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Teacher Institute Programs

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Online Programs

Webinar Series


Colonial Williamsburg Methods in the Classroom

The Bob and Marion Wilson Teacher Institute of Colonial Williamsburg invites teachers to participate in a free webinar series exploring strategies Colonial Williamsburg uses to bring history to life and how to transfer those strategies into the classroom. This five-webinar series, designed for upper elementary and middle school teachers, may be taken as a whole or as individual segments as desired. Each webinar connects participants with a Colonial Williamsburg expert or character, a master teacher, and a Teacher Institute guide to curated Colonial Williamsburg classroom resources. The webinars will be delivered via Microsoft Teams Live Event. Participants register on a first-come, first-served basis.

Consecutive Saturdays: October 3, 10, 17, 24, and 31, 2020

Online Course


Teaching about Race and Slavery in the Colonial and American Revolutionary Periods

This five-week online course focuses on teaching about slavery and race during the colonial and American Revolutionary periods, with a primary focus on African American history. It is designed primarily for upper elementary and middle school teachers. The course will include weekly asynchronous readings, activities, discussion board posts, review and reflection, and video-recorded answers to your questions by presenters. This course will be held in BlackBoard CourseSites. Participants register on a first-come, first-served basis.

Please note: This is the same program that was offered in June and July. To ensure that this opportunity is available to as many teachers as possible, the October course is intended for first-time attendees.

Week-Long Sessions

Elementary School (for educators in grades 3–6)

Cancelled 2020

Becoming Americans (1606–1781)

Elementary school sessions focus on the daily life of colonial Virginians and the transition from subject to citizen that occurred during the Revolutionary War period. Teachers will be immersed in hands-on activities at Jamestown, Williamsburg, and Yorktown that highlight the stories of the people living during this time.

Secondary School (for educators in grades 7–12)

Cancelled 2020

Emerging American Identity (1606–1865)

How do we define our identity as Americans? How do many diverse cultures come together to form the basis of this American identity? What will it become in the future? During this course, participants will examine how the concept of an American identity began in the colonial period and continues to evolve and transform with each generation of Americans. Through inquiry-based analysis of primary sources while exploring throughout the Colonial Williamsburg Historic Area, teachers examine how that identity influenced American citizens to shape and change the Republic through the 1860s.

For Teachers From New York City Public Schools

Cancelled 2020

Elementary School Level: Becoming Americans (1606–1781)
Secondary School Level: American History and Content Literacy (1606–1781)

These six-day, immersive sessions held onsite in Williamsburg, Virginia, are designed for American history educators who teach in New York City. Participants will explore best practices in history education through site visits, character interpretations, primary source analysis, modeled classroom lessons, inquiry-based exploration, and collaboration with fellow teachers and Colonial Williamsburg staff. CTLE credit is available.

Three-Day Seminars

African Americans in Eighteenth-Century Virginia (for educators in Grades 3–8)

Cancelled 2020

This seminar explores the lives, roles, and perspectives of enslaved and free black Virginians in the eighteenth century. Participants will pursue a deeper understanding of the diversity of the experiences of enslaved and free black people during the colonial period and the American Revolution.

Straight from the Sources: Women in Eighteenth-Century Virginia (for educators in Grades 3–8)

Cancelled 2020

This seminar explores the lives, roles, and perspectives of eighteenth-century women. Participants will pursue a deeper understanding of women’s contributions and constraints during the time leading up to the American Revolution.

Apprenticeships, STEM, and Colonial Daily Life (for educators in Grades 3–8)

Cancelled 2020

This seminar explores the interdisciplinary links between colonial history and STEM in trades, specifically applied sciences and engineering. Through a hands-on, Project Based Learning (PBL) approach, participants engage with trade experts, investigate applied science principles such as the use of simple machines, chemical reactions, engineering, and combine these experiences into dynamic classroom lesson plans that incorporate primary sources and PBL.

Other Workshops

Weekend Workshops

The Idea of America Seminar


The Idea of America
framework views U.S. history as an enduring "Great Debate." How do we balance the values Americans share—law and ethics, freedom and equality, unity and diversity, common wealth and private wealth? Colonial Williamsburg's new "Idea of America" seminars explore how these values have shaped our American identity and how you can apply them to the fundamental issues facing our nation today.

District and Regional Workshops

The Idea of America for Secondary School Teachers

In this one-day workshop in your district, a Colonial Williamsburg educator inspires teachers with interactive, media-rich strategies that link American history and active 21st-century civic engagement.

Sample Workshop topics include but are not limited to:

Customized Group Workshops

The Colonial Williamsburg Professional Development staff can customize arrangements for your teacher group's (of 15 or more) visit to Colonial Williamsburg. Not only can we help you with the educational portion of your visit, but we can also make arrangements for Colonial Williamsburg lodging, meals, and local transportation. For more information or a price quote on a customized teacher professional development program, please email teacherdevelopment@cwf.org or call (757) 565-8417.