In March 1983, seventy-nine teachers from six departments of the New Haven Public Schools became Fellows of the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute to prepare new curriculum materials for school courses. One-third of these teachers were participating in the Institute for the first time. Established in 1978, the Institute is a joint program of Yale University and the New Haven Public Schools, designed to strengthen teaching and improve learning of the humanities and the sciences in our community’s middle and high schools. The Institute has received growing national recognition as a model of university-school collaboration that integrates curriculum development with intellectual renewal for teachers. Our principal aim is to open the resources of Yale University to city school teachers and to make these resources available in the ways they believe will be most helpful.
In applying to the Institute, teachers stated their priorities for curriculum development, the topics on which they proposed to work, and the relation of these topics to school courses that would be offered in the coming year. Teachers had primary responsibility for identifying the subjects the Institute would address. Seven seminars were organized, corresponding to the principal themes of the Fellows’ proposals. The seminar entitled “America in the Sixties: Culture and Counter-Culture” was led by Robert Westbrook, Assistant Professor of American Studies and History. Between March and August, Fellows participated in seminars, researched their topics, and attended a series of lectures by Yale faculty members.
The curriculum units Fellows wrote are their own; they are presented in seven volumes, one for each seminar. A list of all the volumes of units published between 1978 and 1983 appears on the next page. The units contain four elements: objectives, teaching strategies, sample lessons and classroom activities, and lists of resources for teachers and students. They are intended for use primarily by Institute Fellows and their colleagues who teach in New Haven. We hope they will be of interest also to teachers in other school systems.
The 1983 Institute was supported by grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Atlantic Richfield Foundation, Aetna Life and Casualty Foundation, the New Haven Foundation, and about fifty New Haven-area corporations. The materials presented here do not necessarily reflect the views of the funding agencies.
James R. Vivian