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The University of Tulsa and Tulsa Public Schools, in affiliation with the Yale National Initiative® have established the Teachers Institute for Tulsa.

On Nov. 3, 2017, the Teachers Institute for Tulsa was officially accepted as a member of the League of Teachers Institutes, one of only four programs nationwide. The institute is an educational partnership between The University of Tulsa and Tulsa Public Schools that is based on the Yale National Model and the Teachers Institute Approach®. The Teachers Institute Approach® has been developed at Yale University during the past 40 years as a teacher professional development model aimed at strengthening teaching and learning in high-poverty public schools. The Tulsa institute places equal emphasis on teachers increasing their knowledge of a subject and their developing teaching strategies that will be effective with their students.

At the core of its program are a series of collaborative seminars on subjects in the humanities and sciences. Topics are requested by the teachers based on what they think will best fit the contemporary needs among the student population. In the seminars, university faculty contribute their knowledge of a subject, while the teachers contribute their expertise in elementary and secondary school pedagogy and their understanding of what works in the crucible of the classroom. Throughout the process, seminar leaders and teachers are colleagues. Successful completion of a seminar requires that the teachers, with guidance from a faculty member, write an original curriculum unit to be used in their own classroom and to be shared with others through print and electronic publication. Teacher leadership is the key component to the Teachers Institute Approach®.

By developing teacher leaders in individual schools serving high-need student populations, the Tulsa program strengthens the schools’ learning environments. It is also part of a national network of teacher institutes from New Haven, Connecticut; Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Wilmington, Delaware; and developing sites in Richmond, Virginia; Chicago, Illinois; the Dine Nation of Arizona and New Mexico; and several locations in the San Francisco area.

To learn more or to get involved, contact Director Avonna Swartz at 918-631-2864 or avonna@utulsa.edu.