"In the Beginning, all America was Virginia."
William Byrd II
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Educator programs

The Virginia Historical Society has many exciting options for teachers. Throughout the year, the education staff offers programming for teachers to expand their knowledge of Virginia history. These unique learning opportunities are available teachers of all grade levels.

In addition to programming for teachers, the society also offers an array of programming targeted toward homeschool students and their families.

Teachers institutes

The VHS currently offers three teachers institutes. "Story of Virginia" is a week-long program that is offered twice each summer. The dates and subject of the E. Claiborne Robins, Jr., Teachers Institute and Primarily Virginia, the VHS on-line institute, vary from year to year. All institutes are open to private and public school teachers of any grade level.


"Story of Virginia"

Exceptionally well-planned, executed institute that provides a history teacher with superb tools, regardless of the subject he/she teaches. My enhanced knowledge of archaeology, anthropology, ethnology, and linguistics will definitely benefit me in my World History classroom.
Milondra Coleman, teacher

In cooperation with the University of Richmond and sponsored by Weinstein Properties, the VHS presents two week-long teachers institutes for Virginia teachers that will broaden and deepen their knowledge of Virginia history. The Story of Virginia Teachers Institutes provide an overview of the rich history of Virginia from earliest habitation to present. The classes align with the curriculum framework for Virginia Studies. Participants will work with VHS staff members as well as guest lecturers to engage in lively discussions of assigned readings and activities.

If you have questions, please contact Bill Obrochta at wobrochta@vahistorical.org.

E. Claiborne Robins, Jr.,  Teachers Institute

The E. Claiborne Robins, Jr. Teachers Institute examines Virginia’s history through the collections of the Virginia Historical Society. The program is designed to introduce teachers to the rich collections of the VHS and demonstrate how those materials can be used in the classroom.

I was very excited to participate—the week exceeded my expectations! I learned more in one week about Virginia than I have in twenty years of living here. This was better than any college course I have taken. It was a true gift. Thank you.
Marcia Hunt, teacher
The first workshop in the Virginia Historical Society’s 2016 E. Claiborne Robins, Jr. Teachers Institute, “Teaching World War One: 100 Years Later,” will be held on March 1, 2016, from 12:00 to 4:00 p.m. The program is free. Lunch is also free and will be available between 12:00 and 1:00 p.m.

At the workshop, historians will discuss the latest research on the history of World War I. Following the discussion, Chris Averill, Region 1 finalist for the 2015 Virginia Teacher of the Year, will use primary sources provided by the historians and from the collections of the VHS to show teachers how to develop good Document Based Questions (DBQs).

Any teacher may attend, but the workshop is designed for middle and high school teachers.

Register for “Teaching World War One: 100 Years Later.”

For more information, please contact wobrochta@vahistorical.org.

Primarily Virginia: MeadWestvaco Online Teachers Institute

Primarily Virginia is an online course designed for teachers to explore Virginia’s past by examining objects and primary sources. These pieces of the past will be used as a lens to examine different historical eras in Virginia history. All course work is to be completed through the course website, and there are no required in-person class meetings.

The course consists of a series of six modules. In each module, a series of activities will allow the participants to engage in the historical inquiry process, and provide opportunities to examine how the course content can be applied in the classroom. Each module will require teachers to write reflections about the objects and the historical content and to respond to the postings from the other class participants.

Primarily Virginia’s online format has been designed for asynchronous work, allowing  K-12 teachers from around Virginia to access the resources of the VHS and the Library of Congress from their homes and schools. Upon completion of the course, participating teachers will receive 45 recertification points, along with a membership to the Virginia Historical Society. The course is offered free of charge, thanks to the generous support of the MeadWestvaco Corporation and the MeadWestvaco Foundation.

Primarily Virginia is limited to 30 students and will launch on February 1, 2016. Please register by January 25, 2016.

For additional information, please contact Evan Liddiard, 804-342-9689, eliddiard@vahistorical.org.

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