Educator Workshops

The National Constitution Center offers a range of exciting, engaging professional development opportunities for educators.

Summer Professional Development Programs:

Interactive Constitution Summer Teacher Institute 

Join teachers from across the country and constitutional scholars from across the political spectrum for a weeklong teacher institute at the National Constitution Center in the heart of historic Philadelphia in July 2017. The institute will be offered twice: July 9-14 and July 16-21.

During the institute—through lectures, demonstrations, and historic site visitation—educators work with content experts to deepen their knowledge of the history and modern debates about interpretations of the U.S. Constitution.  With master teachers and the Center’s education team, participants will also discover innovative, nonpartisan ways to make the content relevant to a wide range of learners.  The institute will address such questions as:

  • What are the historic origins of specific articles, sections, clauses, and amendments of the U.S. Constitution?
  • How have Supreme Court decisions, executive actions, and legislation, impacted the interpretation of each part of the Constitution?
  • How do constitutional scholars analyze the Constitution and in where do they agree and disagree?
  • What tools and techniques will enhance nonpartisan, cross-curricular teaching about the Constitution for 21st Century learners?

The institute takes full advantage of the Center’s partnerships with the American Constitution Society, the Federalist Society, and the College Board, as well as the cultural resources of America’s most historic square mile—in America’s only World Heritage City—to demonstrate the constant presence of the Constitution in American life.  Educators will leave new content knowledge, teaching tools, classroom-ready resources, and new skills for improving constitutional literacy.

Scholarships are available to cover the costs of lodging, some travel expenses, two dinners, reading materials, and teaching resources.

The program begins Sunday evening and ends Friday afternoon.  The week includes activities and events offering institute attendees opportunities to explore Philadelphia’s history and culture, including a dinner at City Tavern, an after-hours tour of Independence Hall, and more.

The application for the Interactive Constitution Summer Teacher Institute is available here.

For more information, contact Mike Adams, Manager of Education, at [email protected]

The Summer Teacher Institutes and the Interactive Constitution are made possible by a grant from the John Templeton Foundation.

The Constitutional Scholars Institute:  The Supreme Court 

July 23-28, 2017
Philadelphia, PA

Update: All spots for this workshop are currently reserved. If you are interested in being added to the waiting list, please contact Beth Specker at 215-746-6336 or [email protected]

Whither the Supreme Court?  Law, Politics, Philosophy, and Judicial Independence

Spend five days in the cradle of democracy examining the U.S. Supreme Court—past, present, and future.

Join educational colleagues from across the United States and constitutional scholars to explore the historical, legal, philosophical, and political evolution of the Supreme Court of the United States. The program consists of strong content sessions and activities as well as the skills and tools you need to apply the material in your classroom. Participants will receive a casebook on significant Supreme Court cases discussed during the Institute.

Seminar discussion topics will include:

  • The Supreme Court – The framers’ original vision for, and the evolving history of the highest federal court of the U.S.
  • Getting to Nine – How the balanced court of the last three decades has resolved and communicated cases.
  • Solving the Constitutional and Legal Puzzles – How individual Supreme Court justices decide cases and how to read and understand their opinions.
  • The Future of Judicial Independence – The effect of political controversies on the Supreme Court – the battle over Robert Bork's confirmation; the Clarence Thomas confirmation fight; Bush v. Gore; and the battle over filling the Antonin Scalia vacancy.
  • The Adoption of Judicial Philosophies and Ideologies –The battle between the Originalists and the Living Constitutionalists

Thanks to the generosity of private donors, the Rendell Center is pleased to offer a limited number of scholarships to this five-day immersive institute.

Scholarships cover:

  • Cost of accommodations;
  • Lunches and two dinners;
  • Reading materials and teaching resources; and
  • Documentation for recertification credits.

Download the application at

All spots for this workshop are currently reserved. If you are interested in being added to the waiting list, please contact Beth Specker at 215-746-6336 or [email protected]


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