Summer Teacher Institutes

Finding Freedom Summer Teacher Institute

July 2020 – Dates & Registration Information Coming Soon!

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 the American Revolution, and how did they have an impact upon the American Revolution?

Through discussions and reflection, gallery exploration, field trips, workshops and more – you and a cohort of passionate educators will explore these questions in depth and consider how they and their answers can inform your teaching of early U.S. History in classes at the elementary through high school levels.

Participants will:

  • Explore the Museum and its physical and digital on-site resources, including the launch of our Finding Freedom: African Americans in Wartime Virginia digital interactive, created in partnership with the Museum’s Finding Freedom National Teacher Advisory Group.
  • Hear from curators and historians who created the Finding Freedom
  • Engage in close-readings of historical texts and analysis of historical images
  • Discuss and workshop 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.

Check Back for Additional Program Details and Application Information

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 4th – 12th grade.

What is the Application Deadline?

All application materials should be submitted no later than Monday, June 10, 2019.

When Will I Be Notified?

Selected educators will be notified via email on Friday, June 14, 2019.

How Will Participants Be Decided?

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 that will be actively engaged in the Institute activities and discussions and that 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 Sunday, August 4th through Thursday, August 8th.  Educators must arrange for their own transportation to and from 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 I Get to Explore Philadelphia During the Institute?

Yes! Several field trips to partner organizations are built into the Institute experience. Educators will also have several lunch and dinner sessions to themselves, which can be used for exploration of the historic Old City District, within which the Museum sits.

Will I Earn Professional Development Credits for Participating?

Pennsylvania teachers will be awarded Act 48 credits. All teachers will receive a certificate reflecting their total hours of participation in this Institute.

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

Please email with any questions.

The Season of Independence Summer Teacher Institute is generously funded by Ira D. and Diana Riklis.