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Finding Freedom Summer Teacher Institute

Past: Sunday, July 19 to Friday, July 24, 2020

Join a small group of educators from across the country in exploring the complicated experiences of people of African descent during the American Revolution.

African-descended men, women and children — some free and the vast majority enslaved — made up approximately one-fifth of the population of the British American colonies on the eve of the American Revolution. Who were these people and what did their lives look like in the mid-18th Century? How did the American Revolution provide opportunities and challenges as they sought freedom and/or better opportunities in life? How did their needs and wants align with those of Loyalists, Revolutionaries, and the many people in between? How did they practice agency in the midst of the chaos of war? And how did they fare once the war was over and an independent nation began to rise?

In short, how were people of African descent in the British American colonies impacted by, and how did they have an impact upon, the American Revolution?

Starting in Virginia and ending in Philadelphia, teachers will combine exploration of museums and historic sites with conversations with historians, curators, facilitators and each other to consider how these questions and their answers can impact their teaching of U.S. History at the elementary through high school levels.

Participants will:

  • Explore the Museum of the American Revolution and engage in dynamic conversations about the 18th century with members of the Museum’s Education and Curatorial teams
  • Be among the first to use the Museum’s brand new online digital resource, Finding Freedom: African Americans in Wartime Virginia, which uses storytelling and access to primary sources to connect today’s learners with real stories of people of African descent in the Revolutionary Era while asking important questions about the meanings of freedom and liberty
  • Use the geography, landscape and physical assets of historical sites in Virginia and Philadelphia to connect with individual stories of the Revolution
  • Engage in close-readings of historical texts and analysis of historical images
  • Discuss in-classroom applications of learning with each other and an Institute Lead Teacher
  • Receive a Certificate of Completion

Participation is open to active educators of students in grades 4-12. Space is limited. Interested educators will be asked to submit an application.

We are no longer accepting applications. Thank you for your interest!

The Finding Freedom Summer Teacher Institute is generously supported by The Albert M. Greenfield Foundation.

Things to Know

Who Can Apply?

The Institute is open to current classroom teachers of students in grades 4-12.

What is the Application Deadline?

The application deadline has passed.

How Will Participants Be Selected?

Applicants are asked to respond to several short answer prompts and to provide one letter of recommendation from a supervisor or colleague.

The Museum is looking to build a class of participating teachers who will engage actively in the Institute activities and discussions and will magnify the impact of this experience by sharing what they have learned with their students and with other educators. The Museum is also looking to create a class that is reflective of diversity across many fronts, including teaching experience, geography/region, and type of school.

How Much Does Participation Cost?

There is no tuition for this Institute, and all learning resources will be provided at no cost to teachers. The Museum will provide housing from the night. Educators must arrange for their own transportation to Richmond, VA and from Philadelphia, PA. The Museum will provide transportation from Virginia to Philadelphia.

The Museum will provide most lunches and dinners for participating teachers, but teachers should be prepared to cover their own costs for remaining meals.

Will There Be a Final Project?

Yes. Teachers will be asked to present to their peers and Institute facilitators concrete examples of how they will incorporate information and concepts from their Institute experience into their classroom environments. All lesson and activity ideas will be collected and distributed for use by the group.

Will I Earn Professional Development Credits for Participating?

All teachers will receive a certificate reflecting their total hours of participation in this Institute. Pennsylvania teachers please check back regarding Act 48 credits.

If I Have Questions, to Whom Should I Reach Out?

Please email [email protected] with any questions.

The Finding Freedom Summer Teacher Institute is generously supported by The Albert M. Greenfield Foundation.