In June 2004, forty-six Texas teachers representing every congressional district in the state attended a five-day professional development institute organized by Humanities Texas examining Congress and key events in U.S. history.
The Austin institute covered the most recent scholarship in Congress and analyzed significant periods in U.S. history. Content was aligned with the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS), with particular emphasis on newly added or revised standards.
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. Teachers received books and other instructional materials.
The institute faculty featured some of the leading scholars in Texas and the nation, as well as U.S. Senator John Cornyn, Emily Reynolds (Secretary of the U.S. Senate), Thomas Duncan (Deputy Parliamentarian of the U.S. House of Representatives), and Bruce Cole (Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities).
Educational specialists from the National Archives and Records Administration also served on the institute faculty, providing participants with facsimiles of historic documents that support the teaching of U.S. history and Government.
View videos of faculty lectures from the institute:
The schedule details the institute’s events. The five-day institute took place at the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library in Austin from June 13–18, 2004. More information can be found in the institute’s final report.
Program co-sponsors included the National Archives and Records Administration, the Center for American History and the College of Liberal Arts of The University of Texas at Austin, and the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum in Austin.
The institute was made possible with major funding from a We the People grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.