Educator Workshops

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

Upcoming Professional Development Workshops

The Constitution in the Classroom: The First Amendment and Judicial Review
Monday, June 23 – Tuesday, June 24, 2014

8 a.m. – 3 p.m.

A graduate course in partnership between The Penn Literacy Network and the National Constitution Center

Featured Scholar: Jeffrey Rosen, National Constitution Center President and CEO
PLN Facilitator:  Lara Paparo
Audience: Educators, Grades 5-12
Location: The National Constitution Center, 525 Arch Street, Independence Mall, Philadelphia, PA 19106
Cost: REDUCED $150 per person (1.5 graduate level continuing education credits)

This dynamic mini-course will take 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 7th – 12th grade educators. Participants will 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.

Throughout the mini-course, educators will learn a variety of practical strategies, aligned with The Common Core Standards, to encourage student engagement with rich literacy practices, with a particular focus on how the First Amendment has been shaped throughout the process of judicial review, examining the balance between freedom of expression and school responsibility. Educators will have the opportunity to take a closer look at key Supreme Court cases and learn new ways to incorporate them into the classroom. The teaching and learning focus includes emphasis on the National Constitution Center’s civic learning framework and will feature a variety of classroom-ready resources, including videos, lesson plans, and activities. Teachers will engage in learning experiences that are rich in problem solving, critical thinking, and logical reasoning.

Upon successful completion of this course, participants are awarded 1.5 graduate-level, continuing education credits from the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education (.5 course units).

Applications have closed for this workshop.


America's Unfinished Constitution
July 13-19, 2014

This course, presented in partnership with The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History and led by Akhil Reed Amar, Sterling Professor of Law, Yale Law School, is designed to introduce you to one of the most important texts in human history - the U.S. Constitution. Why and how did this document come into existence? How has it been amended over the years? Who decides what it means? What are the ground rules for proper constitutional interpretation? How does the written Constitution interact with unwritten sources of constitutional authority, such as judicial decisions, presidential proclamations, landmark statutes, and widespread popular understandings?

Applications have closed for this workshop.


Liberty & Security with the Bill of Rights Institute
July 21-24, 2014

Join the Bill of Rights Institute for four days of enriching professional development at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, PA. This program will enrich you as a learner as you wrestle with the complex ideas of liberty in times when national security is called into question. Teachers will participate in pedagogical sessions with a master teacher, as well as lectures and discussion sessions with constitutional scholars. There also will be an opportunity to visit historic sites in Philadelphia.  
Eligibility: Social Studies Teachers grades 7-12.
Receive a certificate for 20 seat hours.
Lodging, transportation during the program, and most meals will be covered by the Institute.
Participants will receive a $500 post-program stipend.
More information available at
This program is co-sponsored with the National Constitution Center

Applications have closed for this workshop.


NEW! Teacher workshop in partnership with the Rendell Center for Citizenship and Civics!

Freedom of Speech: The Changing Landscape in Schools
Two dates to choose from –
Thursday, July 10, 2014
Thursday, August 7, 2014

8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Join the National Constitution Center and the Rendell Center for Citizenship and Civics for an engaging daylong workshop all about freedom of speech and First Amendment issues. The landscape of First Amendment law is rapidly changing, with technology posing new issues and concerns. Educators will hear thought-provoking  commentary from Judge Marjorie Rendell, Third Circuit Court of Appeals, and Jeffrey Rosen, National Constitution Center President and CEO* regarding these changes and the impact in the classroom.

Breakout workshops will cover famous Supreme Court decisions, like Mary Beth Tinker’s infamous armband case, involving student free speech. Local Philadelphia area lawyers will participate in a mock trial demonstration that can be recreated in the classroom.

COST: $10; includes admission to the National Constitution Center and a lunch voucher for the museum’s Delegates Cafe. Act 48 credits will be offered.

Schedule of Events
    8:30 a.m. Registration
    9 a.m. Welcome and Overview
    10 a.m. Guest Speakers
    11 a.m. Review of First Amendment court cases and analysis
    12 p.m. Break for lunch
    1 p.m. Freedom Rising performance and tour of the museum
    2 p.m. Mock appellate court argument
    3 p.m.  Presentation wrap up

This educator workshop is presented in partnership between the National Constitution Center and the Rendell Center for Citizenship and Civics at Arcadia University.
*Jeffrey Rosen will not be present at the August 7 workshop.

Register today! Book online or call 215.409.6700.


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 Center's interactive exhibitions and educational resources.

The Center’s workshops are customizable to your needs. We offer three-hour, six-hour, and multi-day workshops. The Center’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 .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) 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 Center’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 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 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.