This fall, Humanities Texas will hold a number of free professional development webinar series for Texas teachers covering central topics in U.S. history, Texas history, and English language arts.

For history teachers, we will hold series on the Constitution and the Early American Republic, America in the first half of the twentieth century, and Texas history through the outbreak of the Texas Revolution. For English language arts teachers, we will hold programs on teaching and understanding literature and best practices in reading instruction.

Each series will emphasize interaction with scholars, the examination of primary sources and texts, and the development of effective pedagogical strategies and engaging assignments and activities.

Please stay tuned to our website and social media channels as we plan to announce additional professional development opportunities over the course of the fall.

Teaching Texas History

The "Teaching Texas History" webinar series will cover topics in early Texas history, including Native Americans in Texas, Spanish Texas, Tejanos and Mexican Texas, Anglo colonization, and the road to and outbreak of the Texas Revolution.

The eight-part series will take place via Zoom from 5:00–6:15 p.m. CT on Mondays from October 5 through December 7, 2020.

The Making of Modern America

"The Making of Modern America" webinar series will cover topics including World War I, the 1918 influenza outbreak, the women's suffrage movement, the Great Depression, the New Deal, World War II, and the early civil rights movement.

The eight-part series will take place via Zoom from 5:00–6:15 p.m. CT on Tuesdays from October 6 through December 8, 2020.

Teaching and Understanding Literature

The "Teaching and Understanding Literature" webinar series will provide resources and strategies that help students become better readers of fiction, poetry, and expository prose. The program will also include presentations on understanding students as writers, teaching the critical reading skills necessary for success at the post-secondary level, and developing dynamic assignments that further students' engagement with literature.

The eight-part series will take place via Zoom from 5:00–6:15 p.m. CT on Tuesdays from October 6 through December 8, 2020.

Shaping the American Republic

The "Shaping the American Republic" webinar series will cover topics in early U.S. history, including the Articles of Confederation, the Constitutional Convention, the Bill of Rights, early American citizenship, George Washington's presidency, Native Americans in the Early American Republic, the Marshall Court, and foreign relations in the Early American Republic.

The eight-part series will take place via Zoom from 5:00–6:15 p.m. CT on Wednesdays from October 7 through December 9, 2020.

Best Practices in Reading Instruction

In partnership with the Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk at The University of Texas at Austin, Humanities Texas will hold a series of webinars on teaching reading at the fourth-, fifth-, and sixth-grade levels. The series will consist of eight two-hour sessions held from 5:00–7:00 p.m. CT on the following dates:

  • October 7, 2020
  • October 14, 2020
  • October 21, 2020
  • November 4, 2020
  • February 3, 2021
  • February 10, 2021
  • February 17, 2021
  • February 24, 2021

This cumulative series will present evidence-based approaches to teaching reading across content areas in upper elementary and early middle school. Sessions will include interactive presentations on word study and recognition, vocabulary, and reading comprehension with an emphasis on social studies texts. Emphasis will be placed on serving struggling readers, English language learners, and students still working to catch up after falling behind as a result of instructional disruptions in recent months. Faculty will provide and model strategies for teaching in an online environment.

Please note: participating teachers will be expected to attend all sessions in the "Best Practices in Reading Instruction" series.

More information about each program is available in the Education section of the Humanities Texas website. Teachers interested in attending should complete the online application form as soon as possible.

Please note that, due to space limitations, you must be a registered participant to attend any of the webinars.

Registration for the secondary-level program series ("Teaching Texas History," "The Making of Modern America," "Shaping the American Republic," or "Teaching and Understanding Literature") will remain open even after the series has already begun. Applicants to these programs will receive information about and access to each weekly online session within that series and are encouraged but not required to attend every weekly session.

Participants will receive CPE credit and a wealth of curricular materials. CPE hours will be based on Zoom attendance and adjusted if a participant misses any portion of the program.

These programs are made possible with support from the State of Texas and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Interior of dome in the Main Reading Room of the Library of Congress Thomas Jefferson Building, Washington, DC. Photograph by Carol M. Highsmith. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.
The Surrender of Santa Anna by William Henry Huddle, 1886. State Preservation Board, Austin, Texas.
The City from Greenwich Village by John French Sloan, 1922. The National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC.
Dream Series #5: The Library by Jacob Lawrence, 1967. Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.
Scene at the Signing of the Constitution, 1940. Architect of the Capitol, Washington, DC.
The Yellow Books by Vincent Van Gogh, 1887. Private collection, Bridgeman Images.