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In March 1984, seventy teachers from six departments of the New Haven Public Schools became Fellows of the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute to prepare new curriculum materials for school courses. One-third of these teachers were participating in the Institute for the first time. Established in 1978, the Institute is a joint program of Yale University and the New Haven Public Schools, designed to strengthen teaching and improve learning of the humanities and the sciences in our community’s middle and high schools. The Institute has received growing national recognition as a model of university-school collaboration that integrates curriculum development with intellectual renewal for teachers. Our principal aim is to open the resources of Yale University to city school teachers and to make these resources available in ways they believe 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 school courses that would be offered in the coming year. Teachers had primary responsibility for identifying the subjects the Institute would address. Six seminars were organized, corresponding to the principal themes of the Fellows’ proposals. The seminar entitled “Geology and the Industrial History of Connecticut” was led by Robert B. Gordon, Professor of Geophysics and Applied Mechanics. Between March and August, Fellows participated in seminars, researched their topics, and attended a series of lectures by Yale faculty members.
The curriculum units Fellows wrote are their own; they are presented in six volumes, one for each seminar. A list of all the volumes of units published between 1978 and 1984 appears on the following pages. The units contain four elements: objectives, teaching strategies, sample lesson 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 be of interest also to teachers in other school systems.
The 1984 Institute was supported by grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Aetna Life and Casualty Foundation, Harlan E. Anderson Foundation, Atlantic Richfield Foundation, New Haven Foundation, New York Times Company Foundation, Anne S. Richardson Fund, and Xerox Foundation. The materials presented here do not necessarily reflect the views of the funding agencies.
James R. Vivian