Students and Faculty in the Archives participants convened annually for a professional development opportunity called the Summer Institute. The nature of the institute changed from year to year, but it always included substantial time for faculty to workshop and revise their teaching practices and products. In addition to project-oriented sessions, there were walking tours, scholarly presentations, and receptions. The Summer Institutes played an essential role in building a sense of community among SAFA participants.
2011 Summer Institute, June 13 – 17
In the first year, faculty spent a great deal of time researching in the archives to select their teaching documents. All returned to the archives after the week-long institute to continue their research. Guided by the course plan, faculty began brainstorming and planning their class visits. They finished a draft of the course plan by the end of the institute, and submitted a final version by August 2011.
2012 Summer Institute, June 11 – 15
Participating local faculty attended several workshops focused around practical applications of the emerging SAFA teaching philosophy: defining learning objectives, providing context, designing effective assignments, facilitating student visits, conceiving useful wrap ups, and crafting tailored student handouts. The main emphasis was for professors to tweak and refine their pedagogical design as participants entered the grant’s second and final year of teaching.
Faculty also brainstormed and planned ways to disseminate the project’s findings. On the last 2 days of the institute, national partners (from universities and cultural institutions in Philadelphia, PA; Providence, RI; New Bedford, MA; and Burlington, VT) met in Brooklyn to learn about the SAFA model.
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2012 Summer Institute Schedule
“What is SAFA?” sheet sent to the national partners
Preparatory documents sent to the national partners, including sample course materials
Refined procedures for local SAFA faculty participants
Blank dossier completed by local SAFA faculty
2013 Summer Institute, June 17
The final institute was just 1 day. In the morning, faculty, staff, and evaluators reflected on and helped evaluate the SAFA project. In the afternoon, staff presented initial plans for TeachArchives.org, solicited faculty feedback about the site, and laid out faculty contributions to site content. Faculty completed those materials by fall 2013.
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2013 Summer Institute Schedule
Julie Golia and Robin M. Katz, “SAFA Summer Institutes,” TeachArchives.org, accessed [insert date here], http://wwww.teacharchives.org/project/summer-institutes/.