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In March 1980, ninety teachers from six departments of the New Haven Public Schools became Fellows of the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute to prepare new curricula for school courses. Established in 1978, the Institute seeks to improve teaching and learning of the humanities and sciences in New Haven secondary schools and to serve as a model of university-schools collaboration. Its principal aim is to open the resources of Yale University to city school teachers and to make these resources available in ways which they indicate will be most helpful.
In applying to the Institute, teachers stated their priorities for curriculum development, the topics on which they proposed to work and the relation of these topics to courses which would be offered in the coming year. Teachers had primary responsibility for identifying the subjects the Institute would treat. Seven seminars were organized, corresponding to the principal themes of the Fellows’ proposals. The seminar entitled “The Present as History” was led by Jean-Christophe Agnew, Assistant Professor of American Studies and History, and Julie Jones, Assistant Editor at The Frederick Douglass Papers. Between March and August Fellows participated in seminars, researched their topics, and attended a series of lectures by Yale faculty.
The curriculum units Fellows wrote are their own; they are presented in seven volumes, one for each seminar. A list of the volumes of units published between 1978 and 1980 appears on the next page. The units contain four elements: objectives, teaching strategies, sample lessons and classroom activities, and lists of resources for teachers and students. They are intended for use primarily by Institute Fellows and their colleagues who teach in New Haven. We hope they will also be of interest to teachers in other school systems.
The Institute is supported by grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Carolyn Foundation and the National Science Foundation. The materials presented here do not necessarily reflect the views of these funding agencies.
James R. Vivian