City Representatives and National Steering Committee, July 2006 (Left to right: Front: Sandra K. Friday, New Haven; Samuel A. Reed, Philadelphia; Clary W. Carleton, Richmond; Beverly Rice-Hooper, Atlanta; Kimberlee Penn Erazo, Santa Fe; Lynn W. Marsico, Pittsburgh. Back: Jeffrey C. Joyce, Charlotte; Daniel J. Addis, Houston; Carolyn N. Kinder, New Haven; Raymond F. Theilacker, Wilmington; Bonnee L. Breese, Philadelphia; Jayme H. Hicks, Jacksonville.)
Public school teachers from ten cities in nine states have completed national seminars and an Intensive Session as part of the Yale National Initiative to strengthen teaching in public schools.
More than half of the fifty-one teachers, designated Yale National Fellows, were from seven cities that are planning or exploring the establishment of a new Teachers Institute: Atlanta, Charlotte, Jacksonville, Philadelphia, Richmond, Santa Fe, and Wilmington. Other National Fellows were from Teachers Institutes that are members of the National Initiative League located in
The twin purposes of the national seminars were to provide public school teachers a first-hand acquaintance with the Institute approach to high quality professional development, and to cultivate their leadership either in a League Teachers Institute or in the development of a new Teachers Institute. Each participating teacher wrote a curriculum unit to teach their students what they learned and to share with teachers in their school district and, over the internet, with other teachers internationally.
The seminars which began in early May and concluded in mid-August, included "Stories Around the World in Film," led by Dudley Andrew, R. Selden Rose Professor of Film and Comparative Literature; "The Supreme Court in American Political History," led by Robert A. Burt, Alexander M. Bickel Professor of Law; "Childrens Literature, Infancy to Early Adolescence," led by Paul H. Fry, William Lampson Professor of English; "Native America: Understanding the Past Through Things," led by Mary E. Miller, Vincent Scully Professor of History of Art; and "The Science of Global Warming," led by Sabatino Sofia, Professor of Astronomy.
Participants in the two-week Intensive Session in July, who lived and shared meals on the Yale campus, included not only the Yale National Fellows but also directors of Teachers Institutes and college and university faculty members who have led or may lead local Teacher Institute seminars. Between July 3 and 14 Fellows attended ten two-hour daily meetings of their seminars and conferred individually with their seminar leaders. One National Fellow served as the Coordinator of each seminar. The Coordinators were Justin M. Boucher of New Haven, Jurline Tarver Franklin of Houston, Eric James Laurenson of Pittsburgh, Lynn W. Marsico of Pittsburgh, and Ralph E. Russo of New Haven.
Individuals with responsibility for planning a new Teachers Institute met with Institute directors on a range of topics from university faculty role in an Institute, to evaluation and documentation, to finance and fund raising, to uses of technology for dissemination.
Teams from each city that is planning or exploring a Teachers Institute met with the Director of the Yale National Initiative, James R. Vivian, to discuss their potential Teachers Institute. At the conclusion of the Intensive Session Fellows from each city were named their cities’ Teacher Representatives, who now have responsibility for planning and implementing Initiative activities locally and nationally. The Representatives and their cities are:
Jeffrey Clay Joyce
Jayme Holaway Hicks
Bonnee L. Breese
Samuel A. Reed
Clary W. Carleton
Kimberlee Penn Erazo
Raymond F. Theilacker
The Yale National Initiative to strengthen teaching in public schools is a long-term endeavor to establish exemplary Teachers Institutes in underserved school districts in states throughout the country. Following the approach developed in New Haven and demonstrated in Houston, Pittsburgh, and other cities, it builds upon the success of a four-year National Demonstration Project.
Senators Joseph Lieberman and John Ensign have introduced
that would establish 45 such Institutes over the next five years. The measure is co-sponsored by the entire bipartisan Connecticut delegation in both Houses of Congress, among others.
Teachers Institutes are educational partnerships between universities and school districts designed to strengthen teaching and learning in a community’s public schools. Evaluations have shown that the Institute approach promotes precisely those dimensions of teacher quality that improve student achievement.