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Teacher's Summer Institute (TSI)
“People don’t like to think. If one thinks, one must reach conclusions. Conclusions are not always pleasant.” Helen Keller
“Most of us automatically shy away from conflict, and understandably so. We particularly seek to avoid conflict in the classroom. One reason is habit; we are so accustomed to blandness that the textbook or teacher who brings real intellectual controversy into the classroom can strike us as a violation of polite rhetoric, of classroom norms.” James W. Loewen
According to Dietrich Bonhoeffer, “The test of the morality of a society is what it does for its children.” The late Whitney Houston once said that “I believe the children are future. Teach them well and let them lead the way.” Are we teaching our children well? Are we as a society passing the test of morality as a society? Is there a difference between “schooling” and “education?” According to Eisner (2003) The aims, content, and organization of schools are so embedded in our culture that the assumptions on which they rest are seldom examined. Schools are a part of the furniture of our communities, historically rooted institutions that we take as much for granted as the streets upon which we walk, the stores from which we purchase goods, and the houses in which we grow up and raise our families.
In order to prepare the children of Haiti for a brighter future, we have to dispel these assumptions about schooling and critically analyze the role that we as educators have historically played in promoting these assumptions. Furthermore, in order for a paradigm shift to take place in Haiti, both teachers and students: a) must be armed with critical thinking skills, and b) must be empowered to apply those critical thinking skills in order to foster a spirit of continuous hope for that brighter future.
Teachers in Haiti are currently struggling with large class size, and combined grade levels, they are asked to manage a classroom of individuals of varying ages, and experience levels. They often struggle with lesson planning, curriculum planning and behavior problems in the classroom because of the lack of resources. Many elementary schools use corporal punishment as their main source of discipline. The few teachers that do have extended training generally teach at the best paying schools. This leaves hundreds of thousands of students who are unable to pay for a quality education, as guaranteed to them by the Haitian constitution.
HAC-Haiti’s Teachers Summer Institute (TSI) is an annual training program where local teachers and American teachers engage in dialogue in order to learn from each other. Teachers are brought together and given the opportunity to further their own education. Certified trainers led a full week of workshops, lectures, and seminars focused on enhancing teaching practices. The seminars provided a space for the exchanging of ideas on contemporary and applicable education practices. During our 2011 training both American and Haitian educators who attended left with new insights and improved techniques to better prepare their students with a solid education, enabling them to compete in the global marketplace.
Presently, we are seeking qualified teachers, school administrators, and mental health professionals to present in our second annual TSI 2012. This will be held for 2 weeks this summer: July 9th- 20th. For more information on presenting, attending, or supporting this years TSI please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click here for our presenter requirements and application instructions: Call for Papers.