CTI Teams Up with Yale National Initiative to Support Legislation in Congress

As a fellow member of the League of Institutes, the Charlotte Teachers Institute has proudly partnered with the Yale National Initiative, Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute, Pittsburgh Teachers Institute, Teachers Institute of Philadelphia, and the Delaware Teachers Institute in New Castle County to recognize the Teachers Institute model as a nationally significant program. Senators Joseph Lieberman (I, CT) and Richard Blumenthal (D, CT) and Representatives Rosa DeLauro (D, CT-3) and Chaka Fattah (D, PA-2) recently introduced legislation (S. 1240 and H.R. 2255) to create a competitive grants program to establish Teachers Institutes in other states.

Three Distinct Features of the Teachers Institute Model

1. The University-School Partnership Approach

This approach threads the needle of the academic and intellectual pipeline by connecting world-class university and college faculty with motivated, talented K-12 teachers in a highly collaborative learning environment.  This results in meaningful and lasting professional relationships among educators spanning entire spectrum of the educational system from K through university scholarship.  

2. Focus on Content Knowledge Linked to Pedagogy

Unlike traditional teacher professional development programs that place heavy weight on pedagogical knowledge alone, the Teachers Institute model emphasizes the balance between content knowledge and pedagogical knowledge.  This blended approach reenergizes teachers, professors, and their students at the K-12 level, as well as at the university level, to focus on the core curriculum in their schools and in their fields.  Writing the Curriculum Unit develops teachers writing skills and increases their content self-efficacy.

3. Teacher-Led Leadership Structure

The teachers are the leaders.  Teachers have the opportunity to contribute to CTI in a variety of leadership roles including the Steering Committee, an advisory group responsible for making decisions about institute functioning; the Seminar Coordinators, the teacher leaders representing each seminar group; and the School Contacts, a group of motivated teachers who promote CTI to other teachers in the district.

Based on its recent growth and success in establishing educational partnerships throughout the country, the Teachers Institute model should be considered a nationally significant program for the following reasons:

  • Teachers Institutes engage and excite teachers to motivate their students for success.
  • Participation in Teachers Institutes is strongly correlated with teacher retention in high-need schools.
  • Teachers Institutes are an investment in innovation and creativity in education.
  • Teachers Institutes provide opportunities for students to develop a deep understanding of the content across a wide variety of subject areas.

Currently, as a way to spread the word about what’s going on here in Charlotte, the Charlotte Teachers Institute is undergoing a good old-fashioned letter writing campaign to Congress.  We are encouraging teachers, faculty, school and university leaders, parents, and students to write letters to Members of Congress and their legislative assistants for education by e-mail.   The letters are simply a way of expressing support for the work of the Teaches Institute model.  If you are interested in learning more about the legislation or how to help, please click on the following documents below.

Helpful Information about the Legislation:

Arguments for Enacting of the Teachers Institutes Bill

Congressional Press Release about Teachers Institute Bill

Yale National Press Release about Teachers Institute Bill