National Humanities Center Offers Free Resources for Educators

| February 3, 2011

The National Humanities Center’s Education Programs

The National Humanities Center is the only major independent American institution for advanced study in all fields of the humanities. The Center focuses on the enduring value of ancient and modern history, language and literature, ethical and moral reflection, artistic and cultural traditions, and critical thought in every area of humanistic investigation.

A key goal of the center is to link scholarship with improved teaching by providing materials and instructional resources specifically designed for American history and literature teachers.

Programs developed at the Center provide teachers with primary documents and instructional strategies to make them more effective in the classroom and rekindle their enthusiasm for the subjects they teach.

Online Professional Development Seminars:

  • Live, online professional development seminars for history, literature, and humanities teachers.
  • Seminar texts are free online. Prior to each seminar, reading assignments are made available to participants. Costs $35 per seminar.
  • Taught by leading scholars, these interactive sessions provide new teaching material, fresh instructional approaches, and increased content knowledge. Seminars demonstrate and support teaching with primary sources.
  • Each seminar includes 90-minutes of instruction plus approximately two hours of preparation.

Toolbox Library:

  • Collections of primary resources—historical documents, literary texts, and works of art—thematically organized with notes and discussion questions. When possible, texts are annotated and excerpted for ease of use in the classroom.
    • Each toolbox has five topics. Topics begin with framing questions – broad overarching questions to help direct further reading and discussion.
    • Headnotes introduce texts; offering contexts, contrasts, comparisons, and highlight significant ideas or issues.
    • Discussion questions, many document-based, complete each topic.


  • Collections of essays on topics in American history written by leading scholars; includes content overview, guidance for classroom discussion, bibliographies, etc. Links to primary sources and additional resources are also provided.
  • Consists of three distinct units:
    • Divining America: Religion in American History
    • Nature Transformed: The Environment in American History
    • Freedom’s Story: Teaching African American Literature and History

For more information, contact:
Caryn Koplik, Assistant Director of Education Programs, National Humanities Center