Four New Seminars For New Haven Teachers

New Haven Public School teachers and Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute seminar leaders­—members of the Yale faculty­—convened to discuss the program’s seminars, application process, and curricular and professional development opportunities.

The following account was contributed by the program’s Josiah Brown.

Seminars in English, History and Law, Community Studies, Engineering and Health Sciences

On Tuesday, Jan. 14, the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute held an open house for New Haven Public School teachers seeking to learn more about this program and its 2014 seminar offerings.

The Institute’s teacher leadership, including school representatives and contacts from across the district, hosted the event on the Yale campus for their colleagues working in both elementary and secondary grades in New Haven’s public schools.

The Institute is an educational partnership between Yale University and the New Haven Public Schools designed to strengthen teaching and learning in local schools and, by example and direct assistance, in high-need schools around the country. Through the Institute, Yale faculty members and school teachers work together in a collegial relationship. Established in 1978, the Institute is also an interschool and interdisciplinary forum for teachers to collaborate on new curricula. Each participating teacher becomes an Institute fellow and prepares a curriculum unit to be taught the following year. Teachers have primary responsibility for identifying the subjects the Institute addresses. The partnership is a way to support the district’s continuing effort to attract, develop, and retain additional effective educators in a teaching force of more than one thousand individuals.
The open house followed representatives’ actions in the fall planning seminars to respond to the expressed needs of teachers, and of their students, in New Haven. Colleagues talked about the rewards and responsibilities of participating as a fellow, and ways that participation can support teacher development at any stage of one’s career. The Yale faculty members leading the seminars each made brief presentations, followed by informal questions and discussion.

In 2014 the Institute will offer four seminars to participating New Haven Public School teachers:

• “Picture Writing,” led by Janice Carlisle, Professor of English (who has led previous Institute seminars on such subjects as “Writing, Knowing, Seeing”).

• “Exploring Community through Ethnographic Nonfiction, Fiction, and Film,” led by Kathryn Dudley, Professor of Anthropology and of American Studies.

• “Engineering in Biology, Health and Medicine,” led by Tarek Fahmy, Associate Professor of Biomedical and Chemical Engineering and of Immunobiology.

• “Race and American Law, 1850-Present,” led by James Forman, Jr., Clinical Professor of Law.

Teachers interested in applying to one of these seminars should read the full description of the seminar that is available from school representatives and contacts.  In addition to seminar descriptions, applications and principal review forms may be obtained from the representatives and contacts.  Printed copies of the Institute’s 2014 brochure (including the schedule) are also available in schools.

Completed applications and principal review forms are due to the representatives by noon on Jan. 28.  Seminars begin on March 4.  The Institute encourages interested teachers to speak with their school colleagues who are representatives and Contacts.

Partnership’s Curricular Resources Online

Nearly 1900 curriculum units that fellows, in collaboration with Yale faculty members in some 200 seminars, have written for New Haven students since 1978 are available here.  These materials address subjects from history, literature, art, language, reading and writing instruction to math, science, and health.  All members of the community are invited to use these curricular resources for educational, non-commercial purposes.

Curriculum units that teachers from 17 New Haven public schools developed as fellows in the 2013 Institute seminars are among the resources available at this website.  Many of the recent fellows explicitly cited Common Core standards to which their units relate.

Forty percent of the 2013 fellows participated in the Institute for the first time.  Two schools had five fellows each; five had at least three; nine had at least two; and eight others had one.  Two schools, Cooperative Arts and Humanities and Roberto Clemente, had five fellows each, while three others—Davis Street, Hyde, and Nathan Hale—had three fellows.  Betsy Ross, John Martinez, Metropolitan Business, and Riverside schools had two fellows each.  Other schools with 2013 fellows were Columbus, Edgewood, High School in the Community, Hill Regional Career, James Hillhouse, New Haven Academy, Sound, and Wilbur Cross.  Four of the New Haven fellows—from Betsy Ross, Davis, Edgewood, and Martinez—also participated in national seminars, among National fellows from 16 school districts in nine states.

For more information on the Institute and its work in 2012 and 2013, click here.


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