This summer, Humanities Texas will hold free online professional development institutes for Texas teachers covering topics in U.S. history, Texas history, and English language arts.

For history teachers, we will hold institutes on teaching with documents from the National Archives (June 28–July 2, July 19–23), American society during the Early Republic (July 5–9), and the Texas Revolution (July 12–16). For English language arts teachers, we will hold an institute on teaching writing at the secondary level (July 12–16). We will also conduct programs on teaching evidence-based reading practices at the secondary level (June 15–17) and civic online reasoning (July 29–30).

Like all Humanities Texas teacher programs, these institutes will focus on topics central to the state's U.S. history, Texas history, and English language arts curricula. The institutes emphasize interaction with scholars, the examination of primary sources and texts, and the development of effective pedagogical strategies and engaging assignments and activities.

Teaching Evidence-Based Reading Practices at the
Secondary Level

From June 15–17, 2021, in partnership with the Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk at The University of Texas at Austin, Humanities Texas will hold an online institute on teaching reading at the sixth-, seventh-, and eighth-grade levels for both social studies and English Language Arts (ELA) teachers. A follow-up webinar will be held in early August. The program faculty includes Jennifer Schnakenberg (The University of Texas at Austin), Diane Haager (California State University, Los Angeles), and María Elena Argüelles (independent education consultant).

Teaching with Documents from the National Archives

From June 28–July 2, 2021, and again from July 19–23, Humanities Texas will partner with the Center for Legislative Archives at the National Archives and Records Administration to hold two online professional development institutes for Texas teachers focused on using primary documents in the U.S. history classroom. Each interactive institute will feature five webinars that will immerse participants in using primary source-based educational resources designed to engage students in active, hands-on learning about important topics in civics and history. Charles Flanagan, a long-time presenter at Humanities Texas teacher institutes, will lead the sessions, assisted by a team of veteran educators from the staff of the National Archives and the Foundation for the National Archives.

American Society During the Early Republic

From July 5–9, 2021, Humanities Texas will hold an online professional development institute for Texas teachers exploring diverse perspectives on American life in the years immediately following the American Revolution. The program faculty includes Leslie Alexander (Arizona State University), Denver Brunsman (George Washington University), Lauren Duval (The University of Oklahoma), Brian Luskey (West Virginia University), and Michael Witgen (University of Michigan).

Teaching the Texas Revolution

From July 12–16, 2021, Humanities Texas will hold an online professional development institute for Texas teachers on teaching the Texas Revolution. Team-taught by a historian and two master teachers, the institute will focus on tying the "Big Picture" of the Texas Revolution to the unique experiences of Tejanos, women, and African Americans. The program faculty includes Andrew Torget (University of North Texas), Jay Ferguson (Round Rock ISD), and Michelle Phillips (College Station ISD).

Teaching Writing at the Secondary Level

From July 12–16, 2021, Humanities Texas will hold an online professional development institute for English language arts (ELA) teachers on engaging students in the writing process and developing students' fundamental writing and communication skills through dynamic, project-based assignments. The institute will address such topics as responding to diverse voices and genres, building student engagement through creative writing, teaching research at the secondary level, project-based learning and digital tools, and assessment and effective responses to student writing.

Civic Online Reasoning: Sorting Fact from Fiction on the Internet

From July 29–30, 2021, Humanities Texas will partner with the Stanford History Education Group (SHEG) to hold a two-part teacher professional development webinar for Texas teachers on using SHEG's Civic Online Reasoning curriculum. SHEG will introduce teachers to their Civic Online Reasoning curriculum. The curriculum, based on research with fact checkers and tested in classrooms across the country, teaches students to effectively evaluate online content. During this interactive workshop, participants will consider the research behind the curriculum, review curricular materials, and discuss how these resources can be integrated into their own classrooms. Joel Breakstone, director of SHEG, will lead the two-part webinar.

The institutes are open to all Texas middle and high school social studies, language arts, and humanities teachers but will focus on topics and skills central to the state's secondary U.S. history, Texas history, and language arts curricula. Priority consideration will be given to early-career teachers in low-performing schools and districts.

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, as admissions are rolling and space is limited. Please note that due to space limitations, you must be a registered participant to attend any of the institutes.

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.
"What's the Use of Going Through with the Election?" by Clifford Berryman, October 19, 1948. U.S. Senate Collection, Center for Legislative Archives, National Archives and Records Administration.
Portrait of Revolutionary era writer Mercy Otis Warren by John Singleton Copley, c. 1763. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
Independence Hall at Washington-on-the-Brazos by Charles L. Smith, c. 1852, Courtesy of the Texas State Preservation Board.
Still Life with French Novels and a Rose by Vincent Van Gogh, 1887. Private collection.