches was an important incentive for most Fellows (92 percent) to take part in the Institute, almost all (96 percent) said that they had gained knowledge of their subject and confidence to teach it by participating in their seminar. Only one Fellow differed with the statement that the seminar helped with intellectual and professional growth.
Many Fellows described the Institute experience as having increased their professional confidence and morale. Several of their comments follow:
Over the course of two years, I have gained a new perspective on history as an academic subject, as well as a commitment to use history in teaching other high school subjects.
I find this Institute to be continuously supportive and helpful in my professional growth. It has been a great networking source, enabling me to meet other teachers to share information and educational experience.
“I find this Institute to be continuously supportive and helpful in my professional growth.”
|Fellows spoke, too, of the access to Yale facilities they
had gained from participation. From the Institute’s inception, all Fellows
have been full members of the University community, listed in the directory
of faculty and staff, and granted use of facilities and services across
the campus. For most Fellows (86 percent) access to Yale’s academic facilities
such as the library was an incentive for their participation, and 79 percent
reported that membership in the Yale community had been greatly or moderately
useful to them.
One Fellow said simply: “The opportunity for New Haven teachers to work with Yale faculty and to have access to the resources at Yale is invaluable.” Another said, “There was a lot of sharing through an outside specialist in computer technology, visits to the Yale Art gallery, and visits to the Yale Art and Architecture building.” And another said: “Having access to Yale facilities is great and I particularly value using Yale’s libraries.”
(image available in print form)
Fellow Jean E. Sutherland and students at her team’s culminating activity at Beecher Elementary School.
“The Institute is an intellectual and creative lifeline to many teachers.” —Institute Fellow
|Nor do Fellows see the results of the Institute as limited
to their own classrooms, or even to teachers who have participated in the
seminars. More than 90 percent said that they plan to encourage or assist
other teachers in using the unit they prepared; one-third said they planned
to do so with four or more other teachers. As a group, the Fellows planned
to encourage or assist a total of 233 other teachers. Fellows this year
provided various accounts of the more extended influence the Institute
has had, and will have, for themselves and their schools. Several Fellows
The unit will be team-taught with another Fellow and merged with her curriculum unit. The unit itself will be available to other teachers within our school for use in the classroom as a resource.
“The curriculum unit will strengthen the school curricula tremendously as I am presently on a committee writing citywide science standards.” —Institute Fellow
|I plan to share my lessons with teachers in my department
so that they may choose to use my group research methods. As department
head, I want to encourage more research-based activities. Also, I plan
to take advantage of interdisciplinary opportunities with our visual arts
and drama teachers, using my unit to expand project ideas. I have some
ideas for mini-grants that would be spin-offs from my curriculum unit.
The curriculum unit will strengthen the school curricula tremendously as I am presently on a committee writing citywide science standards. For our Life Science course, the unit will be recommended as an integrated curriculum which addresses more than ten State Science Standards across the Earth/Life Science Curriculum.
Each year we are attentive to the responses of both first-time and veteran participants because we want a high proportion of New Haven teachers to become Fellows and we also want the Institute to become a regular part of Fellows’ professional lives. Both groups cite their own rewards. One first-time Fellow wrote: “As a professional development opportunity, the Institute is superior. It allows us to be professionals, to pursue our interests, and bring those into the classroom.” Another wrote: “This was my first experience in the Institute and I thoroughly enjoyed and benefited from it. I especially enjoyed reading and discussing literature with other adults—teachers from the system. It was stimulating, and a welcome change from interacting only with students in the classroom. The other teachers also gave good suggestions for implementing lessons in the classroom.” And another said: “In many ways, the Institute lifted and lightened this year for me. It was intellectually stimulating, dignifying, convivial—and fun. Even as it exhausted me, it gave me new energy.”
For returning Fellows, the rewards of participation do not diminish over time, because the experience becomes cumulative, and not repetitive or redundant. In fact, a good many teachers report that the benefits increase as one has more experience as a Fellow. One returning Fellow wrote:
I am more comfortable participating in the Institute this year because I am prepared to write the unit and the topic I chose is fun and interesting in spite of the fact that I read twenty-five books (eighteen are required and the rest are extras).Another wrote:
This is my fourth year to participate in the Institute as part of a team effort. This has been extremely helpful both for support in the Institute and networking with colleagues at one’s school.(image available in print form)
Fellow Luis A. Recalde and seminar leader Mary E. Miller from the seminar on “Art and Identity in Mexico, from the Olmec to Modern Times.”
“It was intellectually stimulating, dignifying, convivial—and fun.” —Institute Fellow
|As in every year since 1990, when they became a regular
part of the Institute, elementary school teachers spoke this year of the
advantages of the Institute for them specifically. One said: “It was beneficial
to me as a teacher of young children to interact with those on the high
school level. I believe that the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute is one
of the few chances available for such dialogue.”
Seminar leaders, too, speak of what they gain from participation. They not only appreciate their expanded involvement in public education and the University’s home community; they also find that there are often benefits accruing to their own scholarship and teaching. Presenting their experience is especially important because the Institute is often asked to explain the incentives and rewards for Yale faculty members who participate. Several seminar leaders this year said:
It is a learning experience in many ways. To view one’s subject through the eyes of a teacher whose students simply do not read is a valuable corrective to assumptions a university academic often makes. One will learn about the very great problems of our nation’s schools, problems which have become much greater over the years I have been teaching in the Institute.
“I have learned more about teaching from my Fellows than anywhere else in my career.” —Seminar Leader
|Teams of Fellows
For the past six years the Institute has admitted teams of at least three teachers from one school to a seminar with the expectation that the team members would coordinate the curriculum units they wrote and work together during the school year, planning cross-grade and cross-department instruction and school-wide activities. This program, highly successful in several schools, has encouraged teachers who were previously reluctant to participate in seminars on an individual basis to apply to a seminar as part of a school team.
(image available in print form)
Students at the team’s culminating activity at Beecher Elementary School.
In 1999 a Fellows team from L. W. Beecher Elementary school once again participated in the Institute. Members of the team were enrolled in the seminar on “Women’s Voices in Fiction.” The team’s joint project was “A Woman’s View of Family.” The related units dealt with gender differences and similarities in the family; the life, times, and work of Louisa May Alcott; the Chinese family through the eyes of women authors; and the African-American family through the eyes of women authors. It is the responsibility of a team to shape its curriculum units so that they lead to some shared culminating activity. As in previous years at Beecher Elementary, the use of the curriculum units in individual classrooms led to a culminating assembly and reception in the spring that involved the entire school, bringing in administration, support staff, and parents. One team-member said:
My unit is part of a team effort where my students along with students from other grade levels will participate in a drama production on stage. As a result of these efforts, I anticipate that my students will gain self-confidence in speaking and reading in front of an audience.
The use of the curriculum units in individual classrooms led to a culminating assembly that involved the entire school.
|Benefits for Students
The ultimate purpose of the Institute is not only to strengthen teaching in New Haven’s public schools, but also in this way to improve student learning throughout the schools. The Institute intends to serve students at all achievement and performance levels, and Fellows often write their units for students at more than one level. While most Fellows (73 percent) reported that their new curriculum units were designed for their “average” students, more than half (61 percent) reported that they were designed for their “advanced” students and more than half (56 percent) reported that they were designed for their “least advanced” students.
(image available in print form)
Fellow Peter N. Herndon and his students at Cooperative Arts and Humanities Magnet High School.
These excerpts from the plans of several Fellows illustrate the wide range of unit use in the schools.
I have been able to introduce a difficult, controversial book by an African-American woman into next year’s English curriculum, which was badly needed in this district.
“My science units have proven to administrators that quality curriculum can motivate low-achieving students.” —Institute Fellow
Unlike many classroom teachers who often work in isolation from their fellow teachers, as a library media specialist I develop teaching and learning experiences and team-teach with subject specialists. I know that there will be teachers who will be very interested in working with me so that their students can improve their research skills, both in using the Internet and in using primary sources.To attempt to gauge the impact of this year’s units in New Haven classrooms, we asked Fellows about the number of students to whom they planned to teach their new unit, and on how many days. Fifty-seven of the Fellows planned to teach their unit to more than 25 students; 24 of that group said that they would teach their unit to 50 or more students. The total number of students to be taught a unit by this year’s Fellows is 2,908. Chart 6 indicates the length of time the Fellows planned to teach the unit. For all Fellows, the unit is a significant part of their teaching plans.
(Chart 6 available in print form.)
Fellows continue to be optimistic about the responses they anticipate receiving from their students to the material they had studied and developed in the Institute. Most Fellows this year (83 percent) agreed that, as a result of Institute participation, they have a higher expectation of their students’ ability to learn about the seminar subject. More than two-fifths of the Fellows (42 percent) strongly agreed with that conclusion. Fellows spoke about how their own enthusiasm for a subject would motivate students, and how they planned to involve students more actively in classroom learning. One Fellow said:
Most Fellows this year agreed that they have a higher expectation of their students’ ability to learn about the seminar subject.
I believe that my unit will spark a lot of interest among my students as we examine how women who have raised children relate to this responsibility. We will read about women who are negligent mothers, women who nurture, women who struggle with the responsibility of motherhood, and women who make mistakes as mothers. From here, students will look at their own mothers or the women who have raised them. Finally, they will consider their own role as present or future parents.Another Fellow said:
I am pleased with the selection of children’s mysteries that I have built my unit around, and I think this selection will motivate even my most reluctant readers. The major emphasis on improving literacy will be well-served with this unit, as its main objectives are to have my students read widely and write for a variety of purposes including writing a mystery of their own. I am sure that my experimentation with a number of oral and written re-telling strategies will extend itself to my teaching of other subjects in the school curricula (i.e., science, report writing, etc.).(image available in print form)
Fellow Gwendolyn Robinson and her students at Katherine Brennan School.
“The selection of children’s mysteries that I have built my unit around will motivate even my most reluctant readers.” —Institute Fellow
|We also asked Fellows who had participated in the Institute
in prior years to report on student responses they had actually observed
when teaching units they had previously developed in the Institute. Their
comments were very much in the same vein. One said:
In my school we do a lot of team teaching, combining subjects such as math and English or social studies and English or science and social studies. Our students benefited from our participation in the Institute because they saw their teachers as students; we were role models for them. They heard us talking among ourselves about our lectures and seminars. When we used our curricula, we told the students that they had been designed in our courses at Yale. It gave teachers and students alike a sense of learning together.Another Fellow said:
In a previous unit which examined coastal ecology, students learned how to measure the pH of water at various points around New Haven Harbor at different times—after tides or storms. They used this information to assemble data and conclude when New Haven Harbor is most prone to pollutants. They also described and classified aquatic life around New Haven and proposed how pollutants might affect this life. They modeled the concept of bioaccumulation and extrapolated effects of pollutants in their own lives.And a third Fellow said:
The Institute has helped me to build a library of innovative curriculum units for my classes. We have addressed cultural diversity issues through units that focus on the poetry and culture of Mexico or the meaning of traditional Jewish holidays that become alive through literature, food, dances, and drama. Other units relate to themes on early pioneers, puppetry, and drama. I have discovered that non-interested students in the beginning of a project get caught up in the success of others and participate joyfully along with their peers. Sometimes this is due to a collective effort, such as making an animated movie in class or participating in a rehearsed drama production or being filmed reading a piece of one’s own poetry with a puppet creation.
“Non-interested students in the beginning of a project get caught up in the success of others and participate joyfully.” —Institute Fellow
|Participants’ Conclusions Overall
We asked Fellows about the extent to which several features of the Institute had been useful to them. As shown in Chart 7 below (reading again left to right from the most useful to the least useful), very few Fellows said that any aspect of the Institute had not been useful. In fact, except for the seminar bibliographies and computer assistance, each aspect of the Institute was regarded as useful to a great or moderate extent, by three-fourths of the Fellows or more. More than two-thirds (70 percent) responded that favorably to the seminar bibliographies and two-fifths (40 percent) to computer assistance.
(Chart 7 available in print form.)
One seminar leader reached the following conclusions about the Institute this year:
It’s very valuable for faculty members to learn more about the conditions in public schools today, the sources of over half our students and of many of the most challenging ones. A lot will also feel satisfaction in being a partner in the overall system of education. For me personally, this seminar was very useful in learning, for example, about experiences with bilingual education in New Haven, and in seeing the diverse views of the teachers on our topic. I was forced to rethink some of my own judgments in light of the information and attitudes I heard, and that’s good, because these issues really are complex and difficult, with no easy answers. The rethinking the seminar prompted will undoubtedly affect both my teaching and scholarship. I’ve given some presentations differently already.
“The rethinking the seminar prompted will undoubtedly affect both my teaching and scholarship.” —Seminar Leader
|We also asked Fellows to provide their overall conclusions
about the strengths and weaknesses of the Institute. One Fellow wrote:
One of the strengths of this year’s program which was different from past seminars was the availability and use of computer technology. This has greatly enhanced the Institute since I last participated several years ago.For another Fellow, however,
the most frustrating experience was trying to produce the document on a disk and using the computer. I do not own my own computer. Although clusters were made available as well as assistance in how to use the computers, the lack of one at home proved to be a great hindrance.This Fellow went on to say, rather surprisingly for a teacher, “it is extremely difficult and frustrating to learn something and use it simultaneously.” A third Fellow, who saw no weaknesses in the Institute, wrote:
The opportunity to participate in a seminar led by a Yale professor is invaluable. Each seminar over the years that I have participated in has been, of course, in a different subject area, which has broadened my knowledge and my perspective. The intellectual stimulation that these seminars have provided has helped to create a balance in my teaching career as I work with children for some 6 hours a day and then have the opportunity to read, discuss, and write about a variety of topics in an academic setting. I equally value the opportunity to interact with my peers from other elementary, middle, and high schools.Despite a range of specific complaints about scheduling and procedures, the Institute’s offerings were generally received with enthusiasm, and the results of its program were quite consistently praised.
In their evaluations, almost all the Fellows said they intended to participate (73 percent) or might participate (16 percent) in the Institute in one or more future years. Of the six Fellows who did not intend to participate in the future, three have said that they are leaving the New Haven school system.
We should add that there are now 43 members of the administration of the New Haven Public Schools who have participated as Fellows of the Institute for periods of one to eighteen years. The increasing presence of former Fellows in positions ranging from Assistant Principal and Principal to Assistant Superintendent has clearly rendered the Institute more visible and has encouraged other teachers to participate in this program.
Forty-three members of the administration of the New Haven Public Schools have participated as Fellows.
|Electronic Resources and Assistance
From the Institute’s inception, Fellows have been full members of the Yale community with access to resources throughout the University. For several years the Institute has been exploring how computing can enhance its partnership, because computing overcomes the barriers of time and distance that can impede collaboration, and because it is a non-hierarchical form of communication and therefore consistent with the collegiality that is a tenet of the Institute’s approach.
In 1995 Fellows became eligible to purchase Yale computer accounts, and a number of Fellows have therefore had Internet access provided in this way. Although this option remains available, most Fellows now have other service providers. The Institute will also furnish current Fellows an Institute e-mail account at no cost, subject to certain conditions of use. Because at the outset a great many Fellows were unfamiliar with the use of computers, the Institute had engaged undergraduate and graduate students to serve as computer assistants to the Fellows, a role modeled to some extent on that of the computer assistants in the Yale undergraduate residential colleges. Later, because of an increasing familiarity with computing, the Institute referred Fellows to its own computer assistants and to the Internet Information Center, which serves the entire Yale community.
Computing overcomes the barriers of time and distance that can impede collaboration, and is a non-hierarchical form of communication.
|This year, however, the Institute has again offered more
direct assistance from its own office. Because of the benefits to the Fellows
and to other teachers that result from having the curriculum units online,
the Representatives had decided that beginning in 1999, Fellows must submit
their curriculum units and guide entries on disk. They are asked to follow
the Institute’s recommendations on word processing software and hand in
the disk version of their second draft directly to the Institute computer
assistant or the seminar leader, who checks them for formatting errors
and readability. This procedure facilitates the process of putting them
(image available in print form)
Demonstration of electronic resources at Yale. (Clockwise from front left: Fellows Dora J. Odarenko, Kenneth Hilliard, Susan L. Norwood, Pedro Mendia, Genoveva T. Palmieri, Val-Jean Belton, and computer assistant Christopher B. Knapp.)
Three-quarters of this year’s Fellows sought to use the computer assistance available to them.
|The electronic resources and services available to Fellows
therefore include many opportunities to learn about and use computing,
regardless of previous experience and expertise. In 1999 Fellows received
computer assistance on a variety of topics, which included getting started
with computing, setting up an Internet and e-mail account, getting started
on the Internet, using the Internet in research and teaching, using Institute
resources online, and word processing and file handling for the preparation
of curriculum units. The Institute is also establishing an online forum
for teachers who are Institute Fellows or who have access to an Institute
Center, through which they will be able to discuss Institute-related topics
and to help each other with computing problems. Discussion on the Electronic
Forum will go on over an e-mail list. Any message sent to the list will
be sent to anyone who subscribes to the list, creating a kind of group
Three-quarters of this year’s Fellows (75 percent) sought to use the computer assistance available to them. Most who sought help did so in person (51 percent of all Fellows), many others by phone (27 percent), and some by e-mail (15 percent). For 46 of the Fellows (58 percent) the availability of computer services was an incentive to their participation. Most Fellows who did not use the computer assistance said they did not need it because of their own previously acquired competence, or because of the availability of resources at home or school. A few said they did not do so because of time constraints during the school year. Most who took advantage of the assistance, however, were full of praise for the expertise, the patience, and the persistence of those whom they consulted.
Of the Fellows who used the computer assistance offered them, 13 found the assistants helpful in getting started with computing; 10 found them helpful in setting up e-mail and Internet access; 17 found them helpful in using the Internet in research and teaching; 23 found them helpful in word processing and file handling for the preparation of a curriculum unit; and 14 found them helpful in using the Institute’s curricular resources online. (See Chart 8.)
(Chart 8 available in print form.)
Electronic versions of the Institute’s publications are now available at its Web site. The address is http//teachersinstitute.yale.edu. The full texts of all 1,236 units written between 1978 and 1999, plus an index and guide to these units, are thus available to teachers online. Information about the Institute (its brochures and most recent Annual Reports) is also available, as is the text of its periodical On Common Ground. To call attention to this resource, the Web location has also been advertised prominently on the cover of On Common Ground, which contains articles regarding school-university partnerships and is intended for a national audience.
The site has been used by more and more people in this country and abroad.
|The Institute has created a “guestbook” on its Web site,
in order to invite comments and suggestions from those who have visited
the site. In recent years the site has been used by more and more people
in this country and abroad. In 1999 we heard from some in Scotland, Israel,
Taiwan, Italy, and Hong Kong. From the very large number of guestbook entries,
it is evident that the curriculum units written in New Haven have been
of great value to teachers and others in the educational community.
For example, a teacher in the Performing Arts School of Metropolitan Toledo wrote: “This Web site will be a tremendous help. I am always looking for new ideas and methods.” A teacher of geometry in Texas wrote: “It has motivated me to learn more about the history of mathematics.” A research fellow in Dundee, UK, wrote: “We are compiling knowledge on education and the use of technology in education. Your site is fascinating, comprehensive, professional, and well-maintained.” A school administrator in Washington, DC, wrote: “I am looking for African-American curriculum guides and resources. I find this site has some wonderful and very well-developed curriculum units. Keep up the good work.” A foreign language department chair in Ohio wanted to share a curriculum unit with other department chairs, to investigate the possibility of team-teaching such a lesson. A teacher from Michigan wrote: “What a fantastic wealth of resources! Not only can I use this information to help with my master’s research, but it will benefit my classroom as well!” From California we heard: “This would seem to be a great idea. I volunteer in some local school systems, and this could help me to help them.” A teacher in Wisconsin wrote: “Why didn’t I know about this earlier? I found it recommended on a Talk-net sponsored by the National Council of Teachers of English.” And a teacher in Illinois wrote: “I have been using the site for over a year. It never fails me!”
“I have been using the site for over a year. It never fails me!” —Illinois Teacher
|Institute Centers for Professional and
In 1996 the Institute undertook with the New Haven Public Schools a new program designed to broaden and deepen its efforts to strengthen teaching and learning in the schools. It offered several elementary, middle, and high schools the opportunity to establish an Institute Center for Curriculum and Professional Development within their buildings. Five such Centers were established in 1996. In the next three years the Institute has articulated and refined the concept of the Centers, prepared policies and procedures for them, and designed, constructed, and delivered special furnishings to them.
The Institute aims to situate the Centers around the city, targeting the larger schools, so that the majority of New Haven teachers will have a Center at their school or at a school near them. Eleven Centers are currently in operation. They are located at three elementary schools (L. W. Beecher, Clinton Avenue, and Davis Street Magnet), two K-8 Schools (Edgewood Magnet and East Rock Global Studies Magnet), three middle schools (Fair Haven, Jackie Robinson, and Roberto Clemente), and three high schools (Cooperative Arts and Humanities Magnet, Hill Regional Career, and Wilbur Cross). The Institute hopes to establish a twelfth Center at another high school.
These Centers are not permanent installations but must be annually renewed. A Center may remain in a school so long as the school has a need and a desire for it, but it can then be moved to another school. Moving Centers from school to school increases the citywide exposure to the Institute. The Steering Committee, which makes these decisions, has developed criteria for targeting sites. A suitable site must be of sufficient size, with a critical mass of participants and a sufficient leadership. It must be able to rely upon a favorably disposed school administration and an appropriate school plan, and it must be located in such a position that the majority of the New Haven teachers will have a Center at their school or a nearby school.
The Institute and the New Haven Public Schools view the establishment of Institute Centers as a vital component of curriculum reform efforts system-wide. The Centers carry out school-based plans and address the District’s “Kids First” goals, which call for more site-based management, improvement of curriculum and instruction, greater staff development, increased parental involvement, and improved physical condition of schools. The Centers directly address the first three of these goals and provide new opportunities with respect to the last two. They attempt to create in schools a place that will be conducive to the kinds of conversations teachers have with each other and with their Yale colleagues in Institute seminars. They are intended to increase the visibility and use of Institute resources and include teachers who have not before been Institute Fellows. They disseminate Institute-developed curriculum units more widely, and help the teachers to learn how to use curriculum units that are online, explore computing as a means of collaboration, and apply the Institute’s principles in new ways within the school environment itself.
The Centers carry out school-based plans and address the District’s “Kids First” goals.
|The Centers therefore operate from attractive and properly
equipped rooms in the schools themselves, containing special furnishings
designed by Kent Bloomer, Professor of Architectural Design at Yale, who
has led two Institute seminars. Bloomer has designed for each Center two
pieces of furniture that will remind the users that a Center is a way of
bringing teachers together, and that it is a function of the mutual presence
of Yale in the schools and the schools in Yale. Combining utility and symbolism,
these pieces have a solidity and elegance in harmony with the tradition
of design at Yale University, and an evident durability suggestive of the
Institute itself. One piece is a round table, with a hole in the middle,
which provides the “center” about which eight people can sit. The center
of the table is filled with a circular design, the Yale-New Haven Teachers
Institute logo multiplied as a continuous fret, which is done in tile and
set in cast metal for permanence. The second piece is a very high bookcase,
designed to hold volumes of the curriculum units and other Institute materials,
with hand-plated inlay work across the top that carries the same continuous
fret depicting the Institute logo. A banner continues the logo of the fret
into the room.
Each Center also contains at least one computer with a high-speed modem so that the teachers have easy access to the Institute’s Web site. At the beginning of the 1999-2000 academic year, the Institute upgraded the computer operating systems at the older Centers to Windows NT. The computers delivered to the newer Centers have this system pre-installed. Windows NT makes many notable improvements over the Windows for Workgroups 3.1 platform that was used previously on the Center computers. It is easier to use, has a fully graphical interface, and provides greater security. The Institute also inventoried all Institute resources in the Centers—curriculum units, center manuals, books, videos, etc.—and replenished them when possible.
(image available in print form)
East Rock Global Studies Magnet School Center for Curriculum and Professional Development.
The center of the table is filled with a circular design, the Institute logo multiplied as a continuous fret.
|Schools interested in becoming a Center site must apply
to the Institute’s Steering Committee. An application, which requires the
involvement of the school’s principal and management team, must contain
an Academic Plan for the calendar year, describing how the teachers in
the Center will take full advantage of Institute resources while working
on school plans that address the goals of the District. If a school is
selected as a Center site, its Academic Plan must be updated and renewed
Schools selected as Center sites become eligible to receive special resources and incentives from the Institute. These incentives, which are outlined in the Center booklet, assist with the Center’s development as well as the implementation of its Academic Plan.
The Centers or Institute Fellows at Center schools may apply for mini-grants from the Institute to implement approved aspects of their Center Academic Plan. During 1999 the Centers were supported by grants received in 1995 from the Sherman Fairchild Foundation and the Arthur Vining Davis Foundation (for high school Centers) and in 1997 from the Jessie Ball duPont Fund (for new Centers).
The Institute has developed a standard format (Center logs) for all Centers to use in documenting activities. In the early years Center Coordinators met monthly with the Institute’s Director to review the activities of Centers and report on progress. In 1998 the Steering Committee decided to establish collaborative leadership at each Center, so that responsibility would be more widely shared and continuity could be more easily assured. A member of the Steering Committee is assigned to work with each Center’s Coordinating Team. The members of the Coordinating Team share responsibilities for leading certain efforts within the Center, including documentation. Team members complete the required mid-year and end-of-year reports and are encouraged to document their Center’s work in a variety of ways, including video and audio tapes, photographs, and minutes of meetings.
The Assistant Director of the Institute is the primary liaison to the Centers, communicating frequently with Center leaders and visiting regularly each of the Center schools. She participates in the meetings of both the Institute Steering Committee and Center Coordinators and assists teachers in Center schools to prepare applications for mini-grants to support Center activities.
At the request of Center Coordinating Teams, the Institute now holds semi-annual Forums on Exemplary Practices and Plans. These Forums have enabled lively discussion among the teachers and staff members and fuller exchange of ideas among the Centers.
The Forum held on June 7, 1999, considered a variety of topics, with presentations by Center leaders on activities at their schools. Steven P. Broker and Judith A. Puglisi from Wilbur Cross High School spoke on “Generating Enthusiasm for a New Center”; Lisa M. Galullo from Hill Regional Career High School spoke on “Handling a Center in Transition”; and Mary E. Jones from Roberto Clemente Middle School spoke on “Revitalizing an Established Center.” A series of presentations dealt with curriculum development activities: Sheldon A. Ayers and Peter N. Herndon from Cooperative Arts and Humanities Magnet High School on “Designing an All-School Project: Spanish Cultures Week”; Joseph H. Lewis from East Rock Global Studies Magnet School on “Identifying Institute Units Related to the School Theme”; Mary E. Stewart and Toni E. Valshing from Edgewood Magnet School on “Preparing a Teacher Resource Guide”; and Waltrina D. Kirkland-Mullins and Jeanne Z. Lawrence from Davis Street Magnet School on “Preparing a Culminating Activity for Students.” Another series of presentations dealt with professional development activities: Ida L. Hickerson from Jackie Robinson Middle School on “Using Center Resources to Develop Curriculum for New Teachers”; Sandra L. Nash from Fair Haven Middle School on “Introducing Interns to Institute Resources”; and Francine C. Conelli-Coss and Jean E. Sutherland from L. W. Beecher Elementary School on “Collaborating in the Use of Units.”
(image available in print form)
Spring Forum on Exemplary Center Practices and Plans. (Clockwise from front left: Waltrina D. Kirkland-Mullins, Sheldon A. Ayers, Mary E. Stewart, Toni E. Valshing, Judith A. Puglisi, Pedro Mendia, James R. Vivian, Yolanda U. Trapp, Jennifer Drury, Lisa M. Galullo, Francine C. Coss, Jean E. Sutherland, Peter N. Herndon, Deborah E. Hare, and Annette R. Streets.)
Semi-annual Forums have enabled fuller exchange of ideas among the Centers.
|At the Forum held on December 1, 1999, similar topics were
discussed, but some quite new topics were also introduced. Grayce M. Storey
from Jackie Robinson spoke on “Restructuring and Reorganizing an Established
Center”; Waltrina D. Kirkland-Mullins from Davis Street Magnet spoke on
“Continuing Activities in a Reorganized Media Center”; Joseph H. Lewis
from East Rock spoke on “Conducting a Summer Academy and Follow Through
Activities”; and Peter N. Herndon from Cooperative Arts and Humanities
Magnet spoke on “Planning an All-School Event.” The presentations on professional
development activities included Stephen P. Broker and Judith A. Puglisi
from Wilbur Cross on “Conducting Teacher Workshops”; Norma Rojas from Fair
Haven on “Using the Center as a Recruiting Tool”; Lisa M. Galullo from
Hill Regional Career High School on “Using Curriculum Units as Resources
for Recruiting”; and Mary E. Jones from Roberto Clemente Middle School
on “Using Center Resources to Integrate a Diverse Staff.” The presentations
on curriculum development activities included Mary E. Stewart from Edgewood
Magnet on “Creating a Curriculum Guide”; and Jean E. Sutherland and Francine
C. Conelli-Coss from L. W. Beecher on “Identifying Curriculum Units Applicable
to Elementary Grades.”
(image available in print form)
Fall Forum on Exemplary Center Practices and Plans. (Clockwise from left: Sheldon A. Ayers, Peter N. Herndon, Joseph H. Lewis, Kim Chandler, and Mary E. Stewart.)
At both Forums there was also discussion of topics of general interest pertaining to the establishment, management, and renewal of the Centers. The Forums were well-attended and positive in tone. It was clear that the Centers have in various ways caused teachers to scrutinize many of the Curriculum Units that are available for their use. They have also become a means for teachers who may no longer be Fellows to stay involved with the Institute. Some teachers who came to the Forums had never been Fellows; and some of the reports mentioned the involvement of yet other teachers who had not been Fellows.
Several of the Centers this year have had to cope with moving to a new school facility, with renovations at their site, or with reorganizations of personnel. The newer Centers have also spent much time and effort in matters of initial organization. All of the Centers have accomplished a great deal, however, in spreading the word about the uses of the curriculum units. We mention here some of the other specific accomplishments and plans during 1999.
The Centers have caused teachers to scrutinize many of the Curriculum Units that are available for their use.
|At L. W. Beecher Elementary School, teams of teachers have
taken an Institute seminar every year since 1995, and the planning for
and presentation of the culminating activity continues to involve a great
number of Beecher teachers, students, administrators, support staff, and
parents. During the spring of 1999 the team program involved over 125 students
from all grade levels and required the integration of four units written
during the 1998 seminar, “The Use and Abuse of History in Film.” A team
of four teachers enrolled in the 1999 seminar on “Women’s Voices in Fiction”
led by Laura M. Green, Assistant Professor of English. Another team of
three teachers is continuing its project to identify, classify, and summarize
Institute-developed curriculum units that could be used by elementary teachers
not only in their own school, but also by teachers throughout the district.
The results will be made available to all teachers at New Haven elementary
schools, whether or not those schools have an Institute Center.
At Davis Street Magnet School, a team curriculum unit on “Exploring Native American and African Culture through Mask-Making” moved into its second phase, dealing with African masks. Their work was showcased at the New Haven Public Library. Extensions of this work on mask-making have now entered an African-American Heritage Language Arts Program and the Davis Community School After School Program. Three second-grade teachers also made use of Institute curriculum units on astronomy when supervising projects for the Citywide Science Fair.
At Edgewood Magnet School, the Center continues to support the use of Institute curriculum units as primary resources for teacher-based research and curriculum writing. A team of 12 teachers has researched online curriculum units to create a new middle school curriculum for Edgewood entitled “What If . . . Dual Perspectives on History.”
The new Center at East Rock Global Studies Magnet School has been reviewing previous Curriculum Units that fit within its Comprehensive School Plan Goals. It offers Saturday Academies each month that involve parents as well as students, including “Traveling Around the World” and an “International Festival.” It also mounted a Summer Academy July 19-30, 1999. The staff members included one teacher and two assistant principals. A major goal was preparing sixth-grade students to take the Connecticut Mastery Test. The curriculum, shaped around two topics, Native Americans and the animal kingdom, directly adapted five Institute units written over a period of fifteen years and gained some general material from two others. Students in one group made a concluding trip to the Pequot Museum in Ledyard, CT; students in the other group made such a trip to the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.
(image available in print form)
Joseph H. Lewis and students in the Summer Academy at East Rock Global Studies Magnet School.
A major goal was preparing sixth-grade students to take the Connecticut Mastery Test.
|At Fair Haven Middle School there were a great number of
new teachers this year. The Center held an open house to familiarize the
new teachers with the Institute objectives and the ways in which the Center
could help them develop their school plans.
At Roberto Clemente Middle School the Center has been used extensively as teachers access the Internet to find information pertaining to Black History Month, Puerto Rican Discovery Day, International Day, and Hispanic Pride Celebration. For 2000 the Center plans to encourage more collaboration among teachers who have not collaborated in the past. There is now an opportunity for teachers to prepare programs and lessons to include all students (Anglo, Hispanic, and African-American). The Center’s goal for the year is to have teachers of diverse backgrounds working together.
Career High School, which has consistently made good use of the Center and Institute resources, has just become an inter-district magnet school with dual foci on allied health (medical-related health sciences) and computers and business. It has moved into a new building and will increase its student body over the next three years. The school’s principal has relied heavily on the Center’s leadership team to help prepare the school’s teachers and students for this transition.
At Cooperative Arts and Humanities Magnet High School the focus of the Center is upon interdisciplinary work in arts, humanities, history, and mathematics. The Multi-Cultural Days during February featured Institute units on Afro-Americans. A mini-grant on African Myths resulted in a 15 minute dramatic video, which is on file at the Teachers Institute and the high school. Hispanic Cultures Week also brought teachers together to emphasize materials contained in the curriculum units.
The Center at Wilbur Cross High School is located in one of New Haven’s two comprehensive high schools. Most of the teachers there have not been Institute Fellows, and there is a need for professional development. The goal of this Center for 1999 was to introduce the teaching staff to Institute resources and give them opportunities to research, write, and implement curriculum based on those resources and geared to the interests, abilities, and needs of their students. Members of the Coordinating Team had begun a two-year process of assessing areas where teachers’ interests intersect with Institute curriculum units. In November the Center held a school-wide reception to open the Center and make teachers and administrators aware of the resources it contains. The teachers who lead Center activities are beginning to conduct in-service programs for each school department to describe these resources in greater depth and as they pertain to each academic discipline. They report that almost all teachers in the school are now aware of the Center and that at least half have been to the Center.
In December 1999 the Institute announced that, to encourage teachers in schools that have an Institute Center to become more familiar with and to use the Center’s curricular resources, it would offer an honorarium of $150 to those participating in special workshops to be conducted in January and February 2000. The first hour of each workshop would be devoted to Institute resources online, including the use of the Institute Web site and e-mail. The second hour would vary from week to week and would present various uses of Institute resources, from curriculum projects to Academies for students to special projects that may be supported by planning grants and mini-grants from the Institute.
This is a crucial time in the “institutionalization” of the Centers within the the Institute’s work in New Haven. A grant from the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations in October 1999 will enable the Institute to add a fourth high school Center, thereby making Centers available to the great majority of New Haven’s high school teachers. It will also allow the Institute to assist with and document the progress of the high school Centers, and to establish Center work as a regular part of the Institute’s core program.
The Centers will now become a prominent feature of the Institute, to be emulated by other university-school partnerships as we embark on the next phase of the National Demonstration Project.
This is a crucial time in the “institutional-ization” of the Centers within the Institute’s work in New Haven.
|Preparation for the Program in 2000
From June through August the Institute identified and approached the 57 teachers who would serve during the 1999-2000 school year as the15 Representatives and 42 Contacts for their schools. (Sixty teachers had served in these ways during 1998-1999.) Representatives were selected according to recommendations of the teachers who served as seminar Coordinators and conversations they had with persons who had served as Representatives in the past, with other Institute Fellows, and with some school principals. Because the Representatives who served in 1998-1999 were widely regarded as effective, we sought a high degree of continuity of Representatives.
In 1998-1999 the Representatives and Contacts were well distributed across New Haven schools with 26 (43 percent) representing elementary schools, 15 (25 percent) representing middle schools, 15 (25 percent) representing high schools, and 4 (7 percent) representing transitional schools. For 1999-2000, there was a rather similar distribution, with 26 (47 percent) representing elementary schools, 7 (10 percent) representing middle schools, 12 (21 percent) representing high schools, and 5 (9 percent) representing transitional schools. Whether or not they had a Representative, all schools had one or more Contacts to serve as a conduit for information to and from the Institute throughout the school year. (Some Contacts served more than one school.) Of the Representatives and Contacts, 18 were Black non-Hispanic, 29 were White, 8 were Hispanic, and one was of another ethnicity. Representatives attend meetings every other week from September to March. They receive an honorarium for this work and agree in advance to participate in the program they are planning, whereas Contacts perform many of the same functions but are not required to participate in biweekly meetings or to commit themselves to Institute participation. Through the Representatives and Contacts, the Institute ensures that all teachers throughout the school district may have an effective voice in shaping a program of curricular and staff development in which they will then have the opportunity to take part.
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School Representatives meeting in fall 1999. (Clockwise from front left: Yolanda U. Trapp, Joseph H. Lewis, Eddie B. Rose, Director James R. Vivian, Richard R. MacMahon, Leslie A. Abbatiello, Monique Y. Gisser, Lisa M. Galullo, and Jean E. Sutherland.)
The Representatives held their first meeting of the new school year on September 7, 1999, and thereafter met twice monthly with the Director. On September 21, the Institute held a reception for Representatives and Contacts, so that they might become better acquainted with one another and might discuss plans for 1999-2000. That meeting set the stage for another productive year of their work together. Between meetings, the Representatives communicate by phone and through school visits with the Contacts for whom they serve as liaison to the Representatives’ committee. In these ways, their meetings compile information from, and distribute information to, teachers throughout the New Haven elementary, middle, and high schools.
By the end of December the Representatives had decided upon the following seven seminars for 2000: Robert E. Apfel, Robert Higgin Professor of Mechanical Engineering, “Sound and Sensibility: Acoustics in Architecture, Music, and the Environment”; Gary W. Brudvig, Professor of Chemistry, “The Chemistry of Photosynthesis”; Sandra H. Ferdman-Comas, Assistant Professor of Spanish and Portuguese, “Women Writers in Latin America”; Arthur W. Galston, Eaton Professor Emeritus of Botany and of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, “Bioethics”; Ian Shapiro, Professor of Political Science, “Crime and Punishment”; Rogers M. Smith, Alfred Cowles Professor of Government, “Constitutional Privacy in the Twenty-first Century”; and Bryan J. Wolf, Professor and Chair of American Studies and Professor of English, “Ethnicity and Dissent in American Literature and Art.”
The Institute ensures that all teachers may have an effective voice in shaping a program in which they will then have the opportunity to take part.
|Local Advisory Groups
The Steering Committee, composed of school teachers who have played leading roles in the Institute at various times since its inception, has responsibility for long-range planning and the implementation of pilot and other new activities of the Institute. Members of the Steering Committee are selected by the Institute Director. A Steering Committee member must be—and must intend to continue as—a teacher in one of New Haven’s public schools. By agreeing to serve as a Steering Committee member, a teacher accepts the following responsibilities. Each member:
The Steering Committee has responsibility for long-range planning and the implemen-tation of pilot and other new activities.
1. Exerts leadership and participates actively in one or more of the following areas: establishment and development of Institute Centers for Professional and Curriculum Development in specific schools; preparation of system-wide curricula drawing on Institute curriculum units; development and use of electronic resources and communications; planning and conduct of after-school, Saturday, and summer Academies for teaching Institute units to New Haven students; conduct of interdisciplinary or intergrade teamwork in specific schools; and organization and provision of technical assistance to Teacher Institute demonstration sites in other citiesDuring 1999 the Steering Committee consisted of Peter N. Herndon, Pedro Mendia-Landa, Mary E. Stewart, and Jean E. Sutherland. The Steering Committee operates as teacher leaders for each sphere of Teachers Institute work. It has also assumed responsibility for leadership and assessment of the Centers. It dealt with the documentation of Center use and activity, the relations with the school district and with principals, the awarding of mini-grants and planning grants, the process of renewing Institute Centers and establishing new Centers, the upgrading of computers, and the installation of any table disks and banners needed in the Centers. It considered various topics raised by the 1998 Fellows evaluations, including the new requirement that Fellows hand in the completed curriculum units on disks. It planned the two Forums for the Centers that were held in June and December.
The Steering Committee of 1998 had assisted in planning the January 1999 orientation for those sites awarded Implementation Grants. It had canvassed teachers at the demonstration sites for their seminar choices for the July Intensive and planned for topics to cover in the January Orientation Session and teachers to present those topics. The Steering Committee now provided very important assistance in planning and carrying out the July Intensive for the new Teachers Institutes in the National Demonstration Project. It supervised and carried out with the National Steering Committee the process of application to the National Seminars. It served as contacts with the National Fellows before arrival; and it met with the National Steering Committee in July.
|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. (For members of these bodies, see Appendix.) The Advisory Council guides the general direction of the program and acts as a course-of-study committee so that the Institute can certify Fellows’ work to institutions where they may be pursuing advanced degrees. The Council also advises the Yale President on the Institute and, more generally, on matters concerning the University’s involvement with the schools locally and with public elementary and secondary education nationally.
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University Advisory Council Executive Committee meeting. (Clockwise from left: Director James R. Vivian, Cynthia E. Russett, Sabatino Sofia, Mary E. Miller, Gary L. Haller, Kent C. Bloomer, and Rogers M. Smith.)
The University Advisory Council meets once each year; the Executive Committee meets twice or more each semester. The co-chairs of the Council 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 activities and to explore appropriate ways of working together.
During 1999 the Executive Committee met in February, March, November (twice), and December. These meetings concerned priorities and plans for the Institute’s work locally and nationally. The following issues received most attention: If the National Demonstration Project is successful, what should be the Institute’s role in working with other cities? How ambitious should those plans be? What should be the Institute’s future work in New Haven, and its place in the university’s relationship with this city? How should the Institute plan for a meeting in New Haven of the presidents, chancellors, and superintendents from the demonstration sites, quite possibly in conjunction with a National Advisory Committee meeting? How may continuing funding for work in the sciences be obtained? Acting as the Institute’s course-of-study committee, the Executive Committee also approved the seven seminars that would be offered 1999.
On April 29 the full University Advisory Council held its sixth annual meeting with President Levin. Co-chair Jules D. Prown opened the meeting by welcoming the members and announcing that during the coming year Rogers M. Smith would become Co-chair with Sabatino Sofia.
Director James R. Vivian then offered a brief report, in which he emphasized that the Institute has continued at an undiminished level the New Haven program for teachers from throughout the school system, has developed three new Institute Centers in individual New Haven schools, and has assisted in the establishment of Teachers Institutes in four other cities. He noted that short-term foundation support has made possible the offering of three seminars in the sciences this year and again next year, but that the capacity to offer seminars in the sciences after 2000 remains uncertain. He stated that he continues to believe that the Institute’s work in the sciences depends ultimately on securing an endowment adequate to provide the financial stability to the sciences that the endowment for the humanities has guaranteed.
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University Advisory Council meeting. (Clockwise from front center: Michael E. Zeller, Rogers M. Smith, Mary E. Miller, Gary L. Haller, Werner P. Wolf, Jock Reynolds III, Deborah Thomas, Jules D. Prown, James R. Vivian, Bryan J. Wolf, Howard R. Lamar, Gerald Thomas, Traugott Lawler, Sharon M. Oster, Susan Hockfield, Jon Butler, Margot Fassler, Thomas R. Whitaker, Murray J. Biggs, Leon B. Plantinga, Richard C. Levin, Sabatino Sofia, Kurt W. Zilm, Rev. Frederick J. Streets, Sheila de Bretteville, and Cynthia E. Russett.)
Vivian also noted that the Institute has benefited locally in a number of ways from the National Demonstration Project. The $2.5 million grant from the DeWitt Wallace-Reader’s Digest fund has enabled the Institute to double the size and increase the professional stature and experience of the full-time staff so that it now consists of an Assistant Director, Production Associate, Financial and Database Coordinator, and Administrative Assistant. The Institute has installed a new computer system, and is far into the process of designing a database that integrates all the functions of the Institute in ways that will streamline and simplify its work, and will make possible important research that heretofore would have been more time-consuming than could be afforded. Participating on the planning and implementation teams has provided New Haven teachers professional opportunities they otherwise would not have had, and it has allowed Yale faculty members to talk with colleagues from other sites about educational matters of mutual concern. The Institute’s work nationally has helped it to articulate more specifically what it considers to be the essential features of its work in New Haven. And it has led participants, especially teachers in the schools, to a renewed appreciation of the opportunities the Institute provides them here.
The Institute has benefited locally in a number of ways from the National Demon-stration Project.
|The meeting then focused on both the local program and
the National Demonstration Project. Members of the Executive Committee
to raised a series of questions: Mary E. Miller: What should be the Institute’s
future work locally, given its historic focus on strengthening teaching
and learning of both the humanities and the sciences throughout the whole
New Haven school district? Rogers M. Smith: Which are the types of activities
that are likely to be most important to maintain and strengthen, given
Yale’s concerns for visible contributions but also systemic improvement?
How do we make the activities that we regard as most important more visible?
Rev. Frederick J. Streets: What is the University’s urban policy generally?
Cynthia Russett: What is the place of the Institute specifically in the
University’s relationship to New Haven? Sabatino Sofia: How should we begin
to think about the Institute’s future work nationally, if the demonstration
sites prove to be successful? These presentations led to wide-ranging suggestions.
President Levin spoke of the Institute as “one of the principal engines
driving improvement of the school system.” He suggested that, after the
conclusion of the present Grant, the kind of initiative shown by Director
Vivian should continue, and that New Haven might well become a national
center for the dissemination of the results of university-school partnerships.
In December, 1999, Thomas R. Whitaker and Bryan J. Wolf joined the Executive Committee; Paul Fry and Brigitte Peucker moved from the Executive Committee to the regular Council, and the following members of the faculty were invited to serve on the regular Council: Glenda E. Gilmore, Paul Gilroy, Langdon L. Hammer, Peter Salovey, and Ian Shapiro.
President Levin spoke of the Institute as “one of the principal engines driving improvement of the school system.”
|Local Program Documentation and
Many evaluations of the Teachers Institute demonstrate that it assists schools in specific ways, and that the results are cumulative. (See especially A Progress Report on Surveys Administered to New Haven Teachers, 1982-1990 [New Haven: Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute, 1992].) In the fall of 1999, the Institute updated its ongoing study of New Haven teachers who have been Fellows. This study notes the proportion of eligible teachers from each New Haven school and department who have participated, the number of times Fellows have completed the program, and whether Fellows have remained in teaching in New Haven. It showed that, of the 471 New Haven teachers who have completed the program successfully at least once between 1978 and 1999, more than half (51 percent) are currently teaching in New Haven. An additional 43 (9 percent) have assumed full-time administrative posts in the school system. Thus three-fifths (60 percent) of all Fellows since 1978 are currently working in New Haven Public Schools. These statistics are particularly encouraging because of the Institute’s determination to involve individuals who will continue to serve students in our urban school district. As we noted earlier, the increasing presence of former Fellows in administrative positions has rendered the Institute more visible and has encouraged other teachers to participate in its program.
As Table 2 shows, a considerable number of current elementary school teachers in New Haven (12 percent) have completed successfully at least one year of the Institute. (Elementary school teachers were first included in 1990.) As Table 3 shows, 33 percent of New Haven high school teachers of subjects in the humanities and sciences, 33 percent of transitional school teachers, and 30 percent of middle school teachers have also done so. A number of teachers have participated for two to twenty years. Of those Fellows still teaching in New Haven 35 percent have participated in the Institute once, 33 percent either two or three times, and 32 percent between four and twelve times. On the other hand, of those Institute Fellows who have left the New Haven school system, 56 percent completed the program only once, and 30 percent took part two or three times. Only twenty-three Fellows who have left (13 percent) completed the program four or more times. Thus the Institute’s cumulative influence in the New Haven school system and its likely effects upon retaining teachers are indicated by the fact that it has worked in the most sustained way with those who have chosen to remain in teaching in the New Haven Public Schools.
*Grade 5 teachers are included here only for middle schools;
grade 5 teachers in elementary schools are reported in Table 2.
In 1996 members of the National Advisory Committee suggested that the Institute engage in fuller documentation of its work beyond the seminars themselves, and of the wider effects of its program in the school system. They believed they were hearing from teachers and staff about many valuable results of the Institute’s work that should be documented in forms that could be made more widely available. The Institute is therefore now documenting more fully the work of teams in the schools, the activities of the Centers and Academies, and the development of electronic resources. This documentation has been summarized in earlier sections of this report.