Professional Development

Professional Development Workshops:

Professional Development Workshops Available for School Districts:

View and download our Professional Development Brochure here >>

The Fairfield Museum is a regional leader in providing professional development opportunities for educators, combining Inquiry with History to empower teachers to successfully incorporate local history and primary sources into their curriculum. Workshops present lectures by historians and scholars, training, resources, and tools for classroom instruction. Connecticut’s rich history offers ample opportunities to support the curriculum with local content that can enrich national and global themes.

Since 2007, the Fairfield Museum and History Center has been promoting Teaching with Primary Sources (TPS) through a Library of Congress initiative. TPS emphasizes inquiry, critical thinking skills and primary sources to evaluate evidence, make judgments and formulate conclusions.

Professional Development generously sponsored by First County Bank Foundation. 

What Educators have to say:

“Another fantastic learning opportunity!” Monroe Teacher, Grades 6-12

“Thanks for a very interesting, informative session…Time very well spent!” Bridgeport Teacher, Grades 7-8

“Your blending of the how-to with deep discussion was stimulating. I’ve had nothing but positive feedback.” Greenwich Secondary Social Studies Supervisor

“The materials were very user/kid friendly and they helped to inform me about the history of Fairfield.” Fairfield Teacher, Grade 4

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Previous Workshops

Professional Development Day: Tuesday, November 6, 2018
Fake News: Now and Then
Dr. Beth Rose, Library Director, and Christine Jewell, Director of Education.
Biased news has been a factor throughout much of U.S. history. Learn how questioning primary sources can help students to think critically about all sources of information. Ms. Jewell will present additional activities and resources for teachers to utilize in their classroom.
CT Public Learning Network and Thinkalong
Rose Pierre-Louis of the CT Public Learning Network will share the resources of the newly re-launched Thinkalong website.

Stamford Public Schools: Teaching with Primary Sources: Tuesday, August 28, 2018
Link to Maps & Treaties Outline >>
Link to World Maps Bibliographic Organizer >>
Link to “Accused” Educator Guide >>

Election Day Professional Development. Tuesday, November 8, 2016
Session I: Teaching with Maps presented by Dr. Elizabeth Rose, Fairfield Museum Library Director
Learn more about teaching with maps, including interpreting maps as primary sources and understanding different kinds of historical maps. The session will look at some sample lesson plans and where to find historical maps (of Connecticut and beyond) online.
Teach It! Online Lesson Plans & Primary Sources with Rebecca Furer, Teach It Program Consultant, CT Humanities
Learn about Teach It, the collaborative online project that brings Connecticut-related primary sources, inquiry activity ideas, and supporting resources to teachers. The goal of Teach It is to help Connecticut teachers bring Connecticut history into the classroom through a series of inquiry-based activities that reinforce the new social studies frameworks.
Session II: In Democracy We Trust?
Presented by Gayle Alberda, PhD, Assistant Professor of Politics, Fairfield University and Jocelyn M. Boryczka, PhD, Fairfield University Professor of Politics.
Dr. Alberda will discuss election laws and “controlling the game.” How is the presidential outcome influenced by the legal process, especially for the minority, youth, and women’s vote? She will also discuss voter ID laws, how they function and influence who wins. Is the ballot out of reach for some citizens?
Dr. Boryczka’s talk will focus on the premise of her book, Suspect Citizens: Distrust in American Politics. She argues that framing American women as suspect citizens, neither fully virtuous nor vice-ridden, makes them particularly susceptible to backlash politics and indicates a bigger problem of distrust deeply embedded in our political script.

Taking Action with Environmental Education  |  Wednesday, October 5, 2016, 4:15pm – 6:30pm.
In conjunction with the exhibition Rising Tides:  Fairfield’s Coast – Past, Present, and Future, the Fairfield Museum is partnering with the CT Audubon Society and Common Ground High School in New Haven to present innovative teaching and learning through environmental education. The workshop will cover how environmental education can promote investigation, analysis and taking action, especially on the local level. Part I: Michelle Eckman, Director of Education at CT Audubon Society and a Fellow with the Community Climate Change Fellowship. Ms. Eckman will model a NGSS-based hands-on activity that can be replicated in your classroom. In groups, participants will observe a climate change phenomenon and create drawings through collaboration and building consensus. Part II: Brian Kelahan, teacher at Common Ground High School. Mr. Kelahan will share an oral history project created by students in collaboration with the Climate Stories Project. Climate Stories Project gives a voice to the emotional and personal impacts that climate change is having on our lives. Often, we discuss climate change only from the impersonal perspective of science or the contentious realm of politics. Today, though, more and more of us are feeling the effects of climate change on a personal and community level. Climate Stories Project allows people from around the world to share their stories and to engage with climate change in a direct way.

Slavery in Connecticut
The new CT Social Studies Frameworks offers opportunities to delve deeper into diverse perspectives of people’s struggles for freedom, equality, and social justice in American history. Slavery is often taught within the context of the Civil War, but its history begins much earlier. In this workshop, educators will learn about the Fairfield Museum’s rich array of primary sources and classroom tools to teach about this subject.
Sessions Included:
~ Christine Jewell, Director of Education, and Ian Lowell, Instructional Leader for History/Social Studies in Monroe Public Schools, presented an overview of the classroom kit on Slavery in Connecticut that was created for teachers at Masuk High School.
~ It’s Not As It Appears: United States Slavery, Resistance, Abolitionism, and the Underground Railroad with dann j. Broyld, Assistant Professor of History at Central CT State University.
~ Tom Thurston, Director of Education at the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition at Yale University.

CT Council for the Social Studies Fall Conference  Tuesday, October 27, 2015, Cromwell, CT.
Slavery in Connecticut: Using the Inquiry Arc in History
Presented by Christine Jewell, Fairfield Museum and History Center and Ian Lowell, Monroe Public Schools.

CT Social Studies Frameworks Summer Institutes at Central CT State University August 17 – 20, 2015.
Reading Documents presented by Christine Jewell, Director of Education.

CT Social Studies Frameworks Workshop
In partnership with CT State Department of Education and Connecticut Council of the Social Studies
Fairfield Ludlowe High School Monday, May 4, 2015
Teaching Inquiry with History with Christine Jewell, Fairfield Museum

Making History: Implementing CT’s New Social Studies Frameworks July 13 – 17, 2015 at the University of Connecticut, Storrs

This Teacher Quality Partnership grant began with a week-long summer workshop consisting of direct instruction, workshop activities, teacher collaboration time, and field work at local museums.  All sessions are planned and carried out collaboratively between the education and arts and sciences faculty, school partners, and museum educators.  Following the summer work there will be a combination of collaborative curriculum development in each school as well as multiple follow-up sessions to further enhance content, review curriculum materials, and assess the implementation of curriculum.  Finally, participating teachers will provide professional development to other faculty in their schools.  All curriculum developed will be shared with the Connecticut State Social Studies Consultant to be posted online as sample lessons to accompany the frameworks. 

Witchcraft in Connecticut with CT State Historian Walter Woodward Thursday, October 9, 2014

Participants learned about the education programs developed in conjunction with the exhibition Accused: Fairfield’s Witchcraft Trials, including Gallery Tours, an extended day field trip featuring The Witchcraft Debate and Walking Tour and an Educator Guide.

Walter Woodward discussed the 1669 CT trial of Katherine Harrison of Wethersfield. This trial occurred after an intense period of witch fear and hysteria in Hartford, resulting in 33 trials and 15 executions.

Summer Teacher Institute: The Witchcraft Trials in New England July 22, 2014

Educators learned about the fascinating history of Connecticut’s witchcraft trials in the 17th  century, participating in workshops and developing lesson plans was published in an Educator Guide, available for free download on the Fairfield Museum’s website. The Guide features the artwork of Jakob Crane from the exhibition Accused: Fairfield’s Witchcraft Trials. Education programs will include Gallery Tours, Primary Source Workshops and The Witchcraft Trial of 1692 Debate.

The Institute included presentations by Fairfield Museum education staff on the witch trials in Connecticut and on using primary sources in the classroom. There were also discussions on related books and readings for teachers and students, how to reinforce Common Core, and the latest news on the Connecticut Social Studies Frameworks.

Teaching American History Saturday, March 22, 2014 In collaboration with the Capital Region Education Council

Alan S. Marcus, Ph.D., Associate Professor of History Education, University of Connecticut Neag School of Education
Walter Woodward, Ph.D. Woodward received his Ph. D. with Distinction from the University of Connecticut in 2001, and has served as State Historian since 2004.
Christine Jewell, Director of Education, Fairfield Museum

Professional Development for Educators: Teaching about Slavery in New England Thursday, February 6, 2014

Allegra di Bonaventura, assistant dean at Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and author of For Adam’s Sake: A Family Saga in Colonial New England.

Winter Educator Workshop: Teaching Civil Rights in a Global World Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Dr. Yohuru R. Williams, Associate Professor of African American History, Fairfield University, will present his work on the popular civil rights reader Putting the Movement Back into Teaching Civil Rights.

Fall Educator Workshop Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Tom Thurston, Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition at Yale University: Teaching with Slavery Primary Sources Workshop
Alan Marcus, author of Teaching History in Museums and Associate Professor at UCONN Neag School of Education.

Teaching American History Workshop: Westward Migration Wednesday, November 16, 2011

John Faragher, Professor of History, Yale University, Manifest Destiny and America’s Civil Religion

Professional Development Day Tuesday, November 2, 2010      8:30am – 11:30am     Grades 5 +
Co-sponsored with Fairfield Public Schools and the Norman Rockwell Museum

Fairfield University Faculty Roundtable Discussion with Dr. Angela Biselli, professor of physics, Dr. Rose Rodrigues, professor of sociology and anthropology, Dr. David Sapp, professor of English and Dr. Mike Serazio, professor of communication.

Thomas Daly, Curator of Education, The Norman Rockwell Museum at Stockbridge, MA presented an illustrated talk on Rockwell in a light you might not expect to see him — as a Civil Rights activist. See images of his paintings that used baseball as a bridge across the color divide, images that you are familiar with, such as the Golden Rule, as well as many you may have not seen, like Murder in Mississippi.

Christine Jewell, Director of Education, Fairfield Museum and History Center, Linking Primary Sources into the Classroom.