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2015 Amistad Commission Summer Institute for Teachers

Amistad Commission Summer Curriculum Institute for Teachers - Northern Region
Montclair State University, Montclair, NJ
August 3-5, 2015
Application Information and Instructions

Amistad Commission Summer Curriculum Institute for Teachers - Southern Region
Stockton University, Galloway, NJ
July 27-29, 2015
Application Information and Instructions

Our goal is to enhance current instructional practices by using special topics in history to fulfill the mandate of the Amistad legislation (P.L. 2002, c. 75); to infuse African-American history into the K-12 social studies curriculum; as well as to give educators the opportunity to design curriculum materials while earning professional development credits. In addition, the institutes are designed to enhance educators' curricular approaches by taking advantage of the rich resources offered at Montclair State University's Home of the Center for Pedagogy and Stockton University's College of Education.

Between the two institutes, approximately 150 educators will work in collaboration with knowledgeable historians and scholars experiencing multimedia history-based presentations and using primary resource materials provided by the Amistad Commission and American Institute for History Education (AIHE).

The institutes offer unique, thematic presentations, multicultural literacy and informational texts, and other selected materials designed to help users understand how to apply rubrics and evaluate the quality of instructional resources, define the knowledge and skills students should have within their K-12 education to meet the Core Curriculum Content Standards (CCCS) in English Language Arts (ELA) and social studies, and how to prepare their students to master the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) assessments. Attendees will also see how all ELA and social studies teachers can use Amistad online to prepare for the PARCC assessments: writing to text, identifying academic vocabulary, and making cogent conclusions, using solid evidence from texts.

This year, the presentations are centered on two areas of study:

  • The Summer Institute will examine the struggles of integration above the Mason-Dixon Line, in the State of New Jersey. While the North has had no Selma march, no Birmingham church bombing, and no George Wallace pronouncement of "segregation now, segregation tomorrow and segregation forever," virtually every northern city had its share of overt and subversive racial politics, segregation policies, and discriminatory practices. This summer, the Amistad Commission will examine Jim Crow through the lens of two New Jersey communities as case studies, Atlantic City and Montclair;
  • In addition we will commemorate  this year's milestone anniversary of the civil rights movement, particularly the Voting Rights Act of 1965, as the thematic foundation for lectures, crafting unit and lesson plans, and studying texts, topics, and ideas central to elementary and secondary social studies education.

Moreover, each institute is designed to provide educators with the opportunity to use the Amistad online resource to examine the prevailing and diverse narratives of the events through first person narratives; using historians, lawyers and educators to analyze contemporary primary sources and opposition texts, and using "informational texts" methods and strategies that were created specifically for educators to use in their classrooms and required by the CCCS in ELA.

Each day, educators will also spend some time participating in and observing reenactments of events surrounding the dates being studied. They will see how they can utilize various cross curricular resources, such as speeches, dialogues, and the dramatic arts that are found in Amistad online resource. Educators will end each day with a discussion and activity on how these events and informational texts can be assessed using a PARCC-like format. The PARCC-style assessments can be found on the Amistad online resource.

Finally, in a concerted effort to ensure that each institute is a turnkey district-by-district endeavor of curriculum redesign for school year 2015-2016, each participant will be trained to use the Amistad web-based curriculum, a premier multimedia resource for educators in New Jersey. The Amistad Summer Institutes want to guarantee opportunities for the multitude of district curriculum specialists and classroom teachers who will require training for statewide compliance with the Amistad legislation and implementation