In June 2016, Humanities Texas and the Center for the Study of the Southwest at Texas State University partnered to hold a professional development institute for Texas teachers covering the history of the American Southwest from the colonial period through the twentieth century.
The institute covered central topics in the history of the American Southwest from the colonial period through the twentieth century, including Spanish exploration and colonization, Native Americans in the Southwest, the early history of San Antonio, slavery in the nineteenth-century Southwest, the Mexican National Period, westward expansion and manifest destiny, the art and literature of the Southwest, the Texas Revolution, immigration to the Southwest, and the political and economic history of the Southwest.
The institute emphasized close interaction with scholars, the examination of primary sources, and the development of effective pedagogical strategies and engaging assignments and activities. The program was designed ultimately to enhance teachers’ mastery of the subjects they teach and to improve students' performance on state assessments. Content was aligned with the secondary social studies TEKS. Teachers received books and other instructional materials.
The institute faculty included Jesús F. de la Teja, Mary Brennan, and John Mckiernan-González of Texas State University, Paul Hutton and Richard Flint of the University of New Mexico, Erika Bsumek (UT Austin), Gregg Cantrell (Texas Christian University), Norma Cantú (Trinity University), Char Miller (Pomona College), Andrew Torget (University of North Texas), Glen Ely, Ron Tyler, and Omar Valerio-Jiménez (UTSA).
The institute took place from June 19–22, 2016, at the Wittliff Collections on the campus of Texas State University in San Marcos. A schedule of the institute can be found here.
Program partners included the Wittliff Collections and Texas State University. The institute was made possible with major funding from the State of Texas, with ongoing support from the National Endowment for the Humanities.