Public School Teachers Named Yale National Fellows

Lead Development of Teachers Institutes for High-Poverty Schools

public school teachers named yale national fellows
The national seminar on "Histories of Art, Race, and Empire: 1492-1865, 2023," led by Timothy W. Barringer, Paul Mellon Professor of the History of Art at Yale University, July 2023.

New Haven ..... Forty-seven public school teachers from fifteen school districts in nine states and the District of Columbia have been selected to participate in national seminars and an Intensive Session as part of the Yale National Initiative to strengthen teaching in public schools®.

Thirty-three of the teachers, named Yale National Fellows, are from school districts that are planning or exploring the establishment of a new Teachers Institute for the Chicago, IL; Navajo Nation, AZ; Pittsburgh, PA; Richmond, VA; San José, CA; and locations in Texas. Other National Fellows come from existing Teachers Institutes located in New Castle County, DE; New Haven, CT; Philadelphia, PA; and Tulsa, Oklahoma. Overall, about half of the National Fellows are participating in national seminars for the first time.

The purposes of the seminars are to provide public school teachers deeper knowledge of the subjects they teach and first-hand experience with the Teachers Institute approach to high-quality professional development. This fosters their leadership in an existing Teachers Institute or prepares them to lead the development of a new Teachers Institute. Each teacher writes a curriculum unit to teach their students about the seminar subject and to share with other teachers in their school district and, through the website at, with teachers anywhere. The curriculum units implement academic standards of the teachers' school districts and assist the teachers in engaging and educating the students in their school courses.

The 2024 seminars, which begin on May 3 and conclude in mid-August, are:

  • "Landscape, Art, and Ecology," led by Timothy Barringer, Paul Mellon Professor in the History of Art;
  • "A History of Black People as Readers: A Genealogy of Critical Literacy," led by Roderick A. Ferguson, William Robertson Coe Professor of Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies and of American Studies;
  • "Poetry as Sound and Object," led by Feisal G. Mohamed, Professor of English;
  • "Energy: Past, Present, and Future," led by Gary Brudvig, Benjamin Silliman Professor of Chemistry; and
  • "Evolutionary Medicine," led by Paul E. Turner, Rachel Carson Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.

Participants in the two-week Intensive Session in July will live on the Yale campus. Between July 8 and 19, they will attend daily seminar meetings and will confer individually with their seminar leader. Superintendents and other local school officials will join the National Fellows when they attend the Annual Conference at Yale on October 25-26.

National Fellows will serve as the Coordinator for each seminar. The Coordinators are: Brandon Barr of Chicago, Illinois; Priscilla Black on the Navajo Nation, Arizona; Carol Boynton of New Haven, Connecticut; Kariann Flynn of New Castle County, Delaware; Tyriese Holloway of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Tara McKee of Tulsa, Oklahoma; Amanda McMahon of Richmond, Virginia; Sharon Ponder of Chicago, Illinois; and Valerie J. Schwarz of Richmond, Virginia.

The Yale National Initiative to strengthen teaching in public schools, now in its twentieth year, is a long-term endeavor to influence public policy on teacher professional development, in part by establishing exemplary Teachers Institutes for high-poverty, high-minority schools in states around the country. These Institutes follow the approach developed originally in New Haven and implemented now in other cities. A short introductory video about the Initiative can be viewed at

Teachers Institutes are educational partnerships between universities and school districts designed to strengthen teaching and learning in a community's high-need public schools. Evaluations have shown that the Institute approach exemplifies the characteristics of high-quality teacher professional development, enhances teacher quality in ways known to improve student achievement, and encourages participants to remain in teaching in their schools.

Yale National Initiative®, Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute®, On Common Ground®, and League of Teachers Institutes® are registered trademarks of Yale University.