Excellence in Civic Education: Teacher Development Program

Hone your craft, discuss your passion for civic education, and earn graduate credit by joining the Summer 2023 inaugural cohort of UChicago’s Excellence in Civic Education program.

U.S.Capitol building.

The University of Chicago’s Graham School is pleased to announce two continuing education opportunities to be held Summer of 2023 designed for Illinois high school educators who teach courses focused on American History, Government, or Civics.  Thanks to generous support from the Jack Miller Center, teachers selected to participate will receive full tuition scholarships.

We are offering two graduate classes this Summer for teachers: Teaching American Civic History in an Age of Controversy (June) and Political Thought of the American Revolution, 1763-1789 (July). Both classes will meet remotely via Zoom for two hours per day over the course of two weeks, for a total of 20 hours.  Each class will confer 075 University of Chicago Units (which translates to 2.5 graduate semester hours of credit).

Descriptions for each class are below. Teachers are welcome to choose one or enroll in both classes.

Thanks to generous support from the Jack Miller Center, participants in Summer 2023 inaugural cohort of the Excellence in Civic Education Teacher Development Program will be awarded full tuition scholarships.

While the Jack Miller Center will cover course tuition, participants will be responsible for books and will also be required to pay a one-time $75 lifetime transcript fee.

The full application will be available soon. Interested teachers should email Tim Murphy to reserve their spot and receive application instructions.


A close-up of the words "We the People" on the U.S. Constitution.

Political Thought of the American Revolution

Instructor: James Vaughn

Monday through Friday | 7/10 - 7/21 | 10 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Remote via Zoom

This seminar examines the American Revolutionary experience broadly conceived, from the beginning of the British imperial crisis following the Seven Years' War to the ratification of the Federal Constitution and the launching of the new national government. It considers how and why a revolution to overthrow imperial rule broke out among the lightly taxed, economically prosperous, and politically enfranchised settler population of British North America. It also considers how and why a revolution that took place on the outer fringes of the Western world created the first modern democratic republic, an unprecedented federal union, and liberal and democratic aspirations that transcended the limits of their time. The seminar explores these questions by reading and discussing the writings of those who participated in and shaped these events. The instructor will begin each seminar with a short lecture on the historical context for the readings under discussion that day.


Vertical collage of two book covers. On the top: The 1619 Project. On the bottom: Land of Hope.

Teaching American Civic History in an Age of Controversy

Instructor: Fred Beuttler

Monday through Friday | 6/19 - 6/30 | 10 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Remote via Zoom

This course, especially designed for teachers, will examine the history of America, from the colonial period to the present, as “contested ground” over the origins and meaning of liberty and equality and the conditions for a just and stable democratic/republican society. We will concentrate on interpretation, using secondary source texts from different political perspectives, such as the New York Times’ 1619 Project contrasted with Wilfred McClay’s Land of Hope: An Invitation to the Great American Story, combined with primary source readings, as we seek to find a common meaning in America’s historical development.