2013 CTI ‘Teachers as Scholars’ at the Gantt Center

CMS Teachers to Discuss New Civil Rights Curriculum

CHARLOTTE – Feb. 5, 2013 – Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools teachers will share new curriculum they created about African American literature relating to civil rights, from 5:30 to 8 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 7, at the Gantt Center for African American Art + Culture in uptown Charlotte.

Sponsored by Charlotte Teachers Institute, the Gantt Center and PNC Bank, this “Teachers as Scholars” event will feature CMS teachers who collaborated in an intensive, semester-long CTI seminar, “African American Literature of the Civil Rights Movement.” Brenda Flanagan, the Edward Armfield Professor of English at Davidson College, led the seminar.

Flanagan’s seminar explored the Black Arts Movement and poetry and drama that reflected and paralleled the modern civil rights movement from 1955 to 2000. The CMS teacher fellows produced 13 extensive and student-centered curriculum units for teachers in kindergarten through high school classrooms. Three of these teachers, from elementary, middle and high school levels, will present their work during the Feb. 7 program.

“One of CTI’s strategic goals is to provide opportunities to showcase CMS teachers’ innovative scholarship created in CTI seminars to a wider community audience,” said Scott Gartlan, CTI executive director. “This partnership with the Gantt Center will serve as an important step in fulfilling this goal.”

Free and open to the public, the event will begin with a reception and viewing of the Gantt exhibition America I AM: The African American Imprint. Presentations and a panel discussion with Flanagan and the three fellows will follow at 6:30 p.m. Featured topics and teachers will include:
• “African American Literature of the Civil Rights Movement” – Flanagan, Davidson College.
• “Using Poetry to Teach Children about the Civil Rights Movement” – Elouise Payton, kindergarten-third-grade teacher, Barringer Academic Center.
• “The Power Perspective: Reading the Literature of the Civil Rights Movement through a Socio-Historical Lens” – Stefanie Carter-Dodson, eighth-grade language arts teacher, Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School.
• “Art and Black Identity in the Civil Rights Movement” – Larry Bosc, social studies teacher, East Mecklenburg High School.

Each of the 13 teachers in the seminar produced a unique set of curriculum units related to African American literature of the civil rights movement and designed specifically for their own students.
“We hope that these units inspire other teachers to share their creativity with colleagues in an effort to benefit more students in more classrooms across the district,” Gartlan said. Flanagan’s seminar was one of eight CTI conducted on a wide range of topics for a total of 94 CMS teachers from all grade levels and subject areas, led by Davidson College and UNC Charlotte faculty. The units developed in all eight seminars will be posted soon on the CTI and Yale National Initiative websites for use by teachers around the world. CTI recently announced a new set of eight seminars for CMS teachers to begin in April.

Information is available at www.charlotteteachers.org.

About Charlotte Teachers Institute
The Charlotte Teachers Institute (CTI) is an initiative designed to strengthen teaching in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) by cultivating content-knowledge, creativity, leadership skills and collaboration within and among Charlotte’s public school teachers. An affiliate of the Yale National Initiative at Yale University, CTI exists as a partnership among CMS, Davidson College, and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNC Charlotte), and is made possible by a joint commitment of resources from all three Institute partners and through the generosity of private funders and community partners. Through intensive, semester-long seminars, led by faculty from UNC Charlotte and Davidson College, CMS teachers learn new content, work collaboratively with other district teachers, and develop curriculum units for their own classrooms. Participating teachers receive continuing education credits and a stipend. For more information, please visit charlotteteachers.org.

About the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African American Art+Culture
The Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture presents, preserves and celebrates excellence in the art, history and culture of African-Americans and those of African descent. The Gantt Center presents the renowned touring exhibition America I AM: The African American Imprint – celebrating nearly 500 years of African American contributions to the United States – through March 3. The Gantt Center is the only African-American cultural institution to host this exhibition and serves as the last venue to house it in the Southeast as the exhibit makes its final tour. Covering more than 10,000 square feet, the exhibition presents a historical continuum of pivotal moments in courage, conviction and creativity that helps to solidify the undeniable imprint of African Americans across the nation and around the world. The more than 200 artifacts and information within the exhibit provide context to how African Americans have contributed to and shaped American culture across four core areas – economic, socio-political, cultural and spiritual – throughout the country’s history, including the
inauguration of the first African-American president. The exhibit fills the Gantt Center galleries with objects as diverse as the typewriter Alex Haley used for his Pulitzer Prize-winning book Roots to Prince’s guitar. Developed in partnership with Tavis Smiley, America I AM: The African American Imprint was organized by Cincinnati Museum Center and Arts and Exhibitions International (AEI), and is made possible by Wal-Mart.