Each summer, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports professional development programs for K–12 educators, enriching primary and secondary school classrooms throughout the nation. The programs help teachers gain expertise in humanities subjects and adopt engaging new teaching methods while building a community of enthusiastic educators who support each other.
NEH Summer Institutes and Seminars and Landmarks Workshops for School Teachers are hosted by prominent organizations located throughout the United States. The programs, which are offered at no cost to teachers or their schools, also offer stipends for participants to offset travel costs.
NEH professional development programs reach teachers from every part of the United States. From 2012–2017 alone, more than 11,000 teachers participated in NEH funded professional development programs. These teachers came from every congressional district and from Department of Defense schools located abroad. They teach in public and private schools, work in school libraries, and specialize in a range of subjects.
NEH professional development programs help teachers understand the richness of American history and culture. In Dearborn, Michigan, The Henry Ford helps teachers understand the American Industrial Revolution while emphasizing experiential education techniques. In Cortez, Colorado, Crow Canyon Archaeological Site blends instruction in archaeological methods with a crash course in Native American cultures both past and present. And in the Mississippi Delta, Delta State University leads teachers in an exploration of the region’s history and culture while helping teachers integrate that of their own regions into their classrooms.
K–12 teachers reached by NEH Summer Seminars and Institutes since 1967.
NEH professional development workshops enrich the entire primary and secondary school curricula. While most participants are English, history, social studies, and civics instructors, many specialize in STEM fields or in music and art.
–Participant, The Most Southern Place on Earth
NEH professional development workshops have a profound impact on teachers. A 2019 participant survey of “The Most Southern Place on Earth: Music History and Culture of the Mississippi Delta,” conducted by the National Humanities Alliance, found that the program inspires teachers to integrate new teaching methods into their curricula; enables teachers to better support disadvantaged students; revitalizes teachers, reducing burnout and encouraging innovation in the classroom; and builds communities of educators that continue to support one another’s work. One hundred percent of respondents to survey said that “Most Southern” helped them grow as an educator, with 43 percent indicating “transformative growth” and 51 percent indicating “significant growth.”
Of respondents to a survey on “The Most Southern Place on Earth” said that the program helped them grow as an educator.
*One hundred thirty-seven alumni—20 percent of all past participants in the program—responded to an online survey assessing the impact of their participation.