Philosophy Behind the Project
The impetus behind the Teachers as Scholars Professional Development Project was to provide K - 12 teachers with an opportunity during the school day to immerse themselves in discussion and reflection upon scholarly issues in a seminar setting with fellow teachers. This project was different from all other teacher professional development programs available at that time. Based upon the philosophy that teachers must themselves be scholars in order to promote students scholarship, teachers were encouraged to consider any seminar topic regardless of what grade level or subject area they taught. The focus of this program was teacher scholarship and not classroom practice or application. Nevertheless, project feedback from the teacher participants was often inclusive of comments about how teachers looked forward to integrating what they had experienced back into their own classrooms.
The University of North Dakota (UND) in collaboration with the Grand Forks Area Teacher Center received funding for Teachers as Scholars, a professional development project for area K-12 teachers from a number of financial partners and more information can be found on the Project Partners page.
The program, aimed at the intellectual renewal of teachers, brought together K-12 teachers from northeastern North Dakota in a university setting for immersion in the scholarly study of the arts, humanities, sciences and social sciences. This kind of study and engagement with ideas often attracts individuals to teaching in the first place, but is seldom the focus of continuing professional development programs for teachers. It was hoped that such a program could bring renewed life to the work of teachers, igniting both them and their students and reinvigorating their classrooms. The Teachers as Scholars project was orginally initiated at Harvard University.
For more in-depth information about Teachers as Scholars across the nation, see the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation web site.