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Professional Institute for Educators Courses

Graduate-level courses in arts, inclusion, literacy, & ed tech for K-12 teachers.

Course pricing includes $1,050 tuition + a nonrefundable course fee: $50 fee for subject codes ETEC, INCL, LITY, and STET; $100 fee for subject codes VPAS, STTA.


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In this studio-focused course, participants with previous tile-making experience learn more refined techniques to create tile and mosaic constructions as well as more advanced approaches to developing an understanding of material culture and history in the curriculum. Lectures and field trips consider the history of tile making as an art form. Explore useful lessons for K-12 teachers in all subjects to bring clay and tile projects to engage students of all ages. Course includes studio time at a local tile-making studio.


This course contains no sessions
Click here to be notified about the next scheduled program.
Are you looking to expand your knowledge of- and ways to best facilitate- blended and flipped learning? We will explore multiple ways to optimize- and to comfortably and appropriately balance- classroom time and at-home time within blended and flipped formats. Begin to experiment with flipped classroom practices using free classroom resources. Learn how to flip learning in any environment, even with limited online access and/or limited devices. How might you use structures that are already in place, such as stations and clusters, to tailor the best learning experience for students in your classroom? Open to K-12 educators who have experience at all levels of blended learning and flipped classroom implementation.


January 11, 2021 to February 5, 2021, Online
This course provides a general overview of the history of comics and graphic novels, particularly as a medium for storytelling and social commentary in the United States, using the resources of the Library of Congress. Participants consider visual literacy, basic narrative techniques, the combination of image and text, as historical context to better understand and analyze this art form. Participants in this course will plan lessons around this visual resource, exploring the potential impact to engage students with discussions and creative activities. Projects include researching and evaluating comic resources, group readings and discussions, hands-on drawing and printing activities, lesson plan development and more. Content is appropriate to a range of subject areas as connections to history, social science, identity, artistic expression and visual literacy are explored.


This course contains no sessions
Click here to be notified about the next scheduled program.
This course provides a general overview of the history of comics and graphic novels, particularly as a medium for storytelling and social commentary in the United States, using the resources of the Library of Congress. Participants consider visual literacy, basic narrative techniques, the combination of image and text, as well as historical context to better understand and analyze this art form. Participants in this course will plan lessons around this visual resource, exploring the potential impact to engage students with discussions and creative activities. Projects include researching and evaluating comic resources, group readings and discussions, hands-on drawing and printing activities, lesson plan development and more. Content is appropriate to a range of subject areas as connections to history, social science, identity, artistic expression and visual literacy are explored.


This course contains no sessions
Click here to be notified about the next scheduled program.
Creating a classroom community through music, dance and theater introduces strategies for educators to incorporate elements of arts-based thematic instruction. Educators will use guided discovery, movement, imagery, spatial concepts, choreography, musical and rhythmic accompaniment and group theater games to promote positive relationships and academic achievement. This course will be facilitated by the instructor within a collaborative and cooperative framework, building upon current educational philosophies and practices, including Responsive Classroom. Instruction will be transparent, in that educators will be engaged in learning activities, which they may choose to adapt to meet the needs and developmental levels of their own students. Each class session will begin with a Circle of Power and Respect, interactive activities, and processing techniques derived from Restorative Practices. Application of learning from previous courses will be integrated into daily reflections and into the final project. Educators will collaboratively prepare projects in class and will be expected to continue this creative process outside of class, refining their thematic unit/'work of art' and reflecting on classroom experience. Educators will be encouraged to actively participate in theater games and activities, experiment with various theater techniques, and design theater, dance or music-based thematic units integrating standards-based curriculum and IEP goals.


September 21, 2020 to October 23, 2020, Online
Gain a thorough understanding of Design Thinking principles through hands-on techniques and exercises to take back to the classroom. Course participants will prototype solutions to problems of practice. Central to the course is the question, how can Design Thinking be used to teach 21st century skills creativity, communication, collaboration, and critical thinking?


September 23, 2020 to October 28, 2020, Online
Digital technologies are ever-changing, and come with a set of risks and rewards for your students. Having 'the world at your fingertips' is both wonderful and daunting. This course will help you lead students within today's digital environment, including guidance around the appropriate and safe use of digital tools both inside and outside of the classroom.


July 27, 2020 to August 14, 2020, Online
Digital communication, the exchange of information using diverse media, is central to today's schools and classrooms. Students and teachers interact using blogs, wikis, fora, discussion boards, and much more. This course explores the opportunities that digital communication can present in the classroom setting, and how digital communication strategies can effectively support and enhance the curriculum.


January 11, 2021 to February 14, 2021, Online
Frequent feedback is central to learning. Frequent feedback as part of a formative assessment strategy supports students to do work that they are proud of, and motivates students to meet challenges. This course focuses on relevant, real-time, personal, practical feedback to inform different stages of the learning process. In what ways can you provide feedback that students will build on, understand, and use? You will test a host of free technologies that support formative assessment and help to create a classroom culture of feedback grounded in student interests, passions, and authentic response.


October 5, 2020 to November 6, 2020, Online
Does your school use Google Apps for Education, but you are unsure as to how to best use it to serve your classroom needs? Do you have a basic understanding of Google Apps. but would love to know more? Would you benefit from exploring Google Apps' formative assessment features and terrific assignment feedback functions? How about the ease of data collection, analysis and interpretation? Creating and building educator communities? This course will serve as a jumping off point as to how Google Apps will integrate seamlessly into the classroom experience for you and your students.


This course contains no sessions
Click here to be notified about the next scheduled program.
Do you use Google Apps for Education in your classroom, and want to know more? Go beyond Docs, Sheets, Sites, and Hangouts, and deeper into Google Apps. Explore Google Classroom (which helps teachers create and organize assignments quickly, provide feedback efficiently, and easily communicate with students and across classrooms), Google Expeditions (virtual field trips), Communities ('clubs' that are moderated and have a particular focus), Programs (eg Google Teacher Academy) and other resources for your students. This course was developed to address both day-to-day and longer-term classroom needs and interests using Google Apps.


This course contains no sessions
Click here to be notified about the next scheduled program.
The introduction of the iPad brought the power and functionality of a full-size computer system into a lightweight, user-intuitive, powerful mobile tablet. While educators have rapidly embraced the iPad to meet computing needs and fill niche roles, discover how iPad technology can increase engagement and unlock vast content. We will use tablets and their applications to explore the development of grade-appropriate lessons across a wide range of subjects and content areas. Consider how the iPad can be a fully integrated professional tool for your classroom, and explore the financial resources for bringing iPad technology into schools and Districts.


September 10, 2020 to October 22, 2020, Unionville Elementary School
Media education adds value to just about every curriculum in the K-12 classrooms. Media education has become a growing priority in today's classroom because of the extent of the media's importance in people's lives. However, many teachers are unaware of the necessity and the techniques for making media literacy an integral part of the K-12 educational experience. On average, children in their middle and high school years spend 6-10 hours a day engaged either actively or passively in a 'media related' activity. Because students, regardless of their learning style, attend more fully to activities and ideas that they connect with, the media is often used to influence them from a very young age. This makes it necessary for teachers to 'train' their students to analyze messages and understand the techniques utilized to influence them via a broad range of sound and visual communication technologies. Integrating Media Literacy into Today's K-12 Curriculum will teach educators how to incorporate media literacy into the classroom curriculum, regardless of the subject taught. This course will provide educators with the resources necessary to help students hone their critical thinking skills in a functional context so that they are able to recognize various marketing approaches, identify propaganda, understand stereotypes, critically evaluate media conveyed messages, and use the media as a tool for life-long learning.


April 6, 2021 to June 8, 2021, Unionville Elementary School
This course shows how a single computer can be the essential resource in a teacher's repertoire. Use it as a learning tool by building a daily rotation of student activities on the computer. Use it as a personal productivity tool by developing databases, spreadsheets and mail merges. Use it as a presentation tool to display slide shows created in Apple iWorks' presentation feature, and use the Internet to explore a whole world of information.


February 22, 2021 to March 28, 2021, Online
While Powerpoint and Prezi are options, they are nowhere near the only options, with which to create interactive presentations for use in today's classroom. Browser-based applications present countless presentation features to help foster student engagement, interaction, assessment, and communication. This course will explore the web's potential for interactivity, including slideshows and videos, back channeling, 3-D, animations, interactive whiteboards, screencasting, online debates, collaboration, and brainstorming tools. All applications introduced in the course are free, with iPad-approved options available for those teachers who use them in their classrooms.


November 2-30, 2020, Online
Have you ever been approached by your colleagues as a technology resource in the classroom? Have you ever been asked to deliver a technology training session? Do you see yourself as the technology lead at your school? You will leave this course with the ability to design and deliver technology direction and optimize digital learning environments both within the classroom and across your school or District. We will explore the history of modern-day educational technology, the psychology of media, and the relationship of each to your role as an ed tech leader and advocate. Our final project will be a research-based technology plan for your school or District.


January 7, 2021 to February 18, 2021, Unionville Elementary School
With Office 365, educators will learn how to become more innovative with cloud-based tools, regardless of the device they use. This course is aimed at educators for whom Office 365 is relatively new and who are looking to implement solutions to classroom problems right away. This course will explore Office 365 through hands-on activities that will introduce educators to OneDrive for Business, Office Online, Microsoft Teams, Forms, Sway, and OneNote as well as get a high-level overview of other tools that can enhance a classroom environment and accessibility.


This course contains no sessions
Click here to be notified about the next scheduled program.
Educators can now empower their students to connect, create, and collaborate online. Explore the use of technology as a tool to engage students in constructive critical thinking about the subjects they study. User-friendly Web 2.0 tools, tools provide opportunities for educators and students to communicate and interact in new, collaborative ways. Lesson guides provide practical examples of techniques to integrate these online tools into the curriculum.


October 22, 2020 to November 22, 2020, Online
In the 1930s, the United States was in crisis. The economic system had collapsed and one-quarter of the country's workforce was unemployed. In an effort to rebuild the nation, President Franklin D. Roosevelt launched the 'Works Progress Administration' (WPA) to put millions of jobless people back to work. To promote its vast social programs, the WPA commissioned 500 artists nationwide to created more than 35,000 posters and prints to reach the American public. Of the mere 2,000 posters known to still exist, the Library of Congress' collection is the largest. These striking silkscreen, lithograph and woodcut posters publicized health programs, cultural programs, theatrical and musical performances, travel, education and community activities throughout the U.S. The posters were made possible by one of the first U.S. Government programs to support the arts and were added to the Library's holdings in the 1940s. In this course, learn about the WPA - its artists and its mission - and its connection to history, art, social science and visual literacy that can enrich your teaching. Participants learn about this time period, the power of design to communicate and how to use visual primary sources to engage students. In addition to museum visits, design studio exercises and hands-on printmaking, participants will use the digital archives of the Library of Congress to prepare lessons based on these powerful historic images. Content is appropriate for every subject areas as connections to art, nature, history, material processes and literacy are explored.


July 27, 2020 to August 7, 2020, Online
In the 1930s, the United States was in crisis. The economic system had collapsed and one-quarter of the country's workforce was unemployed. In an effort to rebuild the nation, President Franklin D. Roosevelt launched the 'Works Progress Administration' (WPA) to put millions of jobless people back to work. To promote its vast social programs, the WPA commissioned 500 artists nationwide to created more than 35,000 posters and prints to reach the American public. Of the mere 2,000 posters known to still exist, the Library of Congress' collection is the largest. These striking silkscreen, lithograph and woodcut posters publicized health programs, cultural programs, theatrical and musical performances, travel, education and community activities throughout the U.S. The posters were made possible by one of the first U.S. Government programs to support the arts and were added to the Library's holdings in the 1940s. In this course, learn about the WPA - its artists and its mission - and its connection to history, art, social science and visual literacy that can enrich your teaching. Participants learn about this time period, the power of design to communicate and how to use visual primary sources to engage students. In addition to museum visits, design studio exercises and hands-on printmaking, participants will use the digital archives of the Library of Congress to prepare lessons based on these powerful historic images. Content is appropriate for every subject areas as connections to art, nature, history, material processes and literacy are explored.


July 27, 2020 to August 7, 2020, Online
Participants in this course continue the exploration of a variety of a contemporary book structures to which writing an imagery can be added. This includes accordian variations, sewn books, flexagons and pop-ups. Projects and discussions include approaches to incorporate images with simple text to convey meaning within various types of books. Collaborative book projects for classroom use and the opportunity to create a personal book are developed. Classroom applications for all grade levels are addressed; projects are adaptable for K-12 students in many subject areas.


February 27, 2021 to March 14, 2021, Wayne Art Center
Participants in this course are introduced to a variety of contemporary book structures to which writing and imagery can be added. This includes accordion variations, sewn books, flexagons and pop-ups. Projects and discussions include approaches to incorporate images with simple text to convey meaning within various types of books. Collaborative book projects for classroom use and the opportunity to create a personal book are developed. Classroom applications for all grade levels are addressed; projects are adaptable for K-12 students in many subject areas.


February 27, 2021 to March 14, 2021, Wayne Art Center
Explore a variety of reading, writing, speaking and literature experiences designed to encourage students. This course helps classroom or reading teachers discover national programs and new avenues and strategies including: making children independent and reflective learners, interactive instruction, teaching across the curriculum, alternative assessment, divergent teaching strategies and interdisciplinary teaching.


This course contains no sessions
Click here to be notified about the next scheduled program.
Emotional intelligence is a missing link in our educational curriculum. Teachers are given the tools for sharing academic lessons, but often they are ill-equipped to handle the stress that the students bring with them. SEL prescribes approaching students as complex human beings whose learning and behavior are just as impacted by their emotions, and their control over those emotions, as they are by the quality of instruction and discipline. However, social-emotional competencies need to be taught. The SEL approach involves teaching students how to manage emotions and behaviors to achieve one's goals; recognize one's emotions and values as well as one's strengths and challenges; show understanding and empathy for others; form positive relationships, working in pairs and teams, dealing effectively with conflict; recognize and talk about their feelings; and resolve conflicts peacefully as a way to strengthen both academic achievement and emotional stability. The course will provide teachers with a practical framework that incorporates morning and class meetings, literature, video examples, creative dramatics and conflict resolution to implement the non-cognitive skills that will stimulate thinking and bonds among children that will carry over into their academic curriculum.


This course contains no sessions
Click here to be notified about the next scheduled program.
Growth Mindset, a concept originated by Carol Dweck of Stanford University, encourages students to: embrace challenge, surround yourself with others who will challenge you to grow and get out of the comfort zone. Growth mindset is built around reflective practice- What did I do? What did I learn? What can I do next? In this course, educators will learn about and apply to their own classrooms the process of taking informed risks and learning from the results. Educators will walk away with at least three concrete strategies to help their own students stick with problems, seek out different solutions, use feedback as an opportunity for growth, and build confidence for exuberant discovery.


March 8, 2021 to April 2, 2021, Online
Creativity saturates science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics (STEAM). Integrated learning is a powerful means of facilitating meaningful learning. The artistic process and the scientific method are more complementary than one might imagine- both facilitate the exploration of ideas and possibilities. Both involve "process" and "product." Both require students to engage in creative and critical thinking that supports collaborative learning. This course will explore STEAM integration models, in which you will test lessons and tools to facilitate a STEAM-inspired curriculum. You will have the flexibility to select specific areas of STEAM that are most relevant to your own classroom and teaching style. You will emerge with the confidence and skill to authentically integrate across STEAM content.


July 20, 2020 to August 6, 2020, Online
Current research on the use of technology in the classroom concludes that its appropriate use can yield dramatic gains in student achievement and student engagement. This course will prepare educators to routinely use technology in the classroom to effectively reach and engage diverse learners in new ways. Educators will learn how to identify and optimize educational technology tools, resources, and applications that best match unique student populations.


July 27, 2020 to August 5, 2020, Online
March 8, 2021 to April 11, 2021, Online
This course champions the importance of affirming the cultural identities of students and helping educators to respect cultural differences in others. Participants develop resources, tools and methods to increase cultural awareness in the classroom across the curriculum. Activities encourage students to understand and honor diversity, both in their schools and within the larger community. This course focuses on methods to weave tolerance and understanding into existing curricular units and lesson plans.


This course contains no sessions
Click here to be notified about the next scheduled program.
This course is designed to enhance instructional skills and expand strategies essential to working with racial diversity, gender and sexual diversity, religious diversity, and diverse learning needs and styles. The course will examine varying cultures and unique student populations based on a diverse society. Structured to present the learner with a foundational knowledge base and accompanying skills related to Economically Disadvantaged students, Gender Issues, Racial Diversity, Religious Diversity, Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity/Expression, Special Education, and English Language Learners, the course will be grounded in political and programmatic history as each relates to today's classroom. Case studies and practical application of course understandings will be used.


February 1, 2021 to March 7, 2021, Online
How is literacy changing as a result of emerging visual and digital media and technologies? We will explore the implications of the constant cultural and technological shift for teaching and learning in the secondary classroom. How does what you do in the classroom impact your students' visual literacy- the ability to interpret, analyze, and evaluate visual images and underlying messages that images are attempting to convey? This course is designed for educators who are interested in conducting project-based inquiry using a variety of digital texts, tools and technologies. We will dive into current research to inform strategies to design and build challenging and engaging visual and digital learning opportunities for you and your students.


February 8, 2021 to March 8, 2021, Online
Refine and improve techniques relating to digital photography, expanding overall photographic competency and aesthetic sensibility. Composition, lighting and subject are discussed and critiqued as participants create a cohesive body of work with the final goal a series of project-based photographs. Some basic postproduction techniques using Photoshop are introduced. Participants must bring a digital SLR camera and a portable storage device. (or have access to a cloud based image storage service.)


July 27, 2020 to August 7, 2020, Online
Explore, refine and improve general techniques relating to digital photography, including camera functions, image storage and final output options. In addition, composition, lighting and subject are discussed and critiqued. Some basic post-production techniques using Photoshop are also introduced. Participants must bring a digital SLR camera and a portable storage device.


July 27, 2020 to August 7, 2020, Online
Expand drawing and painting skills at a more advanced level. Working from direct observation, including some figure models, participants improve perception and technical skills, working both in drawing media and in paint. Create a range of times pieces in basic drawing media such as charcoal, pencil, ink and conte crayon, then move on to more advanced work using acrylic paints. This course considers color theory, composition, painting technique, and the overall process and includes in-depth critiques.


This course contains no sessions
Click here to be notified about the next scheduled program.
This drawing and painting course provides the opportunity to further refine color theory and design concepts using a variety of media at an advanced level. Apply an understanding composition and fluency with materials to work both in the abstract and from direct observation. Educators will focus on the refinement of a series of pieces to build a body of work that reflects an advanced understanding of techniques specific to the two-dimensional visual arts. Educators will develop drawing and painting activities to incorporate into projects for the K-12 classroom.


This course contains no sessions
Click here to be notified about the next scheduled program.
Drawing and painting are foundational skills for visual literacy and for developing an understanding of form, composition, light and color. Working from direct observation, including some figure models, participants improve perception and technical skills working both in drawing media and in paint. Create a range of timed pieces in basic drawing media such as charcoal, pencil, ink and conte crayon, then move on to more advanced work using acrylic paints. This course considers color theory,composition, painting technique, and the overall process.


This course contains no sessions
Click here to be notified about the next scheduled program.
Explore landscape painting at a more advanced level. Working in the field, participants discuss themes inherent in this subject matter, evaluate the effects of light and color, and refine specific techniques. As weather permits, work outdoors in the Bucks County landscape with expansive vistas to consider. This course takes into account the immediacy of changing conditions while working en plein air. Participants work from direct observation and consider techniques that achieve desired results. Choice of media may be oil, acrylic or pastel. Topics include mediums and techniques for the efficient use of time, analyzing composition, color studies, reading weather and light conditions, and basic color mixing. Course content and critiques applicable to art classroom instruction.


This course contains no sessions
Click here to be notified about the next scheduled program.
Continue to refine advanced techniques with an emphasis on an in-the-field approach to landscape as subject matter. In addition to producing finished paintings, discuss this genre and the themes in it, including the concept of place, scale, the nature of light, and the balance of man and nature. Work outdoors in the local area to address the process of working with the immediacy of changing conditions. Participants may choose oil, acrylic or pastel for their medium and present a series of thematic pieces. Course content and critiques applicable to art classroom instruction.


This course contains no sessions
Click here to be notified about the next scheduled program.
Emphasis will be on an 'in the field' approach to landscape as subject matter. In addition to producing finished paintings, participants will discuss this genre and the themes often illustrated in it, including the concept of place, scale, the nature of light, and the balance of man and nature. As weather permits, participants will work outdoors to address the process of working with the immediacy of changing conditions. Participants will work from direct observation and cover concepts in landscape composition that will help them achieve their desired results. Choice of media may be oil, acrylic or pastel. Topics include: proper grounds (surfaces) for oil paint, materials, mediums, and techniques for the efficient use of the time, how to use a loose drawing to form a strong composition; and making color studies. Participants will also discuss choosing a location, reading the weather, reading the light, and color mixing for landscape. This course is intended for educators with previous experience in basic drawing and painting. All course content will be directly applicable to classroom instruction and curriculum for art educators.


This course contains no sessions
Click here to be notified about the next scheduled program.
Learn how and where to find the most effective educational resources on the web, including lesson plans, model education sites, and presentation tools. This course enables novices and advanced users to explore web-based active learning and consider methods to incorporate skills into lessons. Learn web page/simple website creation skills as well as the latest presentation techniques using multi-media tools, slide shows, and concept mapping.


September 28, 2020 to October 26, 2020, Online