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This Month's Featured Stories  

Teachers from Across the U.S. Attend Institute at DU

Thirty secondary teachers who teach social studies at schools across America are attending an institute called ‘Teaching Connected Histories of the Mediterranean’ at DU this summer. Co-directed by Andrea Stanton, assistant professor of religious studies, the program is sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities, which is a federal agency that supports enrichment opportunities for secondary teachers to study with experts in humanities disciplines.

Stanton’s institute offers secondary school teachers the opportunity to focus on the Mediterranean region from a world historical perspective. Under Stanton’s guidance, the participants will explore ways to incorporate the dynamic region into their high school curricula. This is the only NEH summer institute for teachers offered this year that deals with the Arab spring and its aftermath, and participants will be introduced to cutting-edge ways to think about the Mediterranean and its relevance today, ranging from the current refugee crisis to the Mediterranean diet.

“DU is committed to being globally focused, so we are delighted to host this NEH Summer Institute,” said Dean Danny McIntosh. “This institute will allow secondary teachers from across the U.S. to bring the same emphasis on an interconnected world that DU professors stress in college courses to their students in middle and high schools.”

The three-week program is occurring on DU’s campus. Professor Susan Douglass of Georgetown University/George Mason University is co-directing it with Stanton. “We have some of the best scholars coming to Denver to share their insights with these teachers,” said Douglass. “This is an unprecedented opportunity to work one-on-one with some of the thinkers who are re-writing the ways in which we all understand human history, and emphasizing how important the Mediterranean continues to be today.”

The 30 teachers selected to participate in the program each receive a stipend from the NEH to cover their travel, study and living expenses. Participants come from public and private schools around the United States, and teach a range of subjects and students. “We were delighted by the strong applications we received,” said Stanton. “Our accepted participants are a stellar group of high-achieving teachers, whose interest in furthering their own education to be able to more effectively teach their students is inspiring.”

The NEH is supporting 24 seminars and institutes this summer for teachers in addition to Stanton’s, including programs entitled Abolitionism and the Underground Railroad; Africa in World History; America’s Reconstruction; Asian Americans in New York City: Literature and Film; and the Spanish Influenza of 1918.

The approximately 545 NEH Summer Scholars who participate in the 2015 NEH Summer Seminars and Institutes will teach almost 68,000 American students the following year.

Participants commit to sharing insights from the institute with fellow teachers and to using content from the institute in their teaching to offer fresh scholarship, relevant primary sources and educational best practices to their students all over America.

“We expect that participants will return home with a new perspective on the courses they teach, and that the young students they teach across the US will be the ultimate beneficiaries,” said Stanton.

More information about this summer institute.