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FAQs for Emerging America Professional Development

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Teachers and scholar huddle in discussion.

Teaching with Primary Sources at CES: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Emerging America has been a Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources (TPS) Consortium member for over a decade. Drawing on the millions of primary sources available digitally on the Library’s website, TPS workshops help teachers use primary sources to teach the inquiry and critical thinking skills that are central to state and national Social Studies, Science, and English Language Arts.

How much do workshops cost?

Workshops of the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources (TPS) Program at the Collaborative for Educational Services are low cost or even free to K-12 teachers.

Who can participate?

TPS workshops are open to K-12 teachers throughout Massachusetts and nationally through online courses, and though TPS Consortium partners. We offer programs for elementary, middle, and high school teachers on History, Civics, and Social Science, English Language Arts, and Humanities topics. We especially welcome participation by teachers of Special Education and English Learners, as well as school librarians, technology teachers, and school administrators.

Can I get CEUs or graduate credits for attending these workshops?

Yes. Continuing Education Units (CEUs/PDPs in Massachusetts) are awarded for completing workshops and one or more written assignments. Most workshops are also available for graduate credit through Westfield State University (History). There is a fee to register those credits. 

What extra work must I complete to earn graduate credit?

If both PDPs and graduate credit are offered, assignments are usually the same for both. (Massachusetts teachers get a bonus in PDPs for such work.) 

What are the required assignments? Do I have to use primary sources from the Library of Congress?

In order to earn PDPs, graduate credit, and/or incentives for any Emerging America workshop, participants must complete a lesson plan or other teaching design using primary sources from the Library of Congress. Of course, teachers may also include appropriate primary sources from other sources.

What form do I use to create my lesson?

We provide a template. Ask your instructor if you prefer to substitute a district or other template. 

How do I sign up?

To register for current workshops or courses, go to the Collaborative’s Emerging America History and Social Studies Upcoming Events web page. Register online.  Graduate credit registration is typically required in the first week of class. Find out about all Emerging America workshops, including workshops that may be offered in future. 

What is required for online courses? 

Most of our online courses feature required webinars with scholars and instructional experts. Recordings of most webinars are available afterward. Participants may complete readings and other assignments for the course at the time of day of their choosing, though work is due at multiple dates each week. It is essential to check email regularly during an online course. We typically use a Canvas course platform, as well as Google Docs and online resources, including this website! We often hold course discussions in the TPS Teachers Network. 

Will you design training specifically for my district?

Yes! Absolutely. We are always eager to set up in-district training. Depending on the scope, subject, and other factors, we may require fees–or not. Please ask. We may ask if we can open enrollment to teachers from other districts.

What do I need to participate in a workshop?

You will need a laptop, iPad, or other device -- if participating in an online workshop, it can help to have your connecting device and a second one for looking at handouts. Don't forget to have your device chargers with you. All workshops require some written work. On the day of the workshop, make sure you have the necessary passwords and usernames to access your email and Google Apps. (A Gmail or school Google-based account tends to work best.) Wear comfortable clothes. 

Upcoming Workshops


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