Last summer, in the first ever collaboration between NYU CLACS, Yale PIER, and the Yale Council on Latin American and Iberian Studies, CLACS helped organized the Colonial Latin America Summer Institute for educators. The Institute is a series of intensive professional development sessions that serves as a continuing educational training tool for in-service and pre-service educators. The objective of the Summer Institute is to present the best and the latest scholarship on international education to help educators introduce current perspectives on international topics and improve teaching materials for their students. The sessions are led by faculty, graduate students and other expert educators who provide an in-depth understanding of the latest research on teaching international content subjects in schools.
A new element of the 2011 Summer Institute was the production of “classroom-ready” teaching materials, which would be tested in one classroom and then disseminated widely online. By making the materials available on the CLACS website, they can be shared widely, and free of charge, with educators interested in bringing these topics into the classroom.
The Summer Institute also had a Teacher Advisor, whose role was to help guide participants during the workshops and field trip as they gathered background information, primary sources, web resources, and designed curricular materials for individual classroom use. Barbara D’Ambruoso was this year’s Teacher Advisor.
“The Summer Institutes are an invaluable resource for educators, providing opportunities for participants not only to work, study, and travel together in pursuit of their own professional development, but also to educate their colleagues around the world.
Institute organizers also planned a field trip to the Dominican Republic, where the colonization of Latin America began, thus giving us a chance to see many “firsts” (for example, the [ruins of the] first sugar mill in the New World and its first cathedral), as well as how the colonial experience has played out into modern times,” says Barbara.
The participants focused on topics including settlements and colonial cities in the Andes, colonial power and indigenous resistance in art, and understanding identity through historical investigation.
You can learn more about the this summer institute on the CLACS website.