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Teachers from New England Renaissance program reunite

May 23, 2011

Last Saturday, after nearly 20 years, many teachers who participated in the New England Renaissance program in the '90s reunited.

The New England RenaissanceCarol Ann Hixon, Chris Nelson, Jayne Gordon, Ed Schamberger, and Bruce Ronda wear the Scarlet 'A' from Nathaniel Hawthorne's <i>The Scarlet Letter</i>.

In the summers of 1990, 1992, and 1994, 80 Colorado middle and high school teachers attended The New England Renaissance, a National Endowment for the Humanities institute hosted by CSU. Last Saturday, after nearly 20 years, many of the teachers reunited.

Led by CSU emeritus professor of English Ed Schamberger, the trip inspired many of the teachers to incorporate what they had learned and experienced into their teaching of 19th century American literature and culture.

“Professor Ed Schamberger held a passion for the literature and culture of early 19th century New England and a firm belief that secondary teachers would share that passion if given the opportunity to experience the richness of the times," said Carol Ann Hixon, who served as Schamberger’s co-leader for the trips. "Ed assembled a faculty and designed a program of both academic study and hands-on experience that engaged 80 Colorado teachers to such a degree that many still say 20 years later, ‘The NERI changed my way of teaching and living.’ 

"I was most privileged to work with Ed, the faculty and the teachers. They changed my life, too,"

A deeper insight

During this program, all of the teachers attended a three-week seminar on CSU’s campus centering on New England writers, artists, and reformers. The teachers then flew to Massachusetts, where they toured Emily Dickinson’s home, visited Old Sturbridge Village, and many additional sites in Concord, Salem, and Boston.

While in Old Sturbridge Village, each teacher assumed the role of an individual who had lived in a New England village during the 19th century. While in Lowell, Mass., the teachers viewed a dramatic presentation of a girl working in a boot mill. The primary intent of the trip was to engage the teachers in experiencing life as it was during that era. Afterward, the teachers developed curriculum incorporating what they’d seen and learned into their lesson plans.

Because of this program, all the teachers were given the opportunity to expand their perspectives and knowledge, and in doing so, they were able to offer their students a more well-rounded experience.

For additional information, contact Carol Ann Hixon at (970) 223-9084.

Contact: Carol Ann Hixon
Phone: (970) 223-9084