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Humanities Unit Offers Seminars For Instructors

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Washington--The chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities last week unveiled a new program of annual summer seminars in the humanities for secondary-school teachers, to begin next summer on 15 college campuses.

William J. Bennett said the program, which will involve 225 teachers in its first year, "should be considered as a fellowship. It's a seminar in which the teacher will be a scholar, to return to texts and to work with a master teacher." University professors from around the country will serve as instructors in the program, he said.

Humanities teachers in grades 7 through 12 will be eligible to participate in the four-, five-, or six-week seminars, receiving small stipends to cover the costs of housing, travel, and textbooks, according to an announcement of the program.

"Through reading, writing, and reflection, and through frequent discussions--formal and informal--with the seminar director and with other teachers from across the country, seminar participants will increase their knowledge and enhance their ability to impart an understanding of the humanities to their students," the announcement said.

The new program, according to Mr. Bennett, is one component of the endowment's recently reorganized division of education programs. Other programs in the division also encourage collaboration between schools and colleges.

In addition to the endowment-organized seminars, proposals for seminars for the humanities teachers in one school system or for humanities teachers in a state or region--conducted in conjunction with local universities--are being accepted, Mr. Bennett said.

Long-Term Projects

A third program involves teachers and university professors in long-term projects to upgrade secondary-school teaching of the humanities. In one example of that program, the endowment this week awarded a grant of $368,000 to Yale University and the New Haven, Conn., school system to expand a five-year-old curriculum-development project. (See Education Week, Sept. 14, 1981.)

Richard Ekman, director of the education division, said the new programs were developed in conjunction with 12 humanities scholars, who were asked by endowment officials to advise on "new directions for the institute."

"In the past, the endowment has focused more on curriculum development, making changes in courses and syllabi," Mr. Ekman said. "With the immobility of faculty members in elementary and secondary schools, the thrust of the changes is toward faculty development," he said.

The application deadline is Feb. 1, 1983, for teachers who wish to participate in the humanities seminars next summer. For more information, write to: National Endowment for the Humanities, Division of Fellowships and Seminars, 806 15th St., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20506.

--ew

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