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The Library of Congress > Teachers > Professional Development > Summer Teacher Institutes
collage of images of attendees at Library of Congress Summer Institutes

The Library of Congress Summer Teacher Institutes

Immerse yourself in the practice of teaching with primary sources from the unparalleled collections of Library of Congress this summer. Apply to attend a week-long professional development program for K-12 educators in the nation's capital.

In 2016, the Library will offer five Institute weeks:

  • Science, Technology, and Engineering Focus: June 20-24
  • Open Sessions (any subject area): June 27-July 1, July 11-15, July 18-22, and July 25-29

Application Deadline: February 29, 2016

Each Institute week, Library of Congress education specialists facilitate sessions modeling strategies for using primary sources to engage students, build critical thinking skills, and construct knowledge. Participants reflect on and discuss how the strategies apply to their students, subject areas, and classrooms or school libraries.

During the week, participants draw from among the millions of digitized primary sources in the Library's collections to design and refine a primary source activity to use with their students. While the emphasis is on learning and applying teaching strategies, participants also have opportunities to meet experts from the Library and possibly to research in the Library's reading rooms to gather information and resources to use in developing their activities.

In the school year following the Institute, educators are expected to implement a primary source based activity and share outcomes with Institute staff and their session cohort. Library staff will provide resources for participants to facilitate sharing what they have learned with colleagues in their professional networks. Finally, participants also have an option of completing additional work to pursue graduate credit in history from George Mason University.

The Library of Congress Summer Teacher Institute is appropriate for K-12 educators across many disciplines, including: Social Studies/History, English Language Arts, Science, Art, Music; and for any other educator who feels primary sources could be used with their curriculum. Librarians and Curriculum/Professional Development specialists are also encouraged to apply. If you have a question as to whether the Summer Teacher Institute would be appropriate for you, please send us an email to:

Please review the following information and resources before applying:

  • Read the complete 2016 Summer Teacher Institute Syllabus (Word, 85 KB)
  • Review the complete Before You Apply: Application and Participation Guidelines with FAQs
  • See testimonials from previous participants

Ready to apply? Deadline: February 29th, 2016

Applicants may only apply to one Institute. Choose from one of the four open sessions or the science, technology, and engineering focus week.

Be sure you have read the Before You Apply page before starting an application, as it requires not only basic information, but also short responses to two questions and a letter of support from a school administrator or supervisor.

Summer Teacher Institute open sessions (any subject area): June 27-July 1, July 11-15, July 18-22, or July 25-29
K-12 educators in any subject area are welcome to apply to these sessions. Activities using primary sources will model strategies to build skills in observing, reflecting, questioning, determining point of view and more. Using the Library's primary sources, participants will draft an activity related to their classroom content.
Apply now

Summer Teacher Institute: Science, Technology, and Engineering Focus: June 20-24
K-12 teachers who teach about science, technology, or engineering are welcome to apply to this special focus week. Activities draw on science, technology, and engineering related treasures of the Library, with an emphasis on such topics as: the nature of science; scientific and engineering practices; interdependence of science, technology and engineering; the historical context of discovery and invention, and more. Using the Library's primary sources, participants will draft an activity related to their classroom content.
Apply now

Joquetta Johnson

Outside of the box

The Summer Institute was meaningful, relevant, and rigorous professional development that pushed me to think not just outside of the box, but like there is no box.

Joquetta Johnson, Library Media Specialist, Pikesville High School, Baltimore, MD

Teacher holding a map

Network of peers

What I didn't expect from the Summer Institute but also got was a network of peers who share my same passions and curiosities. I'm so thankful for the opportunities for collaboration that were provided.

Melanie Salter, Social Studies Teacher, Pilgrim School, Los Angeles, CA

Participants in last year's Civil Rights institute might wish to consult Rosa Parks: A Primary Source Gallery