The Program in New Haven


Annual Report 2000 Contents | Brochures and Reports

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The Seminars and Curriculum Units

From its inception, a tenet of the Institute's approach has been to determine its offerings annually in response to the needs for further preparation and curriculum development that the teachers themselves identify. In 2000 this process, as described later in the report, resulted in the mounting of seven seminars, four in the humanities and three in the sciences.

The seminars were assisted by a contribution from the New Haven Public Schools. With major support from endowment revenues the Institute offered the following four seminars in the humanities:

"Women Writers in Latin America,"
led by Sandra H. Ferdman-Comas, Assistant Professor of Spanish and Portuguese

"Crime and Punishment,"
led by Ian Shapiro, Professor of Political Science

"Constitutional and Statutory Privacy Protection in the 21st Century,"
led by Rogers M. Smith, Alfred Cowles Professor of Government

"Ethnicity and Dissent in American Literature and Art,"
led by Brian J. Wolf, Professor and Chair of American Studies and Professor of English

With support from the Sherman Fairchild Foundation the Institute offered the following two seminars in the sciences:

"Sound and Sensibility: Acoustics in Architecture, Music, and the Environment,"
led by Robert E. Apfel, Robert Higgins Professor of Mechanical Engineering

"Bioethics,"
led by Arthur W. Galston, Eaton Professor Emeritus of Botany and of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology

With support from the Henry and Camille Dreyfus Fund the Institute offered the following seminar in chemistry:

"The Chemistry of Photosynthesis,"
led by Gary W. Brudvig, Professor of Chemistry

The following overview of the work in the seminars is based on the descriptions circulated in advance by the Seminar Leaders, the Guide to Curriculum Units, 2000, and the curriculum units themselves. Each Fellow has prepared a curriculum unit that she or he will use in a specific classroom. But each Fellow has also been asked to indicate the subjects and grade levels for which other teachers might find the curriculum unit to be appropriate. These are indicated parenthetically here for each unit.

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Women Writers in Latin America

This seminar read poetry and prose by such women writers as Teresa de la Parra, Esmeralda Santiago, Alfonsina Storni, and Gabriela Mistral. It sought to understand more fully how to read a literary work and to understand more intimately the lives of women in Latin America.

The curriculum units often dealt with history and biography as well as literary texts. Christine Calvanese included a brief history of the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico in her unit on Santiago's When I Was Puerto Ricanand Julia Alvarez's How the García Girls Lost Their Accents. Christine Elmore presented in historical context the lives of Frida Kalho, Rigoberta Menchú and Gabriela Mistral. Dora Odarenko focused on certain features of Puerto Rican life. Diana Peña-Pérez analyzes the use of the terms Hispanic and Latino in relation to Spanish-speaking immigrants to the United States. Michelle Spulveda presented a gallery of pictures from life in the Caribbean according to Latina writers. Other units focused more exclusively upon the texts themselves. Lisa Galullo showed how to analyze point of view, narrative style, voice, and cultural identity in an autobiographical text. And Yolanda Trapp offered her own translations of a variety of poems that may be read to children.

The curriculum units written in the seminar, with their recommended uses, included: "A Woman's Immigrant Experience," by Christine Calvanese (English and Reading, grades 7-10); "Exploring Character and Culture in the Lives of Three Remarkable Women of Latin America," by Christine A. Elmore (Language Arts, Reading, and Social Studies, grades 2-5); "Truth and Identity in Autobiography: Teaching Esmeralda Santiago's Novel When I Was Puerto Rican," by Lisa Galullo (English and AP English, grades 9-12); "Nuestra Isla Our Island: Puerto Rico," by Dora Janeway Odarenko (Language Arts and social Studies, grades 2-4); "Understanding Ethnic Labels and Puerto Rican Identity," by Diana Peña-Pérez (Social Studies, Spanish, and Language Arts, grades 7-8); "Galeria de Pinturas," by Michelle Sepulveda (Drama and Dance, grades 5-8); and "The Power of Latin Women's Poetry," by Yolanda U. Trapp (Language Arts, Social Studies, Multicultural Studies, Science, and Special Education, grades K-5).


This seminar sought to understand more fully how to read a literary work and to understand more intimately the lives of women in Latin America.




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Crime and Punishment

This seminar dealt with topics in the theory and practice of crime and punishment in contemporary America from the standpoint of politics and political theory. The readings and seminar discussions were organized around four topics: moral foundations of the criminal law; players and procedures in the criminal law; politics and the criminal law; and the edges of the criminal law.

The Fellows in the seminar worked on a variety of topics that to some extent cut across, and drew on, all four areas. Joan Rapczynski focused on the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution. Angela Beasley-Murray explored the different legal tests for criminal culpability and the extent to which these comport with commonsense understandings of insanity as well as standard medical definitions. Joyce Bryant explored various ways in which the criminal justice system stands in need of reform if democracy is to speak through the criminal law. Four Fellows developed units on different aspects of the juvenile justice system. Deborah Smereczynsky focused on the constitutional rights of juvenile offenders. Cynthia Roberts dealt with status offenses-activities that would not be crimes if committed by adults-and the role of the juvenile court. Joseph Wickliffe dealt with debates about the causes of juvenile delinquency. And Afolabí J. Adebayo dealt with the disposition of juvenile offenders.

The curriculum units, with their recommended uses, included: "Rehabilitation and Control of Juvenile Delinquency Offenders," by Afolabí James Adebayo (grades 7-12); "…By Reason of Insanity: An Exploration of the Mental Disease/Defect Defense," by Angela Beasley-Murray (grades 9-12); "Democracy Speaks Through Criminal Law?," by Joyce Bryant (grades 7-8); "Search and Seizure," by Joyce Rapczynski (U.S. History, grades 10-11); "Juvenile Delinquency: Cause and Effect," by Cynthia H. Roberts (Social Studies and Civics, grades 7-12); "Juvenile Justice/The Real Deal," by Deborah Smereczynsky (U.S. History and English, grades 7-8); and "Why Juveniles Commit Crimes," by Joseph A. Wickliffe (Social Studies, grades 9-12).


This seminar dealt with the theory and practice of crime and punishment in contemporary America from the standpoint of politics and political theory.





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Constitutional and Statutory Privacy Protections in the 21st Century

This seminar explored problems of protecting privacy that result from the rapid proliferation of new avenues of communication and from the surprisingly little pertinent constitutional or statutory law aimed at providing such protection. It examined legal cases described in Ellen Alderman and Caroline Kennedy, The Right to Privacy, along with excerpts from landmark Supreme Court cases, important statutes, and some pertinent news stories.

The Fellows created curriculum units that employed "privacy" questions to advance learning by a wide range of students. High school business students will learn about the "cookies" that track their browsing habits. Business law students will examine the legal protections against "cybercrime" and the dangers that regulations pose for freedoms of expression. High school history students will learn about the systematic denials of privacy rights experienced by many African Americans, which now serve as precedents for limiting student rights. Students with disabilities and others will learn about the special concerns of the disabled not to be subject to special restrictions or compelled to disclose information that might subject them to job discrimination and embarrassment. Middle school students will vividly discover how pervasive video surveillance in public places how is, including many schools. High school students will learn about the controversies over whether certain kinds of writing assignments represent invasions of student privacy. And gifted middle school students will be invited to ponder and debate whether the reproductive freedoms protected in the contraception and abortion "privacy" cases extend to new kinds of genetic engineering, including cloning and genetic enhancement.

Curriculum units, with their recommended uses, included: "Invasion of Privacy—Has Cyber-technology Made Privacy a Thing of the Past?," by Valerie Arrington-Steele (Computer Literacy, History, Law, English, and Computer Applications, grades 10-12); "How Public Should Public Education Be?," by Jennifer Drury (English and Social Studies, grades 9-10); "The Information Highway & Your Right to Privacy," by Leslie Judd-Paier (Business Law, grades 10-12); "Democracy, Race, and Privacy: The Hypocritical Failures of the United States," by Jimmy-Lee Moore (History and Critical Thinking, grades 7-12); "Privacy in the Age of Video surveillance: This Is Not Your Father's Candid Camera," by Angelo J. Pompano (Video Production, Social Studies, Reading, Writing, and Speaking, grades 7-8); "Privacy Issues and Disabled Persons, by Joanne R. Pompano (Special Education, History, Law, and Social Studies, grades 11-12); and "Human Cloning, Genetic engineering and Privacy," by Carolyn Williams (Science, Writing and Drama, grades 7-9).


This seminar explored problems of protecting privacy that result from the rapid proliferation of new avenues of communication.







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Ethnicity and Dissent in American Literature and Art

The goal in this seminar was to compare and evaluate the many traditions of dissent in American literature and the visual arts. Though artists of color have been producing art for centuries, their work often has found no place in the public school curriculum. At best, it may be confined to special weeks during which we celebrate ethnic and racial histories, or it is taught informally by teachers who wish to supplement the curriculum. In this seminar, the Fellows took as a theme the notion of "double consciousness" articulated by W. E. B. Du Bois. They examined versions of this theme in the work of the colonial poet Phillis Wheatley, in that of several twentieth century writers and artists—Sandra Cisneros, Carmen Lomas Garza, Toni Morrison, Fred Wilson, Robert Colescott, Hisaye Yamamoto, and Leslie Marmon Silko—and in the film Lonestar by John Sayles.

For their curriculum units the Fellows covered a variety of topics. Val-Jean Belton focuses on painters and sculptors of the Harlem Renaissance. Leslie Fellows considers the issues of entrapment, anger, and the search for a new identity as she provides a wide-ranging sample of women writers over the past 150 years. Donna Frederick-Neznek introduces her high school art students to the history of Japanese Americans and then looks in particular at the work of Roger Shimomura. Sandra Friday integrates English lessons with art instruction as she looks at the Harlem Renaissance. Leigh Highbridge asks her theatre students to explore the ways that they do (and don't) interact with students of other ethnicities. Geraldine Martin introduces her elementary students to the customs and culture of Mexico by combining children's stories with the use of puppets. Jon Moscartolo helps his middle school art classes understand how HIV/AIDS can provoke responses like those found in racial discrimination. He has his students produce self-portraits that incorporate the lessons learned from viewing portraits he has created of individuals and families from a summer camp for children with HIV/AIDS. Dina Secchiaroli takes her high school literature students on a tour of Latino communities in the United States, instructing them in the culture, customs and literature of each group. And Jean Sutherland, drawing on a variety of children's books, introduces her elementary school students to the ways that slaves fought and resisted the inhumane conditions of plantation slavery.

Curriculum units, with their recommended uses, included: "African-American Art and the Political Dissent of Aaron Douglas during the Harlem Renaissance," by Val-Jean Belton (AP Studio Art and Advanced Art, grades 10-12); "Women Writers and Dissent in 20th and 21st Century Literature," by Leslie Fellows (English, grades 9-12); "Our Past Acclaims Our Future, Japanese-American Artists Respond to the American Experience: Roger Shimomura, Sansei," by Donna Frederick-Neznek (Art and History, grades 9-12); "The Harlem Renaissance Births a Black Culture," by Sandra K. Friday (American Literature, Art, and English, grades 9-12); "'What's In Your Medicine Cabinet?' Exploring the Culture Heritage of Our Personal Belief Systems," by Leigh Highbridge (Acting and Theatre, grades 9-11); "Friday and Friends: A Prospectus of the Mexican Family through Children's Literature," by Geraldine Martin (Reading and Language Arts, grade 1); "HIV/AIDS and the Healing Community: Self-Portraits Towards Wellness," by Jon Moscartolo (Art, grade 8); "Latin Culture through Art and Literature," by Dina Secchiaroli (English, Art and History, grades 9-12); and "Using Children's Literature and Art to Examine the African-American Resistance to Injustice," by Jean E. Sutherland (Reading, Language Arts, and Social Studies, grades 3-6).


Though artists of color have been producing art for centuries, their work often has found no place in the public school curriculum.







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Sound and Sensibility: Acoustics in Architecture, Music, and the Environment

The premise of this seminar was that through an understanding of the aspects of acoustics, one can approach education and culture from a unique perspective. There is strong appeal in using sound as a vehicle to motivate education in mathematics and science or to understand how diverse cultures have employed music in celebrations and every day life. In developing their curriculum units, several Fellows began with what we already know intuitively and built on that knowledge. Others were concerned to enable students to become more attentive to our acoustical environment, whether in understanding music better or in understanding the impact of environmental noise upon our lives. Others focused on the power of speech and its uses in story and drama.

A team of Fellows from East Rock Global Magnet School—Doreen L. Canzanella, Judith Dixon, Jacqueline Porter, and Joseph H. Lewis—focused their units upon the cultures of Brazil and Kenya, integrating geography, social studies, and music to trace the traditions of those countries and show how European and Aftrican influences were exported to the emerging culture of Brazil. The teaching of their units will culminate in a school festival.

Two teachers from Roberto Clemente Middle School—Mary Jones and Pamela Tonge—created units that will combine science, music, and reading. Yel Hannon Brayton from Betsy Ross Arts Magnet Middle School focused on the use of speech in theatre and creative writing. Lewis Spence, from the same school, and Andrea Sorrells, who teaches in high school, focused in different ways upon the mathematics of sound. And Eddie Rose, from Riverside Education Academy, explored the relationship of architectural sound to science and mathematics.

Curriculum units, with their recommended uses, included: "Tuning the Instrument for Actors and Writers," by Yel Hannon Brayton (Theatre, Drama, and Creative Writing, grades 5-8); "Exploring the Folk Instruments and Sounds of Kenya and Brazil," by Doreen L. Canzanella (International Studies, Science, and Music, grades 6-10); "Brazilian Culture through Music," by Judith Dixon (Social Studies, Music, and Science, grades 4-5); "Math and Science Objectives Taught Using Sound and Music Concepts," by Mary Elizabeth Jones (Mathematics and Science, grades 5-7); "The Science of Sound and Musical Insstruments," by Joseph H. Lewis (Science, grades 4-6); "The Sounds of Samba," by Rosemarie Crocco Mongillo (World Geography and Cultures, grades 9-12); "The Sound of Music in Kenya," by Jacqueline Porter (Social Studies, Science, and Music, grades 6-8); "The Acoustics House," by Eddie B. Rose (Algebra and Geometry, grades 6-12); "Sounding Off About Trig," by Andrea Sorrells (Algebra II, Trigonometry, and Physics, grades 9-12); "Discovering the Mathematics in Sound," by Lewis L. Spence (Algebra, grade 8); and "Basic Reading of Sound Words-Onomatopoeia," by Pamela J. Tonge (Reading and Language Arts, grades K-6).

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The Chemistry of Photosynthesis

The focus of this seminar was to provide some answers to the question of how plants make food in the process of photosynthesis. The goal was to develop materials that could be incorporated in the science curriculum of the New Haven Public Schools. Many demonstrations were included in the seminar. They were chosen so that they could actively involve the students and also illustrate many of the chemical processes. David Walker's Energy, Plants and Man was the primary text. Discussions largely followed the sequence of topics in this book. Photosynthesis, by D. O. Hall and K. K. Rao, was a supplementary text. The seminar began with a historical discussion (and demonstration) of the scientific advances leading to the understanding that plants use light to convert carbon dioxide and water into sugar and oxygen gas. This was followed by discussions and demonstrations of the nature of light, the absorption and conversion of light to chemical energy, and the process of carbon fixation. The seminar concluded with discussion of the role of photosynthesis in the evolution of the earth's atmosphere, current concerns over the greenhouse effect and ozone depletion, and energy use in the future.

In all of the curriculum units, science content is integrated with language arts, mathematics, and social studies to provide a balanced program that meets the literacy requirements of the New Haven Public Schools. Several Fellows developed units around a theme or activity related to photosynthesis. These include a fact-finding effort on the importance of plants to the atmosphere that culminates in a court case over urban development, studies of plants in order to develop urban gardens, and responses to a letter from Mr. McGregor requesting help with his garden.

Curriculum units, with their recommended uses, included: "Ph-ocusing on Photosynthesis In and Out of the Garden," by Francine C. Coss (Science, Mathematics, and Language Arts, grades 1-3); "How Plants Help Us Breathe," by Roberta A. Mazzucco (Science, grades 2-5); "Gardens in an Urban Environment," by Luis Recalde (Science and Social Studies, grades 2-6); "Purification v. Population: Green v. Grey—The Plant Kingdom's Impact on Air Quality," by Maureen Taylor-French (Earth Science, grade 8); and "McGregor's Garden, Peter Rabbit and the Plant-tastic World of Photosynthesis," by Kathleen Ware (Science, grades K-2).


The goal was to develop materials that could be incorporated in the science curriculum of the New Haven Public Schools.









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Bioethics

This seminar went beyond the original limitation of this field to medicine and included also the fields of genetic ethics (which includes both medical and agricultural components) and environmental ethics. The texts were Ethical Issues in Modern Medicine, by John Arras and Bonnie Steinbock, and State of the World 2000, by Lester Brown et al. The seminar devoted the first two weeks to discussion of various ethical theories and their applicability to modern bioethical problems; thereafter it dealt with problems outlined in the two books and, later on, in the current press.

Two of the curriculum units deal with food. Waltrina Kirkland-Mullins leads her first grade students to appreciate the biological sources of the common foods they eat and the bases for an adequate nutritional regime. Richard MacMahon examines with his high school students the genetic engineering of agricultural crops and analyzes the political, social, economic and ideological controversies surrounding their use in Europe and America. Other units focus on a variety of topics. Lynn Marmitt summarizes modern thought and progress in genetics and cell biology for her seventh grade students and then moves to a discussion of ethical problems associated with the human genome project and the cloning of organisms. Carolyn Kinder, an assistant principal, provides a summary of ethical theories related to the problem of developing a fair, effective, and sustainable medical system for the United States. And Grayce Storey prepares for her middle school students a unit on the subject of surrogate motherhood, emphasizing the different roles played by genetic, gestational, and care-giving parents, and drawing much of her ethical analysis from scriptural sources.

Curriculum units, with their recommended uses, include: "Inside Out: An Up-Close Look at Foods We Eat," by Waltrina Kirkland-Mullins (Science, Social Studies, and Language Arts, grades 1-2); "Genetic Engineering of Crop Plants," by Richard R. MacMahon (Biology, Genetics and Evolution, and Bioethics, grades 9-12); "Brave New World: Genetics in the Modern World," by Lynn Marmitt (Integrated Science and Giology, grades 6-9); "Bioethics and Effective Health Care," by Carolyn Kinder (Science and Social Development, grade 7); and "Ethical Problems surrounding Surrogate Motherhood," by Grayce P. Storey (Home Economics, Civics, and Science, grades 7-12).


This seminar included the fields of genetic ethics and environmental ethics.






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The Process of Determining the SeminarTopics

Between October and December 1999, the teachers who serve as Institute Representatives and Contacts for their colleagues had canvassed other teachers throughout New Haven elementary, middle, and high schools to determine the topics they wanted Institute seminars to address in 2000. (Please see Appendix for lists of teacher leaders.) The Representatives met together twice monthly and communicated individually with the School Contacts with whom they were responsible for staying in close touch. The Director of the Institute then recruited Yale faculty members who were qualified and willing to lead seminars that engaged the desired topics. Their specific proposals were then considered and approved by the Representatives.

In their evaluations, the 2000 Fellows indicated that the Institute Representative for their school had been helpful in many ways: by maintaining frequent contact with them, asking for their views on seminar subjects for the following year, encouraging and assisting them to apply to the Institute, and promoting the use of Institute-developed curriculum units. (Chart 1, reading from left to right, moves from the more helplful to the less helpful activities of the Representatives.) As a result, 30 (59 percent) of all Fellows said in the end that they had, while the program was being planned, sufficient opportunity to suggest possible topics for seminars. This is rather less satisfaction with these arrangements than reported last year (72 percent).

(Chart 1 available in print form)







In their evaluations, the 2000 Fellows indicated that the Institute Representative for their school had been helpful in many ways.
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The Fellows’ Application and Admissions Process

Having worked with teachers in their respective schools during the preceding months, the Institute Representatives met on January 4 to receive for distribution in all schools copies of the Institute application form, brochure, and descriptions of the seminars to be offered. At this meeting a general presentation of the subjects of the seminars ensured that all Representatives could explain to their colleagues the purpose of each seminar.

On January 11 the Institute held an open house for prospective applicants where any teacher might learn more about the planned seminars from the Representatives and from the seminar leaders, who attended and conducted discussions in small groups with interested teachers.

On January 18 the Representatives met to discuss their progress in working with prospective applicants and to hand in their own completed applications. The final deadline for teachers applying to the Institute was January 25. This date was selected so that teachers would apply in advance of the February school vacation. The office would then have the vacation period to process application materials, and the review of applications could be completed during February to provide the earliest possible notification to teachers who were accepted.

There are four principal criteria for teachers to be eligible for consideration as Fellows:

1. The applicant must be a current New Haven school teacher who will be teaching in New Haven also during the school year following Institute participation.

2. The applicant must agree to participate fully in the program by attending and coming prepared to all scheduled meetings and by completing research and meeting due dates in the preparation of a curriculum unit.

3. The teacher must demonstrate in the application that his or her specific interests are directly related to the seminar as it has been described by the seminar leader.

4. The applicant must also show that the seminar and the curriculum unit that he or she proposes to write are directly related to school courses that he or she will teach in the coming school year.

For some years it has been the policy of the Institute to allow no more than twelve teachers to enroll in any seminar. The small size of the seminars is necessary both for the collegiality of the Institute experience and for the individual attention that each teacher's work in progress receives from the seminar leader and from other teachers in the seminar.

During the planning process 62 teachers expressed definite interest in participating in one of the seminars to be offered. Of those teachers, 18 were from high schools, 4 from transitional schools, 15 from middle schools, 11 from K-8 schools, 14 and from elementary schools. By the application deadline, the Institute Representatives, assisted by the school Contacts, had obtained applications from 62 elementary, middle, and high school teachers in the humanities, social sciences, and sciences, somewhat fewer than the record numbers of the previous four years. It appears that this reduction in the number of applications may be a result of the fact that during 1999-2000 a smaller number of Representatives were able to serve, and their places had been taken by Contacts, who did not recruit so vigorously. It is notable, however, that there was an increase in the number of applications to seminars in the sciences, which for the first time accounted for nearly half of the total number.

The individual application form calls for the interested teachers to specify the subjects and grade levels they teach, the course or courses in which they plan to introduce the material they study in the Institute, and their willingness to meet each of the Institute's requirements for full participation. The applicants also write a brief essay describing why they wish to participate in the seminar to which they are applying, and how the curriculum unit they plan to write will assist them in their own teaching. Writing this essay is, in effect, their first step in formulating a curriculum unit through which they will bring the material they study from the seminar into their own teaching.


The small size of the seminars is necessary both for the collegiality of the Institute experience and for the individual attention that each teacher's work in progress receives from the seminar leader and from other teachers in the seminar.

It is notable that there was an increase in the number of applications to seminars in the sciences, which for the first time accounted for nearly half of the total number.

The team application form requires the interested teachers to demonstrate how the team envisions working together in inter-grade and/or interdisciplinary ways and must outline plans for a culminating activity in the school. Teams may receive preference during the admissions process, and are required to submit a final report on their work together during the following school year. If a team is not admitted as such, however, the members of the team may be admitted to the program as individual Fellows. And the Institute encourages such Fellows to work as informal teams in their schools.

The applications were then reviewed by three groups: seminar leaders, school principals, and seminar Coordinators. The seminar leaders examined the applications for their relationship to the seminar subject. This afforded each seminar leader the opportunity, as well, to tailor or enlarge the bibliography for the seminar so that it would address the specific interests of the teachers who are accepted.

At the same time, the applications were reviewed in the applicant's own school, in keeping with a recent decentralizing of administrative functions and decision-making in the school district. The Institute's Representative for each school contacted the school principal to determine who should be involved in this building-level review. The intention is to increase awareness within each school of the projects that teachers wish to pursue in Institute seminars and to afford an opportunity for the principal and other educational leaders to examine the relationship between teachers' applications and school plans. In a letter of January 21, 1998, to all principals, Reginald Mayo, Superintendent of the New Haven Public Schools, had said: "We believe this is a highly promising way for ensuring that the assistance that the Institute provides to individual teachers and to teams of teachers has the best prospects for advancing each school's academic plans." This process informs the consideration of each application, provides each applicant pertinent feedback, and often provides a significant opportunity for Institute Representatives to talk with their principals about the Institute.


This afforded each seminar leader the opportunity to tailor or enlarge the bibliography for the seminar so that it would address the specific interests of the teachers who are accepted.




It is very important, of course, that principals appreciate the nature and the importance of the curriculum units that teachers in their school will be designing. For that reason we include here some excerpts from the principals' comments on the Fellows' applications:

The planned unit reflects the third grade curriculum and emphasizes an interdisciplinary and integrated approach.

Our 7th grade students study Global Issues for our Magnet School theme. This unit would enrich our curriculum. This is an area which is new, exciting and certainly needs exploring.

Learning the criminal justice system will give students an opportunity to understand people's rights and responsibilities. This unit will provide our students with a great opportunity to discuss real issues.

The proposal will allow students, through their reading class, to learn more about American democracy, which is a part of their Social Studies curriculum.

This is an excellent opportunity for our students. We have limited resources and I welcome new and exciting projects.

An excellent resource for Connecticut Academic Performance Test. Sounds great. I think it is a great idea for math and science to support each other.

Our school integrates science into all curricular areas. This proposal fits well into our school focus.

There is a dearth of material for students on this topic; and refining their reading skills is what our students need to do, along with developing their writing skills.

This is a new approach to teaching math. I'm quite excited about its implementation. Our students benefit from hands-on assignments. This unit, although challenging to teach, will prove to be rewarding.

The applicant is an innovative, energized teacher, in search of ways to connect literature and writing to her student audience. This endeavor could give her a context in which to relate literature and writing to her students' lives.

This unit will allow for the infusion of social studies into the drama and dance curriculum. It will be very meaningful and relevant given our student population. It will also lend itself well to an interdisciplinary study of the Spanish culture and history.



"Learning the criminal justice system will give students an opportunity to understand people's rights and responsibilities. This unit will provide our students with a great opportunity to discuss real issues."
—School Principal









"This is a new approach to teaching math. I'm quite excited about its implementation."
—School Principal

As in the past, the Institute formed a group of teachers who served as Coordinators to assist with the organization and smooth operation of the seminars. These Coordinators are selected by the Director from the group of Representatives who had earlier helped to plan the program of seminars. There is one Coordinator in each seminar. They act as a liaison between the seminars and a Coordinators' committee to facilitate the exchange of information and to provide teacher leadership without diminishing the collegial rapport within each seminar. A seminar Coordinator must be, and must intend to continue as, a full-time teacher in one of New Haven's public schools. A Coordinator accepts the following responsibilities:

1. To work with school Representatives at the conclusion of the application process, to serve on an admissions committee to consider proposals for curriculum development submitted by teachers applying to become Fellows, and to make recommendations to the Director about whom to accept as Fellows.

2. To monitor the progress of a seminar through observation and conversation with participants, and to give progress reports at weekly seminar Coordinators' committee meetings.

3. To report to the seminar members any organizational information which should be circulated, such as the schedule of any visitors and notice of Institute-wide activities.

4. To act as a resource for members of the seminar, providing information about unit-writing deadlines, guidelines for writing curriculum units, computer assistance available to Fellows, copyright procedures, and University facilities Fellows may use.

5. To be available to the seminar leader to provide information on Fellows' perceptions of the seminar and on Institute policies generally, and to offer assistance as may be needed.

6. To assist with the smooth operation of the seminar by keeping track of Fellows' promptness and attendance and the timeliness of their written submissions, and by encouraging Fellows to make and keep appointments for individual meetings with the seminar leader.

7. To attend and come prepared to weekly committee meetings with the Director (beginning March 8) and to take professional days as needed for the above purposes.

When the seminars began, each Coordinator would participate as a Fellow in a different seminar. At this earlier point they served as an admissions committee. They met after school on February 2 to conduct a first reading and discussion of the applications to their respective seminars. They then contacted all teachers whose applications needed to be clarified or amplified. On February 9 the Coordinators met again for a full day, by taking professional leave, for their final consideration of and decisions on the applications.

During their review, the Coordinators considered the findings of the school administrators and seminar leaders and made recommendations to the Director about which teachers the Institute should accept. By these means, the Institute seeks to ensure that all Fellows participate in seminars that are consistent with their interests and applicable in the courses they teach. A meeting of seminar leaders and Coordinators was held on March 2 to discuss the admissions process just completed, and to review the seminar and unit writing process and the policies and procedures of the Institute. On February 22 the Institute accepted as Fellows 62 New Haven teachers, 33 in the humanities and 29 in the sciences. Two teams of teachers were admitted with the expectation that team members would coordinate their curriculum units and work together during the school year, planning cross-grade and cross-department instruction and school-wide activities.

Consistent with the Institute's aim to serve the largest possible proportion of all New Haven teachers, 23 (or 32 percent) of the teachers accepted in 2000 were participating in the Institute for the first time. Of these first-time Fellows, 15 were in the humanities and 8 were in the sciences. Nearly one third of all the Fellows accepted (31 percent) were Black, about three fifths (62 percent) were White, and 8 percent were Hispanic.

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The Fellows Who Were Accepted

Fellows came from 7 of the 8 high schools, 7 of the 9 middle schools and K-8 schools, and 1 of the 5 transitional schools. Of the 27 elementary schools, 8 had teachers participating. The Institute first admitted elementary school teachers in 1990; this year 14 (23 percent) of all Fellows were elementary school teachers. Forty-two percent were middle or K-8 school teachers, and 29 percent were high school teachers. Three schools had five or more Fellows; nine schools had three or more. Overall, about 37 percent of the Fellows were 41-50 years old; 32 percent were younger and 32 percent were older.

As Chart 2 shows, about one fifth of the Fellows (20 percent) had four or fewer years of total experience in teaching. The Institute attracted a somewhat higher proportion (33 percent) of teachers with 20 or more years of total experience in teaching. Nearly one third (30 percent) of the Fellows, however, had four or fewer years of experience teaching in the New Haven school system. Illustrative of the need for the professional development that the Institute provides, almost half (48 percent) of all Fellows have been in their present teaching position four or fewer years; nearly three quarters (71 percent) have taught in their present position for nine years or less. Thus, even though 59 percent of the Fellows have 10 or more years of total teaching experience, almost half have four or fewer years of experience in their present position. These figures help to explain why many teachers say they need to develop their knowledge in subjects that they have been recently reassigned to teach, or curricular materials for students of a different age or background from those they have taught before.

(Chart 2 available in print form)

Moreover, as in past years—and as is the case in the school system generally—many of the 2000 Fellows did not major in college or graduate school in the subjects they currently teach. As Chart 3 shows, in no fields except art and biological science did all Fellows teaching a subject have a graduate or undergraduate degree in that subject. In six fields—bilingual education/ESOL, earth science, general science, foreign language, general science, and history—no Fellows had a graduate or undergraduate degree in a field they taught. Of the Fellows teaching in the field of English, only four fifths had an undergraduate or graduate degree. Of those teaching in the field of social studies, only one third had so much as an undergraduate degree.

(Chart 3 available in print form)

Chart 4 shows the subjects Fellows taught in the 1999-2000 year of their Institute participation. Overall, more than half (53 percent) of Fellows in the humanities and almost three quarters (71 percent) of Fellows in the sciences had not majored either in college or in graduate school in one or more of the subjects they taught in that year.

(Chart 4 available in print form)

Understandably, therefore, when the 2000 Fellows were asked about the incentives that attracted them to participate in the Institute, they responded (as Chart 5 shows, reading left to right from the most to the least important) that the most important incentives were the opportunities to develop materials to motivate their students (96 percent), to develop curricula to fit their needs (94 percent), to increase their mastery in the subjects they teach (86 percent), and to exercise intellectual independence (86 percent). Indeed, incentives that might be imagined to be important for teachers with access to Yale University—credit in a degree program and access to Yale athletic facilities—were much less important for Fellows in the Teachers Institute.

(Chart 5 available in print form)

As past Institute studies have shown, Fellows are in most respects highly representative of all New Haven teachers. So, for example, this year's Fellows continue to reflect the gender and ethnicity of all New Haven teachers, though there are great disparities overall between the ethnic and racial characteristics of New Haven teachers and those of their students. (See Table 1 below.) Similarly, the Yale faculty members who have led Institute seminars generally reflect the wider faculty at Yale.


Fellows are in most respects highly representative of all New Haven teachers.

Table 1
Ethnicity and Gender of Participants

White
Black
Hispanic
Other
non-Hispanic
non-Hispanic
All
Male
Female
All
Male
Female
All
Male
Female
All
Male
Female
Institute Fellows, 2000
62%
10%
52%
31%
8%
23%
8%
4%
4%
0%
0%
0%
Institute Fellows, 1978-2000
64%
19%
45%
25%
6%
20%
4%
1%
3%
1%
0%
1%
New Haven Public School Teachers, 2000
72%
21%
51%
19%
47%
15%
8%
2%
7%
1%
0.3%
0.7%
New Haven Public School Students, 2000
12%
67%
6%
57%
30%
28%
29%
15%
14%
2%
0.8%
0.7%
Institute Coordinators, 2000
43%
0%
43%
57%
0%
57%
0%
0%
0%
0%
0%
0%
Steering Committee, 2000
67%
33%
33%
33%
0%
33%
0%
0%
0%
0%
0%
0%
Representatives and Contacts, 2000
54%
12%
42%
29%
7%
22%
14%
3%
10%
2%
0%
2%
Institute Seminar Leaders, 2000
86%
86%
0%
0%
0%
0%
14%
0%
14%
0%
0%
0%
Institute Seminar Leaders, 1978-2000
84%
71%
13%
8%
6%
1%
5%
3%
3%
0%
0%
0%
Yale Faculty, 2000 (includes tenured and 
term ladder faculty)
87%
65%
22%
3%
2%
0.8%
2%
1%
0.4%
8%
6%
2%

Totals may not add to 100% due to rounding.

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Activities for Fellows

At the first organizational meeting of each seminar, held on March 7, 2000, the seminar leader distributed an annotated bibliography on the seminar subject and presented the syllabus of readings that he or she proposed the seminar would consider. The Fellows described the individual curriculum units that they planned to develop. This afforded the members of each seminar an overview of the work they were undertaking together and the projects they would pursue individually. The bibliographies both introduced the seminar subject and guided Fellows as they began research on their curriculum units. One wrote, "The seminar leader provided many resources in class and for further research. He provided several annotated bibliographies that were very useful. He was always available for questions, comments and complaints. If he couldn't answer something, he would follow through and find the answer. He always treated us as professionals, without stodginess or pretension." Another wrote, "I will be able to make use of some of the materials that were provided in the classroom in 2000-2001." A third said, "I was given very interesting reading assignments that made me want to search for more information about the subject."

Some Fellows emphasized how demanding they found the work to be. One said, "Unfortunately, I didn't keep up too much with my reading (I read the whole book too fast and the copies of the cases not at all). I learned the value of keeping up with graduate work." Another said, "Figuring out how to draw upon the seminar materials for a unit for elementary school students was challenging but finally possible." And a third Fellow said, "I was recruited at the last minute by my school representative during a faculty meeting. Other teachers tried to discourage me, claiming that it was too much work. I was willing to take on a new challenge. I have no regrets. This was the most beneficial experience of my life."

The seminar leaders also commented on what they perceived to be the Fellows' responses to the weekly readings. One said:





"The seminar leader provided many resources in class and for further research....He always treated us as professionals, without stodginess or pretension."
—Institute Fellow

"I was willing to take on a new challenge. I have no regrets. This was the most beneficial experience of my life."
—Institute Fellow

My expectation was that the Fellows would have a background in science and an interest in building on this background. I was surprised to find that only one of the Fellows had a science degree and that most had a very rudimentary understanding of chemistry. I probably was overly ambitious going into the seminar and had to scale back on the amount I covered and the level.

Another said:

Prior to this year's program I anticipated that the teachers would be most interested in developing materials for their classrooms and in developing their own skills in reading literature and writing about it. I did not fully anticipate, however, the great enthusiasm for literature that the teachers brought with them. They had little if any training in the formal study of literature, and they greatly desired to learn how to read a poem, or how to read a novel, or how to read a story.

Before the second seminar meeting all Fellows met individually with their seminar leader to discuss their projects. The Institute requires that Fellows schedule at least two such conferences as part of the unit writing process; many Fellows, however, meet more frequently with their seminar leader. At the end of the program, most Fellows (92 percent) said that they had ample opportunity to discuss their choice of readings with the seminar leader.


"I did not fully anticipate...the great enthusiasm for literature that the teachers brought with them....They greatly desired to learn how to read a poem, or how to read a novel, or how to read a story."
—Institute Fellow


During the period that preceded the regular weekly meetings, Fellows continued their reading, both preparing for the upcoming seminar discussions and working toward a brief prospectus of what their final units would contain. At the second seminar meeting, on April 11, Fellows submitted this prospectus, presented their revised unit topics, and began to discuss the common readings. The regular weekly seminar meetings began on May 9; thereafter Fellows continued to develop their units in stages, with a first draft submitted on May 23. The weekly meetings of the seminars continued through July 18, with Fellows submitting the second draft of their units on July 5 and their completed units by July 31.

For several years, Fellows have been asked to submit the prospectus, together with a revised topic of the unit and a list of appropriate readings, at the time of the second seminar meeting. This allows them a full six weeks to write a first draft. The due date for the second draft is late enough to allow Fellows ample time to address the comments they received on the first draft from other Fellows and from the seminar leader. Although some seminar leaders have urged that the revised topic, preliminary reading-list, and first draft be submitted somewhat later, and some have informally instituted yet another draft between the first and second drafts, a high proportion of Fellows have been satisfied with this schedule. In 2000, 73 percent of the Fellows thought the unit writing deadlines occurred at the right time in relation to the school calendar.

The Institute attaches great importance to the process through which Fellows develop their curriculum units, and many Fellows commented upon the benefits derived from following this process. One wrote: "I can unhesitatingly say that I worked harder on this curriculum unit than I ever have. It was a very ambitious undertaking, and the seminar leader, through comments and overall guidance, helped me to refine it. Of course, as I teach this year I will continue to fine-tune it." Another wrote: "We were required to present our prospectus as well as the first draft of our individual unit. In this way we were able to get feedback from other members of the group, be it positive or negative." A third wrote, "We had a diverse group of individuals who freely exchanged their opinions in a professional manner. They were always willing to give constructive criticism on the units in progress." At the conclusion of the seminars, most Fellows indicated that the program schedule (86 percent) and the guidelines for writing a unit (98 percent) had been useful to them to a great or moderate extent.

This year 71 percent of the Fellows said they tried out the subject matter and 71 percent said they tried out the strategies of their units in their classroom. Of those Fellows who did, most (85 percent) said that this influenced what they included in the final units.

During the first two months of the program, which serve as a reading period, all Fellows also met together on Tuesday afternoons for a series of talks. These talks are designed to expose all Fellows to some of the work done in seminars other than their own, and to subjects and leaders of possible future seminars. Ordinarily, therefore, some current or prospective seminar leaders are included in this series, while some other faculty members are invited to speak on topics the school Representatives believe will be of particular interest to many Fellows. The talks given in 2000 were: "Architectural Acoustics: Art or Science?" by Robert E. Apfel, Robert Higgin Professor of Mechanical Engineering; "Foundations of the Criminal Law," by Ian Shapiro, Professor and Chair of Political Science; "New Perspectives on Early Hominid Evolution," by Elisabeth S. Vrba, Professor of Geology and Geophysics, Paleontology, and Osteology; and "To Conserve a Legacy: American Art from Historically-Black Colleges and Universities—Forging a Partnership," by Jock Reynolds III, Henry J. Heinz II Director of the Yale Art Gallery.


Although the talks have recently met with more favorable response than was once the case, they remain somewhat controversial. One Fellow wrote: "I did not find the lectures to be very interesting. I would have preferred a lecture series devoted to my particular seminar. The series certainly did not create a sense of collegiality and common purpose among Fellows." Another Fellow did "appreciate the exposure to new things" but found "one or two of the talks boring because I was not interested in (and could not follow) the topics." A third Fellow wrote, "Until or unless the talks are optional, I will not participate in the Institute again." A fourth wrote: "I would like to see the talks redesigned in some way so that they are more connected to some of the class-room challenges in the New Haven Public Schools."

Most Fellows, however, saw in the talks the purposes for which they were organized. They said that to a great or moderate extent the talks provided them intellectual stimulation (92 percent) and a sense of collegiality and common purpose among Fellows (80 percent). Three quarters (75 percent) said the talks were successful to a great or moderate extent in providing an overview of Fellows' work in the seminars. The same proportion (76 percent) also said that the Institute scheduled the right number of talks. One Fellow wrote: "The talks covered a wide variety of topics that were of great interest to teachers in the school system. They allowed me to gain insight into many topics that I felt would be of interest to me in future years."

Many Fellows reported that the talks prompted them to read about their topics (50 percent), discuss the topics with their students (56 percent), and discuss the talks with other teachers (76 percent).

As in recent years, the Institute scheduled a session on curriculum unit writing on March 21, well before the regular meetings of the seminars began. Before starting on their curriculum units, the Fellows all need to understand the central role that the process of writing plays in Institute seminars. As part of their admissions folder, all Fellows had received Institute guidelines and mechanical specifications for preparing curriculum units, which outline the Institute writing process and the five steps for Fellows' formulating, reformulating, and enlarging their individual units. During the session on curriculum unit writing, a panel of Coordinators first spoke to all the Fellows about following the Institute process for unit development, considering one's audience, using a computer to write a unit and put it on-line, using the computer assistance the Institute and Yale University provide, and working together with other Fellows in writing and using units. Then the Fellows were divided into seminar groups, where each Coordinator led a discussion of purposes and practices in writing Institute curriculum units. This afforded an opportunity for the first-time Fellows to learn about the guidelines and other aspects of curriculum unit writing from experienced Fellows. At the same time, it encouraged experienced Fellows to share that experience, and it allowed all to discuss how the completed volume of units might display a range of teaching strategies and contain a standard form of annotation. By leading these discussions, the Coordinators also identified themselves as being knowledgeable about the process of writing curriculum units, so that other Fellows might seek their advice.

At the Coordinators' weekly meetings with the Director, which were held on the day after seminar meetings, they discussed the progress of each seminar and gained an overview of the program. In addition, the Coordinators met with the seminar leaders immediately before the program began to provide them with information about the teachers who had been accepted and to begin to define their role in assisting with the conduct of the seminars. Both seminar leaders and Fellows acknowledged in their evaluations the essential role of the Coordinators. Almost all Fellows (92 percent) agreed that the Coordinator had provided teacher leadership without diminishing the collegial rapport within the seminar. Most Fellows said that the Coordinators were helpful either a lot (56 percent) or a little (36 percent) in facilitating discussion of Fellows' work in progress; helpful either a lot (76 percent) or a little (18 percent) in providing information about guidelines and deadlines for unit writing; and helpful either a lot (71 percent) or a little (24 percent) in providing information about the use of University facilities. Few Fellows found the Coordinators unhelpful in any respect.

To maintain current information on the program and to address any problems that arose, the Institute Director met monthly with the seminar leaders as a group. This also afforded the seminar leaders, two of whom were conducting an Institute seminar for the first time, an opportunity to talk with each other about their approaches to the seminar and experiences in it.




Most Fellows saw in the talks the purposes for which they were organized. They said that the talks provided them intellectual stimulation and a sense of collegiality and common purpose among Fellows.





Before starting on their curriculum units, the Fellows all need to understand the central role that the process of writing plays in Institute seminars.





Almost all Fellows agreed that the Coordinator had provided teacher leadership without diminishing the collegial rapport within the seminar.
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Rewards for Fellows

The seminars have always been regarded as the core collaborative experience of the Institute, and each year the Fellows' comments about the seminars have been rich and positive. Again this year their comments were often very enthusiastic indeed. One said:

The strength of the Institute is bringing teachers from all over New Haven to experience a single purpose—the creation of teaching units for the benefit of the students. Being new to teaching and the system, it was very beneficial getting to know my colleagues. They helped me think through things with their input into my unit and ideas. The combination of elementary and secondary education teachers really let me get an idea of what everyone expects from each other. I liked the heterogeneous groupings: I got to work in a very diverse group.

Another said:




"The strength of the Institute is bringing teachers from all over New Haven to experience a single purpose—the creation of teaching units for the benefit of the students."
—Institute Fellow

The Institute provides a critical component to urban educators, many of whom are trying their best to bring quality education to the students of New Haven. Often when we are "in the trenches" we grow weary, and we cast about for sources of inspiration and creative stimulation. The Institute is such a source. This is my third consecutive year participating in the Institute, and I have fully enjoyed all three. I am a better teacher because of my participation in the Institute.

Seminar leaders described their seminar in both specific and general terms. One said:

Each week we read different texts, beginning discussion with a review of the principal features of the previous week's study. Generally I proposed at the outset of class an agenda for the session, and then we proceeded with this agenda. We made some changes in the syllabus along the way. The teachers requested the addition of texts by authors they particularly liked, so we did this and we cut two texts from the original syllabus. Our course became custom-made. We spent a part of two sessions discussing the curriculum units of teachers, once in an early session, and once again as we approached the conclusion.

Another said:

I had mostly first-time seminar participants this time, so I thought I'd need to spend more time explaining just what the Institute's expectations are. That indeed proved to be the case, but no one showed any difficulty comprehending what was expected or unwillingness to comply. The seminar discussions were generally quite good. They included more digressions than I'd permit in a Yale seminar, as in the past, but these helped build up rapport among all involved and often ended up raising pertinent issues in unexpected and valuable ways. I thought that by the end everyone had quite positive reactions to the seminar experience, though some of the new participants did find writing the unit much more work than they had anticipated.

A third seminar leader said:

The greatest challenge for me—this summer as in past summers—was to reconcile their very different writing and learning styles. In class, they all tend to speak with (relatively) equal insight and clarity. But in their writing, they reveal vast differences in educational skills and background. I find myself exhilarated by the best writers and disheartened by the modest skills of the less capable Fellows.

And a fourth said:

First and foremost, this was a good experience for me and also, I believe, for the Fellows. We both learned a lot from each other. Some of the new material I prepared for the seminar can be used in my Yale courses. One difficulty was produced by the fact that the Fellows came from elementary, middle and high school. This is a very broad range to target the seminar sessions. I accomplished the task, though perhaps unevenly, by appealing to experiential activity (demonstrations and hands-on experimentation).

A theme in Fellows' comments this year, as in many past years, was the appreciation and understanding they gained of their own and other cultures as a result of what they read. One Fellow wrote: "Cultural diversity in New Haven is often only African American diversity. The opportunity and ability to teach about Hispanic culture will widen curricula and perspectives in important ways." Another Fellow wrote:

The lessons in this unit will help students understand the process of identifying Spanish-speaking Americans and of promoting a better understanding of the cultures within that group. Students will learn about the issues surrounding Puerto Rican identity. The lessons will show students how ethnic labels were created in the U.S. to refer to Spanish-speaking peoples.

A third Fellow wrote:

I believe I now have the tools to teach about Caribbean culture from a woman's perspective. Their feminism has been affected by Spanish colonial powers that controlled their culture. But their culture was also affected by the indigenous people and the Africans brought in as slaves.

A fourth Fellow wrote:

The unit I developed will allow my students the opportunity to use the Harlem Renaissance as a backdrop to develop the concentration portion of their advanced placement portfolios. This unit will also allow them the opportunity to explore and study an area of African American art they are not familiar with.

And a fifth Fellow wrote:

The Institute and my curriculum will help my own classes in many ways. One third of our student population is Latino, and only a very small percentage of the literature taught is written by Latinos. I will help my students learn their heritage and learn that they have a rich culture of literature and art. I teach American Literature and the one component I was weak on was Latino literature.

As some Fellows have already noted, the seminars afford them an otherwise too rare opportunity to talk and work with other teachers across the artificial boundaries that often separate grade levels, schools, and disciplines. One Fellow wrote: "I was fortunate to meet teachers from other schools and grade levels who had interests similar to mine. We shared ideas and helped each other find resources that helped us improve our units."

Ever since the Institute's inception, its participants and staff have sometimes been asked whether the co-professionalism among Yale faculty members and New Haven school teachers, for which the program is widely known, is authentic. The collegiality on which the Institute is founded is perhaps best illustrated by the mutual respect between Fellows and seminar leaders that the seminar experience engenders. One seminar leader, for example, said:

The teachers want to learn about a subject and they also want to learn how to teach the subject. Therefore the seminar should be an example itself. If it is well taught, on this subject, then the teachers develop a sense of how they might do some version of this themselves.

In turn, Fellows expressed their respect for their Yale colleagues:

Our seminar leader was infinitely patient and understanding when it came to our questions and our needs. He modeled what a teacher should be. This was a lesson in itself.

Our seminar leader was always available for questions, comments, and complaints. If he couldn't answer something, he would follow through and find the answer. He always treated us as professionals, without stodginess or pretension. He stimulated our imaginations, guided our discussions, and kept our comments focused and topical. He is very supportive and kind.

The seminar leader was very helpful in the process of completing the unit. He was always available and gave very helpful suggestions. He helped to pace the class by frequently questioning our progress, making suggestions, and providing materials to help over rough spots. He never tired of the many questions asked but responded in a positive, helpful manner.






"I was fortunate to meet teachers from other schools and grade levels who had interests similar to mine. We shared ideas and helped each other find resources that helped us improve our units."
—Institute Fellow

"Therefore the seminar should be an example itself. If it is well taught, on this subject, then the teachers develop a sense of how they might do some version of this themselves."
—Seminar Leader

"He modeled what a teacher should be. This was a lesson in itself."
—Institute Fellow

I arrived at the seminar sometimes quite early, which afforded me the opportunity to converse with the seminar leader. We talked about the readings, my unit, current affairs, and our own personal experiences with related topics. This was my favorite time. I got to sort out my own ideas verbally and listen to his ideas in a very casual setting.

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Relating Seminar Topics to Curriculum Units

Each Institute seminar must balance the complementary and inseparable but sometimes competing demands for studying the seminar topic and developing specific applications of that knowledge for school classrooms. The Fellows, coming from elementary, middle, and high schools, are obligated to develop curriculum units that have some demonstrable relation to the seminar topic, but they are free to work out curricula that enter territory not covered in detail by the seminar. The curriculum units, therefore, have a diversity of subject and approach that one would not expect in a regular university course on the seminar topic. As a result, discussions in the seminar, while doing justice to the common reading, can also range widely over substantive and pedagogical issues relating to the curriculum units. Some comments by seminar leaders and Fellows quoted earlier have already indicated that each seminar approaches these demands somewhat differently as seminar leaders strive to strike an appropriate balance.

In recent years the Institute has also encouraged Fellows to build into their curriculum units both subject matter and skills that are called for by the local curriculum framework—including a strong emphasis upon literacy—and the state Mastery and Academic Performance Tests. As one Fellow put it:

In addition to participating in the activities about another culture, my unit proposes to reinforce the reading and writing skills of my children, along with critical analysis of the reading assigned in class. These skills are necessary in order to prepare children to become life-long learners and productive citizens in our society.

Another Fellow said:

With Title II of the Goals 2000: Educate America Act—which acknowledged the arts as core subjects comparable in importance to traditional content areas—and with testing and local mandates for interdisciplinary curricula, the push is on for innovative curriculum planning that breaks through traditional discipline-specific turf boundaries. With these issues in mind, I have designed my unit to offer both an analytical and aesthetic approach to the topic. I feel that the unit I have written will offer students a variety of approaches to this topic through science and creative dramatics. The unit also fits with our school plan with regard to its interdisciplinary focus.

Yet another Fellow said that the seminar "led me to create a standards-driven curriculum designed to greatly improve students' performance." The various strategies for incorporating such elements in what may be quite individual and innovative units often provided stimulating discussion among the Fellows. Comments by other Fellows on this matter include these:

My teaching will benefit from a fresh approach to teaching literacy skills. My unit is aligned with the standards of the New Haven School District for 8th grade in the teaching of reading, writing, and speaking.




The curriculum units, therefore, have a diversity of subject and approach that one would not expect in a regular university course on the seminar topic.

In recent years the Institute has also encouraged Fellows to build into their curriculum units both subject matter and skills that are called for by the local curriculum framework—including a strong emphasis upon literacy—and the state Mastery and Academic Performance Tests.

"[The seminar] led me to create a standards-driven curriculum designed to greatly improve students' performance."
—Institute Fellow

I know that the unit will be in keeping with the New Haven Schools curriculum. For third graders facing the Connecticut Mastery Test, these skills cannot be overemphasized.

I believe that my unit follows the modern approach of aligning lessons with the standards of the City of New Haven. I will use this approach in designing future lessons. Also, my unit can be used as an example for other teachers who may have questions about alignment.

My curriculum unit addresses a dozen of the National Standards for Theatre. It will take about a month to teach, and will provide opportunities for acting students to develop their skills in improvisational acting, research, essay writing, script writing, rehearsal and performance.

In the end, a sizable majority of this year's Fellows (88 percent) said that there had been an appropriate balance in seminar between general study of the seminar subject and Fellows' work in progress on their units. As one Fellow put it: "Ample time was given to every one to discuss their curriculum units and get feed back from other members in the seminar." Another said, "The time spent in the sessions discussing works-in-progress was valuable to my understanding of the topic and of the Yale writing process. That time also allowed me to get the input of fellow teachers toward strategies for teaching and learning styles."

After the curriculum units were completed in July, they were compiled in a volume for each seminar. In October the volumes were deposited in the libraries of all elementary middle, and high schools, so that New Haven teachers, whether or not they have been Fellows, might use them in their own teaching. As in the past, the Institute prepared a Guide to the new units, based on synopses by the authors and their recommendations of the grade levels and school courses to which their units apply.



"My curriculum unit addresses a dozen of the National Standards for Theatre."
—Institute Fellow






The Institute also updated the Index of all the 1,298 units contained in the 143 volumes the Institute has published since its inception in 1978. The Index and Guide, too, were deposited in all school libraries and distributed to the teachers who serve as Institute Representatives for the schools. A full set of the new curricular resources was provided to those school district administrators who have responsibility for curricula system-wide. At the same time, the Representatives conducted an inventory to ascertain whether each middle and high school has a complete set of all 143 volumes of units and whether all elementary schools have each of the volumes that their teachers believe are applicable at those grade levels.

Maintaining a library set of units has proved most difficult in those schools that do not have a full-time librarian or, in some cases, even a library. In 1993-94, the Institute therefore sought to determine the best location for Institute material to be deposited in every New Haven school, and it has since continued to supply units missing from any collection, insofar as the volumes have been still in print. As described below, the Institute has also created an electronic version that makes its curricular resources more widely accessible.

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Results for the Participants

As in past years, Fellows in 2000 spoke of the results of their Institute participation especially in terms of intellectual growth and renewal. Just as the opportunity to increase mastery of the subject one teaches was an important incentive for most Fellows (86 percent) to take part in the Institute, almost all (96 percent) said that they had gained knowledge of their subject and confidence to teach it by participating in their seminar. Only two Fellows differed with the statement that the seminar helped with intellectual and professional growth.

Many Fellows described the Institute experience as having increased their professional confidence and morale. Several of their comments follow:

This seminar has inspired me to extend my present knowledge and read more literature. I have also grown both personally and professionally.

I cherish the opportunity to work with other motivated teachers and also to work with Yale faculty. When I teach, I try so hard to get the students' thinking levels up to mine, but never challenge my own thinking level, so to speak. But during the sessions I was challenged, and I grew as a person and as a scholar. My own level of thinking was raised, and my understanding of my subject matter was enhanced. The classes also recharged my motivation for teaching, especially at the end of the year when I get so tired.

Because of my participation in the Institute, I am able to bring new ideas and fresh enthusiasm to my teaching. To my students I bring a new interdisciplinary unit specially designed for them which includes effective strategies and a variety of activities that I feel will prove to be highly motivating for them.

I feel that the Institute is making a big difference in many teachers' lives. The help that so many teachers said that they are receiving is helping them to be more effective at the school level as it relates to the school's Comprehensive School plan. Teachers are helping students to achieve the necessary literacy skills to improve their learning. Staff members are helping one another to pool their resources and talents.

The Institute has maintained its strength in providing teachers with seminars that have helped them grow socially, emotionally and intellectually.


"To my students I bring a new interdisciplinary unit specially designed for them which includes effective strategies and a variety of activities that I feel will prove to be highly motivating for them."
—Institute Fellow

Fellows spoke, too, of the access to Yale facilities they had gained from participation. From the Institute's inception, all Fellows have been full members of the University community, listed in the directory of faculty and staff, and granted use of facilities and services across the campus. For most Fellows (86 percent) access to Yale's academic facilities such as the library was an incentive for their participation, and 58 percent reported that membership in the Yale community had been greatly or moderately useful to them. One Fellow said: "I value the opportunity to use Yale's libraries and plan to do so throughout the year." Another said: "I am especially glad to be able to access Yale books and the stacks, but also love using the computers to access web-sites that would normally be off-limits to me."

Nor do Fellows see the results of the Institute as limited to their own classrooms, or even to teachers who have participated in the seminars. Almost all of them said that they plan to encourage or assist other teachers in using the unit they prepared; two thirds said they planned to do so with three or more other teachers. As a group, the Fellows planned to encourage or assist a total of 204 other teachers. Fellows this year provided various accounts of the more extended influence the Institute has had, and will have, for themselves and their schools. Several Fellows wrote:

My last experience with the Institute was in 1995. The unit was a cross-curriculum unit that involved teachers of several disciplines. Soon after writing the unit I became a Magnet School Resource Teacher. The experience of writing the unit helped me a great deal in preparing cross-curriculum units dealing with our Magnet School theme.

Although I have not been a part of a team effort in this year's seminar, having another member from our teaching staff from my school attending the seminar was helpful with discussion in our school and has motivated us to collaborate with our units this coming school term.


Almost all of them said that they plan to encourage or assist other teachers in using the unit they prepared; two thirds said they planned to do so with three or more other teachers.


I find the Institute to be continuously supportive and helpful in my professional growth. It has been a great networking source enabling me to meet other teachers to share information and educational experience. After six years of participating in this Institute, I find that it is only going better.

I feel I have written a unit that the students can relate to and will find interesting. I also feel that in a more creative manner it meets and reinforces the curriculum standards developed by the district. I hope to interest a few other teachers in sharing some of the material and lessons I plan to use. I also hope that though we do not have an official team some sort of culminating event will grow from my unit and one written by another teacher in the same seminar.

My school does not have any art classes. I am very excited to add an art component into my classes. I will also be able to affect change in the school curriculum. I have discussed my unit with one of the American history teachers, and she and I will be team-teaching a unit on Latino immigration.

No one in my school has attempted to teach the information I covered. In conducting an informal survey of students and teachers to find out what they know about my topic, I found there was definitely a need for this unit, and I did generate interest in the questions that I asked. I think the students and teachers will be quite receptive to instituting it. In my department it will become a curriculum requirement since I do have control over what is taught in the department.

My school's curriculum needs to be infused with reading material and lessons that engender critical and analytical thought. It needs to be more inclusive and reflective of the population it serves. When that change comes about, student interest will increase. My curriculum unit will help by providing some alternatives to what is currently in place.

The effect my curriculum unit and Institute participation will have on the school will be positive. My unit will be planned as a part of the school's Comprehensive School Plan. 7th grade science and social development teachers will be made aware of it. It will be a school strategy to use the unit to meet the District's Science Standard 5.0 which deals with technology, health care and other relevant issues in science.

Each year we are attentive to the responses of both first-time and veteran participants because we want a high proportion of New Haven teachers to become Fellows and we also want the Institute to become a regular part of Fellows' professional lives. Both groups cite their own rewards. One first-time Fellow wrote:

Initially, as a favor to the previous Representative, I agreed to assume those responsibilities, and I came into the Institute as a Fellow entirely by default. My experience in the New Haven Public Schools for the past five years had reinforced in me Groucho Marx's sentiments of "never joining any clubs or organizations . . . ." This unfortunately had also become my mantra, especially if it had anything to do with the school system outside of contractual obligations. The disunity, lack of respect, and overall disrespect for teachers weighed heavily on my heart. I had even occasionally interviewed for positions nearer to my home along the shoreline (only to feel that same void when offered a position). My expectations for the Institute were minimal. I expected to fulfill my duties for the academic year and be done with it. Obviously, things did not quite turn out as I expected! The Institute has provided me with a wide array of learning opportunities to upgrade my skills, explore areas of personal growth, interact with diverse New Haven Public Schools faculty and Yale faculty. These associations have strengthened the educational possibilities for all my students as I have grown. All the things I wished for in my district were actively articulated and demonstrated in the Institute. Finally, I had found COLLEGIALITY!

For returning Fellows, the rewards of participation do not diminish over time, because the experience becomes cumulative, and not repetitive or redundant. In fact, many teachers report that the benefits increase as one has more experience as a Fellow. One returning Fellow wrote:



"The Institute has provided me with a wide array of learning opportunities to upgrade my skills, explore areas of personal growth, interact with diverse New Haven Public Schools faculty and Yale faculty."
—Institute Fellow

I developed other teaching units that were modeled around my first unit. I found my students enjoyed the units because I made them more comparative of one another. August Wilson was used to compare his plays and characters and time periods. The students got into a history of the plays. I found the comprehension and retention of all the students dramatically improved. This is just an example.

Every year since 1990, when they became a regular part of the Institute, elementary school teachers have spoken of the advantages of the Institute for them specifically. This year one such Fellow said: "Though there were only two elementary teachers in my seminar, I felt the discussion was often pertinent to teaching in an elementary school." Another, who has returned year after year, said:

The units that I and others in my school have written and taught have always been refreshing, positive vehicles for learning within our classrooms. Since we usually engage in team activities, we are able to affect more pupils than those who are in our classrooms. We also find that this team approach and the culminating activity that is always a part of it serve to involve other teachers, administrators, parents, and other staff members.

Seminar leaders, too, speak of what they gain from participation. They not only appreciate their expanded involvement in public education and the University's home community; they also find that there are often benefits accruing to their own scholarship and teaching. Presenting their experience is especially important because the Institute is often asked to explain the incentives and rewards for Yale faculty members who participate. One seminar leader this year said:

I think that the single most tangible benefit for Yale faculty teaching in the Teachers Institute is the direct, hands-on involvement with the New Haven public school system. It is very important for the University community to maintain close ties with the New Haven community, and nowhere more than in the educational arena. I feel that I understand the problems and opportunities of inner city teaching far better than I otherwise would because of my opportunities to teach in the Institute. As a result, I find myself motivated in ways that I might not otherwise be to work for educational improvement in the local school system.

Another said:

I probably learned more "content" from this seminar than any other. It was supposed to be about one aspect of its announced subject, but the teachers were more interested in another aspect. So we ended up focusing on that more than I expected, and I learned a great deal, not being to expert in that area. Also, the discussions persuaded me that an idea I'd had in my own writing was indeed right and also applied to other areas. I may well end up exploring these themes in published research as a result of this seminar.





"I feel that I understand the problems and opportunities of inner city teaching far better than I otherwise would because of my opportunities to teach in the Institute."
—Seminar Leader

And another said:

I find that my teaching with the Institute helps me to improve as a teacher and allows me a special intellectual freedom. The fellows are adults and I must teach differently and even change my approach to some of the texts we study. This makes me more flexible in the classroom and in my mind.

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Teams of Fellows

For the past seven years the Institute has admitted teams of at least three teachers from one school to a seminar with the expectation that the team members would work as a team. They would coordinate their curriculum units and work together during the school year, planning cross-grade and cross-department instruction and culminating school-wide activities, such as assembly programs, science fairs, or some kind of publication. Each team member, however, must write a unit that could be taught independently. This program, highly successful in several schools, has encouraged teachers who were previously reluctant to participate in seminars on an individual basis to apply to a seminar as part of a school team.

(image available in print form)

As we have noted, this year a team of Fellows from East Rock Global Magnet School enrolled in the seminar on "Sound and Sensibility: Acoustics in Architecture, Music, and the Environment" and focused their units upon the cultures of Brazil and Kenya. They integrated geography, social studies, and music to trace the traditions of those countries and explore the European and Aftrican influences upon the emerging culture of Brazil.

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Benefits for Students

The ultimate purpose of the Institute is to strengthen teaching in New Haven's public schools and in this way to improve student learning throughout the schools. Contrary to what some would expect of a partnership involving Yale University, the Teachers Institute intends to serve students at all achievement and performance levels. Fellows often, in fact, write their units for students at more than one level. While most Fellows (86 percent) reported that their new curriculum units were designed for their "average" students, more than half (69 percent) reported that they were designed for their "advanced" students and more than half (63 percent) also reported that they were designed for their "least advanced" students.

These excerpts from the plans of several Fellows illustrate the widerange of unit use in the schools. 

This unit will provide a tool by which I can help my students improve their literacy. I plan to use it in small group settings with all my reading groups, making necessary adjustments as we go.

This unit will enhance my school's comprehensive school-wide curriculum by combining three subject areas in one teachable unit: Language Arts, Social Studies, and Foreign Language.

My unit is a preliminary look at new medical technologies and the public debate that surrounds them. The topic offers appeal to any teacher or student who is in search of a current events unit, or one on constitutional law and debate. I see it as an opportunity to look beyond a history or science textbook and investigate non-print media for a look at what promises to become a part of our immediate future.

I am confident that the curriculum I have written and plan to team-teach this year will fire up my students, in part because I am fired up. They know almost nothing about the Harlem Renaissance, and when they engage in the hands-on art activities I have planned, when they research the Harlem Renaissance on the Internet, and when they prepare for "Harlem Renaissance Night" at our school, they should have strong associations with this phenomenon. I hope that the unit will intrigue the two social studies teachers in my program, and that they will approach it from a historical and sociological perspective. Approximately half of our student body will be studying this curriculum, and there will be visible signs of our art activities, in prominent places. It will no doubt have a positive impact on the student body in our program.

To attempt to gauge the impact of this year's units in New Haven classrooms, we asked Fellows about the number of students to whom they planned to teach their new unit, and on how many days. Sixty-two of the Fellows planned to teach their unit to 25 or more students; 24 of that group said that they would teach their unit to 60 or more students. The total number of students to be taught a unit by this year's Fellows is 2,888. Chart 6 indicates the length of time the Fellows planned to teach the unit. For all Fellows, the unit is a significant part of their teaching plans.

(Chart 6 available in print form.)

Fellows continue to be optimistic about the responses they anticipate receiving from their students to the material they had studied and developed in the Institute. Almost all of the Fellows responding agreed that, as a result of Institute participation, they have a higher expectation of their students' ability to learn about the seminar subject. More than half of the Fellows (54 percent) strongly agreed with that conclusion. We have already quoted some Fellows who spoke about how their own enthusiasm for a subject would motivate students, and how they planned to involve students more actively in classroom learning. Others said:


The topic, "Constitutional Privacy in the Twenty-first Century," was one of great interest to me. It is a great topic to use with young people because so many of its components directly affect the lives of young people. For instance, my school system is approximately 60% African American and 30% Hispanic/Latino. These are the individuals most impacted by illegal searches and police stops due to profiling. This population will be brutalized and incarcerated disproportionately by those who take oaths to protect and serve. This curriculum is very timely for them and relevant to them.

I wrote the unit with the idea that there are few resources for teachers to adequately teach the students how to attack the Interdisciplinary portion of CAPT. The unit has students researching, debating, and writing about the topic of privacy in the classroom. It also gives teachers a glimpse in to a unique writing program, John Collins' method, which can be focused on the three areas students need to excel in to pass the test. Students should be very excited to gain knowledge about their rights as students in the classroom. The unit should be very accessible to all students in high school and maybe in upper middle school.

I think the unit will directly affect my teaching as I will no longer introduce the trig functions as math skills that have no purpose other than to show triangle side proportions. The unit will be introduced in a method that is engaging—tying trig to sound and music. It will also force me to be super prepared as there are labs that must be well coordinated before class begins. Most of all the whole experience has affected my teaching as I now feel a stronger urge to develop lessons that are more engaging and student-oriented.



"I wrote the unit with the idea that there are few resources for teachers to adequately teach the students how to attack the Interdisciplinary portion of CAPT."
—Institute Fellow

I know that my students will love the hands-on experiments that we did and that this will capture their interest. I hope they will see the usual plant unit expanded in a way that will make them see a clearer picture of how the earth and its cycles sustain life on the planet. The unit will hopefully be part of our yearlong study of the community. The unit not only emphasizes science but the responsibility of all people to make sure good decisions are made about the environment.

The integration of both hands-on activities and lectures has again convinced me that this is the way to go in the classroom. As a result of the way in which the seminar leader presented his subject matter, I intend to set up a center where the children can go and experiment with plants and photosynthesis. The experiments they perform will integrate all subject areas and I imagine a class where the children are truly involved in the learning process.

My unit was on the genetic engineering of crop plants. This is a controversial issue that I think all of my students need to be aware of at a basic level. I will teach this unit to my advanced classes, and will teach some of it to all of my classes. It will become part of my unit on genetics and evolution. I hope it will awaken awareness in my students of the ethical problems involved with genetic engineering.

We also asked Fellows who had participated in the Institute in prior years to report on student responses they had actually observed when teaching units they had previously developed in the Institute. Their comments were very much in the same vein.

One Fellow said:

Last year I wrote a curriculum about mothers represented in short stories by women, and my colleague wrote a curriculum about daughters represented in short stories by women. We team-taught these units and incorporated a hands-on art activity into the unit. The students picked a scene or a character from one of the stories, and they designed and made a fabric square representing the scene or the character. They worked with fabric, ribbon, lace, odd bits, colored pencils, markers, crayons, paints, and colored construction paper. The results were astonishing. Once they had completed each square they added quotes from the story. We mounted the squares on rolls of paper and put them up in the room and out in the hallway. We took photos of the squares in progress and sent the photos home in report cards. In some cases, we noticed that students who had been problematic became more cooperative as they worked on their fabric squares. Students are coming to expect creative arts as part of the units that we design. The response is very positive. This fall, our first unit incorporating hands-on art will touch every student in the school.

Another Fellow said:

I have participated in the Institute for the past three years developing curriculum that I use in my U.S. History survey course. In the summer of 1997 I developed a unit on "Latino Experience in America," concentrating on Puerto Ricans, Mexicans and Cubans. We examined the myths and stereotypes about each of the groups and learned to appreciate the strength of their diversity. We also celebrated what was unique about these groups by studying the music and the food. In 1998 I developed a unit on "The Civil Rights Movement Through Film (1954-1965). Films can bring a lesson to life. They can play a vital role in stirring up the social issues of the past. In viewing a film students can acquire an incredible amount of comprehensive knowledge on a topic. In 1999 I developed a unit on "The Italian American Experience (1880-1920). This unit examined the time period referred to as New Immigration with concentration on what we call the Ellis Island immigrant. We reviewed the procedure at Ellis Island right before I took my classes to New York City to view the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.


"Students are coming to expect creative arts as part of the units that we design....This fall, our first unit incorporating hands-on art will touch every student in the school."
—Institute Fellow







Another Fellow said:

Last year I developed a curriculum unit that deals with the problems that visually impaired and blind students encounter when they attempt to access Internet sites. This curriculum is important because in the past blind and visually impaired were restricted in accessing information. My students attempted to design a web-site that is more easily accessible. We learned a great deal about web-sites and their formats and how the design may determine whether the web-site can be conveniently accessed by blind persons. We did not have all the software and hardware necessary to completely design our web-site, but this equipment is currently on order and will help next year as we continue our project. I feel that my students gained a great understanding of technology and web page design that will allow us to use technology effectively for handicapped populations.

And another Fellow said:

Each year in which I have participated in the Institute has proven to be a rewarding experience for my students, and our overall school. As a result of my curriculum units, for two consecutive years my class received meritorious honors in the field of Science, winning first place awards in our school and citywide Science Fairs. Our students have been asked to give special presentations at District Headquarters and to have their work displayed at the New Haven Public Library and Gateway Community College, again a result of the implementation of my curriculum units in the area of American Children's Literature and Native American and African Art. The results have proven to be a motivational, academically empowering experience for my young learners, a positive promotional tool for our school, and a reinforcement for parents.











"As a result of my curriculum units, for two consecutive years my class received meritorious honors in the field of Science, winning first place awards in our school and citywide Science Fairs."
—Institute Fellow
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Participants’ Conclusions Overall

We asked Fellows about the extent to which several features of the Institute had been useful to them. As shown in Chart 7 below (reading again left to right from the most useful to the least useful), very few Fellows said that any aspect of the Institute had not been useful. In fact, except for the series of talks and computer assistance, each aspect of the Institute were regarded as useful to a great or moderate extent, by three fourths of the Fellows or more. About half (49 percent) responded that favorably to the talks and more than two fifths (44 percent) to computer assistance. (The latter figure is no doubt misleadingly low, since the question did not take into consideration the mandatory assistance that occurs in every instance when the Institute checks the disks on which curriculum units are submitted and offers advice on correcting them.)

(Chart 7 available in print form.)

We asked seminar leaders to provide their overall conclusions about the strengths and weaknesses of the Institute. Three of them wrote as follows:

The Institute is one of the most rewarding activities at Yale. It is a commitment to learning and to community. It is a source of strength to all who participate. There are occasional tensions and blindness in the relationship between seminar leader and Fellow, between college professor and high school teacher, between the person who works at Yale and the person who works in the New Haven schools. In this tension lies the greatest area of potential weakness: communication. The meetings for the seminar leaders, the coordinators, the Fellows, and the other activities relating to the Institute, all help to create greater communication, and this is essential for the Institute to be successful and to accomplish the objective of improved education for all direct and indirect participants.

Overall, the program of the Institute is excellent. It provides an important contact between Yale and the New Haven school system. Several of the Fellows commented to me that the Institute was a primary reason that they are teaching in the New Haven school system. Another major strength of the Institute is the preparation of the curriculum units. The Fellows in the seminar I led were very creative and the units they developed are a valuable resource.

Overall, of course, I'm very high on the Institute. As always, a lot of the discussions are just plain fun. I do get discouraged at times at the problems teachers face and the limitations some of them exhibit. But I had some powerful fresh evidence of the Institute's value this time. One teacher seemed genuinely moved that I made extra efforts to read multiple drafts even after deadlines had been missed and to return them rapidly. He said it changed his mind about professors and whether they really cared about education and teachers at all; and that clearly made him feel less cynical about the systems within which he works. He's a talented guy and a natural leader, and if the Institute makes him more positive and willing to work constructively with others, that's a very good thing.

We also asked Fellows to provide their overall conclusions about the strengths and weaknesses of the Institute. One Fellow wrote:

I see no weakness in the Institute. Its strengths are many and that's why it continues to hold such great appeal to me, an enthusiastic participant for six years now. The opportunity to study under a Yale professor in a seminar situation is invaluable to me. It provides me with the chance to explore new topics, exchange ideas with other colleagues, and design a curriculum unit for my students that is relevant to the seminar subject. I enjoyed the readings this year very much as well as the highly stimulating and thought-provoking discussions led by my professor. I have always found the 3-draft system of writing a curriculum unit very helpful, and the deadlines are workable ones. This partnership between Yale University and New Haven teachers is a very important one. Through the Institute, teachers are given the opportunity to grow intellectually and to produce curriculum units that teachers in New Haven and—because of the Internet—those all over the world now have access to.

Another Fellow wrote:

The emphasis our seminar leader gave us in developing our curriculum units helped to create the feeling of openness that is so vital for continuous invention. All of the six colleagues were clearly proud of their work and even more proud of what they would be able to offer their students. Yet, we all readily discussed how far we needed to go before we would be satisfied. We were able this year to discuss the problems we saw just ahead and probed continuously for new ideas and new contacts to help find solutions.

A third Fellow wrote:

I thoroughly enjoyed my Institute experience this year. I enjoyed the seminar more than the talks because of its focus and small group participation. I found some of the talks very intellectually stimulating, all interesting, but not as related to the overview of the seminar and unit design. The only weakness was not having enough seminar classes before the first and second deadlines of the unit were due. I found the information within the seminar so interesting that I wanted to incorporate some of those ideas into the unit. I eventually did at the second draft stage.

Despite a range of specific complaints about scheduling and procedures, the Institute's offerings were generally received with enthusiasm, and the results of its program were quite consistently praised.

In their evaluations, almost all the Fellows said they intended to participate (67 percent) or might participate (27 percent) in the Institute in one or more future years. Only two Fellows said they did not intend to participate in the future. One of them is leaving the District; the other felt that the requirements and expected participation in the program were too demanding.

We should add that there are now 38 members of the administration of the New Haven Public Schools who have participated as Fellows of the Institute for periods of one to eighteen years. The increasing presence of former Fellows in positions ranging from Assistant Principal and Principal to Associate Superintendent has clearly rendered the Institute more visible and has encouraged other teachers to participate in this program.

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Electronic Resources and Assistance

From the Institute's inception, Fellows have been full members of the Yale community with access to resources throughout the University. For several years the Institute has been exploring how computing can enhance its partnership, because computing overcomes the barriers of time and distance that can impede collaboration, and because it is a non-hierarchical form of communication and therefore consistent with the collegiality that is a tenet of the Institute's approach.

In 1995 Fellows became eligible to purchase Yale computer accounts, and a number of Fellows have therefore had Internet access and e-mail provided in this way. Although this option remains available, the Institute now emphasizes the assistance it can offer to Fellows in securing Internet access and setting up e-mail with other providers. The Institute has often referred Fellows to the Internet Information Center, which serves the entire Yale community. During the past two years, however, the Institute has offered more direct assistance from its own office. Because of the benefits to the Fellows and to other teachers that result from having the curriculum units on-line, the Representatives had decided that, beginning in 1999, Fellows must submit their curriculum units and guide entries in electronic as well as printed form. They are asked to follow the Institute's recommendations on word-processing software and hand in the disk version of their second draft directly to the Institute computer assistant (or to the seminar leader, if she or he chooses to perform this function), who checks them for formatting errors and readability. They are returned with a checklist that indicates any problems. This procedure, which sets the stage for a discussion with the computer assistant, ensures that the final version on disk will be free of those problems.

The electronic resources and services available to Fellows therefore include many opportunities to learn about and use computing, regardless of previous experience and expertise. In 2000 Fellows received computer assistance on a variety of topics, which included getting started with computing, setting up an e-mail account, getting started on the Internet, using the Internet in research and teaching, using Institute resources on-line, and word-processing and file handling for the preparation of curriculum units.

The Institute offered three different types of computer workshop during the spring of 2000. A series of Center Workshops, offered fairly regularly on Wednesdays during the spring term, were geared toward the use of the computers in the Centers for Curriculum and Professional Development. They took place in one of the Yale library electronic classrooms. They were designed to familiarize teachers with the Center computer and introduce them to some of the researching tools available on the Institute web-site and the Yale Research Workstation.

There were also two Fellows Workshops conducted in April. The first workshop was a basic level introduction to file handling, researching, and using e-mail. The second workshop was designed with more computer-literate Fellows in mind. It covered some of the basic researching tools available on the library's Research Workstation The positive response of the Fellows to the workshops suggests that a continuation of such programs and a more structured integration of workshops into the Fellows' program could be very beneficial.

In addition to such Workshops, and in addition to the mandatory assistance provided through the checking of all of the disks on which curriculum units would be submitted, a good number of the Fellows sought additional assistance. Forty-nine percent of the Fellows made use of assistance in person, 20 percent by phone, and 16 percent by e-mail. For 39 of the Fellows (44 percent) the availability of computer services was an incentive to their participation. Most Fellows who did not use the computer assistance said they did not need it because they had previously acquired computer skills, or because they had other resources at home or school. A few said they did not do so because of time constraints during the school year. Most who took advantage of the assistance, however, were full of praise for the expertise, the patience, and the persistence of those whom they consulted.

Of the Fellows using the additional computer assistance, 11 found the assistants helpful in setting up e-mail and Internet access; 14 found them helpful in getting started with computing; 15 found them helpful in word processing and file handling for the preparation of a curriculum unit; 19 found them helpful in using the Internet in research and teaching; and 19 found them helpful in using the Institute's curricular resources on-line. (See Chart 8.)

(Chart 8 available in print form.)

Electronic versions of the Institute's publications are now available at its Web site. The address is http//www.yale.edu/ynhti. The full texts of all 1,298 units written between 1978 and 2000, plus an index and guide to these units, are thus available to teachers on-line. Information about the Institute (its brochures and most recent Annual Reports) is also available, as is the text of its periodical On Common Ground. To call attention to this resource, the Web location has also been advertised prominently on the cover of On Common Ground, which contains articles regarding school-university partnerships and is intended for a national audience.

The Institute has created a "guestbook" on its Web-site, in order to invite comments and suggestions from those who have visited the site. In recent years the site has been used by more and more people in this country and abroad-school teachers from both public and private schools (including Fellows from other Teachers Institutes in the National Demonstration Project), school and university administrators, parent volunteers, university professors, high school students, graduate students, librarians, military personnel, home schoolers, local policy-makers, and others conducting research or having an interest in education. We estimate that, from its inauguration in June 1998 through December 2000, the Web-site was visited by 880,000 persons. A marked increase of activity was noted during the last four months of 2000, and it is probable that this increase will continue.

In 2000 we heard from educators in the Philippines, Israel, Puerto Rico, India, Canada, Argentina, Hungary, England, Scotland, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, New Zealand, and Romania. Our site has been linked at their request to a number of other Web-sites, including Diversity Links Database, an Internet instructional resource guide for teachers, and a Charlottesville, Virginia, site for art teachers. Lesson plans from a unit have been included in a Web-site designed for the New York City Board of Education. And from the very large number of other guestbook entries, it is evident that the curriculum units written in New Haven have been of great value to teachers and others in the educational community.

A teacher in the Bronx, for example, printed all 21 pages of a unit on Puerto Rico in order to use it as part of his social studies curriculum. A Houston teacher described the site as "very helpful in pragmatic, real-world ways." A librarian in Illinois found the material "exciting and very useful for all levels of high school," and wanted to share the material with other teachers. A teacher from New York State included excerpts of a curriculum unit on a web page he was creating for his 9th-grade students. A teacher in a performing arts school in Ohio said: "One of the unique resources available to educators. Thanks for your help!!" A teacher from Chicago said: "The poetry curriculums have been enormously helpful. I am about to stand in front of a class for the first time in my life and try to teach poetry, and I feel much more prepared after reading your material." A teacher who has long worked in juvenile reintegration centers gave high praise to a unit on teaching juveniles how to plan for the future. A teacher in Kentucky said: "I think the concept is wonderful. I am teaching arts and humanities at a middle school with an emphasis on drama, art and movement, with no curriculum." An experienced teacher in Colorado, who also teaches re-certification courses, found the web site "helpful in preparing for new teaching assignments within my English/language arts department." A teacher in Virginia said: "Many times on the inter-net the information for educators is sketchy and very general. I appreciate the opportunity to log onto this site and increase my professional knowledge as well as to enrich curriculum for my Language Arts students." A teacher in Texas said: "Because we don't use textbooks in my school (we use Core Knowledge Curriculum) I have to develop my own lessons. Your site is a wonderful and interesting tool—for me AND my students." A teacher from New York City said: "Very thorough and straightforward. I am looking forward to structuring my semester with the ideas presented here." A university professor on leave teaching in public school in rural New Mexico said: "I am amazed at the wonderful work you are doing. Your web site is incredibly helpful. I look forward to staying in touch with you."

Not surprisingly, those who used the site often expressed the hope that such work could be replicated in other parts of the country. A teacher in Pennsylvania said: "I love the way your site is set up. I have never seen anything like it. We need to be doing the same at our school." A college student in Oklahoma said: "Our country needs more programs like yours." And a university administrator in New York City said: "I have just started working in a school university partnership program. The web site has been very valuable in helping me shape my thinking about the nature of professional development collaboration between high school and college teachers."


It is evident that the curriculum units written in New Haven have been of great value to teachers and others in the educational community.














"The web site has been very valuable in helping me shape my thinking about the nature of professional development collaboration between high school and college teachers."
            —University
          Administrator

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Institute Centers for Professional and Curricular Development

In 1996 the Institute undertook with the New Haven Public Schools a new program designed to broaden and deepen its efforts to strengthen teaching and learning in the schools. It offered several elementary, middle, and high schools the opportunity to establish an Institute Center for Curriculum and Professional Development within their buildings. Five such Centers were established in 1996. Over the next four years the Institute has articulated and refined the concept of the Centers, prepared policies and procedures for them, and designed, constructed, and delivered special furnishings to them.

The Institute aims to situate the Centers around the city, targeting the larger schools, so that the majority of New Haven teachers will have a Center at their school or at a school near them. Through most of 2000, eleven Centers were in operation. They are located at three elementary schools (L. W. Beecher, Clinton Avenue, and Davis Street Magnet), two K-8 Schools (Edgewood Magnet and East Rock Global Studies Magnet), three middle schools (Fair Haven, Jackie Robinson, and Roberto Clemente), and three high schools (Cooperative Arts and Humanities, Hill Regional Career Magnet, and Wilbur Cross). One of the main challenges faced by the high school Centers during this period is the dislocations caused school renovations and the difficulties that still attend the move Hill Regional made into its new facility a year ago. At the end of the year, progression with renovations at Hillhouse High School made possible the renewing of the Center that had been previously located there.

These Centers are not permanent installations but must be annually renewed. A Center may remain in a school so long as the school has a need and a desire for it, but it can then be moved to another school. Moving Centers from school to school increases the citywide exposure to the Institute. The Steering Committee, which makes these decisions, has developed criteria for targeting sites. A suitable site must be of sufficient size, with a critical mass of participants and a sufficient leadership. It must be able to rely upon a favorably disposed school administration and an appropriate school plan, and it must be located in such a position that the majority of the New Haven teachers will have a Center at their school or a near-by school.

The Institute and the New Haven Public Schools view the establishment of Institute Centers as a vital component of curriculum reform efforts system-wide. The Centers carry out school-based plans and address the District's "Kids First" goals, which call for more site-based management, improvement of curriculum and instruction, greater staff development, increased parental involvement, and improved physical condition of schools. The Centers directly address the first three of these goals and provide new opportunities with respect to the last two. They attempt to create in schools a place that will be conducive to the kinds of conversations teachers have with each other and with their Yale colleagues in Institute seminars. They are intended to increase the visibility and use of Institute resources and include teachers who have not before been Institute Fellows. They disseminate Institute-developed curriculum units more widely, and help the teachers to learn how to use curriculum units that are on-line, explore computing as a means of collaboration, and apply the Institute's principles in new ways within the school environment itself.

The Centers therefore operate from attractive and properly equipped rooms in the schools themselves, containing special furnishings designed by Kent Bloomer, Professor of Architectural Design at Yale, who has led two Institute seminars. Bloomer has designed for each Center two pieces of furniture that will remind the users that a Center is a way of bringing teachers together, and that it is a function of the mutual presence of Yale in the schools and the schools in Yale. Combining utility and symbolism, these pieces have a solidity and elegance in harmony with the tradition of design at Yale University, and an evident durability suggestive of the Institute itself. One piece is a round table, with a hole in the middle, which provides the "center" about which eight people can sit. The center of the table is filled with a circular design, the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute logo multiplied as a continuous fret, which is done in tile and set in cast metal for permanence. The second piece is a very high bookcase, designed to hold volumes of the curriculum units and other Institute materials, with hand-plated inlay work across the top that carries the same continuous fret depicting the Institute logo. A banner continues the logo of the fret into the room.

Each Center also contains at least one computer with a high-speed modem so that the teachers have easy access to the Institute's web site. At the beginning of the 1999-2000 academic year, the Institute upgraded the computer operating systems at the older Centers to Windows NT. The computers delivered to the newer Centers have this system pre-installed. Windows NT makes many notable improvements over the Windows for Workgroups 3.1 platform that was used previously on the Center computers. It is easier to use, has a fully graphical interface, and provides greater security. The Institute also inventoried all Institute resources in the Centers-curriculum units, center manuals, books, videos, etc.-and replenished them when possible.

Schools interested in becoming a Center site must apply to the Institute's Steering Committee. An application, which requires the involvement of the school's principal and management team, must contain an Academic Plan for the calendar year, describing how the teachers in the Center will take full advantage of Institute resources while working on school plans that address the goals of the District. If a school is selected as a Center site, its Academic Plan must be updated and renewed each year.

Schools selected as Center sites become eligible to receive special resources and incentives from the Institute. These incentives, which are outlined in the Center booklet, assist with the Center's development as well as the implementation of its Academic Plan.

The Centers or Institute Fellows at Center schools may apply for mini-grants from the Institute to implement approved aspects of their Center Academic Plan. During 2000 the Centers were supported by a second grant for high school Centers from the Arthur Vining Davis Foundation, received in 1999, and a grant for new Centers from the Jessie Ball duPont Fund, received in 1997.

The Centers document their activities through a mid-year and an end-of-year report. The Steering Committee has established a Coordinating Team at each Center, and a Center Coordinator exercises leadership within that Team. A member of the Steering Committee (at the same school level) is assigned to work with each Center's Coordinating Team. The members of the Coordinating Team share responsibilities for leading certain efforts within the Center, including documentation. They complete the required mid-year and end-of-year reports and are encouraged to document their Center's work in a variety of ways, including video and audio tapes, photographs, and minutes of meetings. The Assistant Director of the Institute is the primary staff liaison to the Centers, communicating with Center leaders and visiting each of the Center schools. She participates in the meetings of the Institute Steering Committee and Center Coordinators and assists teachers in Center schools to prepare applications for mini-grants to support Center Activities.


The Assistant Director and the Steering Committee organized in 2000 a series of workshops for teachers from Center schools (mentioned above under "Electronic Resources and Assistance") that are designed to encourage them to become more familiar with and to use the curricular resources in their Center. The workshops were held each Wednesday afternoon from mid-January until early April in computer classrooms in the Yale libraries. The first hour of each workshop, led by the Institute computer assistant, was devoted to Institute resources online, including use of the Institute web-site and email. The second hour, led by members of the Steering Committee and other Fellows, differed from week to week and presented various uses of Institute resources from curriculum projects to Academies for students and special projects supported by planning grants and mini-grants from the Institute.

During each semester three very different meetings provide detailed communication among the Steering Committee and the various Centers. The sequence begins with a meeting of the Steering Committee and the Center Coordinators. There follows for the Center Coordinating Teams an after-school Forum on Exemplary Practices and Plans, which enables lively discussion among the teachers and staff members and fuller exchange of ideas among the Centers. Finally, a Retreat each semester enables the Centers to give more in-depth reports on their successes and problems and to share written material and hold workshops where teachers might learn from one another about curriculum planning in one school that might be used in another. It also provides an opportunity for exploration of additional ways for Centers to work together on alignment of Institute-developed curriculum units with district standards and goals and on mentoring first-year and other new teachers.

For the Forum held on May 11, 2000, each Center selected a topic to highlight and share with colleagues from other Centers. Joseph H. Lewis, East Rock Global Studies Magnet School, spoke on "Developing Curricula for Center School Activities"; Lisa M. Galullo, Hill Regional Career High School, on "Aligning the Curriculum with Institute Units"; and Jean E. Sutherland, L. W. Beecher School, on "Identifying Institute Units Directly Related to Elementary School Curriculum Areas as Defined on Student Report Cards." Mary E. Jones, Roberto Clemente Middle School, spoke about "Building a Team within a Diverse Staff." Val-Jean Belton, James T. Hillhouse High School, spoke on "Developing a Center Plan"; Monique Y. Gisser, Wilbur Cross High School, on "Experiencing the Growing Pains of a New Center"; Kelley Howe, Jackie Robinson Middle School, on "Providing an Overview of Activities in Progress"; and Waltrina D. Kirkland-Mullins, Davis Street Magnet School, on "Attracting Teachers to Use Centers with Mini Grants and Planning Grants." Norma Rojas, Fair Haven Middle School, spoke on "Implementing Mini Grants in the Arts"; and Peter N. Herndon, Sheldon A. Ayers, and Donna Frederick-Neznek, Cooperative Arts and Humanities High School, on "Planning and Implementing a School-Wide Event." There was also discussion of the Summer Academy being planned for 2000, and of plans and topics for Center leaders to explore at the Retreat to be held on Friday and Saturday, July 7-8.


A Retreat each semester also provides an opportunity for exploration of additional ways for Centers to work together on alignment of Institute-developed curriculum units with district standards and goals and on mentoring first-year and other new teachers.




That Retreat began with a working dinner on Friday evening attended not only by teachers who are Center leaders but also by members of the central New Haven Public School administration, as well as by principals and assistant principals. The dinner began with remarks by Associate Superintendent Verdell Roberts and Principal Salvatore Punzo of East Rock Magnet School that challenged everyone to formulate questions that Center leaders would pursue during the full day of meetings on Saturday. Associate Superintendent Verdell Roberts challenged the teachers and administrators present to consider ways that Institute Centers might help "revitalize the school district and renew the partnership" between the schools and the University that the Institute represents. She urged everyone to think about new ways for aligning curriculum units with school curricula, for Fellows sharing their own units more widely with other teachers, for emphasizing the relationship between Fellows' work in the Institute and the district's literacy initiative, and for devising ways to show the relationship between curriculum units and standards and assessments. She also urged Center leaders not to lose sight of the tremendous potential of using the arts and music to engage and excite students.


Associate Superintendent Verdell Roberts challenged the teachers and administrators to consider ways that Institute Centers might help "revitalize the school district and renew the partnership" between the schools and the University.

After discussing the questions proposed, each dinner table group added its own questions and reported to the session at large. The all-day session on Saturday then focused on three main areas: Center resources and infrastructure, Center activities related to student literacy, and Center staff development plans.


The Forum on October 18, 2000, also included presentations by Center leaders on important activities. Mary E. Jones, Roberto Clemente Middle School, spoke on "Extending the Summer Academy to Meet the Curriculum in the Classroom"; and Joseph H. Lewis, East Rock Global Magnet School, on "Utilizing Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute Resources to Plan Thematic Units." Anthony F. Solli and Karen De Fur, Career Regional Magnet High School, spoke on "A Center in Transition"; and Stephen P. Broker and Gail Hall, Wilbur Cross High School, on "Moving On Into the New Millennium." There was discussion of making connections to the District's literacy initiative and curriculum framework, and possible workshops on Center Resources. Jean E. Sutherland and Geraldine P. Martin, L. W. Beecher Elementary School, then spoke on "Expanding Upon the Goals of this Year's Summer Academy: Using Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute Curriculum Units to Develop an Extended Day Program"; and Peter N. Herndon, Donna Frederick-Neznek, and Sheldon Ayers, Cooperative Arts and Humanities High School, spoke on "Organizing an All-School Event: Black History Month Events." There was also discussion of topics and plans for the November 17-18 Retreat for Center leaders.

That Retreat was organized rather like the April Retreat. During the opening remarks on Friday evening, Associate Superintendent Verdell Roberts described ways in which the Institute Centers can assist the school district. She spoke about how Centers allow teachers "to move from their individual interests into learning communities" and "to integrate the district's focus areas more into their work." She stressed that the Institute allows teachers and schools "to be creative with the mandates the district issues," and she urged that the group consider planning an exhibition on the teaching of Institute-developed units for school administrators, politicians, and area business people. Charles Warner, Director of Instruction for the New Haven Public Schools, then spoke about the "common core of learning" and urged the Centers to consider projects for applying "action research" in their work. Jean Sutherland of Beecher Elementary School, a Center Coordinator and member of the Institute's Steering Committee, presented a summary of Center activities over the past year, emphasizing the high degree of teacher involvement in formulating and executing programs through formal and informal teams of teachers.

The Retreat theme was "Making Connections . . . " to assessment tools, the New Haven curriculum frameworks, and the district's literacy initiative. These three themes guided discussion during the following day.

An important effort by the Centers was the Summer Academy, the fourth Academy sponsored jointly by the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute and the New Haven Public Schools. The two-week program, July 10-21, which served 45 students in grades three to twelve, emphasized improving student literacy through a curriculum based on Institute-developed units that focus on multicultural studies. Teachers sought to develop the skills and understanding that students need to meet New Haven's curriculum standards as well as to help students to prepare for the Connecticut Academic Performance Test. The Academy was held at Hill Regional Career Magnet High School, and the Institute Center there was the hub for teachers to meet for planning and evaluation before, during, and after their classes. The course of study was developed by Academy teachers themselves. Elementary school students studied the cultures of Africa and Puerto Rico. Each day's curriculum included a 45-minute creative writing activity related to their area of study. For this work, teachers selected ideas from three existing Institute curriculum units. Middle school students focused on diversity through a study of Japanese and Native American cultures. The teachers consulted eight Institute units in developing a curriculum that included daily reading, writing, arts and crafts, and a math challenge. For the high school component, which concerned Native American culture and history as well as the Civil Rights Movement in the United States during the 1950s and 1960s, sixteen Institute-developed curriculum units were consulted, fourteen of which were written by teachers other than those involved in the Academy. This served to demonstrate the value of Institute-developed units to teachers other than their authors.

The 2000 Summer Academy pointed out once again the value of teachers working together to plan and implement their own curriculum based on teacher-developed materials that they believe will promote student interest and learning. Institute Centers in the fall planned ways of following through with the Summer Academy by continuing to work with Academy students and by introducing Academy curricula in regular courses and after-school programs.












She stressed that the Institute allows teachers and schools "to be creative with the mandates the district issues," and she urged that the group consider planning an exhibition on the teaching of Institute-developed units for school administrators, politicians, and area business people.

Teachers sought to develop the skills and understanding that students need to meet New Haven's curriculum standards as well as to help students to prepare for the Connecticut Academic Performance Test.

Sixteen Institute-developed curriculum units were consulted, fourteen of which were written by teachers other than those involved in the Academy.

Teachers in the Centers also work in teams with other teachers in their school to relate Institute curriculum units to school themes and to district goals. The Institute provides mini-grants to support a wide range of work of this kind. At Cooperative Arts, for example, Hispanic Cultures week and African American month result from planning supported by Institute mini-grants, done in the Institute Center and using Institute curriculum units appropriate to the theme. Here too an art teacher, a writing teacher and a history teacher had collaborated on a unit titled "Masked Meaning." In May 2000, 28 ninth grade students read African literature, wrote their own myths and created masks, which they then used to dramatize the myths they had read and written. At East Rock Magnet School, a mini-grant supported an after-school program titled "Fun with Letters, Sounds, Words and Numbers" for a group of kindergarten and first grade students identified as at risk. East Rock's International Fair, held in April 2000, and supported by mini-grants, was the culminating activity for the school's year-long study of different cultures. As a result of a mini-grant, a team of teachers at Beecher Elementary prepared a guide to all the Institute-developed curriculum units that best pertain to elementary subjects on elementary school report cards, thereby reflecting district goals. This is a major accomplishment and a document that will now be widely shared to encourage the use of Institute units throughout New Haven elementary schools.


A team of teachers at Beecher Elementary prepared a guide to all the Institute-developed curriculum units that best pertain to elementary subjects on elementary school report cards, thereby reflecting district goals.

The Institute seeks not only to institutionalize the Centers' work in New Haven but also to integrate the Center concept in its work with demonstration sites in other cities. All of the New Haven teachers on the implementation team for the National Demonstration Project this year were therefore either Steering Committee members or Coordinators for the Center in their own school. These are the teachers who visited the four new Institutes in May and June. Each of these site visits provided colleagues in other cities with detailed information about the operation of Institute Centers in New Haven. Then, during the Second Annual Conference of the National Demonstration Project on October 13-14, the Steering Committee member responsible for New Haven high school Centers conducted two workshops that followed up on the conversations that had occurred on-site and acquainted additional teachers and faculty members with the Center concept and the Centers' operation in New Haven.

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Preparation for the Program in 2000

From June through August the Institute identified and approached the 50 teachers who would serve during the 2000-2001 school year as the 19 Representatives and 31 Contacts for their schools. Fifty-seven teachers had served in these ways, 15 as Representatives and 42 as Contacts, during 1999-2000. The increase in the number of Representatives for 2000-2001 would in fact mean that a much more satisfactory recruitment process could be conducted. Representatives were selected according to recommendations of the teachers who served as seminar Coordinators and conversations they had with persons who had served as Representatives in the past, with other Institute Fellows, and with some school principals. Because the Coordinators had become acquainted with all current Fellows, this mode of selection assures that all Fellows receive consideration for leadership positions. Because the Representatives who had served in 1999-2000 were widely regarded as effective, we sought a high degree of continuity of Representatives.

In 1999-2000 the Representatives and Contacts were well distributed across New Haven schools with 26 (47 percent) representing elementary schools, 7 (10 percent) representing middle schools, 5 (9 percent) representing transitional schools, and 12 (21 percent) representing high schools. For 2000-2001, there was a rather similar distribution but with a higher proportion of Representatives, with 19 (38 percent) representing elementary schools, 8 (16 percent) representing K-8 schools, 7 (14 percent) representing middle schools, 3 (6 percent) representing transitional schools, and 13 (26 percent) representing high schools. Whether or not they had a Representative, all schools had one or more Contacts to serve as a conduit for information to and from the Institute throughout the school year. (Some Contacts served more than one school.) Of the Representatives and Contacts, 13 were Black Non-Hispanic, 26 were White, and 3 were Hispanic. Representatives attend meetings every other week from September to March. They receive an honorarium for this work and agree in advance to participate in the program they are planning, whereas Contacts perform many of the same functions but are not required to participate in bi-weekly meetings or to commit themselves to Institute participation. Through the Representatives and Contacts, the Institute ensures that all teachers throughout the school district may have an effective voice in shaping a program of curricular and staff development in which they will then have the opportunity to take part.

The Representatives held their first meeting of the new school year on September 12, 2000, and thereafter met twice monthly with the Director. On September 26, the Institute held a reception for Representatives and Contacts, so that they might become better acquainted with one another and might discuss plans for 2000-2001. That meeting set the stage for another productive year of their work together. Between meetings, the Representatives communicate by phone and through school visits with the Contacts for whom they serve as liaison to the Representatives' committee. In these ways, their meetings compile information from, and distribute information to, teachers throughout the New Haven elementary, middle, and high schools.

By the end of December the Representatives had approved the following six seminars for 2001: Robert A. Burt, Alexander M. Bickel Professor of Law, "Medicine, Ethics and Law"; Martin D. Gehner, "Professor Emeritus of Architectural Engineering, "Bridges: Human Links and Innovations"; Jules D. Prown, Paul Mellon Professor Emeritus of History of Art, "Art as Evidence: The Interpretation of Objects"; Robert Schultz, Associate Professor, Yale Child Study Center, "Intelligence: Theories and Developmental Origins"; Thomas R. Whitaker, Frederick W. Hilles Professor Emeritus of English, "Reading and Writing Poetry"; and Bryan J. Wolf, Professor of American Studies and of English, "Race and Ethnicity in Contemporary Art and Literature." The process of approval worked exceptionally well this year: it was in fact a model of the Institute approach. The Representatives were able to consolidate a great many interests expressed by teachers into this list of seminars.

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Local Advisory Groups

Steering Committee

The Steering Committee, composed of school teachers who have played leading roles in the Institute at various times since its inception, has responsibility for long-range planning and the implementation of pilot and other new activities of the Institute. Members of the Steering Committee are selected by the Institute Director. A Steering Committee member must be-and must intend to continue as-a teacher in one of New Haven's public schools. By agreeing to serve as a Steering Committee member, a teacher accepts the following responsibilities. Each member:

1. Exerts leadership and participates actively in one or more of the following areas: establishment and development of Institute Centers for Professional and Curriculum Development in specific schools; preparation of system-wide curricula drawing on Institute curriculum units; development and use of electronic resources and communications; planning and conduct of after-school, Saturday, and summer Academies for teaching Institute units to New Haven students; conduct of interdisciplinary or intergrade teamwork in specific schools; and organization and provision of technical assistance to Teacher Institute demonstration sites in other cities.

2. Attends and comes prepared to meetings twice monthly and takes professional days when needed to carry out these responsibilities.

3. Participates as an Institute Fellow in the spring and summer following selection as a Steering Committee member.

During 2000 the Steering Committee consisted of Jean E. Sutherland, Peter N. Herndon, and Carolyn N. Kinder. The Steering Committee operates as teacher leaders for each sphere of Teachers Institute work. It has also assumed responsibility for leadership and assessment of the Centers, and this provided its main work for 2000. It dealt with the documentation of Center use and activity, the relations with the school district and with principals, the awarding of mini-grants and planning grants, the process of renewing Institute Centers and establishing new Centers, the upgrading of computers in the Centers, and the carrying out of the series of computer workshops. It conducted two meetings with Center Coordinator and planned the two Forums for the Centers and the two Retreats for Center Leaders. It handled the preliminary planning for the Summer Academy. And during the planning for the National Conference on October 13-14, it identified the members of the Implementation Team who would form the New Haven conference team and the volunteers who would make presentations.

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University Advisory Council

Yale faculty members advise and assist the Institute through the University Advisory Council and its Executive Committee, both appointed by the Yale President. (For members of these bodies, see Appendix.) The Advisory Council guides the general direction of the program and acts as a course-of-study committee so that the Institute can certify Fellows' work to institutions where they may be pursuing advanced degrees. The Council also advises the Yale President on the Institute and, more generally, on matters concerning the University's involvement with the schools locally and with public elementary and secondary education nationally.

The University Advisory Council meets once each year; the Executive Committee meets twice or more each semester. The co-chairs of the Council meet and communicate frequently with the Director between meetings. Members of the Executive Committee and the Steering Committee meet jointly from time to time to share information about their respective activities and to explore appropriate ways of working together.

During 2000 the Executive Committee met in April, May (twice), October, and December. These meetings concerned priorities and plans for the Institute's work locally and nationally. The following issues received most attention: meetings with President Levin concerning the Institute's national initiative; development of a draft proposal for a twelve-year national initiative; planning for the Second Annual Conference of the National Demonstration Project; planning for the meeting in the fall of the National Advisory Committee and the Presidents, Chancellors, and Superintendents from the demonstration sites; and considering the recommendations made by that group with regard to partner or intermediary organizations with which we might work in the future and the two years of planning that should proceed the twelve-year initiative. Acting as the Institute's course-of-study committee, the Executive Committee also approved the seven seminars offered in 2000.

On May 1 the full University Advisory Council held its seventh annual meeting with President Levin. Co-chair Sabatino Sofia opened the meeting by introducing the new members: Glenda E. Gilmore, Paul Gilroy, Langdon L. Hammer, Peter Salovey, and Ian Shapiro.

Director James R. Vivian then offered a brief report, in which he emphasized that the Institute has balanced successfully the demands of its program locally and its initiative nationally. We have gained ground administratively by more than doubling the size of the Institute staff, installing a new computer system, and designing a database that integrates the Institute's various functions and makes us more efficient. He mentioned again this year that the Institute's most pressing financial need is to secure adequate permanent funding that will place its work in the sciences on the type of stable financial foundation that we have constructed for its work in the humanities. We have identified a small number of gifts that allow us to open an endowment account not restricted to the humanities, but this fund is very small, and most of the multi-year grant support we have received for science seminars ends this year. Vivian surveyed work done by the Centers for Professional and Curricular Development in the schools. And he summarized the progress of the National Demonstration Project.

Thomas R. Whitaker expanded on certain aspects of Vivian's report, emphasizing the ways in which the National Demonstration Project is being documented and what has been achieved thus far. Rogers M. Smith then spoke of the national seminars and the site visits, and he broached the possibility of an expanded national initiative in the future, which might add two Institutes a year over the next few years. He asked if the University Advisory Council agreed with the role that the Executive Committee envisioned for the New Haven Institute in the next phase of the national initiative. And he asked, if so, whether we should now give more priority to obtaining state and national governmental as well as foundation financial support for the national project, and should we actively seek to enlist the participant institutions and appropriate members of the National Advisory Committee in these efforts.

In the discussion that followed, there was general approval expressed of the direction of the continuing national initiative. President Levin, however, urged us to develop a much more ambitious proposal, which would outline a more compelling rationale for the expansion of Teachers Institutes across the country. Members of the Committee indicated that the Executive Committee should revisit the planning for the national initiative with this advice in mind.





President Levin urged us to develop a much more ambitious proposal, which would outline a more compelling rationale for the expansion of Teachers Institutes across the country.
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Local Program Documentation and Evaluation

Many evaluations of the Teachers Institute demonstrate that it assists schools in specific ways, and that the results are cumulative. (See especially A Progress Report on Surveys Administered to New Haven Teachers, 1982-1990 [New Haven: Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute, 1992].) In the fall of 2000, the Institute updated its ongoing study of New Haven teachers who have been Fellows. This study notes the proportion of eligible teachers from each New Haven school and department who have participated, the number of times Fellows have completed the program, and whether Fellows have remained in teaching in New Haven. It showed that, of the 491 New Haven teachers who have completed the program successfully at least once between 1978 and 2000, about half (49 percent) are currently teaching in New Haven. An additional 38 (8 percent) have assumed full-time administrative posts in the school system. Thus three fifths (57 percent) of all Fellows since 1978 are currently working in New Haven Public Schools. These statistics are particularly encouraging because of the Institute's determination to involve individuals who will continue to serve students in our urban school district. As we noted earlier, the increasing presence of former Fellows in administrative positions has rendered the Institute more visible and has encouraged other teachers to participate in its program.

Table 2
Institute Fellows as a Percentage of Eligible 
New Haven Elementary School Teachers

Kindergarten 4%
Grade 1 7%
Grade 2 5%
Grade 3 11%
Grade 4 10%
Grade 5 22%
Total K-5*  13%

*Includes all other subjects, for example non-graded arts, special education teachers, librarians an dcurriculum coordinators. K-5 teachers in K-8 schools are included in the appropriate categories here, and the total also includes K-8 librarians, special education teachers, curriculum coordinators and those K-8 art teachers who teach grades K-5.

As Table 2 shows, a considerable number of current elementary school teachers in New Haven (13 percent) have completed successfully at least one year of the Institute. (Elementary school teachers were first admitted in 1990.) As Table 3 shows, 33 percent of New Haven high school teachers of subjects in the humanities and sciences, 36 percent of transitional school teachers, and 29 percent of middle school teachers have also done so. A number of teachers have participated for two to twenty years. Of those Fellows still teaching in New Haven 37 percent have participated in the Institute once, 30 percent either two or three times, 32 percent between four and twelve times, and 1 percent between 13 and 21 times. On the other hand, of those Institute Fellows who have left the New Haven school system, 54 percent completed the program only once, and 33 percent took part two or three times. Only twenty-four Fellows who have left (13 percent) completed the program four or more times. Thus the Institute's cumulative influence in the New Haven school system and its likely effects upon retaining teachers are indicated by the fact that it has worked in the most sustained way with those who have chosen to remain in teaching in the New Haven Public Schools.

Table 3
Institute Fellows as a Percentage of Eligible 
New Haven Secondary School Teachers

Middle Schools
High Schools
Transitional Centers
Overall
English
42%
31%
25%
35%
History
44%
22%
13%
26%
Languages
16%
23%
0%
20%
Arts
38%
36%
0%
36%
Math
13%
27%
50%
23%
Science
18%
29%
67%
27%
Grade 5*
0%
n/a
n/a
0%
Grade 6
24%
n/a
n/a
24%
Grade 7
21%
n/a
n/a
21%
Grade 8
17%
n/a
n/a
17%
Total**
29%
33%
36%
31%

*Grade 5 teachers are included here only for middle schools; grade 5 teachers in elementary schools are reported in Table 2.
**Includes teachers of interdisciplinary and other subjects. Art teachers from K-8 schools are placed based on the grades which they teach most often.
***All K-8 school subject teachers and teachers of grades 6-8 count as Middle School teachers. K-5 teachers in K-8 schools count in Table 2.
n/a = not applicable

In 1996 members of the National Advisory Committee suggested that the Institute engage in fuller documentation of its work beyond the seminars themselves, and of the wider effects of its program in the school system. They believed they were hearing from teachers and staff about many valuable results of the Institute's work that should be documented in forms that could be made more widely available. The Institute is therefore now documenting more fully the work of teams in the schools, the activities of the Centers and Academies, and the development of electronic resources. This documentation has been summarized in earlier sections of this report.

In addition to their worldwide circulation in electronic form, the curriculum units, the current guide to the units, and the cumulative index to the units are given annual circulation in print. They are supplied to current Fellows and Seminar Leaders, to each school in the New Haven district, and to New Haven Public School supervisors and administrators. In 2000, the distribution was as follows: 76 copies of the units, 71 copies of the guide, and 182 copies of the index.

The Annual Report is itself a massive compilation of information and statistics drawn from a variety of sources, including the questionnaires completed by Fellows and seminar leaders, the tracking of all previous Fellows, statistics pertaining to the New Haven Public Schools, demographic analyses, minutes of meetings, reports from the Centers, reports from the new Institutes in the National Demonstration Project, reports to funders, and so forth. The work that provides material for its preparation extends over the entire year. The Annual Report is sent within Yale University to members of the administration, to the Yale Corporation, to the Yale Development Office, to selected members of the faculty, and to several internal organizations. It is sent also to actual and potential funders, to the Chief State School Officers, to State Governors, to selected members of Congress, to staff in several Federal agencies, to the New Haven Administration and Board of Aldermen, and to those involved in the National Demonstration Project. The total distribution of the 1999 Annual Report was: 1255 copies.

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