Educator Workshops

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 2016 Constitutional Scholars Institute

•    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   

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. Against the backdrop of Philadelphia’s historical district and the Constitution Center, you will examine the constitutional separation of powers and the relationship between a polarized Congress and the President. The goal of this seminar will be to explore the nature of Presidential power (the Framers’ design and intent), the road to the White House, and presidential leadership. This course will survey the American presidency and ask:
•    How does the Constitution both strengthen and constrain the chief executive?
•    How has the balance of power shifted between the White House and the Capitol?
•    How does a president win election -- and reelection?
•    What lies ahead for the American presidency?

Join us! Scholarships are available, but the deadline to apply is April 15, 2016. Download your Scholarship Application and Apply TODAY!
The Constitutional Scholar’s program costs approximately $2000 per teacher; however, thanks to the generosity of private donors, The Rendell Center has a limited number of scholarships available. Scholarships cover the cost of…
•    Accommodations: Participants will stay at the Wyndham Philadelphia Historic District in single occupancy rooms
•    Lunches and two dinners
•    Reading materials
•    Teaching resources
•    Documentation for recertification credits
Scholarship funds do not cover the cost of transportation to and from the Institute.
 Get complete details, a program overview, and your application for the 2016 Constitutional Scholars Institute.
 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

We look forward to having you join us this summer!


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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