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Professional Development

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Teacher Kelley Brown faces her computer as she live casts to students.

All 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.  
  • Access strategies for Students with Disabilities, for English Learners, and for students with diverse learning styles. 
  • Best practices of professional development in face-to-face and online learning. 


View our current workshop offerings

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. See our course and Workshop Overview for programs in active rotation. View examples of custom collaborations on the page below. 

Most 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

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


Library of Congress TPS Consortium Member



Emerging America provides 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. Topics range across U.S. and World History, Civics, Geography, Science, and English Language Arts. Programs emphasize strategies to support struggling learners. 

Learn more about the Teaching with Primary Sources Program.


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

Logo of the National Endowment for the Humanities





In 2019 and 2015, Emerging America organized an exploration, "Forge of Innocation: The Springfield Armory and the Genesis of American Industry," on America's rise from agricultural colony to world's leading industrial power, and how to spur student curiosity about the many fascinating dimensions of the industrial revolution and its impacts. Find exemplary curriculum and online exhibits here: Forge of Innovation


Emerging America Contract Work in Your School District or Organization

Emerging America staff and teacher-leaders offer expertise and professional development on inclusion strategies, civic engagement, curriculum mapping, performance-based assessment, curriculum development, and training of trainers. Topics extend across the range of U.S. and World History, 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.


Other Highlighted Programs - Offered in-person and online across the U.S. 


  • Engaging Diverse Learners:
    • Accessing Inquiry for English Learners through Primary Sources
    • Accessing Inquiry for Students with Disabilities through Primary Sources
    • Making Civic Engagement Inclusive


  • Service-Learning and Civic Engagement:
    • Integrating Civic Engagement Projects Across the Curriculum
    • Windows on History: Publishing Local History Projects Online
    • Massachusetts Civic Engagement Institute - Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education
    • Our Rights and Nothing Less: Struggles to Secure the Vote in the United States - Primary Source and the Massachusetts Historical Society



  • 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


  • Massachusetts Historical Society:
    • Re-examining Dorothea Dix and 19th-Century Disability Reform


  • 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 to Iraq


  • Boston Public Library Leventhal Map Center:
    • Landscape of Revolution
    • Immigration Issues in Perspective: Building Curriculum with Primary Sources
    • Westward Expansion


  • Western Mass Writing Project:
    • Civic Literacy Institute
    • Nurturing Student Inquiry and Student Voice Through Informational Texts


  • Other:
    • Teaching World Geography and Ancient History
    • People and Communities of Berkshire County: Linking local history to national themes and events.

Upcoming Workshops

This online course will harness current events to deepen understanding of immigration across American history, from the founding of the nation through today. L…
Fully online. Five days delving into the techniques that makes History's Mysteries students' favorite part of the school day.   "It was so fun to see each of…
July 27-28, 2022 Online and Washington, DC Join Lee Ann Potter, the Director of Professional Learning and Outreach Initiatives at the Library of Congress, and…