September 15, 2003

Local Educators Become Students In SMU's Teachers As Scholars Program

DALLAS (SMU) -- Local educators can now begin to register for the Teachers as Scholars (TAS) program at SMU, a series of seminars developed to re-inspire teachers' natural love of learning.

TAS is part of a national program that originated in 1996, as a partnership between Harvard University and the Brookline, Mass. Public Schools and is currently sponsored in 26 cities by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship. The program is based on the belief that school districts and universities should facilitate the continuing intellectual stimulation of K-12 teachers.

The program allows primary and secondary school educators to engage in thought-provoking discussions in classes led by some of the university's most distinguished and dynamic professors. All seminars consist of two full-day sessions and have a maximum enrollment of 12 teachers. Each session is spaced two to three weeks apart to allow enough time for preparation and discussion.

For the fall session, participants must register by Sept. 30:

Oct. 29 and Nov. 12

  • Negotiating the Political and the Non-Political in the U.S. Supreme Court
  • P.T. Barnum and American Popular Culture in the 19th Century

For the spring session, participants must register by Dec. 1:

March 24 and March 31

  • Medieval Jerusalem
  • Music and Physics: A Marriage of Art and Science

April 7 and April 21

  • Compensating Victims: The September 11th Fund, Tort Reform, and the History of American Social Policy
  • The "Total Work of Art": Fertile Collaborations in European Art, Music, Theater, Dance, and Cinema Between the World Wars.

SMU Art History Professor Janis Bergman-Carton, director of the Teachers As Scholars program at SMU, says it appeals to the teachers' love of learning. "The teachers feel incredibly respected and recognized. TAS renews their academic leadership abilities, honors their professional contributions and aids in relationship building between university faculty and local educators, " says Bergman-Carton. "School administrators have even claimed that TAS has helped with recruitment and retention efforts within their districts."

Program costs are shared equally among school districts, SMU and the Woodrow Wilson Foundation. The districts are asked to cover the cost of substitutes for the two seminar days and the participation rate of $200 per teacher.

For more information on TAS, contact Janis Bergman-Carton at 214-768-3822 or or visit the web site at