Policies, Structure, and Procedures

Approved by the Unversity Advisory Council of the Institute

21 April 1994

Endorsed by the Educational Policy Committee of the Yale Corporation

23 September 1994


  • I. Policies
    • A. Purpose
    • B. Tenets
    • C. Corollaries
    • D. Joint Character
    • E. Geographic Boundaries
    • F. Participants
  • II. Structure
    • A. Director
    • B. School Teacher Leadership
    • C. University Faculty Participation
    • D. National Advisory Committee
  • III. Procedures
    • A. Seminar Planning and Selection Procedures
    • B. Requirements for Fellows
    • C. Activities and Schedule
    • D. Compensation
    • E. Certification
    • F. Evaluation and Annual Report
    • G. Manual of Institute Procedures
  • IV. Changes
  • Appendices

I. Policies

A. Purpose

The purpose of the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute is 1) to strengthen teaching and learning in the New Haven Public Schools, and 2) to disseminate the Institute's model and materials in order to encourage and assist other institutions in developing similar programs to benefit mutually the schools and colleges in their own communities. (Appendix A) The Institute is a natural and appropriate way for Yale's faculty, and thus for Yale as an educational institution, to be involved in elementary and secondary education generally and to assist New Haven and its public school system specifically.

B. Tenets

The Institute is founded upon--and guided by--four principles. These are described more fully in various Institute publications and funded proposals. (Appendices B, C, D)
1. Teaching is central to the educational process, and the ongoing preparation of teachers and their development of classroom materials are essential for student learning.

2. Teacher leadership is crucial to efforts to revitalize public education and therefore indispensable within the Institute.

3. Teachers of students at different levels can and must interact as colleagues to address the common problems of teaching their disciplines.

4. University-school collaboration must be long-term if it is to be effective.

C. Corollaries

(Appendix E)
1. Participating teachers from the University and the Schools enter the Institute as professional colleagues working within a collegial relationship, and their respective contributions in the Institute process are valued equally.

2. The Institute is a demanding and professionally significant experience that focuses on the academic preparation of school teachers and on the application of what they study in the Institute in their own school classrooms.

3. The simultaneous consideration of subject matter and classroom procedures is fundamental to the Institute's approach and essential to the collegiality on which the Institute is founded.

4. School teachers participate in the Institute as Fellows in special offerings designed to address their interests and needs for further preparation and curriculum development; they are not students in University courses.

5. School teachers must play a leading role in the planning, organization, conduct, and evaluation of Institute programs intended to benefit them and, through them, students in the New Haven Public Schools.

6. To strengthen teaching and learning throughout the schools, the Institute must involve a significant proportion of all teachers and must therefore actively recruit teachers who have not participated before, as well as minority teachers.

7. The relationship between Yale and the Schools must be both prominent and enduring within any viable larger relationship between Yale and New Haven.

8. As an educational institution, the main resource that Yale can provide to its home community is its faculty, particularly through academic programs such as those generated by the Institute.

9. Tangible expression of Yale's and the Schools' commitment to the Institute is indispensable; for the Institute to be taken seriously there must be an ongoing financial support from both.

D. Joint Character

The Institute is a fully integrated unit of the University under the direction of the Provost, yet at the same time represents an institutional partnership between Yale and the New Haven Public Schools, as well as a collaboration among individuals who teach in the University and in the Schools.

E. Geographic Boundaries

The Institute is sharply focused on assisting the New Haven Public Schools, the public school system in the University's home community where its self-interest is most manifest.

F. Participants

Participation in the Institute is limited to members of the Yale faculty, including the graduate and professional schools, and to individuals who teach in the New Haven Public Schools. The Institute seeks to be as inclusive as possible of all New Haven teachers who are assigned to teach subjects in the humanities and the sciences and mathematics, and to make Institute participation a regular part of the professional lives of as many teachers as possible from different subjects, schools, and grade levels. In recognition of the professional character of Institute participation--and the fact that involvement with the Institute is intensive and time-consuming-- participants are remunerated.

II. Structure

A. Director

The Institute is headed by a Director, who is appointed by the President and who operates under the administrative jurisdiction of the Provost. (See Appendix F for a description of the positions of the Director and of other current staff.)

B. School Teacher Leadership

The network of school teacher leadership for the Institute is evolving and self-transforming. Currently there are four positions: School Representatives, School Contacts, Seminar Coordinators, and Steering Committee members.

The School Representatives have overall responsibility for organizing the Institute's annual program for the New Haven teachers who participate as Fellows. The fifteen or more Representatives, who represent all New Haven elementary, middle, and high school teachers in the humanities and the sciences and mathematics, promote the Institute to other teachers in their respective schools and enable them to have a direct role each year in designing the program. (Appendix G) They work with School Contacts, who are the designated individuals for other teachers to contact about the Institute in schools not large enough to warrant having a Representative.

The Seminar Coordinators, who serve during the admissions process and the period when the seminars meet between March and August, act as liaison with the Institute seminars, resolving any scheduling or administrative problems and facilitating the smooth operation of the seminars. (Appendix H)

A Steering Committee of teachers who have played leading roles in the Institute at various times since its inception has responsibility for long-range planning.

C. University Faculty Participation

University faculty members participate in the program principally as seminar leaders, conducting seminars for no more than twelve Fellows, guiding Fellows' research and writing, commenting on the drafts of each Fellow's curriculum unit, and reviewing the completed units. (Appendix I) The University Advisory Council is a Presidentially-appointed body of faculty members that 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 President on the Institute and, more generally, on matters concerning Yale's involvement with schools locally and with public elementary and secondary education nationally. (Appendix J) Between meetings the work of the Council is carried forward by its Executive Committee, all members of the Council, also appointed by the President.

D. National Advisory Committee

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

The Teachers Institute plays a leading role in the national movement for university-school collaboration. The National Advisory Committee assists in determining how to make the most effective contribution to institutions and schools in other communities. With respect to evaluation, the Committee provides a variety of perspectives that aid in examining what each constituency for such collaborative programs would regard as the best evidence of their effectiveness. The Committee also provides advice and assistance with fund raising directed toward foundations, corporations, and individuals located across the country.

III. Procedures

A. Seminar Planning and Selection Procedures

Each year the Institute takes the following steps to determine seminar subjects and leaders and to select school teacher participants. In the fall the teachers who serve as School Representatives canvass other school teachers, asking what subjects the teachers wish Institute seminars to address in the coming year. School subject-area supervisors also may suggest subjects in which professional and curriculum development are especially needed. As desirable seminar subjects emerge from this process, the Director, in consultation with members of the University Advisory Council, identifies appropriate Yale faculty members who are potentially available to lead seminars on these subjects in the coming year, and who are invited to prepare a written description of possible seminars. (Appendices K and L)

The Representatives meet bi-weekly with the Director throughout the fall to compile and assess the results of these surveys, and to decide which seminar possibilities best address the interests and needs that prospective participants have stated. The Representatives then circulate descriptions of the seminars and work with school teachers in applying by the application deadline. (Appendix M.1)

Applications of teachers who apply to the Institute are first reviewed by subject-area supervisors from the Schools to verify that each proposal is consistent with and significant for school curricula and that each teacher will be assigned courses in the coming year in which he or she will teach the unit developed in the program. (Appendix M.2) They also consider whether the teachers' proposals are important for their own professional development and pertinent to their periodic recertification as professional educators in Connecticut. At the same time, Institute faculty members review the applications for their relationship to the seminar subject.

Seminar Coordinators, acting as an admissions committee, then consider the results of the administrative and faculty reviews and make recommendations about which teachers to accept. (Appendix M.3) The Director makes final decisions, taking into consideration program objectives and the relation of proposed unit topics to seminar subjects, as well as such practical matters as size of seminars and fair representation of schools, grade levels, and departments. (Appendix N)

Teachers are not selected as Institute Fellows on the basis of their previous academic accomplishment; rather, the Institute seeks to serve all teachers in the humanities and the sciences and mathematics who demonstrate a specific need for additional preparation and a desire to develop new curricular materials for their school courses. We especially want to include teachers who have little formal preparation in the subjects that they are assigned to teach. To select teachers on some other basis would exclude teachers who, with their students, might derive greatest benefit from the Institute.

The main criterion for selection, then, is that a teacher propose to develop and to teach in the coming year a unit consistent with school curricula and closely related to the general subject of an Institute seminar. No teacher is selected whose unit would be unrelated either to a seminar or to courses that will be offered in the coming year. In this way we ensure that the participants are teachers who will prepare materials that they themselves will teach and that, by extension, are potentially useful to their colleagues in the schools.

In practice, each year there is a winnowing from more than one hundred interested school teachers to those who finally are willing to commit themselves to participating fully in the program in one of the seminars that have been organized. Some teachers may be unable to find in that year's offerings a subject of compelling interest, but the topics on which most teachers wish to develop curricula each year result in seminars. In short, the process through which teachers annually play a leading role in determining the subject areas in which they wish to work is self-fulfilling; that is, it assures a high level of teacher participation and guarantees the introduction of Institute-developed materials into the school curriculum.

One or two years of Institute participation by no means compensates for many school teachers' lack of formal preparation in the subjects they teach; nor does it keep them current in their fields. These are among the reasons the Institute proceeds from a belief that school teachers should have, as a regular part of their professional lives, an ongoing engagement with the subjects they teach The Institute seeks over time to include as many teachers as possible and to ensure that participants are a cross-section of all New Haven teachers.

B. Requirements for Fellows

In applying to become a Fellow of the Institute, each teacher agrees to participate fully in program activities by: 1) attending all talks and seminar meetings; 2) researching both the seminar subject and the unit topic; 3) meeting due dates in preparing a curriculum unit consistent with Institute guidelines; and 4) submitting a written evaluation of the program. Fellows who meet these expectations become for one year members of the Yale community with borrowing privileges at the University libraries and access to other campus facilities and resources. They are listed in the University Directory of faculty and staff. Fellows who are not participating fully are counseled by their Seminar Coordinator to withdraw from the Institute and to reapply in a future year when full participation may be more manageable for them.

C. Activities and Schedule

In early March of each year, the Institute accepts as Fellows fifty or more New Haven public school teachers in the humanities and the sciences and mathematics. All Fellows participate in a five-month schedule of seminars, talks, and curriculum unit writing, as depicted in Figure I, below. (Appendix O)

(figure available in print form)

The seminars are the main activity of the Institute. Not regular courses, they have two related and equally important purposes: the further preparation of teachers in the subjects of the seminars and the adaptation of this new learning, through the curriculum units, for use in the Fellows' own and other teachers classrooms. As a group, Fellows study the seminar subject generally by discussing common readings; individually, each Fellow selects a more limited aspect of the subject, and researches and develops it in depth for classroom use. In some seminars, the time is divided arbitrarily: the leader either lectures for the first hour or uses that time for a discussion of common reading; the second hour incorporates either a presentation of work-in-progress by Fellows or more general discussion of pedagogical applications of material learned in the seminar. Other seminar leaders seek more flexible or varied models. In all cases, seminars balance these complementary, but in some ways distinct, activities.

The Institute's unit-writing process entails two drafts, in addition to a preliminary statement of topic and prospectus. The first draft, a prose account of objectives and strategies of the unit, is due in late May. The second draft, including a rewrite of that section and the first draft of the rest of the unit, is due in early July. In both cases, faculty members return the drafts with written comments a week later. The final version, typed in a format appropriate for reproduction, is due at the end of July. (Appendix P) During August, the curriculum units are compiled into a volume for each seminar with an introduction by the seminar leader. A Guide to the Units is prepared from brief summaries written by their authors. Fellows also recommend the courses and grade levels for which their units seem most appropriate, and they propose the subject-matter categories under which their units should be listed in the Index of curriculum units written since 1978,which is updated annually. (Appendices Q, R, S) The Guide and Index are widely distributed in all the schools so that Fellows and other teachers can identify and request the units they will use in their classrooms. In September the volumes are deposited in all school libraries and distributed to teachers who have requested and wish to use them. (Appendix T)

Although the most intensive phase of the Institute--the five-month program of lectures, seminars, and writing in which all Fellows participate--concludes with the completion of the curriculum units, many Fellows are active throughout the year in the leadership of the program. School Representatives and Contacts have responsibility for promoting widespread use of Institute-developed materials by their colleagues.

D. Compensation

Yale faculty members who lead Institute seminars are compensated at a level that makes Institute participation attractive to all ranks of the faculty. School teachers who participate as Institute Fellows receive a stipend upon successful completion of the Institute. To complete the program successfully a Fellow must fulfill all of the requirements listed above (page 8). This stipend is intended in part to cover the Fellows' out-of-pocket expenses of participation, including books and seminar materials, travel, parking, and word processing.

E. Certification

Upon successful completion of the Institute, Fellows may petition for certification of their course of study. (Appendix U) Any Fellow who intends to request that Institute studies be recognized for credit in a degree program is advised to consult in advance with the dean of the institution where he or she is enrolled.

F. Evaluation and Annual Report

Institute participants, both Fellows and Seminar Leaders, write an evaluation at the conclusion of their participation each year and the Director prepares an annual report on Institute activities, basing it in part on their comments. (Appendices V, W)

G. Manual of Institute Procedures

The Institute maintains a manual of operating procedures that includes, by way of example, procedures for teachers' application and admission to the Institute, guidelines for Institute Fellows writing curriculum units, and guidelines for ordering classroom materials to implement these units in school classrooms. (Many documents from the current manual appear in the Appendix.) These procedures evolve over time, mainly through decisions made by school teachers serving in the Institute's leadership. In this way, the Institute remains responsive to the perceived needs of the school teachers who participate as Fellows.

IV. Changes

These Policies, Structure and Procedures are adopted as of April 21, 1994. They may be modified by the University from time to time, consistently with the fundamental purposes of the Institute, as the needs of the Institute and the University evolve.


A comprehensive Bibliography of Institute material and the Appendices listed below are maintained in the Manual of Institute Procedures in the Institute office.
A. Indentures on Institute Endowment Funds
1. Endowment Fund I
2. Endowment Fund II
3. Endowment Fund III
B. Teaching in America: The Common Ground, pages 4-8.
C. Proposal to the National Endowment for the Humanities: May 6, 1990, pages 37-43.
D. Proposal to the National Endowment for the Humanities: April 24, 1991, pages 7-12.
E. "Issues in Establishing and Developing an Educational Collaboration: The Yale-New Haven Experience," pages 67-74.
F. Administration
1. Position Description: Director
2. Position Description: Administrative Associate II
3. Position Description: Administrative Associate I
4. Position Description: Secretary II
G. Responsibilities of School Representatives
H. Seminar Coordinator's Role
I. Seminar Leader's Role
J. Letter of Presidential Appointment to the University Advisory Council, Outlining the Council's Role, May 1993.
K. Seminar Description Form
L. Instructions for Updating the List of Teachers in Each School Who Are Prospective Fellows
M. Application Material
1. Fellows Application
2. Seminar Coordinators Review Form
3. Review of Applications by School Supervisors
N. Admissions Criteria
O. Annual Brochure
P. Guidelines for Writing a Curriculum Unit and Mechanical Specifications for Final Curriculum Units
Q. Curriculum Unit Cover Sheet
R. Instructions for Proposed Indexing of Curriculum Unit
S. Guidelines for Requesting Educational Materials for Classroom Use
T. Procedures for Distribution of Curriculum Units and List of Curriculum Units by Fellows of the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute
U. Petition for and Certification of Course of Study
V. Evaluation by Seminar Leader
W. Fellows Questionnaire
X. Financial and Other Commitments Made in Proposals:
1. to the National Endowment for the Humanities, dated May 6, 1990, pages 72-73, and Appendix D,pages 20-26;
2. to the National Endowment for the Humanities, dated April 24, 1991, pages vii-viii and 30-39; and,
3. to the DeWitt Wallace-Reader's Digest Fund, dated April 25, 1990.

Please note: Throughout this document, unless otherwise specified, the term "teacher" generally means both individuals who teach in elementary and secondary schools and those who teach in colleges and universities. For discussion of use of the terms teacher and "faculty member," see Vivian, "Issues in Establishing and Developing an Educational Collaboration" (1986), page 73.