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Teacher Institute Programs


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Virtual Teacher Chats

Once a month, join Colonial Williamsburg for informal educator chats where teachers can engage with Teacher Institute staff and Master teachers, hear from experts in the field, explore digital resources, and network with fellow educators. These chats will take place in Zoom and are limited to 100 participants each. Registration is free and on a first-come, first-served basis.

What Cloth Can Tell Us

Thursday March 21, 2024,
7:00 – 8:00 PM ET

What you wear can say a lot about you. In the case of 18th-century textiles, what we can learn is more than what meets the eye. Join the Colonial Williamsburg Teacher Institute team, staff from the textile conservation lab and the curatorial team to examine 18th-century textiles and explore what we can learn from their preservation and study.

Childhood in the Collections

Thursday April 18, 2024,
7:00 – 8:00 PM ET

Ever wonder what it was like to grow up in the past? We’re sure you’ll find that in many ways childhood is much the same today as it was then. Join staff from the Colonial Williamsburg Art Museums and the Teacher Institute team for a look at childhood as revealed in the museum collections.

Registration Coming Soon!

Preservation Month Highlights

Thursday May 16, 2024,
7:00 – 8:00 PM ET

What is encompassed in the term historic preservation? Join members of the Colonial Williamsburg Preservation team to learn more about various preservation strategies, why they are important, and what new projects the team is taking on to better preserve and interpret our shared history.

Registration Coming Soon!

Online Partner Programs

Constitutional Cornerstone: Marbury v. Madison - An Exploration for Educators

Tuesday, March 12, 2024, 7-8:30 p.m. ET

We invite teachers to an immersive and enlightening professional learning experience co-hosted by the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and the Center for Civic Education.

Engage with a character interpreter from the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, who will provide unique insights into the Marbury v. Madison case and share why it is considered a cornerstone of judicial review. Then, with the help of a scholar of judicial review, examine how this case has shaped the balance of power among the three branches of government, and explore how this historic case continues to influence and shape modern interpretations of the Constitution.

This program is intended for a broad range of educators and participants are eligible to receive documentation of 1.5 contact hours for professional development purposes.

Online Courses

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

Monday, June 24 - Friday June 28, 2024

This 5-day online course focuses on teaching about race and slavery during the colonial and American Revolutionary War periods, with a primary focus on African American history. It is designed primarily for upper elementary and middle school teachers. The course includes daily asynchronous readings, activities, and discussion board posts as well as a live synchronous meeting for 2 hours each day. Each live meeting includes review, reflection, and discussion of the asynchronous assignments, as well as an opportunity to interact with a Colonial Williamsburg character interpreter, content expert, or Master Teacher. This course will be held in Blackboard.

Registration opens in May

Building Inquiry and Analysis Skill by Engaging with Primary Sources

Monday, June 10 – Friday, June 14, 2024

This 5-day online course focuses on teaching with a variety of primary source mediums, with an emphasis on student engagement, critical thinking skills and meaning making. It is designed for teachers of all grade levels. The course will include daily asynchronous readings, activities, discussion board posts, review and reflection, and synchronous Q&A with presenters. This course will be held in Blackboard.

Registration opens in May

Onsite Residential

A Multifaceted American Heritage:
Colonization, Conflict, and Compromise

Intended for educators in grades 3-6

Sunday - Friday
June 23 - June 28, 2024 | July 7 - July 12, 2024
July 21 - July 26, 2024 | July 28 - August 2, 2024

What were the rights, roles, responsibilities, influence, and agency of the different populations living in colonial Virginia? How did social levels, gender, and ethnicity impact every aspect of society? Participants will explore daily life in the territories of the American colonies from the period of British colonization to the American Revolution. During this course, teachers will be immersed in hands-on activities, primary sources, and teaching strategies that highlight the stories of the diverse peoples living in Virginia during this period.

Evolving Perspectives on American Identity:
Resistance, Revolution, and Reform

Intended for educators in grades 7-12

Sunday - Friday
June 9 - June 14, 2024 | June 16 - June 21, 2024 | June 23 - June 28, 2024
July 21 - July 26, 2024 | July 28 - August 2, 2024.

Can the American identity be defined? How does American society mediate conflict and consensus among various cultures? What will the American identity become in the future? During this course, participants will examine how the concept of an American identity began and continues to evolve and transform with each new generation of Americans. Through inquiry-based analysis of primary sources, teachers will examine how that identity influenced citizens to shape and change the Republic through the 1870s.

STEAM to the Past, Design for the Future

Intended for educators in grades 3-8

Sunday - Friday
June 16 - June 21, 2024 | July 21 - July 26, 2024

This seminar explores the interdisciplinary links between eighteenth-century history and STEAM in the daily lives of American Indians, British colonists, and free and enslaved Black individuals. Participants will compare the experiences of the three diverse groups of people, specifically applied to STEAM—the sciences, technology, engineering, art, and math. Participants will engage with historical interpreters, investigate applied science principles such as design and engineering, chemistry, transportation, and energy, and combine these experiences into dynamic classroom lesson ideas that incorporate primary sources, collaboration, inquiry, and problem solving.

Agents of Change:
Civic Engagement, Past and Present

Intended for educators in grades 3–8

Sunday - Friday
July 7 - July 12, 2024 | July 28 - August 2, 2024

This seminar explores the stories of civic leaders, civic participation, and civil disobedience across diverse perspectives in eighteenth-century Virginia. Participants will engage with historical interpreters, analyze primary sources, and gain teaching strategies that connect the past to the present in meaningful ways to inspire civic action.

Resilience, Agency, and Resistance:
The African American Experience

Intended for educators in grades 3–8

Sunday - Friday
June 9 - June 14, 2024 | July 14 - July 19, 2024

This seminar explores the lives, roles, and perspectives of free and enslaved Black people in the Americas. Participants will pursue a deeper understanding of the diversity of the experiences of free and enslaved Black individuals from the period of British Colonization through the American Revolution. Participants will investigate primary sources, interact with interpreters and tradespeople, and learn how to use culturally responsive teaching strategies to effectively incorporate diverse narratives into curriculum.


For Elementary and Secondary 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.

Customized Group Workshops in Williamsburg

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 quotation on a customized teacher professional development program, please email teacherdevelopment@cwf.org.