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OXFORD TEACHER SEMINAR

AMY CUNNINGHAM WICHITA COLLEGIATE SCHOOL LIBRARIAN July 2011


Oxford University

Mansfield College The Oxford Teacher Seminar is designed to enable teachers to experience life in a traditional Oxford college and benefit from the meeting of minds with leading scholars and educators from Oxford University. We were situated in Mansfield College but also spent time at Oriel, Magdalen, Merton and Christ Church colleges. I was fortunate to receive a partial fellowship from the Foundation for International Education in a year of a record number of fellowship applications from very qualified applicants. The seminar integrated specialized focus study groups, multiple plenary sessions as well as the history of Oxford and apropos tours. As one of only 28 other participants, it was a pleasure to represent Wichita Collegiate School and tell others about our school. The Seminar participants included teachers from some of the very best K-12 schools including: The Brearley School, N.Y., Marple Newton High, PA St. Andrew School, DE Woodbury Forest Academy, VA Miramonte High School, CA New Mexico Military Academy, NM Overlake School, WA Landon School, MD Lexington Christian Academy, Middlesex School, MA Providence-St. Mel School, Chicago IL, St. John Academy, VA, Bolles School, FL, Roxbury Latin School, MA, Hopkins School, CT, Bullis School MD and Lovett School, GE.

Wi c h i t a C o l l e g i a t e S c h o o l!

Amy Cunningham

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Some other participants were globally representative: St. Stithians College and St. Mary’s School, South Africa, Presbyterian School, Singapore, Vienna International School and Concordia International School, Shanghai China and Colegio Los Nogales, Columbia.

Radcliffe Square and Braesnose College

The Library and the Academy Seminar Prof. David Rundle. Professor of History, Christ Church. As Dr. Rundle noted, there can hardly be a better place than Oxford to contemplate the history, the function and the future of libraries. Oxford is home to not only the oldest University in the English-speaking world but also to some of the most renowned libraries and scholars in Western civilization. It was truly the ideal locale for our week of discussion in which we covered the following topics: The Destruction of Books and the Impermanence of Libraries, The Value of Books and the History of Print Culture, Design of Libraries & Libraries Patrons, and the Future of Books and issues of Scholarship.

Magdalen College Library

Radcliffe Camera

The Plenary Session Oxford graduate and Professor of Literature, Dr. Rebecca Bullard led the plenary sessions. Sessions included Author and Creative writing teacher David Benedictus, who read from his latest work “Return to the Hundred Acre Wood.” Former British Poet Laureate Andrew Motion discussed his life and work and also read several of his poems. Other noted speakers included British Politician Tony Benn, Linguistic Philosopher, Dr. Valentine Cunningham, Oxford grad and now Global Security Expert, Dr. Tim Benbow, Journalist and producer, Dr. Grayson whose titles have included, Former Bureau Chief and Senior Correspondent for British television, President of the Foreign Press Association and White House correspondent. Former Journalist, Oxford grad and now Shakespeare Wi c h i t a C o l l e g i a t e S c h o o l!

Amy Cunningham

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Expert and teacher, Euan Monahan. Professor of Literature, Dr. James Basker Barnard College & Columbia University. “How Poets helped end Slavery & why Literature Matters.” We also enjoyed a very stimulating panel discussion with current Rhodes Scholars.

Summation: The Oxford Teacher Seminar was an immensely rewarding program. Not only was I able to meet other educators and librarians from premier institutions, it was such a benefit to learn from their insights and experience. In addition, the program itself was a tremendous intellectual stimulant, from the Seminar leaders, to the plenary guest speakers and the location itself! Furthermore, I can’t wait to educate our own Collegiate students about the potential benefits of the student summer programs. The Oxford Prep and the Oxford Tradition Courses are taught by Rhodes scholars as well as many of the luminaries we meet through our plenary sessions. I can now imagine how amazing this experience Amy Cunningham Today, 10:56 AM

and exposure could be for our own students.

Wi c h i t a C o l l e g i a t e S c h o o l!

Amy Cunningham

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