Educator Workshops

The museum offers customized workshops that help educators enhance their teaching about the Constitution.

Upcoming Professional Development Workshops

Cultures of Independence
Historical Society of Pennsylvania and Partners Announce Summer 2015 Teacher Institute

As part of its renewed commitment to K-12 education, the Historical Society of Pennsylvania and its partners are now accepting applications for their newest teacher institute. Open to all K-12 educators, Cultures of Independence: Perspectives on Independence Hall and the Meaning of Freedom will raise awareness of how Independence Hall has been involved in the ongoing process of creating a nation and civic life, not just in the magical moment of July 4, 1776.  

During two, weeklong institutes, 72 teachers from across the country will be immersed in a process of discovering and developing strategies for teaching the ongoing history of American independence.  Dr. Charlene Mires, author of Independence Hall in American Memory, will be the scholar-in-residence. More information regarding the institute’s schedule of events, speakers, and workshops may be found here.

About Cultures of Independence

Cultures of Independence will immerse 72 teachers in this complex history, providing direct access to these stories and experiences and, through them, reach hundreds of students. The impact of the workshop will extend further as the lessons these teachers develop are used by other teachers to supplement their textbooks not only in teaching “the founding moment” but also in exploring issues of abolition, slavery, immigration, and ethnicity throughout American history.  
The institutes are offered by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania in conjunction with the Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia, Independence National Historical Park, National Archives at Philadelphia, National Constitution Center, and the Philadelphia History Museum. Cultures of Independence has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Celebrating 50 Years of Excellence with additional funding from Independence National Historic Park and through HEAD for the Future, an HSP-Wells Fargo partnership.

•    Cultures of Independence is open to all K-12 educators who wish to make history relevant to learners by integrating historic scholarship, primary source research, and material culture study into their classroom. HSP hopes to draw educators from the across the country.

•    Cultures of Independence will take place in Philadelphia at Independence Hall and the National Constitution Center. On select days, participants will tour or research in other historical institutions in the city.

•    The institute will be offered twice:  June 21-26 and July 26-July 31, 2015.

•    There will be no fee for this program, and all participants receive a $1,200 stipend to help defray expenses.

How to Apply:
•    Application information may be found here. The application deadline is March 2.


Customized Professional Development

Join the National Constitution Center for a customized educator workshop, where you can:

  • Deepen your understanding of civics and American history to enhance your teaching.
  • Gain new strategies to inspire active citizenship in your students.
  • Learn how to get the most out of the museum’s interactive exhibitions and educational resources.

The museum’s workshops are customizable to your needs. We offer three-hour, six-hour, and multi-day workshops. The museum’s education staff can also bring the workshop to you. Topics for workshops include:

  • Teaching with Our Museum
  • Teaching with Primary Sources
  • Teaching with Current Court Cases
  • customized historical and constitutional themes and topics

For more information or to book your group contact the education department at or 215.409.6623

One-Day Workshop Sample Agenda

9 a.m.

Welcome to the National Constitution Center

  • Participants are introduced to the workshop staff through an activity that both helps to begin the session and can be easily and effectively replicated in the classroom.

9:30 a.m.

Freedom Rising performance

10 a.m.

Teacher tour of the Center’s exhibitions

  • An education team member escorts participants through the museum’s exhibitions, highlighting each of the many areas that have been developed into classroom-ready resources.

11:30 a.m.

Lunch in Delegates’ Cafe

12:30 p.m.

Educational philosophy and resources

  • Participants are introduced to the Constitution Center’s educational philosophy, which is designed to promote active citizenship through a comprehensive framework for civic learning composed of civic knowledge, public action and democratic deliberation.
  • Review of print materials, online lessons, activities, and interactives available from the Constitution Center, as well as other similar educational institutions.
  • Introduction to free opportunities to get students involved in learning about the Constitution through the Constitution Hall Pass series.

2 p.m.

Primary source workshop (or scholar lecture with discussion and classroom application session starting at 1:30 p.m.)

  • Teachers are shown new ways to explore primary sources and engage students in appreciating the historical context behind famous documents, such as the Emancipation Proclamation.

3 p.m.


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