Professional Development Opportunities

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Our mission is to support educators and their growing need for curricula that is relevant, engaging, and accessible. We offer a variety of opportunities that support teaching critical thinking, assessing students’ acquisition of analysis skills, designing rich learning environments, aligning curriculum with an assessment system, and differentiating instruction to meet students’ diverse learning needs. To accommodate educators’ busy schedules, we offer a variety of formats and depth of coverage, ranging from small workshops to full graduate-credit courses.

Click below for more information about our 3 levels of professional development opportunities

Library of Congress

Library of Congress


Southern Illinois University is a proud member of the Teaching with Primary Sources (TPS) program. Content created and featured in partnership with the TPS program does not indicate an endorsement of the Library of Congress.

Workshops (2-3 HRS)

Assessment and Instruction with Informational Sources

How can educators assess the critical reading demands found in the Common Core State Standards? This workshop introduces educators to how to develop assessment systems and assessments that evaluate students’ acquisition of these skills. Teachers also get the opportunity to work with examples of student work samples that use free primary sources from the Library of Congress.

Differentiating Instruction with Informational Sources

The critical reading and writing demands of the Common Core State Standards are rigorous, especially for students with diverse learning needs. This workshop introduces educators to ways they can increase their curricula’s accessibility using the principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL). Specific attention will be given to free sources from the Library of Congress and ways to design flexible learning environments that support positive student learning.

Media Literacy with Informational Sources

Who created this message? What creative techniques are used to inform or persuade the intended audience? Can students use the same questions to analyze a commercial, a news article in social media, and primary sources such as the Declaration of Independence? Yes! This workshop introduces educators to the media literacy skills found in the Common Core State Standards with activities, materials and assessments that support media literacy in the classroom.

Place-Based Education with Informational Sources

Help students find their place in the world and locate their home in history. This workshop introduces educators to ways they can use free sources available at the Library of Congress and local collections to develop curriculum that emphasizes the significance of local history. Educators will see examples of activities that scaffold the analysis skills found in the Common Core State Standards and enhance the relevance and value of history for their students.

Institutes (1-3 DAYS)

The design for our institutes is flexible so that we can address the educators' needs we are serving. In the past, our focus has ranged from the New Illinois Social Science Standards (adapted from the C3 Framework) to offering and intensive hands-on focus on any combination of the topics we offer in our workshops listed in the previous section.

Courses (4-16 WKS)

CI469: Teaching Social Sciences in the Secondary School

Designed for preservice social science teachers, this course emphasizes the analysis and evaluation of the social sciences with focus on instructional strategies and curricular designs in the teaching of history, geography, political science, economics, and sociology, as well as content reading for the social sciences

CI470: Teaching and Learning Non-Fiction Sources for Adolescent and Adult Learners

Designed for preservice and current classroom teachers, this course helps educators develop instructional materials and curricular designs using non-fiction resources for classrooms at the secondary level. Students will also have an opportunity to gather, analyze, corroborate, and synthesize student data for the purposes of planning instruction with an emphasis on informational sources such as written documents, images, and multimedia available through the Library of Congress. Integrating technology for differentiating instruction, assessment, and content reading for the disciplines (with a specific focus on the social sciences) will also be emphasized

EDUC550: Teaching with Primary Sources

Designed for classroom teachers, this summer course offers opportunities for educators to design assessments and instruction that are aligned with curricula that emphasizes the critical thinking skills found in the Common Core State Standards. We also offer field-based experiences for teachers to explore local history and how to incorporate these topics in their curriculum. Our goal for this course is to help teachers become instructional leaders for curriculum development with information (or non-fiction) sources accessible through the Library of Congress and beyond.