In the Carnegie Report on High School, Ernest L. Boyer called for greater emphasis on subject matter in the initial preparation of the teacher and for "a planned continuing education program . . . [as] part of every teacher s professional life" (Boyer, 1983, p. l78). As Boyer later wrote in commenting on the numerous education studies and reports released in 1983, "We are beginning to see that whatever is wrong with America s schools cannot be fixed without the help of those teachers already in the classrooms. Most of them will be there for years to come, and teachers must be viewed as part of the solution, not as part of the problem" (Boyer, 1984, p. 526).
The present state of teacher preparation in the humanities and the sciences will not be readily improved as a result of new teachers entering the profession. There are already well-publicized shortages of qualified teachers in some subjects and some areas of the country, even though the National Center for Education Statistics projects that the total demand nationally for secondary school teachers will continue to decline through 1988 (NCES, 1984, p. 36). These shortages may well become more widespread and severe at the secondary level as the children of the "baby boomlet," who began this year to increase total elementary school enrollment, begin in the mid-1990s to enter secondary schools (McCarthy, 1984, pp. 7-8).
In New Haven the current rate of teacher turnover is only about 2 percent. In so stable a teaching force many individuals are reassigned to teach subjects they either have not taught recently, or have never taught before. Furthermore, even in times of higher turnover of teachers, teaching assignments and therefore teachers' needs for further preparation and new classroom materials change frequently in response to shifting priorities of schools, which are so influenced by social and political change.
In short, to strengthen teaching in public schools we must provide for the ongoing preparation of individuals already in, and now entering, the profession.
As Adrienne Y. Bailey, Vice President for Academic Affairs of the College Board, points out, "since this demographic pattern [in New Haven] will become increasingly characteristic of public school enrollment throughout the United States, the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute has chosen, in a sense, to wrestle with the nation s educational future" (Vivian, 1985, p. vii).
In the absence of a school or department of Education, the Institute serves, in effect, as a center for faculty from throughout the institution who care deeply about public education and wish to have a practical, constructive involvement. The Institute draws its faculty from numerous departments of both Yale College and the Graduate School and from the Schools of Architecture, Art, Divinity, Engineering, Forestry and Environmental Studies, Law, and Medicine.
The Institute is also of unquestioned value with respect to the University s relationship with New Haven. In 1984 the University Council on Priorities and Planning wrote: "Yale s principal mission is education. Thus, it seems only natural that Yale concentrate its community efforts upon helping the local public schools meet the enormous challenge of preparing a significantly poor and undereducated population to compete successfully in America s increasingly technical job market"(Council on Priorities and Planning, 1984, pp. 26-27).
The relationship between the University and the Schools must be both prominent and permanent within any viable larger relationship between Yale and New Haven, and, of the many ways Yale might aid New Haven, none is more logical than a program that shares Yale s educational resources with the Schools. Because of changing student needs, changing objectives set by the school system and each level of government, and changing scholarship, school curricula undergo constant revision. Because of Yale s strength in the academic disciplines, further preparing teachers in the subjects they teach, and assisting teachers to develop curricula and to keep abreast of changes in their fields are the ways that Yale can most readily assist the Schools. The intent of the Institute is not, then, to create new resources at Yale; rather, it is to make available in a planned way our existing strength, that is, to expand and to institutionalize the work of University faculty members with their colleagues in the Schools.
The Institute's demanding five-month program of talks and seminars incorporates the Fellows preparation of new curricular materials that they and other teachers will use in the coming school year. The materials Fellows write are compiled into a volume for each seminar and distributed to all New Haven teachers who might use them. Seminar members promote widespread use of these materials by presenting workshops for other teachers during the school year.
A number of the University's most distinguished faculty members have given talks and led seminars in the program. The talks are intended to stimulate thinking and discussion and to point up interdisciplinary relationships in scholarship and teaching. The seminars, which are not regular courses, have the related and equally important purposes of increasing Fellows' background and developing new curricular materials on the seminar subjects. 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. Each seminar must balance these complementary, but in some ways distinct, activities.
Each fall, the School Representatives canvass the teachers in their schools to determine the subjects that prospective Fellows would like the Institute to treat. The Institute then circulates descriptions of seminars that address teachers interests, and the Institute Coordinators, after several meetings with the Representatives, ultimately select which seminars will be offered. In effect, New Haven teachers determine the subject matter for the program each year. In applying to the Institute, teachers describe curriculum unit topics on which they propose to work and the relationship of these topics both to Institute seminars and to courses they will teach in the coming school year. In this way, the seminar leaders can tailor the readings and discussions of the seminars to Fellows specific interests and teaching needs.
In the humanities Institute offerings have included studies of a particular genre of literature, thematic approaches to literature, seminars on the teaching of writing, and interdisciplinary approaches to literature and history. Additional seminars have examined state and local history, and have focused on recent American, British, or Latin American history. The Institute has also offered several seminars on material culture and architecture. In the social sciences Institute seminars have explored themes in American adolescence and the American family, often approaching these topics from historical and cross-cultural perspectives. Through various Institute seminars, from architecture to medical imaging, teachers have worked on applications of mathematics, and some seminars have concentrated on mathematics, including statistics. In the sciences the Institute s work has taken a strongly interdisciplinary approach. Several seminars related study of the physical environment to human biology and human history; others also integrated the physical and life sciences and incorporated advanced medical technology. Through these Institute seminars Fellows have developed more than 430 individual curriculum units for use in school courses.
What Fellows write, then, is not "curriculum" in the usual sense. They are not developing content and skill objectives for each course and grade level, nor are they preparing day-by-day lesson plans for their courses. Institute units also differ from traditional curricula in form; they are not composed mainly of lists and outlines of topics to be covered. Rather, teachers research and write in prose on a manageable topic within the seminar subject and strategies for introducing that topic in their own teaching.
By writing a curriculum unit, teachers think formally about the ways in which what they are learning can be applied in their own teaching; we emphasize that the Institute experience must have direct bearing on their own classes. This balance between academic preparation and practical, classroom application as well as the depth and duration of our local collaborative relationship are central features of the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute.
In 1982, after five years of developing the Teachers Institute as a model of university-school collaboration, Yale and the Schools decided to seek a $4 million endowment to give the program a secure future. The present endowment campaign underscores our deep belief in the long-term significance of the Teachers Institute to the University and to our community s public schools. It also represents our determination to demonstrate that effective collaborative programs can be not only developed, but also sustained
Theodore R. Sizer, wrote in his report in 1983:
I share the view of my predecessor "visitors" that yours is a remarkable program, for its clear and useful focus, for its simplicity and above all else for the atmosphere of constructive collegiality between Yale and New Haven teachers that has been created. . . . The arguments for the current scale are powerful. All too few school "reform" efforts get the scale right; almost universally they are too ambitious.Norman C. Francis evaluated the program in 1984. He wrote in his report:
[The] experience and current presence [of the Teachers Institute] as a cooperative venture in and of itself argues for the absolute need for it to continue to be an example of how these difficult change ventures between colleges and universities and schools can be developed and nurtured. Its efforts have inestimable value for a number of local school districts, colleges and universities, all of which are talking about the need to work together, but are uncertain about how and where to start.
There is, in my view, no more important recommendation in the Carnegie Foundation Special Report on School and College (Maeroff, 1983, p. viii) than the one that calls for universities and schools to develop genuine partnerships based on the needs of schools as determined by their principals and teachers. Both aspects of this recommendation are essential: not only that universities and schools work together, but especially that those of us in higher education encourage our colleagues in schools to show us the ways we can marshall our resources to address their needs.
From our experience in New Haven, I would offer the following guidelines for the successful implementation of the Carnegie recommendation.
Finally, an observation: In universities we assume that ongoing scholarship is indispensable to good teaching. The Teachers Institute demonstrates the similar value to school teachers of ongoing study and writing about their discipline. Through colleagueship with teachers from the University, this continuing engagement with their subjects becomes part of school teachers' professional lives.
Boyer, E. L. "Reflections on the Great Debate of '83." Phi Delta Kappan, April 1984, pp. 525-530.
Council on Priorities and Planning. Report of the Council on Priorities and Planning, 1983-1984. New Haven: Yale University, 1984.
Maeroff, G. I. School and College: Partnerships in Education. Princeton: The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, 1983.
McCarthy, K. F. Q s and A s About the Future of the Three R's: A Demographer's Perspective. Santa Monica: The Rand Corporation, 1984.
National Center for Education Statistics. The Condition of Education, 1983 Edition. Washington, D.C., 1983.
National Center for Education Statistics. The Condition of Education, 1984 Edition. Washington, D.C., 1984.
National Coalition of Advocates for Students. Barriers to Excellence: Our Children at Risk. Boston, 1985.
National School Boards Association. A Survey of Public Education in the Nation's Urban School Districts. Washington, D.C., 1983.
United States Department of Education. Partnerships in Education: Education Trends of the Future Washington, D.C., 1985.
Vivian, J. R., and others. Teaching in America: The Common Ground, A Report of the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute. New York: The College Entrance Examination Board, 1985.