Educator Workshops

Educator Workshops

Two Exciting Opportunities for Educators at the National Constitution Center This Summer!

The 2016 Constitutional Scholars Institute

Looking for a way to teach your students about the 2016 Presidential Election and its impact without the noise of the media and the campaigns?

 We have a solution if you’re looking for a way to explore questions like these:
•Can America’s system of government with its constitutional separation of powers continue to function successfully in the current political environment?
•What will be the role of the Supreme Court in hearing appeals from these political conflicts?  

The Rendell Center for Civics and Civic Engagement, the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania, and the National Constitution Center, invite you to join us this summer for a knowledge-filled institute in Philadelphia—the setting of the Democratic National Convention—to explore issues underlying the presidential election.

•What: 5-Day Institute
•When: July 17 – July 22, 2016 • M-F 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
•Where: Classes will be held at the National Constitution Center, 525 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106, and other sites in Philadelphia
•Registration Submission Deadline: April 15, 2016   

Get complete details, a program overview, and your application for the 2016 Constitutional Scholars Institute here.

If you have any questions about the Institute that are not answered on our website, please email Beth Specker, Executive Director of The Rendell Center for Civic Engagement and Civics at [email protected].


The Constitution in the Classroom: The First Amendment and Judicial Review

A graduate-level, continuing education course in partnership between the Penn Literacy Network of the University of Pennsylvania and the National Constitution Center
This dynamic course takes a closer look at the role of judicial review and its impact on the First Amendment as it explores the relationship between inquiry-based learning and innovative, research- based classroom practices for 5th – 12th grade educators. Participants investigate The Penn Literacy Network frameworks of The Five Reading Writing Talking Processes and The Four Lenses of Learning and use them in conjunction with the National Constitution Center’s engaging education resources to further explore the interpretation of the First Amendment and its role in schools.

PLN course activities and assignments align with and support participants’ potential involvement in The National Constitution Center’s Civic Literacy Curricula Planning Contest which challenges public and independent Pennsylvania teachers to develop multi-year plans to improve constitutional literacy, with the chance to earn cash prizes to implement the plans in their schools. See for more information about the contest.

Featured Legal Scholars: Judge Marjorie Rendell and Professor Michael Gerhardt

Audience: Educators, Grades 5-12
Location: The National Constitution Center, 525 Arch Street Philadelphia, PA 19106
Course Dates/Times: August 9, 10, and 11 (9:00 am-3:30 pm) and Saturday, October 15 (1:00-4:00 pm), online coursework, a job embedded assignment, and a curriculum writing final project aligned with the contest noted below.
Cost: $950 per person (3.0 graduate level continuing education credits from the University of Pennsylvania upon successful completion for a December grade)

Register online at by May 15, 2016.  Be sure to indicate that you are registering for PLN33. If you do not have a PPID, enter 7 zeros in that field. Please email Marlene Ryder that you have registered at [email protected]

$950 is due by July 9, 2016 with a post-dated check-dated August 1, 2016. Please send your payment to Iris Sanchez at The Penn Literacy Network, 3700 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104. Checks need to be made out to The Trustees of The University of Pennsylvania.  Iris Sanchez can be reached at her email at [email protected]

or call 215-898-1984. For more information about The National Constitution Center, visit



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.


Sign up for our email newsletter