Past Teachers Institutes
The Institute began in 2016 and is now a collaborative effort of the Idaho federal courts, the Idaho Supreme Court, the University of Idaho College of Law, and the Idaho Attorneys for Civic Education. Many of the teachers attending past Institutes reported feeling inspired and excited to return to the classroom with, as one teacher put it, “new ideas and [information] to implement” in the curriculum. Another teacher left the experience feeling “inspired” and planning to “bring this ‘inspiration’ into” the classroom. That is the main goal of this Institute and it was heartening to read another program evaluation validating that “these kinds of experiences do make a difference.”
Past Institutes have brought between 30 and 45 teachers from all over Idaho together with federal judges, state court judges and justices, selected lawyers, and media representatives, in a series of interactive programs designed to enhance the expertise of the teachers on various topics relating to the rule of law. New in 2017, the teachers attended an oral argument at the Idaho Supreme Court and visited with the justices after the argument. The teachers now also attend selected federal court hearings as part of the experience.
The Institute uses a workshop methodology that utilizes selected master teachers, the Institute provides teachers an opportunity to create or improve their own lesson plans and other instructional materials for use back home. The Institute exemplifies the commitment of Idaho’s judiciary to outreach and education and represent a distinctively innovative collaboration with the state courts and the legal academy.