From June 11–14, 2012, forty-three teachers from around the state gathered on the University of Houston campus for "The Making of Modern America," an institute examining significant events and themes in U.S. history since Reconstruction.

The Houston institute faculty featured H. W. Brands (UT Austin), Michael Les Benedict (The Ohio State University), Shana Bernstein (Southwestern University), Robert Dallek (Boston University), Charles Flanagan (National Archives and Records Administration), Brian Linn (Texas A&M University), Allen Matusow (Rice University), Martin Melosi (University of Houston), Monica Perales (University of Houston), Linda Reed (University of Houston), Rebecca Sharpless (TCU), Nicole Waligora-Davis (Rice University), and Nancy Beck Young (University of Houston).

As in past years, institutes emphasized close interaction with scholars, the examination of primary sources, and the development of effective pedagogical strategies and engaging assignments and activities. The programs were designed ultimately to enhance teachers' mastery of the subjects they teach and to improve students' performance on state assessments.