In June 2010, over two hundred Texas teachers attended six professional development institutes organized by Humanities Texas, College of Liberal Arts at The University of Texas at Austin, the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum, Texas A&M International University, Texas Christian University, the University of Houston, The University of Texas at El Paso, and The University of Texas at San Antonio.
The institutes covered topics central to courses in U.S. history, such as the factors that encouraged European exploration during the colonial era; the American Revolution; the establishment of the Constitution; the challenges that the American government and its leaders faced during the early years of the Republic; the effects of westward expansion on the political, economic, and social development of the nation; and the causes of the Civil War. 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 programs were 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, including Pulitzer Prize-winning historians Gordon S. Wood (Brown University) and Alan Taylor (the University of California, Davis); Pulitzer Prize-finalist H. W. Brands (The University of Texas at Austin); Peter S. Onuf (University of Virginia); Lorri Glover (Saint Louis University); Daniel Feller (University of Tennessee); Stacy Fuller (Amon Carter Museum of American Art); Jesús F. de la Teja (Texas State University); George Forgie (The University of Texas at Austin); Kathi Kern (University of Kentucky); and Michael Les Benedict (The Ohio State University).
Educational specialists from the Amon Carter Museum of American Art and 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.
View videos of faculty lectures from the institute:
|Austin||June 6–9||LBJ Library and Museum||Schedule|
|Laredo||June 6–9||Texas A&M International University||Schedule|
|El Paso||June 8–11||The University of Texas at El Paso||Schedule|
|Houston||June 8–11||University of Houston||Schedule|
|Fort Worth||June 13–16||Texas Christian University||Schedule|
|San Antonio||June 13–16||The University of Texas at San Antonio||Schedule|
More information can be found in the institutes' final report
Program co-sponsors included College of Liberal Arts at The University of Texas at Austin, the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum, Texas A&M International University, the University of Houston, The University of Texas at El Paso, Texas Christian University, TCU’s Center for Texas History, and The University of Texas at San Antonio.
Program partners includes the Center for Legislative Archives at the National Archives and Records Administration; the Amon Carter Museum of American Art; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Tom Lea Institute; the Institute of Texan Cultures; the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame; and the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History.
The institute was made possible with major funding from the State of Texas and a We the People grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Additional support was provided by the Albert and Ethel Herzstein Charitable Foundation, the Philip R. Jonsson Foundation, the George and Anne Butler Foundation, the UTEP Teachers for a New Era Program, and the Tenneco Lecture Series.