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Professional Development

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Emerging America Professional Development opportunities for K-12 educators feature:

  • Inquiry-based use of primary sources in the classroom.
  • In-depth content from top scholars.
  • Practical strategies and guidance from veteran K-12 teachers.
  • Application of learning to develop and improve lessons, assessments, and activities for immediate use.
  • Strong and successful alignment with content and literacy standards in History and Humanities: Literature, Music, Visual Arts, and Languages.

Building on forty years of leadership by the Collaborative for Educational Services in overcoming barriers for ALL learners, Emerging America emphasizes strategies to support a diversity of struggling learners: students in Special Education, English Learners, Culturally and Linguistically Diverse learners, and youth in criminal justice facilities or in residential treatment.

Emerging America offers a wide menu of workshops and courses, face-to-face and online. View examples of custom collaborations below. Browse current programs on the Collaborative’s Emerging America History and Social Studies Events page.

Many courses are offered at the graduate level. Teachers may choose Professional Development Points (PDPs) or Westfield State University graduate credit (typically History or General Education). (Fees apply to register graduate credit.)

Emerging America Professional Development Programs

Register for current programs.

The Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources (TPS) at the Collaborative for Educational Services

TPS [bold letters 5 times taller than the words, "Teaching with Primary Sources, Library of Congress"The Collaborative’s TPS programs provide a range of workshops and online resources to support effective inquiry-based use of primary sources, featuring the vast collections of the Library of Congress. These workshops and courses are free or minimal cost, thanks to funding from the Library of Congress. Topics range across U.S. and World History, Geography, Science, and English Language Arts. Programs emphasize strategies to support struggling learners. Programs are offered at three levels: Introductory, Advanced-Lesson Study, and Training-of-Trainers.

Learn more about the Teaching with Primary Sources Program.

National Endowment for the Humanities Landmarks of American History and Culture Workshop

NEH LogoIn 2019, Emerging America will again offer the free summer workshop: Forge of Innovation: The Springfield Armory and the Genesis of American Industry. Find exemplary curriculum and online exhibits from the 2015 workshop throughout this site. 


Learn more about the NEH – Forge of Innovation.

Screen Shot 2016-08-12 at 3.59.04 PM Since the 1930s, what has changed in education? What strategies for teaching inquiry do you use in your classroom?

Emerging America Contract Work in Your District

Emerging America staff and teacher-leaders offer expertise and professional development in your school or district. Possible topics include curriculum mapping, performance-based assessment, curriculum development, and training of trainers. Topics extend across the entire range of U.S. and World History, from immigration to the American Revolution to the Space Race, from youth voice and service-learning to reading and writing with informational texts.

Contact us to learn more.  Read a  post from a Kansas partner who brought Emerging America professional development to his district.

Highlighted Past Programs (offered in Massachusetts, California, Connecticut, Florida, Kansas, Louisiana, South Carolina, Pennsylvania)


  • Engaging Diverse Learners:

    • Accessing Inquiry for English Learners through Primary Sources
    • Accessing Inquiry for Students with Disabilities through Primary Sources
  • Service-Learning and Civic Engagement:

    • Windows on History: Local History Projects


  • Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives:

    • First to Fight: American Volunteers Against Fascism in the Spanish Civil War
    • America and World Fascism: From the Spanish Civil War to Nuremberg and Beyond
  • Boston Public Library Leventhal Map Center:

    • Landscape of Revolution
    • Immigration Issues in Perspective: Building Curriculum with Primary Sources
    • Westward Expansion
  • Springfield Armory National Historic Site:

    • Forge of Innovation: The Springfield Armory and the Genesis of American Industry – NEH Landmarks of American History and Culture Workshop
  • UMass Amherst Department of History:

    • The U.S. in the Age of Mass Incarceration
    • 1960s and Beyond: Social Justice and Equality in Local Context
    • Migration Matters
    • War and Memory: How we think about war, and why it matters.
    • The African American Struggle for Equality
    • Equal Protection and the Constitution: Teaching Modern Struggles for Justice with Struggling Learners
    • Exploration and Settlement: Revisiting the Frontier Thesis
    • Black Community and Agency: Fighting the Color Line (1877-1940)
    • Equality Before the Law: The U.S. Constitution and Struggles for Justice
    • Teaching History through Fiction and Informational Texts
    • America Comes of Age: Exploring Reform in the Early 20th Century (1900-1940)
    • A More Perfect Union: Teaching the U.S. Constitution through Inquiry, Primary Sources, and the Common Core
    • Resistance and Rebellion in American History
    • From Colony to World Power: Economic Change and American Life
    • Self-Evident Truths—Persuasive Writing in a Nation of Rebels
  • Veterans Education Project:

    • Windows on History: Research & Build a Local History Website in Your Class
    • America’s Warriors in the Modern Era: WWII in Iraq
  • Western Mass Writing Project:

    • Civic Literacy Institute
    • Nurturing Student Inquiry and Student Voice Through Informational Texts
  • Other:

    • People and Communities of Berkshire County: Linking local history to national themes and events.
    • Sparking Inquiry in Geography and World History

Upcoming Workshops

The Massachusetts Board of Education passed a new Social Studies Curriculum Framework in June 2018 that mandates the teaching of social studies in all grades, i…
Date and Location This training is fully online and will take place from September 20, 2019 through December 15, 2019. There are two scheduled online sessions p…
Date and Location This training is fully online and will take place from October 1, 2019 through November 11, 2019. There are two scheduled online sessions part…