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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 2015, the Library will offer five Institute weeks:

  • Open sessions (any subject area): June 22-26, July 6-10 or July 27-31
  • Science focus: July 20-24
  • Civil rights focus: August 3-7

Application Deadline: March 24th, 2015

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.

Please review the following information and resources before applying:

  • Read the complete 2015 Summer Teacher Institute Syllabus (Word, 133 KB)
  • Review the complete Before You Apply: Application and Participation Guidelines with FAQs
  • See testimonials from previous participants

Ready to apply? Deadline: March 24th, 2015

Applicants may only apply to one Institute. Choose from one of the three open sessions, or one of the special focus weeks, science or civil rights.

Be sure you have read the Before You Apply page before starting an application.

Summer Teacher Institute open sessions June 22-26, July 6-10, or July 27-31
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 July 20-24
K-12 educators who teach science or collaborate with science teachers are welcome to apply to this special focus week. Activities draw on the science-related treasures of the Library with special attention to critical thinking and literacy skills applicable to the sciences. Topics will include the nature of science, scientific practices, the lives of scientists, the historical context of scientific discovery and more. Using the Library’s primary sources, participants will draft an activity on a science topic related to their classroom content.
Apply now

Summer Teacher Institute: Civil Rights August 3-August 7
K-12 teachers who teach about civil rights are welcome to apply to this special focus week. The model activities will draw primarily on the Library’s collections related to the African American civil rights movement including the Library’s exhibition “The Civil Rights Act of 1964: A Long Struggle for Freedom” and the Rosa Parks collection. Using the Library’s primary sources, participants will draft an activity on a civil rights topic 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