The professors include two who have led seminars in several previous years: Paul H. Fry returning for his fourth seminar, and Robert A. Burt for his fifth. Fry, the William Lampson Professor of English, will lead a seminar on "Children's Literature, from Infancy to Adolescence." Burt, the Alexander M. Bickel Professor of Law, will address "The Supreme Court in American Political History."
Fry said of his continuing involvement with the Institute, "I think that working with teachers is the most natural form of community involvement a teacher can choose. And from the teachers in my seminars I have learned a tremendous amount about the sophisticated techniques they have developed to meet their specific classroom challenges. New Haven's teachers inspire in me, not just the respect and gratitude we all should feel, but a feeling of true collegiality."
Three new seminar leaders will be participating this year: Alessandro Gomez, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, will lead a seminar on "Energy, Engines, and the Environment"; Roger E. Howe, the William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Mathematics, will conduct a seminar on "Keeping the Meaning in Mathematics: The Craft of Word Problems"; and Alexander Nemerov, Professor of History of Art and American Studies, will explore "Representations of American Culture, 1760-1960: Art and Literature."
The topics were determined by teacher Representatives, leaders of the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute drawn from public schools throughout New Haven. An open house for prospective Fellows, teachers who are considering attending Institute seminars, was held January 13 with the Yale faculty members. The deadline for applications was January 27. Five of the teacher Representatives serving as seminar Coordinators comprise an admissions committee to review the applications, to determine applicants' eligibility, and to make recommendations concerning the composition of each seminar. All Fellows must complete a curriculum unit as part of their seminar participation that they will teach in the coming school year.
The Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute is a member of the League of Teachers Institutes within the Yale National Initiative to strengthen teaching in public schools. From 1997 to 2002, the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute conducted a National Demonstration Project to show how the approach developed in New Haven could be implemented in other cities with different educational needs and resources. Building on the success of the Demonstration Project, the Initiative seeks to establish Teachers Institutes in states around the country.