For 15 years the Mielke Summer Institute in the Liberal Arts has enabled local teachers to explore topics such as the philosophy of education, environmental awareness and educational themes embedded in film and television. The community outreach program is supported by the Mielke Family Foundation.
Each year the institute, under the direction of Associate Professor of Education and Bee Connell Mielke Professor of Education Stewart Purkey, offers 25 elementary and secondary educators from Appleton and Shawano the opportunity to visit Björklunden, Lawrence’s tranquil northern campus in Door County, Wis., for a weeklong examination of multidisciplinary themes and contemporary educational issues. The institute is free of charge to the 25 participants.
The 2011 Mielke Summer Institute in the Liberal Arts, held in June, was called “Hollywood Goes to High School.” Local educators explored how films about high school, such as Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Fast Times at Ridgemont High, affect perceptions of teachers, other school professionals and students.
Enriching professional development opportunities like those provided by the Mielke Summer Institute are crucial for supporting teachers and schools both now and into the future—and, thanks to the generosity of the Mielke Family Foundation, educators continue bolstering their expertise to provide children with the highest quality educational experience.
“The summer institute continues to make an important contribution to educators’ professional development,” Purkey said. “It also remains an excellent example of Lawrence’s commitment to serving the greater community in which we are located.”