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Annual Report 2002 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 2002 this process, as described later in the report, resulted in the mounting of six seminars, four in the humanities and two 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:

"Survival Stories,"
led by Amy Hungerford, Assistant Professor of English

"The Middle East in Film and Literature,"
led by Ellen Lust-Okar, Assistant Professor of Political Science

"War and Peace in the Twentieth Century,"
led by Bruce M. Russett, Dean Acheson Professor of International Studies

"The Craft of Writing,"
led by Thomas R. Whitaker, Frederick W. Hilles Professor Emeritus of English and Theater Studies


A tenet of the Institute’s approach has been to determine its offerings annually in response to the needs teachers themselves identify.

With support from the Sherman Fairchild Foundation and funds from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute grant to Yale the Institute offered the following two seminars in the sciences:

"Food, Environmental Quality and Health,"
led by John P. Wargo, Professor of Environmental Risk Analysis and Policy

"Biology and History of Ethnic Violence and Sexual Oppression,"
led by Robert J. Wyman, Professor of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology

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, 2002, and the curriculum units themselves. Each Fellow has prepared a curriculum unit that she or he will use in a specific classroom. Each Fellow also has 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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Survival Stories




The narratives invited seminar participants to consider the relationship of telling stories to the survival of great hardship.

The curriculum units in this volume grew out of a seminar that focused on American survival narratives, both fictional and non-fictional. The narratives read together, representing stories of survival from the seventeenth century through the twentieth century, invited seminar participants to consider the relationship of telling stories to the survival of great hardship.

The readings were divided into three sections. The first section compared narratives from English settlers held captive by Native American tribes during King Philip’s War with an autobiographical account by Olaudah Equiano, an African held as a slave in England and the West Indies. The second section examined American slavery and its literary legacy, both in slave narratives and in the writing of Harriet Beecher Stowe, Richard Wright and Ishmael Reed. The third section gathered together twentieth-century fiction that responds to war and survival—be it World War I, the Nazi concentration camps in World War II, or the Vietnam War. This final section included work by Ernest Hemingway, Art Spiegelman, Cynthia Ozick, and the poet Simon Ortiz.

Against the backdrop of these readings, the members of this seminar explored many other kinds of survival in their own research and writing. The first four units in the published volume focus on particular historical moments of difficulty and the life stories of individuals who survived those times. Dina Secchiaroli builds her unit around readings about the Holocaust that blur the line between fiction and non-fiction. In choosing such readings she allows students to exercise their critical faculties and to explore how both truth-telling and imagination can become part of the effort to survive. Virginia Seely also uses different genres to bring students to a personal and humane understanding of history and survival—in this case, the history of slavery and the survival of young people caught within that “peculiar institution.” Marlene Kennedy’s unit, engaging the history of the Great Depression and Pearl Harbor, relies on fiction (novels and films) to teach children how imagination can not only help young people to survive difficult times but also increase understanding of history. In a unit written for very young students, Jean Sutherland uses a variety of materials, including film, diaries, and biography, to show how young people have survived their culture’s discrimination. Her focus on Anne Frank, Ryan White, and Ruby Bridges takes fourth-graders to different places and different moments in history to observe how three exceptional children drew on the resources of family, friends and education in order to make a meaningful life in the face of prejudice. Because students can easily identify with the young narrators and protagonists of the literature these units include, the curricula promise not only to teach reading, writing, and history, but also to encourage students to use their imagination, living into the historical predicaments in which each story is set.

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The seminar on “Survival Stories.” (Clockwise from bottom left: seminar leader Amy Hungerford, Fellows Jean E. Sutherland, Geraldine M. Martin, Sandra K. Friday, Yolanda U. Trapp, Virginia Seely, Kevin P. Inge, Marlene H. Kennedy, and Amber Stolz.)

The next three units in the volume take up the idea of cultural survival. Waltrina Kirkland-Mullins frames the story of the slave trade with a hands-on exploration of Ghanaian culture prior to slavery and its survival in the lives of slaves and their free descendants in the Americas. Yolanda Trapp focuses on how a person’s native language can survive as part of that person’s life and self-worth when she or he moves to a new place with a new language. Using bilingual books—most in Spanish and English—she shows how appreciation and celebration of linguistic diversity can coexist with students’ need to learn the language of their new home. Sandra Friday in her unit shows how new cultural practices—especially in visual art, music and poetry—blossom when individuals and groups are challenged with prejudice, poverty or other kinds of adversity. Her materials include poetry, Jacob Lawrence’s paintings, and rap by the African American philosopher, Cornel West. These materials show how art in its various forms communicates both public and personal history.


Three units in the volume take up the idea of cultural survival.

The last three units in the volume look at survival with an eye towards the contemporary application of survival lessons taken from literature, film and music. Kevin Inge uses a variety of readings—historical, autobiographical, and fictional—in asking his students to think and write about what helped characters in the stories to endure troubles in their lives. Amber Stolz aims also to give students survival resources they can use in their own lives, appealing to their sense of identity as teenagers by assigning readings, films, songs and creative projects that take up problems most teenagers encounter. The unit allows students to read and write about family difficulties, the issues of peer pressure and sex, the challenges of school, and the question of race. Finally, Geraldine Martin takes survival lessons to the very youngest students using the stories of Faith Ringgold. Through creative puppetry, art, and writing activities, Martin asks children to think about how family, friends, and the escape provided by imagination can help a person to weather difficult times and to accomplish seemingly impossible things.

Almost every unit in the seminar volume includes at least one activity in which students are invited to make the leap from academic work to personal expression. The Fellows discovered that survival stories have remained a staple of American writing since those narratives of captivity written by settlers and slaves in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The survival story provides a ready form for transforming private pain into culturally recognizable meaning.

Curriculum units, and their recommended uses, included: “The Holocaust: Survival Stories,” by Dina K. Secchiaroli (English Literature, History, and Photography, grades 7-12); “Looking at Human Struggle through the Language Arts Curriculum: The Faces of Slavery,” by Virginia A. Seely (Language Arts, Reading, and Social Studies, grades 5-12); “Jewels of Endurance,” by Marlene H. Kennedy (Language Arts and Social Studies, grade 6); “Surviving the Struggle: Ruby Bridges, Ryan White, and Anne Frank,” by Jean E. Sutherland (Reading, Language Arts, Social Studies, Science, and Social Development, grades 3-8); “Middle Passage: A Journey of Endurance,” by Waltrina Kirkland-Mullins (Language Arts, Social Studies, and Social Development, grades 1-5); “Our Children are Learning to Survive,” by Yolanda U. Trapp (Language Arts, Social Studies, and Science, grades K-4); “His Story, Her Story, Our Story: Narrating History through Art,” by Sandra K. Friday (English and World Literature, grades 9-12); “Child Survival Stories: Hope to Cope,” by Kevin P. Inge (History, Language Arts, and Science, grades 5-7); “Survivor: Not Just a TV Show,” by Amber Stolz (English and Character Education, grades 7-12); and “Willie and Friends: Overcomers in the Land—Stories by Faith Ringgold,” by Geraldine Martin (Reading and Language Arts, grade 1).

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Exploring the Middle East: Hands-On Approaches

The terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 brought the Middle East to the forefront of American consciousness. Students of all ages had questions: Why did it happen? Who did it? Why do “they” hate us? This placed teachers in the position to answer these questions, but many had few answers themselves.

These units developed from a seminar intended to address these questions. The seminar focused on contemporary politics of the Middle East. It was intended not only to help teachers understand the “high politics” of the region—the battles between elites that have led to the establishment of borders, wars and peace, and changes in political regimes—but also to allow them to examine how these politics affected individuals’ everyday experiences. In addition to using conventional academic materials, the seminar used contemporary feature films from the Middle East, memoirs, and novels to explore the attitudes and concerns of the people in the region. After exploring this material, teachers returned at the end of the seminar to the questions of what motivated the attacks on September 11th, and how the United States could respond.

In their units, the teachers chose to focus on the question, “Who are the people in the Middle East?” The first two units, those by David Howe and Angelo Pompano, explore the societies, languages, customs, religions and geography of the region. David Howe’s unit does so cross-nationally, comparing Egypt, Iraq, Israel and Saudi Arabia, while Angelo Pompano’s unit explores diversity within a single case, Lebanon. The third unit, by Judith Zurkus, also gives teachers and students an opportunity to examine the religion, culture, lifestyle and materials in the region, although in this case with an emphasis on Islamic Art.

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The seminar on “Exploring the Middle East: Hands-On Approaches” (Left to right: Fellows Mercedes O'Bourke and David Howe; seminar leader Ellen Lust-Okar.)

In writing their units, these teachers grappled with the question of how to teach children about “the other.” They pay particular attention to the diversity within the Middle East and to the extent to which the lives for children in the Middle East are similar to those of their students. Recognizing the diversity in the region and allowing students to see how their experiences match those of children in the Middle East help to counter the tendency to stereotype the people in the region. As Angelo Pompano writes, “By seeing the diverse Arab subcultures within the Lebanese culture, it is hoped that the students will understand that it is impossible to make generalization about Arabs just as it is impossible to make generalizations about any group.”







The seminar was intended to help teachers understand the "high politics" of the region and to allow them to examine how these politics affected individuals' everyday experiences.










In these units teachers pay particular attention to the extent to which the lives for children in the Middle East are similar to those of their students.

The three complementary units also provide hands-on learning experiences for elementary and secondary school students. David Howe gives students the opportunity to create a game, establishing the rules of play, the style of the board, and other features of the game in addition to gathering the information on the Middle East. Angelo Pompano establishes a framework through which a team of teachers can work together, combining learning experiences that culminate in a traditional Lebanese festival. Judith Zurkus provides a way for students to recreate Islamic art, focusing on textiles, metalwork, calligraphy and miniature paintings. In each case, the emphasis is on allowing students to explore their own creativity as well as the region.

Curriculum units, with their uses, included: “Desert Fever: A Student-Centered Approach to Learning about the Middle East,” by David Howe (Language Arts and Social Studies, grade 4); “A Bash in Baalbek: Creating a Lebanese Festival,” by Angelo J. Pompano (Social Studies, Art, Music, and Language Arts, grades 1-6); and “Islamic Art: Exploring the Visual Arts of the Middle East,” by Judith Zurkus (Social Studies and ESOL, grades 5-8).

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War and Peace in the Twentieth Century and Beyond

This seminar looked at the experience of major international conflicts in the past century. It was in part a historical overview, but—according to the seminar leader—not in the sense of history as “just one damned thing after another.” The group aimed to be analytical, asking why the conflicts occurred, and in what ways they shaped later events. The purpose was to use knowledge of the past to deepen our understanding of current and future conflicts in international relations, and enable us to share that understanding with our students. It was therefore a forward-looking enterprise. Some of the fundamental questions addressed included:

• How did use of the atomic bomb against Japan, and then reliance on nuclear weapons for deterrence, affect all international relations?
• What purposes can justify decisions to go to war, and what restraints on the use of violence in war may be possible or necessary?
• What contributes to the rise of international terrorism, and how can it be dealt with?
• What are the times and areas of the world where peace has been maintained—for example between prosperous democracies—and why?

The purpose was to use knowledge of the past to deepen our understanding of current and future conflicts in international relations, and enable us to share that understanding with our students.





This general orientation led to a variety of individual class sessions. Some were devoted to specific events, and others to more general issues of why wars happen and how they are fought, using several events as illustrations. Topics were, in order:

• Is international politics different from politics within countries?
• World War II: Why did it happen, and how did it end?
• The Cold War begins: How and why?
• Nuclear deterrence and the rise of limited wars: Korea and Vietnam
• The remarkably peaceful end of the Cold War
• Gulf War: In defense of oil and sovereignty
• The ethics and morality of war and deterrence
• Civil Wars: Enemies inside and out
• Terrorism and how to fight it
• The United Nations: What is it good for?
• A hope for peace: Some countries don’t fight each other
• What can Fellows take from our seminar back to their own teaching conditions?

The Fellows’ own projects, to compile teaching units for their classes and perhaps for adoption in whole or part by other teachers, reflect this mix of focus on single events and more general phenomena. Most of the units are intended for use as subunits of more general courses for students in grades 9-12, though two units clearly are intended for younger children. The unit writers identified films, videos, Web sites, simulations, and other educational materials to supplement readings and discussions.

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The seminar on “War and Peace in the Twentieth Century and Beyond” (Clockwise from bottom left: Fellows John B. Buell, Joyce Bryant, Pedro Mendia-Landa, Burton R. Saxon, Ralph Russo, Russell H. Sirman; Associate Director Josiah H. Brown; Fellows David DeNaples and Elisha M. Danford; and seminar leader Bruce M. Russett.)

John Buell’s unit addresses the origins and development of just war theory and its implications for teaching history, analytical reasoning, and expository writing to high school students. Russell Sirman’s unit similarly reflects this desire to stimulate vigorous discussion among students by asking them to debate and argue the merits of difficult choices involving war and peace, through historical case studies. In his unit, Ralph Russo follows a more topical than event-oriented approach. He gives students a broad picture of what the UN can do to help resolve violent conflicts, and the limits to its abilities. This unit includes attention to role-playing and simulation, especially through materials available from the popular Model UN exercises. David DeNaples’ unit gives students of European and world history a background to the ethnic wars that have plagued much of the world in subsequent decades.

Elisha Danford is, like the other others, concerned with sharpening students’ analytical and expository skills, but does this in the context of decisions by the Vietnamese leaders, pursuing their own interests against those of involved great powers (China, France, the United States) at the end of World War II. Kristi Shanahan’s unit reflects her special interest in art history, as well as in French language and culture. She combines a history of French art (including that of refugees to France preceding and during the years of the Vichy regime) with methods of teaching students how to interpret a painting and to understand the intent of the artist.

In his unit, Burt Saxon confronts two conflicting perspectives on African Americans’ experience of racial discrimination in the military, and in American society as a whole. In a critical review of several writings, Saxon traces the history of discrimination, from the days of severe segregation to the contemporary degree of equality, asking the extent to which the military followed or led the wider society.

The two final units are addressed to younger students. Pedro Mendia-Landa offers a unit for possible use in elementary classes. In it he addresses the effect of war on children, using as a springboard three Dr. Seuss stories, and a focus on the experience of his own ethnic group, the Basques, in their struggle for greater independence from French and especially Spanish control. Finally, Joyce Bryant focuses on societal changes wrought by the need for female labor in the factories during World War I and again during World War II, and how women’s employment outside the home helped to empower them. It also addresses opportunities opened up for women in the military services, and how that changed the military, women, and the whole society.

Curriculum units, with their recommended uses, include: “Just War Theory and the Wars of the 20th Century,” by John B. Buell (U.S. History, grades 10-11, and World History, grade 9); “Questions of War and Peace: Using Case Studies to Teach the History of American Foreign Policy,” by Russell H. Sirman (U.S. History, grades 10-12); “Investigating Conflict Resolution through the United Nations,” by Ralph Russo (World History, Contemporary Issues, History, and Social Studies, grades 9-12); “Ethnicity, Nationalism, and Conflict in the Early 20th Century,” by David DeNaples (World History, grade 11, Western Civilization, grade 9, and Global Studies, grades 9-12); “Debating the Future of Indochina in 1945: Making Your Case,” by Elisha M. Danford (U.S. History, World History, and French, grades 7-12); “Expression under Suppression: The Artistic Response to the Occupation of France during World War II,” by Kristi V. Shanahan (Art History, World/European History, French and French Art, grades 9-12); “African Americans and the Military,” by Burton R. Saxon (U.S. History, grades 10-12); “History and War: What about the Children?”, by Pedro Mendia-Landa (Integrated Social Studies and Language Arts, grades 2-4); “How War Changed the Role of Women in the United States,” by Joyce Bryant (Reading, Social Studies, and History, grade 8).

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The Craft of Writing

The seminar in “The Craft of Writing” was, in effect, a writing workshop. The participants read other writers and discussed their strategies. The Fellows wrote short pieces of various kinds and received one another’s appreciative and critical comments. And the group tried to spend more than the usual amount of time in discussing the process of writing curriculum units.


The seminar was, in effect, a writing workshop.

The seminar began its reading with Charles C. Mann’s challenging essay, “1491,” in The Atlantic Monthly, a brief essay by Pat Schneider in Heron Dance, and some poems by Roque Dalton and Jimmy Santiago Baca. The participants ended by selecting essays of interest from a current issue of The New Yorker—and spending most of their time talking about Louis Menand’s profile of Maya Lin, “The Reluctant Memorialist.” Between the beginning and the end, several lengthier texts provided a range of different modes of writing. Each, in some respect, was about the process of writing and how writing may express and clarify our experience. The Fellows read Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, Ken Wilber’s No Boundary: Eastern and Western Approaches to Personal Growth, and Mary Oliver’s book-length poem, The Leaf and the Cloud. The seminar covered read portions of A Cynthia Ozick Reader, edited by Elaine M. Kauvar, and Vicki Hearne’s Adam’s Task: Calling Animals by Name. And, for a different approach to the techniques of narrative and description, the Fellows looked at some chapters from Michael Chabon’s novel The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay.

The seminar’s short pieces of writing included some stylistic exercises, in which the Fellows emulated strategies used by Lamott, Wilber, and Ozick; some vigorous responses to the work of those and other writers; and a fairly wide range of prose sketches, poems, and chapters from novels-in-progress. The participants also spent a good deal of time offering suggestions to one another after reading the first drafts of the curriculum units.

Those curriculum units bring certain principles of writing—and of teaching and learning—to bear upon an array of school settings. Each unit in its own way shares the seminar’s concern to elicit authentic writing that comes from the live experience of the students. According to the seminar leader, the spirit of John Dewey hovered over the group’s collective efforts.

Robert P. Echter’s unit emphasizes the importance of friendly and familial relationships to the learning of writing, especially for students in grades one to four who are eligible for special education service. Shirley Goldberg brings together a range of specific strategies that she has tested with bilingual students who are learning to write English, some of whom may not be literate in their first language.

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The seminar on “The Craft of Writing” (Clockwise from left: Fellows Robert Echter, Andrea Bailey, Joseph Raffone, Christine Picón-Van Duzer, Sean Griffin, Leigh Highbridge, Shirley Ann Goldberg; and seminar leader Thomas R. Whitaker.)










Each unit shares the seminar’s concern to elicit authentic writing that comes from the live experience of the students.

The next three curriculum units, by members of a team from Vincent E. Mauro Elementary School, aim to help students to become successful in writing through classes in Social Development, Social Studies, and Physical Education. Andrea Bailey seeks through detailed exercises in writing to engage, clarify, and modify the emotions of her third-grade students. Her unit is designed to work with the prevention program, Project Charlie. Christine Picón Van Duzer’s unit is, like Shirley Goldberg’s unit, intended for bilingual students in third grade. But it uses autobiographical narratives by young people and family stories, such as Carmen Lomas Garza’s Family Pictures/Cuadros de familia, to provide material that will elicit writing from the students. Joseph J. Raffone proposes to lead his fifth-grade students in Physical Education through a sequence of writing that will include journals, acrostic poems, short story compositions, and finally an interview modeled on those seen on ESPN’s Sportscenter.

The next three curriculum units direct their attention to the upper grades. Sean Griffin’s unit is intended for an eighth-grade English class in an arts magnet school. He will lead students through responses to a range of visual art toward an engagement both visual and literary with the work of James Thurber and Edgar Allan Poe—and compositions about their work. Judith Goodrich’s unit is intended for an eighth-grade class in American history. It makes use of an array of analytical and expository strategies, along with mapping and electronic resources, as it aims to elicit vigorous writing from students about history. Finally, Leigh Highbridge’s unit also addresses the craft of writing. This sequence for ninth-grade theater students begins with exercises in writing that are usually found in a vocational preparation situation, and it culminates in a production to be written, designed, and performed by the class.

Curriculum units, and their uses, include: “Learning Writing in the Context of ‘Inclusion’,” by Robert P. Echter (Writing, grades 1-4); “The First Six Weeks: A Writing Guide for Third Grade Bilingual Class,” by Shirley Goldberg (Language Arts and ESL, grades 2-3); “The Inner Voice: Writing as a Tool to Control Anger in the Classroom,” by Andrea Bailey (Writing and Social Development, grade 3); “The Craft of Writing through Narrative History,” by Christine Picón Van Duzer (Language Arts, ESL, and Social Studies, grades 3-6); “Integrating the Craft of Writing into Physical Education,” by Joseph J. Raffone (Language Arts and Physical Education, grade 5); “Writers as Artists, Artists as Writers: Response to Literature and Visual Arts,” by Sean Griffin (English, Language Arts, and Visual Arts, grade 8); “Improving Writing Skills in an American History Classroom,” by Judith Goodrich (Social Studies and American History, grades 6-8); “A Theater Workshop to Improve Character Development and Collaboration Skills,” by Leigh Highbridge (Acting, grade 9, and Technical Theatre Production, grades 9-10).

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Food, Environmental Quality and Health

The seminar considered the histories of pesticides and nuclear testing, among other issues such as microbial contamination in food, mercury in marine food chains, artificial flavors and fragrances, water contamination, and genetic engineering of foods and animals. By comparing these cases, the participants learned that those promoting new chemical or biological technologies rarely understand their environmental or health implications. The producers’ primary goal is to gain government approval to move new products to marketplace as quickly as possible. As food markets are global, this creates an enormous burden for government to track and regulate the extraordinary diversity of contaminants and deliberate additives in the international food supply. Few governments have the financial capacity to test thoroughly for chemical residues or biological contaminants.

Wealthy nations face distinctive nutritional problems tied to diets high in fat, sugar and salt. Americans tend to eat more processed than fresh foods; more meat and fewer grains, fruits and vegetables. These habits are well correlated with patterns of cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and obesity. The seminar considered alternative methods to encourage healthier diets especially among school-aged children. Several teachers will administer dietary surveys to their students to make them more conscious of their dietary habits.

The Fellows debated what is truly worth worrying about, and the need for curricular innovation that somehow integrates available knowledge of ecology, medicine, and public health. Most of the teachers are involved in the sciences, but all recognized the important contributions of the humanities—especially history—and the social sciences to better understand the origin of the problems described above.

Abie Benítez designed a curriculum unit for kindergarteners who will explore basic questions such as: how plants grow, their need for water and sun, why children need food, the source of common foods, and basics of nutrition and taste. She will teach her unit to dual language students (Spanish and English), and the unit includes a variety of pedagogical strategies tailored to their strengths and needs. Raymond Brooks designed a unit for students in grades 6-8 that will help them develop more competitive science fair projects. It is structured to teach students to think logically and critically while exploring health risks associated with agriculture, food processing, and diet. Jennifer Chisholm created a health curriculum for middle school students. This unit is designed to teach students the relations among diet, nutrition, and wellness.

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The seminar on “Food, Environmental Quality and Health” (Clockwise from bottom left: Fellows Joseph H. Lewis, Mary E. Jones; seminar leader John P. Wargo, Fellows Jennifer Chisholm, Judith D. Dixon, Gwendolyn Robinson, and Abie L. Benítez.)





The Fellows debated what is truly worth worrying about, and the need for curricular innovation that integrates available knowledge of ecology, medicine, and public health.

Judith Dixon teaches fifth-grade science and geography and designed a unit that will inspire students to better understand the relations between aquatic environments and fisheries. This unit illustrates the potential to integrate basic concepts of ecology, especially food chain dynamics, with the study of diet and human health. Mary Jones teaches sixth-grade science, and her unit concentrates on defining a health promoting diet. Students will explore whether vegetarianism is a healthier lifestyle, as well as the strengths and limits of the government’s food pyramid recommendations and labeling efforts. Joseph Lewis is a middle school science teacher, and has created a unit to develop environmental science fair projects. He will focus on scientific method and teach this through two experiments, one exploring the effects of earthworms on plant growth, and another examining the effects of pesticides on earthworms.

Roberta Mazzucco’s unit for third-grade students gives them the opportunity to prepare a food diary, explore cultural variation in dietary patterns, the foundations of nutrition, the diversity of international sources of food, how food is processed, and how its quality is affected. The unit will also include a cooking experiment and taste testing. Joanne Pompano teaches blind or visually impaired high school students. Her unit examines the growth and development of the visual system, and the relations between diet and visual health. Jacqueline Porter is a middle school special education teacher of science and life science. Students will learn to recognize who is especially susceptible to food-borne illnesses—pregnant women, children, the elderly and those with other illnesses, and the most common sources of contamination. Gwendolyn Robinson teaches seventh- and eighth-grade science, and has created a curriculum unit that explores the health benefits of vegetarianism. She provides lessons that examine questions of nutrition, health and government policy, and that help students judge for themselves.

Curriculum units, with their uses, include: “Qué comes tú?/What do you eat?”, by Abie L. Benítez (Science, Social Development, and Social Studies, grades K-1): “Quality of Life Investigations: Risk Reduction,” by Raymond W. Brooks (Life Science, grades 6-8); “Food, Environmental Quality, and Health,” by Jennifer Chisholm (Health, Nutrition, Social Development, Science, and Home Economics, grades 5-8); “The Aquatic Environment,” by Judith Dixon (Science and Geography, grades 4-6); “Food and Your Body: How to Maintain a Healthy Diet,” by Mary Elizabeth Jones (Science, grades 6-12, Home Economics, grades 6-8, and Nutrition, grades 9-12); “Preparing for the New Haven Public Schools Science Fair through Environmental Science,” by Joseph H. Lewis (Science and Science Fair Preparation, grades 5-8); “You Are What You Eat: How Food Quality Affects Your Health,” by Roberta Mazzucco (Science and Social Studies, grades 2-5); “Healthy Diet, Healthy Eyes,” by Joanne R. Pompano (Science, Ecology, Environmental Science, Health, and Special Education, grades 9-12); “Nutritional Influence on Illness and Disease,” by Jacqueline E. Porter (Science, Life Science, and Home Economics, grades 6-8); “For Optimum Health: Revising the Food Pyramid,” by Gwendolyn Robinson (Health and Science, grades 5-10).

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Biology and History of Ethnic Violence and Sexual Oppression

Recently, biologists studying animal behavior have started to make sense out of the confused field of violence. The key observation is that our closest animal relatives, the chimpanzees, exhibit the same kinds of violence that humans do. Chimpanzee communities slaughter each other in what might be called wars, males compete physically with each other for dominance, males batter females, and adolescence marks the onset of violent behavior.

Archaeologists and anthropologists find that these types of violence are almost universal in all human cultures and as far back in history as we can trace. This seminar discussed the biological and cultural roots of violence through history and across cultures, reading material from as diverse regions as India, New Guinea and China as well as the United States. The various units written during the course of the seminar explore and apply this information in ways that are appropriate for different school settings.

Kimberly Workinger’s unit explains the interplay of instincts and learning in the behavior of small animals usually kept as pets. The audience is agricultural-track students at the Sound School, but, since almost everyone has or knows pets, the unit should be widely applicable to other school settings. Carolyn Kinder’s unit applies the same biology-culture analysis to human violence. Anyone who has observed the uncontrollable rage and fear at play in an adolescent fight knows that a lot of biology is involved. By explicitly comparing violent behavior in humans with violent behavior in the two species of chimpanzee (common chimps and bonobos) the similarities and differences are made clear. Jessica Zelenski’s unit uses the “biological aspects and social constructions of motherhood” to discuss the terrible choices and situations which downtrodden women face. The approach is cross-cultural; the students will read three novels centering on Chinese women, an Indian (South Asian) woman and an American slave woman. All three discuss women fleeing an intolerable life to a new culture. Finally, Diana Otto’s unit deals with a literary exploration of violence. Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale envisions a future America that is engulfed in a religious war where the fundamentalists in control have instituted an extreme form of sexual oppression. This unit should generate discussion and controversy in any literature class.

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The seminar on “Biology and History of Ethnic Violence and Sexual Oppression” (Left to right: Fellows Carolyn N. Kinder and Diana T. Otto; seminar leader Robert J. Wyman.)

The curriculum units, and their uses, included: “Basic Animal Behavior in Domesticated Animals,” by Kimberly J. Workinger (Biology and Vocational Agriculture, grades 10-12); “The Roots of Violence in Society,” by Carolyn N. Kinder (Social Development and Biology, grades 5-8); “Motherhood: Biological Asset or Social Liability?”, by Jessica Zelenski (English, grades 11-12); “Sexual Oppression and Religious Extremism in Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale,” by Diana T. Otto (English, grades 11-12).







This seminar discussed the biological and cultural roots of violence through history and across cultures.
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The Process of Determining the Seminar Topics

Between October and December 2001, the teachers who served 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 2002. (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.

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School Representatives meeting. (Clockwise from bottom left: Director James R. Vivian, Representatives Sean Griffin, Sandra K. Friday, Mary Elizabeth Jones, Gail G. Hall, Jennifer Chisholm, Gwendolyn Robinson, Jean E. Sutherland, Joyce Bryant, Joanne R. Pompano; Sal Resendez; Representatives Kate Sturtz, Diana T. Otto, Robert P. Echter, Kristi Shanahan, Francine C. Coss, Jacqueline E. Porter, Joseph H. Lewis, and Raymond W. Brooks.)

In their evaluations, the 2002 Fellows indicated that the Institute Representative for their school had been helpful in many ways: by encouraging and assisting them to apply to the Institute, maintaining frequent contact with them, asking for their views on seminar subjects for the following year, and promoting the use of Institute-developed curriculum units. (Chart 1, reading from left to right, moves from the more helpful to the less helpful activities of the Representatives.) As a result, 29 (66 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 comparable to the rate of satisfaction indicated by the Fellows in 2000 and 2001 (59 and 75 percent, respectively).


Fellows indicated that the Institute Representative for their school had been helpful in many ways.
(Chart 1 available in print form.)
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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 8 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 15 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 22 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 29. 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:

• 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.

• 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.

• 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.

• 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.


The small size of the seminars is necessary for collegiality and for the individual attention that each teacher’s work in progress receives.

During the planning process 97 teachers expressed definite interest in participating in one of the seminars to be offered. Of those teachers, 31 were from high schools, 7 from transitional schools, 22 from middle schools, 25 from elementary schools, and 12 from K-8 schools. By the application deadline, the Institute Representatives, assisted by the school Contacts, had obtained applications from 62 elementary, middle, K-8, and high school teachers in the humanities, social sciences, and sciences.

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 team application form requires the interested teachers to demonstrate how the team envisions working together in inter-grade and/or interdisciplinary ways and to 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.

To support the school district’s efforts to attract and retain qualified teachers the Institute placed special emphasis in 2002 on identifying appropriate ways to assist individuals in their first year of teaching in New Haven. Late in 2001, to explore how the Institute might support teachers new to the district, and to determine whether participation as an Institute Fellow was feasible or desirable for these teachers given the substantial demands on them, the Associate Superintendent and the Institute Director convened two meetings at Yale. Teachers from five New Haven schools, all of which have Institute Centers for Curriculum and Professional Development, took part. Connecticut’s Beginning Educator Support and Training (BEST) program requires that new teachers prepare a portfolio—including extensive lesson plans, videotaped class sessions, and reflection—in their second year in order to be fully certified. The teachers who met in November and December 2001 with district administrators and the Institute Director brought a range of experience with the BEST program: first- and second-year participants in the program as well as individuals who had recently completed it and one who was serving as a BEST mentor. Four of the teachers had been Institute Fellows.


To support the school district’s efforts to attract and retain qualified teachers the Institute placed special emphasis on assisting individuals in their first year of teaching in New Haven.

As a result of these discussions, the Institute determined that we should mount a pilot effort to recruit first-year teachers. We aimed to learn from their experiences whether the collegiality of the Institute and the development of a curriculum unit could assist them in entering the New Haven Public Schools and in completing the portfolio that teachers in Connecticut are required to prepare during their second year. An experienced Fellow agreed to be the coordinator of the pilot, which included presentations at district-wide meetings for the BEST program as well as the dissemination of informational literature designed especially for first-year teachers. Ultimately, twelve first-year teachers applied to participate in the Institute’s seminars in 2002.

All applications were 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 the decentralizing of administrative functions and decision-making in the school district. The Institute’s Representative for each school contacted the school principal or the principal’s designee, who is asked to review each teacher’s application. The intention is to increase awareness within each school of the projects that teachers wish to pursue in Institute seminars, to afford an opportunity for the principal and other educational leaders to examine the relationship between teachers’ applications and school plans, and to increase the likelihood that the teachers will have a course assignment in which they can use their curriculum unit. In this review, the following questions are posed:

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Application Review meeting. (Left to right: Seminar Coordinators Abie L. Benítez and Angelo J. Pompano.)

• Is the applicant’s proposal consistent with, and significant for, the curricula and academic plans for your school?

• List the courses and/or the grade levels where the proposed unit will be used; if there are none, state “none.”

• Will the applicant be assigned next year one or more of these course in which to teach the unit?

• Please indicate any special merits or problems you find with the application.








The applications were reviewed by three groups: seminar leaders, school principals, and seminar Coordinators.

When this procedure was introduced in 1998, Reginald Mayo, Superintendent of the New Haven Public Schools, had written to all principals: “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 prospect 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.

It is important that principals appreciate the nature and the significance of the curriculum units that teachers in their school will be designing, and we include here some excerpts from principals’ comments on the Fellows’ applications:

Her unit will address a new program starting with kindergarten and extending to the other grades on a yearly basis.

This proposed curriculum fits nicely into our science curriculum.

The applicant’s proposal is consistent with city/school expectations for curriculum development.

This unit will help support teachers in their efforts to develop and create Science Fair projects.

This unit will provide students with the opportunity to explore issues that are important to their education and welfare.

Nutrition is an important topic that not only directly influences health but also behavior. The entire staff can use the findings of this unit to share with their students.

This project will encourage the higher order thinking skills we are supporting at the high school level.

We are trying to encourage problem-solving and group discussion on issues of law and morality. This proposal supports those efforts.

This proposal is appropriate because of the large number of ESL [English as a Second Language] students in our program. It will enable the students and teacher to learn more about the Muslim culture.


Principals appreciate the nature and the significance of the curriculum units that teachers in their school will be designing.

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. The Director, with the assistance of the Steering Committee, selects these Coordinators from the group of Representatives who had earlier helped to plan the program of seminars. The Steering Committee is routinely involved in thinking about teacher leadership and identifying the positions for which individual teachers are most qualified.

There is one Coordinator in each seminar. They act as liaisons 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 February 6) 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 6 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 13 the Coordinators met for a full day, by taking professional leave, for their final consideration of the applications and their decisions. They met again two days later to resolve issues remaining in some 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. The Institute accepted as Fellows 62 New Haven teachers, 40 in the humanities and 22 in the sciences. Two teams of teachers—one group in the humanities and one in the sciences—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. One of these teams, from East Rock Global Magnet School, ultimately implemented its plans more fully than the other team, from Vincent Mauro Elementary School. A meeting of seminar leaders and Coordinators was held on February 26 to discuss the admissions process just completed, and to review the seminar and unit writing process and the policies and procedures of the Institute.

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Joint meeting of seminar leaders and Coordinators. (Clockwise from left: Bruce M. Russett; Director James R. Vivian; Luis A. Recalde, Carolyn N. Kinder, John B. Buell, Abie L. Benítez, John P. Wargo, and Angelo J. Pompano.)

Consistent with the Institute’s aim to serve the largest possible proportion of all New Haven teachers, 30 (or 48 percent) of the teachers accepted in 2002 were participating in the Institute for the first time. Of these first-time Fellows, precisely half were in the humanities and half were in the sciences. More than one fifth of all the Fellows accepted (21 percent) were Black, nearly two thirds (65 percent) were non-Hispanic White, and 14 percent were Hispanic. Twelve were in their first year of teaching in New Haven.


Coordinators provide teacher leadership without diminishing the collegial rapport within each seminar.




























A meeting of seminar leaders and Coordinators was held to discuss the admissions process and to review the seminar and unit writing process and the policies and procedures of the Institute.




Forty-eight percent of the teachers accepted in 2002 were participating in the Institute for the first time.
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The Fellows Who Were Accepted

Fellows came from all of the eight New Haven high schools, all of the six middle schools, two of the six K-8 schools, and one of the four transitional schools. Of the 22 elementary schools, half had teachers participating. The Institute first admitted elementary school teachers in 1990; this year 21 (34 percent) of all Fellows were elementary school teachers. Twenty-two (36 percent) were middle or K-8 school teachers, and 17 (27 percent) were high school teachers. Three schools had four or more Fellows; nine schools had three or more.

The participants included teachers from all stages of their careers. Perhaps reflecting the effort to recruit new teachers, 44 percent of Fellows were age 40 or younger (as compared with 30 percent in 2001). Overall, about 16 percent of the Fellows were 41-50 years old; 44 percent were younger, and 41 percent were older.

Consistent with the Institute’s effort to involve beginning teachers, as Chart 2 shows, more than one third of the Fellows (35 percent) had four or fewer years of total experience in teaching. This was almost twice the proportion of Fellows at that stage of their careers in 2001, when 19 percent had four or fewer years of teaching experience. In 2002 about one fifth (19 percent) of the Fellows had 20 or more years of total experience in teaching. Yet nearly one half (47 percent) of the Fellows had four or fewer years of experience teaching in the New Haven school system. Indicative of the need for the professional development that the Institute provides, three fifths (61 percent) of all Fellows have been in their present teaching position four or fewer years; more than three quarters (76 percent) have taught in their present position for nine years or less. Thus, even though half of the Fellows have twelve or more years of total teaching experience, an even larger proportion (61 percent) 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.

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The seminar on “War and Peace in the Twentieth Century and Beyond.” (Left to right: Fellows John B. Buell, Joyce Bryant, and Pedro Mendia-Landa.)

(Chart 2 available in print form.)

Moreover, as in past years—and as is the case in the school system generally—many of the 2002 Fellows did not major in college or graduate school in the subjects they currently teach. As Chart 3 shows, in no field did all Fellows teaching a subject have a graduate or undergraduate degree in that subject. In three fields—art, general science, and social studies—no Fellows had a graduate or undergraduate degree in a field they taught. Of the Fellows teaching in the field of English, only 38 percent had an undergraduate or graduate degree. Of those teaching mathematics, only one third had so much as an undergraduate degree.




Three fifths of all Fellows have been in their present teaching position four or fewer years.




(Chart 3 available in print form.)

Chart 4 shows the subjects Fellows taught in the 2001-2002 year of their Institute participation. Overall, more than three fifths (63 percent) of Fellows in the humanities and four fifths (82 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 2002 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 exercise intellectual independence (84 percent), to develop materials to motivate their students (82 percent), to work with university faculty members (82 percent), to increase their mastery of the subjects they teach (80 percent), and to develop curricula to fit their needs (73 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.

Table 1
Ethnicity and Gender of Participants

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


White
Black
Hispanic
Other
non-Hispanic
non-Hispanic
All
Male
Female
All
Male
Female
All
Male
Female
All
Male
Female
Institute Fellows, 2002
66%
23%
43%
23%
7%
16%
11%
2%
9%
0%
0%
0%
Institute Fellows, 1978-2002
69%
20%
49%
26%
6%
20%
4%
1%
3%
1%
0%
1%
New Haven Public School Teachers, 2002
73%
20%
53%
18%
4%
14%
7%
1%
6%
1%
0.3%
0.7%
New Haven Public School Students, 2002
12%
6%
6%
57%
29%
28%
30%
15%
15%
2%
0.8%
1.2%
Institute Coordinators, 2002
67%
33%
33%
17%
0%
17%
17%
0%
17%
0%
0%
0%
Steering Committee, 2002
75%
25%
50%
25%
0%
25%
0%
0%
0%
0%
0%
0%
Representatives and Contacts, 2001
67%
23%
44%
23%
3%
20%
10%
3%
7%
0%
0%
0%
Institute Seminar Leaders, 2002
100%
67%
33%
0%
0%
0%
0%
0%
0%
0%
0%
0%
Institute Seminar Leaders, 1978-2002
86%
71%
15%
8%
6%
1%
5%
3%
3%
0%
0%
0%
Yale Faculty, 2002
(includes tenured and term ladder faculty)
85%
62%
23%
3%
2%
1%
3%
2%
1%
9%
6%
3%
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 5, 2002, the seminar leader distributed an annotated bibliography on the seminar subject and presented the syllabus of readings that he or she proposed that 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. According to one Fellow, “The selection of readings we covered was varied and interesting (mostly!). I enjoyed being given a reading list and then being able to discuss it. Our seminar had an outline but was flexible enough to incorporate anything that came up.”

Other Fellows wrote:

The subject was very interesting, and the texts to read were great. We were assigned texts to be in charge of and would come to class with a short presentation on how to teach this in our classes. This got us all thinking. People were not afraid to voice their opinions. There was a lot of camaraderie.

Especially appreciated was the reasonable length of the assigned readings. Most of the reading assignments could be completed in two to four hours which meant that all of the Fellows had completed all of the same reading for each meeting. This certainly contributed to the quality of the discussion.

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The seminar on “Survival Stories.” (Left to right: Fellows Marlene H. Kennedy and Amber Stolz.)

The seminar leaders also commented on what they perceived to be the Fellows’ responses to the weekly readings. One said: “The Fellows were interested, did their reading (which I kept fairly short), and with a couple of exceptions they contributed freely to discussions.” He continued, “Leading the seminar was an entirely positive experience.”

Another seminar leader wrote:

My field is inherently interdisciplinary, and considerable maturity of judgment is necessary to understand the interplay between science and politics in decision making. The teachers were very strong in this respect, and they seemed quite engaged in the seminar discussions. There was consistently strong competition to get classroom “air time,” as most seemed quite engaged. This caused me to adjust my teaching style—less lecturing and more discussion as I tried to move through an agenda of questions and issues each week.

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, almost all Fellows (93 percent) said that they had ample opportunity to discuss their choice of readings with the seminar leader.

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 9, Fellows submitted this prospectus, presented their revised unit topics, and began to discuss the common readings. The regular weekly seminar meetings began on May 7; thereafter Fellows continued to develop their units in stages, with a first draft submitted on May 28. The weekly meetings of the seminars continued through July 16, with Fellows submitting the second draft of their units on July 2 and their completed units by July 31.












"We were assigned texts to be in charge of and would come to class with a short presentation on how to teach this in our classes."
      —Institute Fellow











"Most seemed quite engaged. This caused me to adjust my teaching style—less lecturing and more discussion."
      —Seminar Leader

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. 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. Every year, too, some Fellows are concerned that the writing of the unit begins before they have entered well into the seminar topic, or that too much work must be done at the end of the school year, when they are heavily committed to their teaching. Nevertheless, a majority of the Fellows have been satisfied with this schedule. In 2002 one said, “Timetables are hard to establish when you work in such an overwhelming circumstance which is inner-city teaching. Yet, the seminars start [meeting every week] when our year is just about to end, our busiest time of the year. This is a weakness but a blessing disguise; the Institute activity allows us to focus on what we want to do improve our teaching for the following year.” Overall 69 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 said: “The writing process was overwhelming at times, but the collaboration in the seminars put me at ease. We were able to share our curriculums with our colleagues to learn what they were writing about and to receive feedback.” Another, who said that the seminar leader “nurtured us through the process” and that “it was wonderful,” wrote:

Information presented to us prior to the unit creation and during the writing of the unit was very detailed. I especially enjoyed the depth with which our professor corrected our unit drafts. I found the seminar to be very rewarding because I had an opportunity to meet with a diverse group of fellow educators who contributed much to the lesson assignments and the book discussions. I also enjoyed it when all of us were given a chance to present our units to the group. Another Fellow wrote:

Throughout the seminar, participants were given adequate amounts of time to complete required assignments. Opportunities to brainstorm with one another and to share preliminary drafts with our colleagues in the development of individual curriculum units were well fostered. [The seminar leader] allowed Fellows to express interpretations of covered materials in an open forum. Space was allowed for colleagues to agree to disagree. This resulted in stimulating, candid dialogue between teachers across grade levels.












The Institute attaches great importance to the process through which Fellows develop their curriculum units.

"I especially enjoyed the depth with which our professor corrected our unit drafts."
      —Institute Fellow

At the conclusion of the seminars, most Fellows indicated that the program schedule (84 percent) and the guidelines for writing a unit (89 percent) had been useful to them to a great or moderate extent. This year 59 percent of the Fellows said they tried out the subject matter and 68 percent said they tried out the strategies of their units in their classroom. Of those who did, most Fellows (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 in some cases to subjects and leaders of possible future seminars. Ordinarily, therefore, some current or prospective seminar leaders are included in this series. At the same time, some other faculty members are invited to speak on topics the school Representatives believe will be of particular interest to many Fellows, based on the interests expressed during the months of planning and canvassing the preceding fall.

In response to the teachers’ expressed interests, and because many Fellows had considered applying to more than one of this year’s seminars, the current seminar leaders gave all five of the talks in 2002.

• On March 12, Ellen Lust-Okar offered “a brief introduction” to culture and politics in the Middle East.

• On March 26, Robert J. Wyman discussed “Ethnic Cleansing, Chimpanzee Style.”

• On April 2, Amy Hungerford expanded upon one text, Art Spiegelman’s Maus, in addressing “Cartoons and the Holocaust.”

• On April 23, Bruce M. Russett tackled the question of “War Without End?” in remarks that were both retrospective and prospective.

• On April 30, John P. Wargo outlined his seminar on “Food, Environmental Quality, and Health” in remarks that focused on matters such as pesticides and the threat of water pollution.

This year the talks were especially popular among Fellows. The few criticisms primarily related to the use of precious time, and whether that time might have been used more effectively in different ways within the Institute. One Fellow said that the talks “should come later in the schedule allowing Fellows to meet with and get information from the seminar for which they are writing the curriculum unit.” A second said that the talks “took time away from working with the professor and researching topics.”

Still, most Fellows saw in the talks the purposes for which they were organized. Fully 100 percent of Fellows said that to a great or moderate extent the talks provided them intellectual stimulation, while most said they provided a sense of collegiality and common purpose among Fellows (86 percent). Four fifths (80 percent) said the talks were successful to a great or moderate extent in providing an overview of Fellows’ work in the seminars. A slightly larger proportion (86 percent) said that the Institute scheduled the right number of talks. One Fellow “felt the talks were a positive experience both for the content and the fact that they bring all of the Fellows together in a positive atmosphere.” Another characterized the talks as “worthwhile, interesting, and well-timed.” A third individual said they “were so interesting and mind-expanding and non-threatening for us teacher types.” Yet another Fellow observed: “Many of the professors were so engaging in their talks, that I wished I could be joining in their seminars as well.”

Many Fellows reported that the talks prompted them, to a great or moderate extent, to read about their topics (70 percent, compared with 51 percent in 2001), discuss the topics with their students (51 percent), and discuss the talks with other teachers (82 percent). In all three respects, these figures represented an increase over the prior year.

As in other recent years, the Institute scheduled a session on curriculum unit writing, 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. On March 19, the teachers serving as seminar Coordinators comprised a panel in leading a session on curriculum unit development.

(image available in print form)

2002 Workshop on Curriculum Unit Development. (Left to right: Seminar Coordinators Luis A. Recalde, Jean E. Sutherland, Carolyn N. Kinder, Angelo J. Pompano, and John B. Buell.)

The Coordinators spoke from their own experiences in researching and writing new curricula as Institute Fellows. Representing among them the elementary, middle and high school levels, the Coordinators spoke to all the Fellows on these topics: “Setting the Stage”; “Checking and Using the Index, Guides, and Reference Lists”; “Addressing Your Audience and Narrowing Your Topic”; “Following the Institute Process for Unit Development”; and “Aligning Your Unit with School Plans and District Goals.” 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. It also encouraged experienced Fellows to share that experience and 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.













This year the talks were especially popular among Fellows.

"The talks were a positive experience both for the content and the fact that they bring all of the Fellows together in a positive atmosphere."
      —Institute Fellow







The Fellows all need to understand the central role that the process of writing plays in Institute seminars.

At the Coordinators’ weekly meetings with the Director and Associate 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. Ninety-five percent of Fellows agreed that the Coordinators provided teacher leadership without diminishing the collegial relationship within the seminar. Fellows found the Coordinators to be helpful either a lot (79 percent) or a little (21 percent) in providing information about unit writing deadlines; helpful either a lot (67 percent) or a little (30 percent) in providing information about guidelines for unit writing; helpful either a lot (60 percent) or a little (30 percent) in providing information about the use of University facilities; and helpful either a lot (62 percent) or a little (29 percent) in facilitating discussion of Fellows’ work in progress. Few Fellows found the Coordinators unhelpful in any respect. One Fellow said: “The seminar Coordinator was there when I needed her during the final writing [of the curriculum unit], playing an important and appreciated role of support and colleague.”

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Seminar Coordinators meeting. (Left to right: Seminar Coordinators Jean E. Sutherland, Carolyn N. Kinder, Abie L. Benítez, Angelo J. Pompano, Luis A. Recalde; Director James R. Vivian; and Seminar Coordinator John B. Buell.)

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




Both seminar leaders and Fellows acknowledged in their evaluations the essential role of the Coordinators.
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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 majority of Fellows’ comments about the seminars have been strongly positive. Again this year their comments were often very enthusiastic indeed. One said: “Each person took their work seriously and seemed to have a real investment in producing a unit designed for their students.” This same Fellow believed the seminar leader “was skilled at involving everyone without pressuring anyone to participate.” Another participant noted, “The seminar seemed to fly by and we all seemed sorry to see it end. It was a great experience and I hope my unit will convey some of what I learned to my students.” A third “was very happy with the comments, help, criticism, and ideas I received from this seminar. My writing improved and I learned how to look at writing in a new way.” A fourth Fellow said, “This was a great seminar, probably one of the top five courses I have ever taken.” And a fifth added, “I looked forward to attending each of the seminar sessions because the topics were so interesting and educational. I have been a member of the Institute for seven years and feel this seminar was the most interesting and engaging.”

Others said:

With the help of the seminar leader, I was able to use the knowledge gained in the seminar to create a unit that will benefit my students by expanding their knowledge of the subject matter while at the same time building their self-confidence and allowing them to have fun. All of the Fellows in the seminar were wonderful to work with and each unselfishly contributed to the discussion from the point of view of their own area of expertise. It is this exchange of ideas between the professor and Fellows that most appeals to me.

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The seminar on “War and Peace in the Twentieth Century and Beyond.” (Left to right: Fellows Pedro Mendia-Landa and Burton R. Saxon.)

I had a wide variety of experiences throughout the seminar. My first feelings were of fear and apprehension. Once I was able to adjust to the seminar meetings, I felt confident that I would be able to complete the task. Meetings with my seminar leader and other Fellows further solidified my confidence to be able to write the curriculum. The whole seminar process enhanced and fine-tuned my teaching skills.

The Yale faculty members who led seminars described their seminar in both specific and general terms. One seminar leader said, “I don’t know of any professional development for teachers—except for the kinds of things offered by NEH seminars and Bread Loaf—that is superior to its double focus on content in the humanities and sciences and application to the classroom.” Another remarked that “Every session ran overtime because the teachers had more to say than there was time. One first-year teacher,” according to this seminar leader, “said that she loved the seminar and reported how she was not waiting for a completed unit, but was using the readings in her classes this very year.”


"All of the Fellows in the seminar were wonderful to work with and each unselfishly contributed to the discussion from the point of view of their own area of expertise."
      —Institute Fellow










"Every session ran overtime because the teachers had more to say than there was time."
      —Institute Fellow

Fellows themselves particularly relished a chance to talk and work with other teachers across the artificial boundaries that often separate grade levels, schools, and disciplines. One Fellow wrote: “I found the seminar to be very rewarding because I had an opportunity to meet with a diverse group of fellow educators who contributed much to the lesson assignments and the book discussions.” Another wrote: “The group of Fellows was particularly well-balanced providing for interesting discussion both in regards to the assigned reading and the Fellows’ units. There were three high school teachers, three from middle schools, and four representing elementary grades.” This participant observed that “Fellows also varied in their number of years of experience,” and that “Racially and ethnically the group was also mixed.” She concluded: “This mixture of teachers blended together extremely well. Everyone contributed and seemed to respect and even seek out the opinions of others.”

Several teachers commented on the inspiration they found in working together. As one described:

I very much enjoyed the intellectual stimulation of meeting with my seminar every week. It is easy to get trapped in the world of your own school and forget to have a life outside; I truly loved reading thoughtful materials and engaging in lively debates once a week. It made me feel more complete and having that stimulation made me more enthusiastic about working with my own students.

Another Fellow wrote: “The ‘bonding’ that occurred in the seminar, however subtle, had the effect of letting us know that our biggest problems and challenges in the classroom are universal rather than specific to us.” This Fellow said, “I think the Institute offers the emotional support so many of us need to do our work. This, in sum, is the biggest thing that I will carry over to the next year, especially when things get tough.”

A third said, “The group of teachers that partook in the seminar were people I could trust to be honest and receptive in their feedback.” This Fellow continued: “What is sorely lacking at some of our schools—that is the element of support and encouragement for work heartfelt and well done—was provided in the seminar group. Thank God and my colleagues for that.”

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The seminar on “The Craft of Writing.” (Left to right: Fellows Christine Picón-Van Duzer, Sean Griffin, and Leigh Highbridge.)

Ever since the Institute’s inception, its participants and staff have 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 that this year’s seminar “was especially satisfying due to the energy and vigor of seminar discussions.” He asserted that “The Institute is playing a vital role in curriculum development within New Haven, attracting many exceptional teachers who have grown into important leadership roles within their own disciplines.”

Another seminar leader voiced similar respect for the teachers: “It has been good for me to understand the quality and commitment of most of the Fellows, and some of the challenges they face in doing a good job.” This seminar leader “came away with an understanding of how good they could be.” Not least, “I enjoyed it, and thought I was doing something worthwhile.”

In turn, Fellows expressed admiration for their Yale colleagues and for the collegiality that they helped to foster. One said, “My experience in the Institute this year was extremely positive. There were a number of reasons for this. First, the seminar leader was very good. He was very effective in leading discussion and raising important questions.” This participant also noted “the quality of the other Fellows in the seminar. They were all extremely well informed and provided a variety of useful perspectives on the topics under discussion. One Fellow who was perhaps not as well versed in the subject area raised such interesting questions that her contributions were equally appreciated. I felt I made connections with teachers at other schools which will prove invaluable in years to come.”

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The seminar on “The Craft of Writing.” (Left to right: Fellow Shirley Ann Goldberg and seminar leader Thomas R. Whitaker.)


The group of teachers that partook in the seminar were people I could trust to be honest and receptive in their feedback."
      —Institute Fellow



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.



Such praise was common among Fellows. One said, “The seminar leader provided expert and useful information on this topic as well as specific information to assist each of us in our individual projects. He showed great interest in each of our topics and provided many useful suggestions.” Another Fellow wrote that a seminar leader “provided everyone with excellent ideas to include in our units. He was also very aware of the audience we were trying to reach: teachers and students. This was indeed a great experience!” A third participant said: “The professors were very well prepared, presented information in a digestible manner, and made themselves very accessible to the Fellows.” A fourth wrote, “Our professor was excellent. She was serious when she had to be but had a great sense of humor and an easy ability to laugh.” And a fifth said, “The quality of teaching, especially [my seminar leader] and also in each of the lectures, was excellent.”

Other Fellows wrote:

The seminar leader’s respect and appreciation for what each of the members was trying to do allowed for intellectual growth even though the subject was difficult. A great byproduct of the seminar was collegiality established among all seminar members. Although we had different ideas on how we would present the subject we were able to exchange ideas and feedback from each other for our units. Furthermore, we got to know the other members of the seminar better, allowing us to form a cadre of peers with similar interests.

Our seminar leader was very flexible. This I saw as a strength. He let us engage in as much discussion as we wanted in most instances. We were given the resources needed to get much of our research from the Internet. This saved time and money. Lastly, Fellows were truly treated as colleagues by the seminar leader.

People shared information and we really jelled as a group. Everyone was prepared and we each participated so that the seminar wasn’t pure lecture nor did any one participant overshadow the others. There were divergent opinions on some topics but everyone treated these ideas with respect. [The seminar leader] did an excellent job in organizing the seminar and in keeping the discussions moving along. Later in the seminar he gave us each a chance to review what we had done with our units and to ask the others for suggestions. He did an excellent job in helping us to organize our units and his insights were invaluable.


"My seminar leader provided everyone with excellent ideas to include in our units. He was also very aware of the audience we were trying to reach: teachers and students."
      —Institute Fellow

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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 statewide Connecticut Mastery (CMT) and Academic Performance (CAPT) Tests. One Fellow said: “I made great efforts to incorporate a variety of learning strategies and approaches.” She was “conscious of including writing to build CAPT/CMT skills.” Another wrote: “It was rewarding to create a language arts unit that was integrated with the United States history aspects of the social studies curriculum and to be able to meet the goals, objectives, and standards of state and local curricula experts.” A third Fellow pointed out that her curriculum unit “includes a plan to address not only content area standards but also pedagogical standards.” And a fourth said: “Teaching is that much more fun when you are implementing your own curriculum following the district’s framework and standards.”

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Fellow Sandra K. Friday and her student at Wilbur Cross Annex.

Ultimately, four fifths of this year’s Fellows (82 percent) said that there had been a successful balance in seminar between general study of the seminar subject and Fellows’ work in progress on their units. As one Fellow said: “Where appropriate [the seminar leader] provided information which amplified and explained the material we had covered in the readings. He provided ample time for Fellows to present and discuss their units.”

After the curriculum units were completed in July, they were compiled in a volume for each seminar. In September 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.

The Institute also updated the Index of all the 1392 units contained in the 155 volumes the Institute has published since its inception in 1978. The Index and Guide also 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.

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. It has since continued to supply units missing from any collection, based on surveys distributed annually to schools, insofar as the volumes remain in print. As described below, the Institute has also created an electronic version that makes its curricular resources more widely accessible.


The Institute has 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.

"Teaching is that much more fun when you are implementing your own curriculum following the district’s framework and standards."
      —Institute Fellow














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Results for the Participants

As in past years, Fellows in 2002 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 (80 percent) to take part in the Institute, almost all (93 percent) said that they had gained knowledge of their subject and confidence to teach it by participating in their seminar. Only one Fellow disagreed 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, while nourishing their curiosity. They spoke of this confidence both generally and in terms of greater mastery of a particular subject. One observed, “My curriculum is continually strengthened every time I take a seminar and write a unit. My content knowledge is solidified and this affects my class in every way. I am a better teacher because of the opportunities the Institute has afforded me.” More specifically, a second Fellow “will be much more able to teach the foreign policy section of Advanced Placement United States history during the coming years.” A third Fellow explained that the Institute “has allowed me to do readings that otherwise I would not have had a chance to do. I feel more confident to cover a topic, which is now in the news.” After the experience, he said, “I’m ready for next year!”

Other Fellows wrote:

I believe that my participation in the Institute has helped me to grow professionally. I was able to meet teachers from different schools and to share ideas with them. As a teacher, I believe it is very important to continue to grow. How can we convey to students that education is important, if we are not living proof?

Fresh, new material is very motivating to me in the classroom. I thrive on creativity and through the Institute I can develop curriculum units of interest to my students and myself. The Institute makes available both time and resources to develop these units that otherwise would perhaps not happen.

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 (90 percent) access to Yale’s academic facilities such as the library was an incentive for their participation, and 70 percent reported that membership in the Yale community had been greatly or moderately useful to them. According to one Fellow: “The Institute did a great job in providing access to materials that would be helpful to the Institute Fellows. Also, providing the use of Yale’s first class facilities is a huge bonus.” Another characterized “the use of Yale facilities” as “a major benefit in conducting our research and developing interest in related issues.” And a third said: “Continued access to the Yale libraries and academic resources is also important to developing good units. Attending class ‘on campus’ was exciting and made the experience feel more professional. Please continue these aspects of the program.”



Almost all said that they had gained knowledge of their subject and confidence to teach it by participating in their seminar.







"How can we convey to students that education is important, if we are not living proof?"
      —Institute Fellow







"Attending class ‘on campus’ was exciting and made the experience feel more professional."
      —Institute Fellow

Fellows see the results of the Institute as going beyond their own classrooms, and beyond the teachers who have themselves personally participated in the seminars. Almost all Fellows said that they plan to encourage or assist other teachers in using the unit they prepared; more than half 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 141 other teachers.

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Reception for Representatives and Contacts in Sterling Memorial Library. (Left to right: Gail G. Hall and Raymond W. Brooks.)

Fellows this year provided various accounts of the more extended influence the Institute has had, and will have, for themselves and their schools. One said, “I am new to the school where I’m currently teaching and will not only implement this unit but also let my team know of my unit and add it if possible to the second grade curriculum.” Another noted that he had “shared” the unit he had developed last year “with my colleagues who teach U.S. History II and they have made partial use of it. I will make further efforts in that area next year.” A third said, “The way my unit is constructed, teachers are forced to cooperate. English and art teachers must work together on this unit, making it a truly collaborative effort.” A fourth said, “I always try to write a cross-curriculum unit which brings together teachers of several disciplines. This results in an atmosphere of cooperation which is good for the school in general.” And a fifth recalled that her principal “commented that YNHTI Fellows have strong leadership skills, are good collaborators and are highly effective in carrying out tasks.”

Another Fellow, who noted that in the past she had seen her “colleagues (even if they are not YNHTI Fellows) make use of the Institute teacher resources,” further observed: “My curriculum unit will serve not only as an exciting social studies and language arts tool, but also as a social development resource. I have already shared aspects of my unit with several colleagues. Hopefully, they will consider implementing the unit in their classroom (they have already committed to using several of my bibliographic resources).”

Other Fellows wrote:

Since I planned for my unit to be used as a teaching tool for my staff in preparing them for the Science Fair, it will have a major impact for our school curricula. The teachers at my school will have a manual to help them with planning. I will also use my unit to get my students ready for the Science Fair. I feel that this is one of the most useful units that I have written.

I believe that half of the students in my school will be exposed to my curriculum. There are eight teachers in my program. During a 90-minute teaching block, I will teach this unit with another English teacher to one fourth of the students in the program, while an English teacher who is teaming with a social studies teacher will teach it to another one fourth of the students.

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 newcomer said:

As a first-year Fellow, I found the seminar both enjoyable and extremely beneficial. Also, I didn’t feel as overwhelmed as I imagined I might. The work completed will help me in my upcoming year. I will use the materials in a course that is being taught for the first time. So it feels great to begin with such a solid foundation.



















"Half of the students in my school will be exposed to my curriculum."
      —Institute Fellow

Others wrote:

Personally, I would have benefited from discussing more of the seminar readings and material in the context of teaching rather than having general discussion. Nonetheless, the discussions were enlightening and I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to partake in each session. Overall, the experience has been worthwhile because it has been engaging, professionally stimulating, and practical.

This is my first year in the Institute and the positives definitely outweigh the negatives. The only concern I had, throughout, was how to apply this college level learning to elementary school students? Especially the in-depth material we covered. My challenge was to pick and choose the information that would be 1) relevant; 2) interesting; and 3) beneficial for my students. The strength of the program is the people. The professor was amazing. She made available to us so many resources. She was also incredibly available! Via email and face-to-face contact, at one-on-one meetings and seminars, the lines of communication were always open. She must have reviewed my curriculum unit, or parts thereof, four times. In turn, my fellow participants added immensely to the [seminar].

One new Fellow pointed to the appeal of the Institute in comparison with more conventional staff development programming for teachers:

After a somewhat anxiety producing start, the seminar turned out to be the most intellectually stimulating in-service type activity that I participated in with other teachers this year. I have attended a number of worthwhile mandatory in-service trainings at school, yet a number of strengths differentiate my experience in the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute this year from my experience in other training activities. First, while many in-service activities at school are interesting, they are often too brief and without follow-up. Many often last one-half to one day. The continuity of attending the Institute [from March through July] allows for a more comprehensive experience. Second, working with fellow teachers is a strength. It allows teachers to support and critique teachers. Third, the structure of the seminar and location of the seminar are strengths. Attending “class” each week in the university setting creates more legitimacy for the experience. Being in a university classroom is intellectually stimulating. Moreover, being outside the school environment provides a refreshing alternative to “staying after school.” Fourth, and most importantly, completing the Institute results in a tangible and practical product—the unit—which can be directly applied to teaching.

Among the teachers who were participating in the Institute for the first time were the twelve individuals in the BEST program who were in their first year of teaching in Connecticut.



"The experience has been worthwhile because it has been engaging, professionally stimulating, and practical."
      —Institute Fellow

As discussed above in the section of this report on the Fellows’ Application and Admissions Process, the Beginning Educator Support and Training (BEST) program is a State of Connecticut requirement for new teachers. In 2002 the Institute undertook a pilot effort to involve and support first-year teachers. At the conclusion of the program, one of them cited “preparing teachers for the BEST program” as among the Institute’s “strengths.” This individual said that “The training offered by the Institute helps to develop outstanding teachers, which in turns benefits the students.”

On May 16 New Haven Superintendent of Schools Reginald Mayo hosted a reception to recognize and encourage the new teachers participating as Fellows. He and other district administrators, including the two Associate Superintendents, spoke with the new teachers and with other Fellows about their experiences in the Institute and in their schools. The event was an opportunity for the Superintendent and his colleagues to congratulate the Fellows for participating in the Institute during their challenging first year of teaching, and to urge them to remain in teaching in New Haven.

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Reception for new teachers participating as Fellows: (Left to right: Fellows Christine Picón-Van Duzer, Andrea N. Bailey; Superintendent of New Haven Public Schools Reginald Mayo; Associate Superintendent Verdell M. Roberts; Fellow Virginia Seely; Associate Director Josiah H. Brown.)

Several of the 2002 Fellows who were first-year teachers were among the most enthusiastic participants in the Institute. One said, “I have explored in depth an area of history that I was not familiar with. I now feel I can teach it with confidence. It will greatly enhance my BEST year and what I can accomplish for that.” A second “would look forward to participating” in the Institute, he said, “for many years to come” and “found this experience very rewarding and enjoyable.” Another wrote:

I really enjoyed my time in the seminar this year. The seminar leader and my fellow teachers were a great support for me. Although the work was very demanding, it was also very rewarding. As a first-year teacher the seminar prepared me for my BEST portfolio next year. It’s great working in an environment where teachers are motivated to better themselves and their students. I’m a better teacher for having participated in the seminar. As the new Representative for my school I look forward to increasing my involvement with the Institute.

Another first-year teacher said: “My teaching will be affected by the research and unit preparation as I intend to use this unit for the BEST portfolio I will be preparing this year. I had an opportunity to get feedback from a professor who is skilled in research.” She added, “It is because I am embarking on this next step in the certification process that I considered and became interested in attending the Institute.”

The Institute surveyed the new teachers among the 2002 Fellows to learn how best to involve them in its work. The results of the pilot were encouraging, especially the fact that four of these Fellows proceeded to become Representatives for their schools in the fall. We will track the outcomes of their BEST portfolios and, in particular, the ways in which seminar participation and unit development may have assisted these teachers. We will use this information in planning future recruitment and support efforts for new teachers. We will consider how the teaching of Institute curriculum units should be scheduled in relation to the portfolio requirement, and how to ensure mentoring of new teachers within the seminars in a way that more consistently complements the mentoring structure that the district has established. The coordinator of the pilot initiative in 2002, Dina K. Secchiaroli, was a Fellow for the third consecutive year in 2002, and she expects also to coordinate the Institute’s follow-up to the pilot in 2003. She was one of three Fellows who volunteered to undergo training from the New Haven Public Schools to become BEST mentors for the district. In this role, they advise and support new teachers both in the classroom and in the creation of their portfolios. Involving more BEST mentors in the Institute promises to help integrate the Institute and the district’s own professional development for new teachers.

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Representatives and BEST mentors Sandra K. Friday (left) and Dina K. Secchiaroli (right).

For returning Fellows, the rewards of participation do not diminish over time, because the experience becomes cumulative, rather than repetitive or redundant. In fact, many teachers report that the rewards increase as one has more experience as a Fellow. Many consider the nature of the Institute as a learning community to be a district benefit, too. One fifth-year Fellow wrote that “The Institute continues to serve as a source of experiential learning for many instructors throughout the New Haven area and me. This year, each seminar topic was enticing, and weekly talks were informative. My seminar,” she said, “was fabulously stimulating.” Another longtime Fellow said: “This year’s Institute ranks very high among those in which I have participated.” Others observed:

I have participated in the Institute for several years and my experience has been a rewarding one socially, emotionally, and intellectually for me as well as my students. It has enhanced my teaching, my students, the curriculum and my school providing them and me with materials that we would not have had.

Taking part in the Institute was a learning experience that taught me many valuable lessons that I will use for the rest of my career. Through the seminar I gained new knowledge in the area of concentration, which I will pass on to my students. . . . [The Institute] affords the Fellows the opportunity to write creative and useful units that can be used by coworkers. While every teacher knows how to write a unit, however, sometimes creativity needs a boost. The Institute provides this boost by creating a stimulating atmosphere in which teachers can exchange ideas.







New Haven Superintendent of Schools Reginald Mayo hosted a reception to recognize and encourage the new teachers participating as Fellows.







"As a first-year teacher the seminar prepared me for my BEST portfolio next year. It’s great working in an environment where teachers are motivated to better themselves and their students."
      —Institute Fellow

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 elementary school Fellow said, “This year’s Institute has proven to be both productive and stimulating for my teaching profession in the elementary classroom. Once again I am excited about having a fresh and new curriculum unit to present to my first-grade students.”

Another Fellow, while arguing that “more of the seminars should be geared toward subjects which will be useful in teaching elementary school students,” said: “I created an excellent unit which includes many disciplines and cuts across grade levels.” He recalled, “My participation in the Institute in the past resulted in units which excited my students and drew out their creativity.” “The seminars,” he concluded, “lend themselves very well to the curriculum standards of the City of New Haven.”

Seminar leaders, too, speak of what they gain from participation. They not only appreciate their growing 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: “The creation of this year’s seminar coincided with my writing a new book. The seminar’s focus,” he continued, “caused me to rethink and reorganize” one section of the book. It also led him, he said, to consider the structure of an additional book. He has “incorporated readings and several lectures designed for this year’s YNHTI seminar” into a course “taught to Yale undergraduates,” and into a graduate seminar. He believes that “Without question, the YNHTI experience will improve these courses.”

Another seminar leader said:

Because of the incredible creativity of some of the seminar members, [the experience] reminded me that teaching is more than just reading and discussion, even at the college level. Varying activities, bringing art into the curriculum, reaching out to students who are not interested in reading—all these things are as useful at Yale as they are in the New Haven classrooms these teachers lead.






"My participation in the Institute in the past resulted in units which excited my students and drew out their creativity."
      —Institute Fellow

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Teams of Fellows

For the past nine years the Institute has admitted teams of at least three teachers from the same 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.

Two teams of Fellows emerged during the Institute applications and admissions process in 2002. One team, from East Rock Global Studies Magnet School, enrolled in the seminar on “Food, Environmental Quality, and Health” and focused their units upon environmental science and students’ preparation of science-fair projects. One Fellow, a staff developer at the school, created a manual for other teachers across the district to use in working with students toward the science fair. The other two team members developed units on the aquatic environment and food-borne illnesses, respectively. The school’s own science fair in February 2003, along with the citywide science fair in March 2003, will represent the culminating activities for the East Rock team. A second team, from Vincent Mauro Elementary School, joined the seminar on “The Craft of Writing.” One teacher developed a unit for third-grade students on anger management through written expression; she designed her unit to complement an existing prevention program by adding a series of writing lessons. A second teacher created ways to use physical education to nurture writing skills among elementary school students by drawing upon their interest in sports. The third member of the team developed a unit on narrative writing for third-grade bilingual students. Her unit employs biography, autobiography, and literature to give students models and inspiration for their own narratives.

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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 (89 percent) reported that their new curriculum units were designed for their “average” students, two thirds (68 percent) reported that they were designed for their “advanced” students and almost as many (64 percent) also reported that they were designed for their “least advanced” students.

These excerpts from the plans of several Fellows illustrate the wide range of unit use in the schools. One said:

My curriculum unit and Institute participation will have a positive effect on my teaching, my students, and the school curricula this year for several reasons, including providing the opportunity to reach all intellectual levels and abilities, being given a chance to engage students in literature they will enjoy reading, discussing, and writing about, and having a chance to create an integrated unit that matches the school curriculum.

(image available in print form)

Fellow Pedro Mendia-Landa and his students at Columbus Family Academy.

The same Fellow said, “I used this unit on my students, and not one of them expressed any dislike in the two novels they were required to read, and every child read each book from beginning to end. This was extremely rewarding, considering that in my first year of teaching if I had introduced a novel into class, I could have counted on one fifth of the class completing the book.”

Others wrote:

Using reading and language arts as the subject matter base for my unit, students will learn the survival stories of Ruby Bridges, Ryan White, and Anne Frank. I feel that they will acquire considerable knowledge as they improve their academic skills. The activities I will teach include lessons that will allow students to express their creativity and encourage them to delve into their feelings and motivations of the individual they study.

I am very excited about trying this unit in English and social studies classes because it has a big art component and I think it will catch our at-risk high school students off guard when they see that instead of just reading books and, heaven forbid, doing handouts, they will actually be studying and creating art. The teacher that I team with is also very eager to try this unit, so I think our enthusiasm will rub off on our students. Wait ‘til they learn that they are going to design and paint a mural in our cafeteria! Of course, in order to do this, we are going to study murals as a means of expressing history.

I’m inspired to teach my unit because it is something I created. After putting in so many hours of work I want to see I’ll be successful. I’ve already mentioned my unit to my class last year. They were excited about it and want me to teach it to them. I did read one of the books from my unit to them, which they enjoyed. My unit fits right in with what I’ll be teaching next year. I’ll be teaching fifth grade science, math, social studies and language arts. The core of my unit focuses on language arts; social studies and science are also important components.

My students need an outlet and opportunities to talk and discuss events that are on the news constantly. Students will be able to explore, discuss, and experiment in studying about war and peace. The seminar has provided me with the background knowledge and lessons plans to include such an important topic.

(image available in print form)

Fellow Abie L. Benítez and her students at Columbus Family Academy.

I believe that my curriculum unit and Institute participation will have a big impact on my teaching, students, and school curricula. Being in the Institute allowed me to review good teaching practices when I otherwise might not have (during the summer). I thought a lot about what will work for my students next year. I reviewed strategies that I try to use and techniques that are useful in the classroom. My students will surely benefit from my unit because I thought a lot about it and tried to make it interesting for them. I have never spent so much time on the creation of a unit and my students will benefit.

All the thinking process that allowed for the unit to be completed will benefit my students, twofold. First, they will have access to up-to-date information on the subject matter and second, they will receive instructions that have been the result of a reflective process.

I feel that in recent years there hasn’t been time for the “fun” part of the curriculum. The science experiments and social studies projects we used to do have become few and far between. I hope that during this unit my students will mix some fun with learning. This unit on food quality and nutrition should fit well into the third grade curriculum.

A number of Fellows commented on the significance of the Institute for their students with disabilities. One said:

The development of curriculum units that are designed or modified for visually impaired students is scarce. Creating such curriculum units allows special needs students to study along with their sighted peers. The result is an experience that is important to both groups of students.

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. Thirty-five of the forty-four Fellows who completed the Institute planned to teach their unit to 20 or more students; one third of that group said that they would teach their unit to 50 or more students. The total number of students to be taught a unit by this year’s Fellows is more than 2500. Chart 6 indicates the lengths of time the Fellows planned to teach their units. For almost 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 (87 percent) 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. 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. Another said, “I anticipate a very positive response from my students in regard to my curriculum material.” He added, “Students are going to experience more structured use of technology because of my unit. More-over, they will look at more contemporary issues than in years past. Lastly, students will have more precise research projects to complete.” Another Fellow said, “I believe that this unit will reap benefits in terms of the language arts and social studies curriculums. Above and beyond being fun, the unit is educational. It will be an indication, to these students, that learning can be fun.”

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 retrospective comments in many cases echoed their optimism using their new units. According to one Fellow, “Students become engaged learners, parents get involved and proudly talk about their child’s accomplishments.” She said, “Over the years, my involvement with the YNHTI has proven a rewarding experience.” Another Fellow wrote, “My participation in the past resulted in units which excited my students and drew out their creativity.” These units “allowed my students to find success and this made the students feel good about themselves.” A third said, “My students benefited from a rich unit that allowed them to learn and to develop skills that otherwise I would not have known how to approach.” In the words of a fourth Fellow: “I feel my students, curriculum and school have benefited immensely. Students stated that teachers who attend the Institute act as professionals. They have a better understanding of their subject and keep students highly engaged in their work.” And a fifth said, “The results of my prior participation for my students, my curriculum, and my school were lifesaving.”

Other Fellows wrote:

Each year that I have taken a seminar and written my companion unit, the experience of teaching the unit has been the highlight of the following school year both for me and I believe for my students. Academic learning becomes even more enjoyable and the results especially rewarding when unit is being taught. This is particularly true when unit material is taught with a team of teachers. The effect of the experience usually reaches far beyond the students and teachers directly involved in the team. Other teachers, students, parents, and administration are drawn into the related activities. Experience has shown the result to be a positive one academically, socially, and individually.

My participation in the Institute has made a tremendous difference in the program where I teach. At-risk high school students have had the opportunity to explore and, as importantly, to create everything from paintings to storybooks, to visit Harlem, tour the Apollo Theater and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. They have celebrated their own creativity. Students have taken great pride in the products of their creativity, developing everything from awesome paintings to portfolios containing their art, maps of the world, graphic organizers, poetry, and their own expository writing, following the writing process. The stimulation that I experience as a Fellow/student in the seminars gets transported right back to my students and to other staff members. I feel as if I am getting special treatment taking seminars from Yale professors who are committed to public education in New Haven, I am receiving a stipend for the studying and for the unit I craft, and I am getting renewed with colleagues who love to learn as much as I do.

Having the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute available to me has been invaluable in helping me to build a library of innovative curriculum units for my classes. For example, we have addressed cultural diversity issues through such units that focus on the poetry and culture of Mexico, the family in China, and explored the meaning of traditional Jewish holidays that become alive through literature, food, dances, and drama. Other units that I have developed through the Institute relate to themes on early pioneers, puppetry, and drama, to name a few. The goals of these units are integration of curriculum areas, exploration of diversity as a life-enhancing influence, and injection of creativity into the learning process. I have discovered that non-interested students in the beginning of a project get caught up in the successes of others and participate joyfully along with their peers.

My participation in the Institute last year greatly enhanced my teaching this year. The unit I developed was the opening for my 20th century history course. The copies of the maps which I collected from the Yale map collection at Sterling Library proved to be an excellent resource and intriguing to my students. My students gained important skills in reading maps critically and using primary source material. The series of short writing assignments I developed for the unit worked very well as both an assessment tool and a way of forcing my students to think critically and develop their ideas coherently.

My students have benefited from my participation in the Institute by having an enriched curriculum. We sometimes know what to teach but lack an innovative and interesting way of teaching. The curriculum units are invaluable for providing lesson plans and resources. Each year I teach one of my prior units or incorporate parts of several units in my teaching. My students are always telling me that they like my class because we do things that other classes do not do.

Being in the Institute has been a way of keeping myself intellectually stimulated and refreshed my enthusiasm for teaching. The variety of topics I have studied and prepared units for is quite diverse. From poetry to architecture, from astronomy to food quality, these topics have helped me try to break out from the restrictions that often force me to focus on the very basics. When I have tried some of these topics I have been astonished at how much my students have learned and enjoyed these units.

There is a huge difference when I teach my own unit. Students see this difference, because I’m more excited and animated when I teach. I know more background information than I normally do about the subject. There’s more depth to my units, and my curriculum is that much stronger. Students also appreciate the fact that I worked so hard to create something special for them.










"My curriculum unit and Institute participation will have a positive effect on my teaching . . . including providing the opportunity to reach all intellectual levels and abilities."
      —Institute Fellow














"The teacher that I team with is also very eager to try this unit, so I think our enthusiasm will rub off on our students."
      —Institute Fellow


"I’m inspired to teach my unit because it is something I created."
      —Institute Fellow








"I have never spent so much time on the creation of a unit and my students will benefit."
      —Institute Fellow














For almost all Fellows, the unit is a significant part of their teaching plans.






"Students are going to experience more structured use of technology because of my unit."
      —Institute Fellow
















"The experience of teaching the unit has been the highlight of the following school year both for me and I believe for my students."
      —Institute Fellow












"I have discovered that non-interested students in the beginning of a project get caught up in the successes of others and participate joyfully along with their peers."
      —Institute Fellow


















"There is a huge difference when I teach my own unit. Students see this difference."
      —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 was regarded as useful to a great or moderate extent by 70 percent of the Fellows or more. About half (56 percent) responded that favorably to the talks, and to computer assistance (58 percent).

(Chart 7 available in print form.)

We asked seminar leaders to provide their overall conclusions about the strengths and weaknesses of the Institute. One of them wrote: “There is ample testimony that Yale faculty members derive a range of benefits from teaching in the Institute, depending on their own fields, interests, and personal commitments.” Another seminar leader wrote: “I enjoyed it, and thought I was doing something worthwhile. And would do it again.” His “overall take” was “overwhelmingly positive.” A third said, “I think the Institute provides an excellent opportunity for teachers who want to learn and expand their skills and faculty who want to have an impact outside of academia to come together in a cooperative effort.”

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The seminar on “War and Peace in the Twentieth Century and Beyond.”(Seminar leader Bruce M. Russett.)

We also asked Fellows to provide their overall conclusions about the strengths and weaknesses of the Institute. Some individuals answered very directly and specifically, while others responded more philosophically. One said, “Overall the Institute activity is challenging and fun. I would not recommend any major changes,” while another “did not detect any weaknesses.” A third Fellow reflected, “I cannot think of any changes that should be made in the program,” saying “You have done an excellent job. What more is there to say?”

Other Fellows wrote:

This year the way I experienced the world was dramatically altered by the seminar I took. I was introduced to a particular style of inquiry, to a sense of the world’s complexity, and the myriad conceptual lenses through which we would view that complex world.

The seminars’ greatest strength was the quality of the [seminar leaders]. Their lectures were all very informative and their level of enthusiasm was high. The seminar coordinators were also quite good at keeping Fellows informed about schedule changes, deadlines, available resources and other issues. The support staff at the Institute office also did an excellent job in providing computer and editing assistance.

A first-year Fellow said:

I feel I got a lot out of the experience in part because I put a lot into the experience. I was totally open to lectures and reading that have nothing to do with my areas of expertise. I love expanding my horizons and my general knowledge about the world. The truth is that teaching is only a part of my life: I write, paint, travel, speak several languages, and need to indulge my creative side, so the Institute experience was mind-opening—I would even like to be involved to a greater extent.

In sum, despite a number of complaints about details of scheduling and procedures, the Institute’s offerings were generally well received. Fellows almost uniformly expressed appreciation, and often enthusiasm, for the program.

In their evaluations, almost all the Fellows said they intended to participate (57 percent) or might participate (36 percent) in the Institute in one or more future years. These proportions are very similar to those in 2001. Only three Fellows said they did not intend to participate in the future. Two were intending to move. The third wrote: “I wasn’t prepared for the tremendous time commitment that is required to participate in the Institute. Although I enjoyed my participation it was difficult to meet deadlines during the school year.”











"The Institute provides an excellent opportunity for teachers who want to learn and expand their skills and faculty who want to have an impact outside of academia to come together in a cooperative effort."
      —Seminar Leader

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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 accounts can be held only for the period in which the teachers remain Fellows. The Institute therefore emphasizes now the assistance it can offer to Fellows in securing Internet access and setting up e-mail with providers who offer longer-term accounts. The Institute has often referred Fellows to the Internet Information Center, which serves the entire Yale community. During the past four years, however, the Institute has offered more direct assistance from its own office. Fellows are also able to use the facilities and assistance at the Yale Computer Centers.

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. In 2002 Fellows were also encouraged to submit their first drafts in electronic form, so as to give the computer assistant an early opportunity to review the format and offer guidance.

The electronic resources and services available to Fellows include many opportunities to learn about and use computing, regardless of previous experience and expertise. The Yale University Library sponsors a series of hands-on computer classes each semester on a variety of topics, including an overview of the Library’s online services, an introduction to Netscape, Internet search engines, and subject-specific Internet workshops. Classes take place in the Electronic Classroom in Cross Campus Library, and are free of charge.

(image available in print form)

Institute workshop on electronic resources available to Fellows. (Left to right: Computer Assistant Roxann A. Bradshaw and Fellow Mercedes O'Bourke.)

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 number of the Fellows sought additional assistance. In 2002 Fellows received help 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, and using Institute resources on-line. The Institute computer assistant conducted three workshops, beyond those available from the University Library, for Fellows. These sessions were held in the Electronic Classroom on the Yale campus: on May 1, 9, and 16. Each session featured an overview of Internet search engines; exploration of the curricular resources available online through the Institute’s Web-site; and guidance on how to use online research tools connected to the Yale libraries, including databases and online journals.

The Fellows also sought support from the computer assistant individually with word-processing and file handling for the preparation of curriculum units. When meeting with her, most of them asked for help with basic word processing functions. Their greatest problem was converting their documents to files that could be read by Institute computers. Fellows also had questions about format and documentation.

Forty-four percent of the Fellows made use of assistance in person, 41 percent by phone, and 33 percent by e-mail. These percentages were comparable to those of 2001. For 56 percent of all Fellows 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. Still, those individuals who did take advantage of the assistance expressed appreciation for the skills and efficiency of the computer assistant and others whom they consulted. One comment was characteristic: “Though I did not use the Institute’s computer assistance much, the times I called for help were crucial to me. Each time, I was given positive assistance and, more important to me, it was given in a pleasant, helpful manner.”

Of the Fellows using the additional computer assistance that the Institute provided, eight found the assistants helpful in getting started with computing; seven found them helpful in setting up e-mail and Internet access; 11 found them helpful in using the Institute’s curricular resources on-line; 11 found them helpful in using the Internet in research and teaching; and 18 found them helpful in word processing and file handling for the preparation of a curriculum unit. (See Chart 8.)






















The electronic resources and services available to Fellows include many opportunities to learn about and use computing.

















"Though I did not use the Institute’s computer assistance much, the times I called for help were crucial to me."
      —Institute Fellow







(Chart 8 available in print form.)

Fellows’ use of new learning technologies is clearly on the rise. One Fellow who included several Web-sites in his curriculum unit said: “The online resources in my unit will allow teacher and student access to informative and fun interactive activities from the World Wide Web that apply to the school curricula.”

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Institute Centers for Curriculum and Professional 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 subsequent 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. During most of 2002, eleven Centers were in operation. They are located at two elementary schools (L. W. Beecher and Davis Street Magnet), one K-8 school (East Rock Global Studies Magnet), three middle schools (Fair Haven, Jackie Robinson, and Roberto Clemente), and five high schools (Cooperative Arts and Humanities, Hill Regional Career Magnet, Hillhouse, Wilbur Cross, and Sound Magnet).





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.

Again during 2002, a number of the high school Centers continued to be challenged by school renovations and construction. Several of the high school Centers, which were receiving support from the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations, nonetheless were especially active.

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 nearby 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 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 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.

(image available in print form)

Institute Center for Curriculum and Professional Development in East Rock Global Studies Magnet School. (Left to right: Fellows Joseph H. Lewis and Jacqueline E. Porter.)


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.





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. As noted in the Annual Report for 2001, the Institute has upgraded the computer operating systems at the older Centers to Windows NT. The computers delivered to the newer Centers have this system pre-installed. The Institute also inventoried all Institute resources in the Centers—curriculum units, center manuals, books, videos, etc.—and replenished them when possible. In 2001 all of the high school Centers received new and more powerful computers.

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 manual, assist with the Center’s development as well as the implementation of its Academic Plan. The Centers or Institute Fellows at Center schools could apply for mini-grants from the Institute to implement approved aspects of their Center Academic Plan. During the 2001-02 academic year the Centers continued to be supported by a second two-year grant for high school Centers from the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations.

The support from the Davis Foundations made possible eight mini-grants to high school Centers in 2001-02; the mini-grants were a vehicle to raise visibility of the Institute and its curricular resources while benefiting students directly through implementation of school plans.

Three teachers—of history, English, and art—at Cooperative High School for the Arts and the Humanities received mini-grants for interdisciplinary work using Institute-developed curricula in accord with the Center plan. Not only Institute Fellows, but also other teachers who had not yet been Fellows, participated. The history unit taught about Native Americans, engaging tenth-grade students in a project that included a trip to the Mashuntucket Pequot Museum and Research Center. That activity followed days of classroom work, student research, and journal writing. The English teacher used her own Institute unit to integrate literature, music and history, with colleagues from both her department and from history involved. The art teacher developed a project on Mayan art and culture, drawing upon Institute units from 1994 and 1999. Museum visits, books, a video, and creative artwork by students themselves were combined to advance their understanding of pre-Columbian art, culture and history.

Five other teachers, three from Hill Regional Career High School and two from Wilbur Cross High School, also received mini-grants. Their projects applied Institute-developed curriculum units in areas ranging from the science of sound and musical instruments, to architecture and literature. The mini-grants underscored the value of Institute resources for teachers who had not themselves been Fellows. Several of the teachers also collaborated effectively with colleagues, as occurred with the mini-grants at Cooperative Arts and Humanities High School.

Oversight of the mini-grants was one way in which the Institute’s Steering Committee worked with the Centers in 2002. One member of the Steering Committee (at the same school level) is assigned to work with each Center’s Coordinating Team. During 2002 periodic communication among the Steering Committee and the various Centers reinforced one larger gathering. This event, on February 28, engaged the Center Coordinating Teams in a meeting of Center leaders. That session provided an opportunity for the sharing of ideas and experiences at various schools, and for exploration of additional ways for Centers to work together.

Leaders from each Center considered the following questions:

• How can your Center’s work become more systematic?

• How can your Center become more self-sustaining?

• How can your Center and Institute resources become visible and more widely used within the school?

The Center leaders identified several priorities. These included alignment of Institute-developed curriculum units with district standards and goals, and the mentoring of first-year and other new teachers. The consensus was that the Centers could be employed more fully to highlight the connections between Institute-developed curriculum units and the academic standards and goals of the New Haven Public Schools. The Center leaders indicated a determination to involve the staff developers at their schools, as well as other colleagues, in order to disseminate Institute resources more broadly. There was particular excitement about the potential of the Reference Lists that show the relationship of many Institute-developed curriculum units to school curricula and academic standards. These documents were created to enable teachers throughout the district easily to draw upon those units in their own classrooms.

(image available in print form)

Institute Center leaders meeting. (Left to right: Sheldon A. Ayers, Peter N. Herndon, Dina K. Secchiaroli, Karen De Fur, and Gail G. Hall.)

The Reference Lists were prepared by teachers, for teachers; funds from the Davis Foundations made possible the mini-grant that supported the development of the high school Reference List, Teaching Connecticut Academic Performance Test Skills in High School Classrooms. An earlier mini-grant to another school’s Center resulted in the elementary school List, Teaching in the Elementary School Classroom. Both Lists were then printed in quantity for distribution to all schools in the district. Each publication correlates the units in a given subject area-many of them imaginatively interdisciplinary—with the specific student skills upon which the New Haven curriculum framework focuses.

The Institute seeks not only to institutionalize the Centers’ work in New Haven but also to integrate the Center concept in its work with the new Teachers Institutes in other cities. The New Haven teachers on the Implementation Team for the National Demonstration Project were either Steering Committee members or Coordinators for the Center in their own school. Encouraged by the example of their New Haven colleagues, teachers in the Houston Teachers Institute have been particularly interested in implementing the concept of Centers in high schools in order to extend the influence of the Institute Fellows and their curriculum units across that school district, the fourth largest in the United States.


There was particular excitement about the potential of the Reference Lists that show the relationship of many Institute-developed curriculum units to school curricula and academic standards.








The Institute seeks not only to institutionalize the Centers’ work in New Haven but also to integrate the Center concept in its work with the new Teachers Institutes in other cities.

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Preparation for the Program in 2003

From June through August the Institute identified and approached the 66 teachers who would serve during the 2002-2003 school year as the 21 Representatives and 45 Contacts for their schools. During 2001-2002, 61 teachers had served in these ways, 22 as Representatives and 39 as Contacts. 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. Notable among the Representatives for 2002-2003 were four second-year teachers and one first-year teacher, reflecting the Institute’s efforts to cultivate new leaders while maintaining the participation of experienced Fellows.

Teacher leadership in the Institute is proportionate to the number of schools at each level. During 2001-2002, 24 (40 percent) of the Representatives and Contacts were from elementary schools, nine (15 percent) represented K-8 schools, 12 (19 percent) represented middle schools, five (9 percent) represented transitional schools, and 11 (18 percent) represented high schools. In 2002-2003, 26 (40 percent) of these teacher leaders represent elementary schools, nine (14 percent) represent K-8 schools, 10 (15 percent) represent middle schools, four (6 percent) represented transitional schools, and 17 (26 percent) represent high schools.

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School Representatives meeting. (Clockwise from front left: Representatives Stephen P. Broker, Raymond W. Brooks, Pedro Mendia-Landa, Kevin P. Inge, David DeNaples, Deborah A. James, Mary E. Jones, Joanne R. Pompano, Christine A. Elmore, Angelo J. Pompano, Jennifer Drury, Virginia Seely; Director James R. Vivian; Representatives Geraldine M. Martin, Jean E. Sutherland, Dina K. Secchiaroli, Sandra K. Friday, Sean Griffin; and Associate Director Josiah H. Brown.)

Every school had at least one Contact or Representative to serve as a conduit for information to and from the Institute throughout the school year. Of the Representatives and Contacts, 23 percent were Black Non-Hispanic, 67 percent were White Non-Hispanic, and 10 percent were Hispanic—percentages that approximate the demographic composition of teachers in the district at large. 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 first meeting of the Representatives for the new school year was held September 10, 2002. On September 24, the Institute’s reception for Representatives and Contacts attracted a cross-section of teachers, including several who were new to their responsibilities after having been recruited by experienced Fellows. The Representatives met twice monthly with the Associate Director and, on most occasions, the Director. 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 five seminars for 2003: “Geography through Film and Literature” (Dudley Andrew, Professor of Comparative Literature and Film Studies); “Everyday Life in Early America” (John Demos, Samuel Knight Professor of American History and American Studies); “Poems on Pictures, People, and Places” (Paul Fry, William Lampson Professor of English); “Physics in Everyday Life” (Daniel Prober, Professor of Applied Physics and Physics); and “Water in the 21st Century” (John Wargo, Professor of Environmental Risk Analysis and Policy).

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Reception for Representatives and Contacts in September 2002.







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.

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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 inter-grade 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.

The members of the Steering Committee during 2002 were Peter N. Herndon of Cooperative Arts and Humanities High School, Carolyn N. Kinder of Sheridan Middle School, Dina K. Secchiaroli of Sound School, and Jean E. Sutherland of Beecher Elementary School. Committee focused during the year on the Institute’s 25th anniversary celebration; the search for the position of Associate Director; the Centers and the administration of mini-grants; and implementation of the seminars for 2002 as well as planning for 2003, with particular attention to the pilot effort to recruit new teachers into the Institute.




The Steering Committee has responsibility for long-range planning and the implementation of pilot and other new activities of the Institute.

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Steering Committee meeting. (Clockwise from bottom left: Associate Director Josiah H. Brown; Steering Committee members Peter N. Herndon, Carolyn N. Kinder, Dina K. Secchiaroli, Jean E. Sutherland; and Director James R. Vivian.)

The Institute’s 25th anniversary celebration, described below, was a recurring topic in the Steering Committee’s meetings during 2002. Not only did the members of the committee orchestrate participation in the event by former Fellows and seminar leaders; they comprised the core of teachers on a larger Anniversary Committee. They worked especially to make the celebration a reunion and organized tables of past seminar leaders and Fellows, so they might renew acquaintances and recreate the collegial spirit of years before.

The Steering Committee met with candidates for the position of Associate Director. The new Associate Director, Josiah H. Brown, first attended a meeting of the Steering Committee as a guest in March. For the duration of the year he worked closely with the committee, as well as with the Anniversary Committee, the seminar Coordinators, and the Representatives.

With a mandate from the Steering Committee, Brown visited elementary, middle and high schools across the city and—together with an Institute Fellow—spoke on the Institute’s behalf at the district’s Teacher Visitation Day on April 25. That event, for prospective new teachers in New Haven, was a venue to demonstrate the Institute’s potential for helping to attract, as well as to develop and retain, qualified teachers to the district. On other occasions, Brown also attended an orientation session for new teachers at which he introduced them to the Institute, and spoke with several classes of teachers-in-training at Southern Connecticut State University. The aim was to ensure that both new and prospective New Haven teachers were aware of the opportunities for curricular and professional development that the Institute affords—opportunities not available to teachers in other Connecticut districts.

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 for Curriculum and Professional Development, and the Centers continued to be among the committee’s primary concerns in 2002. It dealt with the documentation of Center use and activity, the relations with the school district and with principals, and reporting on the awards of eight mini-grants to advance Academic Plans in the high school Centers. It planned the February Forum for the Centers and continued to consider how, without further grant support, the Centers could become more systemic and self-sustaining.


The aim was to ensure that both new and prospective New Haven teachers were aware of the opportunities for curricular and professional development that the Institute affords.






In implementing the 2002 seminars and in planning for 2003, the Steering Committee was especially attentive to the involvement of first-year teachers as Fellows—and to providing them extra support. Dina K. Secchiaroli headed this initiative, working directly with those Fellows and afterward compiling their reactions in a report to inform the Institute in 2003.

The Steering Committee continued to review the Institute’s leadership structure, including the responsibilities and composition of the Implementation Team, Anniversary Planning Committee, Representatives, and Contacts. Thought was given especially to the positions that should exist within each Center school, with an emphasis on the importance of enlisting current and recent Fellows in those leadership roles.

The Steering Committee also followed through concerning the Reference Lists discussed above. In December 2001 the Institute had deliver-ed ample copies of each Reference List to principals of each public school in New Haven. The aim was for every teacher in a relevant subject area/grade level to have his or her own copy. Middle school principals received both the High School and Elementary School lists. Earlier that fall, in a meeting of principals from across the city, the district’s Associate Superintendent had called attention to the connection between Institute-developed curriculum units and the academic standards of the New Haven Public Schools—and had encouraged schools to use the Lists as tools to address those standards.

During the spring of 2002, with leadership from Steering Committee and the Centers, current and former Institute Fellows then presented the high school Reference List to their colleagues. Teachers made these presentations in district-wide departmental meetings for history, world languages, English, and science. A library/media specialist also presented the Reference List to her colleagues across the city. Teacher leaders in the Institute, as well as the Associate Director, continue to introduce both the Elementary and High School Lists to new Fellows and to other teachers district-wide. In addition, both documents will be available on the Institute’s Web-site in 2003.

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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 ordinarily 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 2002 the Executive Committee met in March, April, May, and October. At the March meeting the Executive Committee formally approved the Institute seminars for 2002. It also discussed plans for the Institute’s 25th Anniversary Celebration, the status of our national plans, the progress in hiring Institute staff, and preparations for the annual University Advisory Council meeting with President Richard C. Levin to be held on April 17. In its late April meeting it discussed further the suggestions that had been made by the University Advisory Council and began its work in advising the preparation of the next Request for Proposals for the creation of new Teachers Institutes in the Yale National Initiative. The May meeting concerned further preparation for the Yale National Initiative and issues pertaining to fund raising. The October meeting dealt mainly with plans for the 25th Anniversary Celebration.

On April 17 the full University Advisory Council held its ninth annual meeting with President Levin. Roberto González Echevarría opened the meeting, announcing that he had become co-chair of the Council since its last meeting and setting forth its purpose: to hear brief reports from the Director and from the documentor for the National Demonstration Project and to ask the Council’s advice on a timely question about our national work, which would be posed by the other co-chair, Mary E. Miller.

Director James R. Vivian then described the continued successful balancing during the past year of the demands of the Institute’s local and national commitments. He noted that in 1996 we had undertaken a project to establish Institute Centers to increase the visibility and use of Institute resources in certain schools and to involve teachers who had not been Fellows in using those resources. He said that we have now completed the work we had undertaken with support from the Jessie Ball duPont Fund for Centers in elementary, middle, and K-8 schools, and are in the final stages of our work supported by the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations for Centers in high schools. In summer 2001 our sixth Academy, which emphasized student literacy through study of architecture and law, was conducted through the Center at Cooperative Arts and Humanities Magnet High School. Eight mini-grants to teachers were awarded to stimulate the teaching of Institute-developed curriculum units in high schools. A new high school Center was established at Sound School, and computers in all the high school Centers were replaced with ones that are more powerful and faster. He also noted that the teachers on the Steering Committee have focused on making the Centers more systemic and self-sustaining.


The Council 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.













Vivian described the continued successful balancing of the demands of the Institute’s local and national commitments.

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University Advisory Council meeting, April 2002. (Clockwise from left: Bruce D. Alexander, Cynthia E. Russett, Frederick L. Holmes, Thomas R. Whitaker, Director James R. Vivian, Mary E. Miller, Jock M. Reynolds, Gary L. Haller, Associate Director Josiah H. Brown, Robert J. Wyman, Roberto González Echevarría, Richard C. Levin, Ian Shapiro, and Werner P. Wolf.)

Turning to other accomplishments, Vivian said that we had published in the fall of 2001 the two Reference Lists correlating Institute units with District and State Standards that had been developed under earlier mini-grants to teachers. Lists have been distributed in sufficient quantity so that they can be deposited in all school libraries and Institute Centers, and so that every elementary, middle, and high school teacher might have a personal copy of the List most related to their own teaching. He said also that the curriculum units written in 2001 were distributed to all schools and to last year’s participants, and were then put on line at the Institute’s Web-site, the worldwide use of which has continued to grow.

The Institute process of organizing seminars annually in response to teachers’ needs has served us well, he said, as Institute Representatives considered last fall how they might address topics arising out of the events on September 11. In March, 62 teachers from 24 schools were accepted as Fellows to take part in six Institute seminars.

Beginning last fall, Vivian added, we have placed renewed emphasis on the role of the Institute in encouraging individuals to remain in the teaching profession and in New Haven. We met on several occasions with members of the school administration, first- and second-year teachers, and mentors in the State BEST Program, to devise ways in which the Institute might support beginning teachers. Twelve individuals in their first year of teaching were accepted as Fellows this year, and seminar Coordinators and other veteran teachers are working to show them how they may use their curriculum unit in preparing for the portfolio that they must submit to the State next year.

Turning then to the Institute’s work nationally, Vivian stated that teams of New Haven colleagues visited each of the four new Teachers Institutes during the third and final year of the Implementation Phase of the National Demonstration Project. The Institute Directors met on March 19, 2001 in New York; and the Director of the Pittsburgh Teachers Institute represented them at a meeting in Chicago in May where teachers on the National Steering Committee and university faculty members on the National University Advisory Council met to plan the Third Annual Conference that we held here in October. At the Conference we released the ninth number of On Common Ground. The publication was then mailed to almost 13,000 educators, policy makers, funders, and others nationwide.

Director Vivian then summarized for the University Advisory Council the history of the plan for continuing establishment of Teachers Institutes in other cities after the end of the National Demonstration Project. (That history has been recounted in detail in the Annual Report of 2001.) As a result of the advice received during the Council meeting last year that our own work nationally should be closely identified with the University, he said, we have now termed it the Yale National Initiative.

A one-year extension of support from the Wallace-Reader’s Digest Funds and a two-year grant from the Jessie Ball duPont Fund are supporting the Preparation Phase of this Initiative. We have received proposals from Pittsburgh and Houston to support their research and planning. We expect also to work with individuals who participated in all four new Institutes as we consider what have been the most efficacious practices in establishing new Institutes and determine how we should modify the Request for Proposals for the establishment of new Institutes in the future. We will also be examining the results of the annual Fellows questionnaires administered at the four new Institutes, as well as a survey on the use of Institute-developed curriculum units in their school districts.

Vivian then described the relocation of the Institute’s offices to the eleventh floor of 195 Church Street overlooking the New Haven Green and Yale campus, the archiving of many of the Institute’s records, the storing of its publications, and the creating of new databases to simplify locating and retrieving this material. He also noted that, following the Council’s advice last spring on the administrative structure of the Institute, a Search Committee had assisted him in creating and filling Institute positions. Ronald Gitelman has become Institute administrator with responsibility for managing our financial affairs and databases. Andrew Daly has become assistant director, with responsibility for coordinating the administrative affairs of the Institute in its work locally and nationally. And Josiah Brown, who has been a staff aide to U.S. Representative Rosa L. DeLauro and Chief of Staff to the President of New School University, has become Associate Director with responsibility for managing the daily affairs of the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute.

Vivian concluded by announcing the 25th Anniversary Celebration on November 13, to honor the Honorary Chairman of this Council, Howard R. Lamar, who helped him to found the Institute in 1977 and who served as Chairman of this Council from 1984 to 1988.

Thomas R. Whitaker, documentor for the National Demonstration Project, then summarized briefly the most important accomplishments of that Project as a whole and noted some of their implications. (Those accomplishments and their implications are set forth in the section of this Annual Report on the Yale National Initiative.) He offered selective statistics from the new Institutes to illustrate these accomplishments. He then explained the process (also set forth in the section on the Yale National Initiative) that led to the Request for Proposals for Research and Planning for the Preparation Phase of the National Initiative during 2002-2003, and he indicated the interest now expressed in that work by Pittsburgh and Houston.

Mary E. Miller then set before the Council the main question for discussion: Having expanded the Institute’s work nationally, what should be the non-negotiable principles in our approach to establish Teachers Institutes at other locations? The Council considered this question as it might relate to the sixteen Basic Principles that had grounded the National Demonstration Project, and also to the possible emphases of a single funder or of multiple funders in the future, to interests that school districts may have in shaping their own programs, and to the options that may exist for expansion of the program in areas of rural poverty or in more affluent suburban districts.

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University Advisory Council meeting, April 2002. (Left to right: Mary E. Miller, Jock M. Reynolds, and Gary L. Haller.)

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University Advisory Council meeting, April 2002. (Left to right: Roberto González Echevarría, Richard C. Levin, Ian Shapiro, and Deborah G. Thomas.)

After a wide-ranging consideration of the possible pressures and options that might lie before us, the Council reaffirmed the established direction of the Yale National Initiative. The main thrust of the discussion, to which President Levin contributed a number of supporting statements, was that, given limited resources and the possibility of multiple funders, we should stay firmly within our present goals and means. A major point of emphasis was therefore the need to craft “Articles of Understanding” that would be both more explicitly integrated and more specifically detailed than were the sixteen Basic Principles. It was suggested that there might be both a very general statement of aims and processes and also a list of necessary procedures. It was noted that the existing Institute document concerning Policies and Procedures might be a helpful point of departure. The Executive Committee took these suggestions as guidance for its further work on the Yale National Initiative.


The Council reaffirmed the established direction of the Yale National Initiative.
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Local Program Documentation and Evaluation

Annual evaluations of the Teachers Institute indicate that it assists teachers and schools in specific ways, and that the results are cumulative. (See in particular A Progress Report on Surveys Administered to New Haven Teachers, 1982-1990 [New Haven: Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute, 1992].) In the fall of 2002, the Institute updated its continuing 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 teaching in New Haven. It revealed that, of the 534 surviving New Haven teachers who have completed the program successfully at least once between 1978 and 2002, almost half (46 percent) are currently teaching in New Haven. (Please see the Appendix for a list of all Fellows from 1978 through 2002). An additional 35 (7 percent) have assumed full-time administrative posts in the school system. Thus more than half (53 percent) of all Fellows since 1978 are currently working in the New Haven Public Schools. These statistics are encouraging given the Institute’s determination to involve individuals who will continue to serve students in our urban district.


More than half of all Fellows since 1978 are currently working in the New Haven Public Schools.

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

Kindergarten 0%
Grade 1 8%
Grade 2 8%
Grade 3 9%
Grade 4 8%
Grade 5 11%
Total K-5*  12%

*K-5 teachers in K-8 schools are included here. This table also includes all other subjects, for example non-graded art and special education teachers, librarians, and curriculum coordinators.

As Table 2 (above) shows, a substantial number of current elementary school teachers in New Haven (12 percent) have completed successfully at least one year of the Institute. (Elementary school teachers were first admitted in 1990). As Table 3 (below) shows, 33 percent of New Haven high school teachers of subjects in the humanities and sciences, 25 percent of transitional school teachers, and 30 percent of middle school teachers have also done so. A number of teachers have participated for two to twenty-two years. Of those Fellows still teaching in New Haven, 45 percent have participated in the Institute once, 27 percent either two or three times, 23 percent four to seven times, and 5 percent eight times or more. In contrast, of those Institute Fellows who have left the New Haven school system, 48 percent completed the program only once, and 36 percent took part two or three times. Only 38 Fellows who have left (11 percent) completed the Institute 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.


The Institute 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
43%
31%
25%
34%
History
23%
28%
0%
25%
Languages
32%
29%
50%
31%
Arts
24%
24%
0%
23%
Math
13%
23%
0%
19%
Science
21%
25%
25%
23%
Grade 5*
13%
n/a
n/a
13%
Grade 6
17%
n/a
n/a
17%
Grade 7
22%
n/a
n/a
22%
Grade 8
33%
n/a
n/a
33%
Total**
30%
33%
25%
31%

*Grade 5 teachers are included here for middle schools only; grade 5 teachers in elementary schools and K-8 schools are reported in Table 2.
**All K-8 school teachers of the subjects listed here count as Middle School teachers. K-5 teachers in K-8 schools count 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.
n/a = not applicable

We should add that there are now 35 members of the administration of the New Haven Public Schools who have participated as Fellows of the Institute for periods of one to nineteen years. The presence of former Fellows in positions ranging from Assistant Principal and Principal to Associate Superintendent makes the Institute more visible and has encouraged other teachers to participate in this program. In 2002 a number of former Institute Fellows became principals of elementary and high schools, including Beecher Elementary School, Clinton Avenue Elementary, and High School in the Community. They joined other past Institute Fellows in administrative roles, with the result that in 2002 one third of New Haven’s public schools were led by principals or assistant principals who are former Fellows.



In 2002 one third of New Haven’s public schools were led by principals or assistant principals who are former Fellows.

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 distributed to current Fellows and seminar leaders, and to New Haven Public School supervisors and administrators, and are deposited in all school libraries in the district. They remain in print so that sets in the schools can be restocked when necessary.

This Annual Report itself is a massive compilation of information and statistics drawn from a variety of sources, including the questionnaires completed by Fellows and seminar leaders; reporting by school Representatives and Institute Center leaders; the tracking of all previous Fellows; statistics pertaining to the New Haven Public Schools, from both its central data and personnel offices; demographic analyses; minutes of meetings; project reports; reports from the Centers; reports from the new Institutes in the National Demonstration Project; reports to funders; and entries in the Institute’s Web-site guestbook. The work that provides material for this Report extends over the entire year, and the Report is available online.


This Annual Report itself is a massive compilation of information and statistics.
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25th Anniversary Celebration

With a $10,000 grant from the New Haven Savings Bank Foundation as lead sponsor, the Teachers Institute celebrated its 25th anniversary with a dinner and program on November 13 at the Omni New Haven Hotel. The event drew a capacity crowd to the ballroom and attracted many media outlets that reported the event in print and on radio and television. The evening’s theme was “celebrating teachers”: it was an occasion to honor the more than 500 New Haven public school teachers and 100 Yale faculty members who have participated in the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute. A total of 114 teachers, faculty members, and their guests were among the more than 400 people in attendance. They were seated together, according to seminars in which they had participated together, and in this way the dinner was a reunion for Institute participants. Among the New Haven teachers were several who had taken part in the earliest years of the Institute. Superintendent of New Haven Public Schools Reginald Mayo, Associate Superintendent Verdell Roberts (who was herself an Institute Fellow in its first year), and a number of other New Haven Public School administrators also attended.

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25th Anniversary Celebration. (Left to right: Master of ceremonies and speaker Calvin Trillin, and President of the New Haven Savings Bank Peyton Patterson.)


The event was an occasion to honor the more than 500 New Haven public school teachers and 100 Yale faculty members who have participated in the Institute.



The anniversary celebration was under planning for almost two years. Howard R. Lamar, Sterling Professor Emeritus of American History, who worked with James R. Vivian in founding the Institute, who led its first seminar in New Haven history, and who assisted the Institute in various ways while he was Dean of Yale College and President of the University, had agreed that the Institute might honor him at the celebration. Calvin Trillin, the noted American humorist and author of many books, who had served as a trustee of the University at the time Howard Lamar was its President, agreed to speak at the celebration. In May 2002 the Institute mailed save-the-date cards to over 3,000 people across the United States. We hoped that many would attend and that others who could not attend would consider making contributions to the Howard R. Lamar Endowment Fund for the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute, which had been established during Mr. Lamar’s presidency by an anonymous Yale alumnus who wished Howard Lamar’s name always to be prominently associated with the Institute’s work. During the summer of 2002, Bill Cosby—the actor, humorist, Doctor of Education, and longtime supporter of education and efforts to improve schools—agreed to make a special appearance and to speak on teachers and the teaching profession.

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Anniversary Celebration Committee. (Clockwise from top left: Robert J. Lyons, Raymond W. Brooks, Carolyn N. Kinder, Associate Director Josiah H. Brown, Verdell M. Roberts, Nancy N. Kops, Chairman Daniel W. Kops, and Jean E. Sutherland.)

The Anniversary Celebration Committee was composed of two working groups. (See Appendix). One group of New Haven Public School teachers and administrators who had been Institute Fellows (including current members of the Steering Committee) helped with planning and encouraging attendance by others from the New Haven Public Schools. They made many valuable suggestions about ways the celebration might recognize teachers who have played a variety of roles in the Institute—as Fellows, seminar Coordinators, Center Coordinators, school Representatives, and Steering Committee members. Another group, headed by civic leader Daniel W. Kops, worked to sell tables to local companies and tickets to individuals. They also assisted with seating arrangements, so that, like the school teachers and administrators, other members of the New Haven community, where possible, might be seated with people they knew.

The Directors of the Houston Teachers Institute and the Pittsburgh Teachers Institute expressed interest in bringing more than 30 of their teacher and faculty participants to the celebration. We therefore organized a Conference for them with New Haven colleagues for the next day, November 14. For a detailed account of that Conference, see the section on the “Yale National Initiative” in this Annual Report.

After opening remarks by Peyton Patterson, President of New Haven Savings Bank, there were introductory statements by Superintendent of Schools Reginald Mayo and Yale University President Richard C. Levin.

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25th Anniversary Celebration. (Reginald Mayo.)

Superintendent Mayo paid tribute to Director James R. Vivian in these words:

I certainly owe Jim Vivian a lot in terms of gratitude. We want to keep the Institute alive, and he has done that. He has worked for many administrations here at Yale and certainly has raised phenomenal amounts of money, including getting a few dollars from me. Certainly he has created an endowment so that this Institute will continue forever and ever. But most importantly, Jim has taken our best teachers, and our brightest, and has made them even better. He has kindled what is best in our teachers with enthusiasm and has certainly created more love for them of teaching.

President Levin spoke of the founding of the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute:

This is a wonderful occasion, and it celebrates a truly extraordinary and unique enterprise. . . . Here we are in a city where the public schools are so important to the well-being of our children, and where we have a great university and great scholars available to provide help and assistance. It is just such a natural and compelling idea to bring together scholars—and I look around the room and I see some of the leading scholars in America sitting here—who have been devoted over the years to this idea of getting together in the summers with a small group of New Haven school teachers to work together as colleagues, as colleagues with an interest in teaching to help develop curriculum for the school children of America based on the scholarship and research that Yale’s faculty are undertaking. It was a fabulous idea when it started. It is a fabulous idea twenty-five years later. It is an idea that in the last five years has taken hold, thanks again to Jim Vivian’s prodigious efforts, in four other cities in America—in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Santa Ana, California, in Houston and in Pittsburgh. We are hoping to do it in more places if we can get the resources to do that. The idea of partnering with the local schools is just what America’s universities ought to be doing to make a contribution to public education throughout this country.

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25th Anniversary Celebration. (Richard C. Levin.)

He added, concerning the participation of university faculty members in the Institute:

I have to tell you that I have heard again and again from Yale faculty who participated in these seminars, that this is a two-way street, that they are energized by their interaction with the New Haven school teachers, with their enthusiasm for learning, with their enthusiasm for children. It is rejuvenating for everyone, and the benefits accrue on both sides of the partnership. And that, of course, is why it has sustained itself so well. . . .



































" It was a fabulous idea when it started. It is a fabulous idea twenty-five years later. It is an idea that in the last five years has taken hold in four other cities in America."
      —Richard C. Levin

As Chairman of the Anniversary Committee, Daniel W. Kops spoke about Howard R. Lamar as a scholar of United States history and supporter of the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute. Mr. Lamar then spoke about the Institute and his role in it. He said:

When the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute approach was articulated by Jim Vivian and others to me, it was so attractive that I wanted to participate in a program in which teachers and Yale professors, working together collegially, on a basis of equality, were to see how the curriculum of a course could reflect the teacher’s concept of what would work based on his or her knowledge of the students—his or her own experiences as a teacher, and their exchange with fellow teachers and seminar leaders.

That approach “worked magically for me,” he said, when he proposed a seminar called, subject to teacher approval, “Remarkable City: New Haven in the 19th Century.” He described this seminar, mentioning the new information about New Haven that had been brought out by the teachers’ research. He went on to describe a second seminar, analyzing common and differing values in Southern and New England society and history, which revealed that “the prospect of a better education, and not just the prospect of better jobs, led many Black Americans from the South to come North and to settle in New Haven—that there was a deep commitment to finding good education for their families.” In the end,” said Mr. Lamar, “the seminar was as inspiring and rewarding as anything I have ever experienced in the classroom.”

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25th Anniversary Celebration. (Howard R. Lamar.)

Professor Lamar then said to the teachers in attendance: “It is your achievement that we are celebrating. . . . It is you who reversed the older town-gown lack of understanding to bring cooperation between city and the university.” He proceeded to recognize the late President A. Bartlett Giamatti and others who have lent support to the Institute’s programs, and the Yale faculty members who have led its seminars. "When I saw Bart Giamatti and the Mayor of New Haven announcing the Teachers Institute together, I felt a revolution had taken place," he said. "That revolution continues to take place as we see Mayor DeStefano, Superintendent Mayo, and President Levin work as a team." Finally he praised James Vivian for “his larger vision, his quiet determination, and his unflagging energy and unending attention to the workings of the Institute.”

The address by Bill Cosby began with an entertaining account of his own experience as a young student. As he then urged Americans to give more vigorous support to the public schools, he placed a major emphasis upon the mastery of geometry and literature and other subjects. That is precisely where the Teachers Institute has always placed emphasis—on the academic rigor and content of teachers’ preparation and school courses, so that all students might have the opportunity for the high quality education our public schools must provide. As one teacher from Houston remarked afterward, “Bill Cosby inspired me to be the best teacher I can be.”

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25th Anniversary Celebration. (Bill Cosby.)

This event was a community-wide celebration of the role the Institute has played, and will continue to play, in strengthening teaching and learning in the New Haven public school system. As Director Vivian remarked,








"It is your achievement that we are celebrating. . . . It is you who reversed the older town-gown lack of understanding to bring cooperation between city and the university."
      —Howard R. Lamar


"When I saw Bart Giamatti and the Mayor of New Haven announcing the Teachers Institute together, I felt a revolution had taken place. That revolution continues to take place as we see Mayor DeStefano, Superintendent Mayo, and President Levin work as a team."
      —Howard R. Lamar


"Bill Cosby inspired me to be the best teacher I can be."
      —Houston Teacher

Although the Institute has been serving New Haven for 25 years, the present emphasis on teacher quality nationwide makes its approach more timely than ever. This is a tribute to the leadership and inventiveness of New Haven teachers and the resourcefulness and dedication of their Yale faculty colleagues. The Institute’s primary commitment has always been to New Haven, and, as its influence spreads nationally, the Yale-New Haven partnership will continue to serve as the outstanding example of its approach.
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