You are not logged in.   Login

Professional development institute

When: July 24, 2023, from 9 am to 3 pm (registration and breakfast starts at 8 am)

Where: Ohio History Center (800 E 17th Ave. Columbus, Ohio)

Fee: $120, including breakfast and lunch (the event is free of charge for Ohio as America multi-year subscribers)

Group Discount: Register 5 participants and get each fee for $100

College Student Discount: check intructions on our registration page to get a 50% discount

Contact-hours certificate will be provided

Registration is now closed


The Ohio History Connection and the School & Teacher Support team invite you to our seventh Annual Professional Development Institute. The goal of this workshop is to bring social studies teachers and educators together, and provide them with the opportunity to learn and discuss new ideas and resources that can be implemented in their classroom in the coming school year and beyond.

Throughout this day, educators will participate in various sessions focused on inquiry, project-based learning, the connections between ELA and Social Studies, and inclusive history. In order to provide a unique and engaging program, we have collaborated with experts from the Myaamia Center, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, The Ohio State University and the Ohio Center for Law-Related Education.


Schedule at a glance

8:00 am - 8:55 am – Welcome/Registration/Breakfast

9:00 am - 9:50 am – Introductory Remarks and Discussion about Social Studies and the Science of Reading

10:00 am -11:45 am – Workshops

11:50 am-12:40 pm – Lunch – 2nd Floor Plaza

12:45 pm-1:40 pm – Concurrent sessions A

1:45 pm -2:45 pm – Concurrent sessions B

2:50 pm -3:00 pm – Final remarks/Certificates distribution


Introductory remarks and discussion about social studies and the science of reading

9:00 – 9:15 am


Presenters: Carla Mello (Department Manager, School & Teacher Support) & Trevor Rhodes (Content Coordinator) at the Ohio History Connection



10:00 – 11:45 AM


The Essence of Inquiry: Fitting Inquiry into Any Classroom

Presenter: Ryan Suskey (Director of Programs at the Ohio Center for Law-Related Education)

The research is clear that inquiry is one of the most effective means of educating our students, but the barrier of time makes it hard to bring more inquiry into our classrooms! By drilling down into the “essence of inquiry” teachers can tackle portions of inquiry in bite-sized chunks that can be accomplished in as little as five minutes. This two-hour workshop will overview the science of why inquiry works, how to distill inquiry to its most basic components, and demonstrate inquiry techniques that can be adapted to fit into any classroom.



Teaching for Social Justice Framework

Presenter: Amy Bottomley, Ed.D. (Director, Educational Initiatives at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center)

The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center supports educators teaching for social justice by providing professional development and classroom resources centered on a social justice framework.  When educators teach for social justice, they challenge normative thought, utilize multiple perspectives, and promote critical literacy with the intent of engaging students in social justice practices. We believe teaching for social justice can empower teachers and students to participate in the civic engagement needed to reshape our institutions and communities for the better. This session will introduce the Teaching for Social Justice Framework; explain the importance of examining why, what and how he teach; and share the Freedom Center’s educator resources.


Concurrent Session A – 12:45-1:40 Pm


Tools for Teaching Digital Literacy in an Increasingly Digital World

Presenter: Alex Eveleth (Education Coordinator) & Samantha Rubino (Manager, Ohio History Day) at the Ohio History Connection

While today’s students are "digital natives," it doesn’t mean they’re digitally literate. This session reflects on the age of digital (mis)information and explores best practices for teaching digital literacy. The first half of the presentation examines the importance of critical thinking as the key pillar to digital literacy. The second half of the presentation discusses and shares best practices to provide authentic context for practice and guiding students out of their comfort zones.



How Do We Know?

Presenter(s): Andrew Sawyer, Education Outreach Specialist at the Myaamia Center

Finding legitimate American Indian individuals and resources can be tricky for anyone who is not familiar with Indigenous history and contemporary Tribal Nations and lack the background to thoroughly vet the validity of information or resources. We will identify together what activities may or may not be appropriate in a classroom. We will also go over some appropriate vs inappropriate language to use.


Concurrent Session B - 1:45-2:45 pm


What Happens If I Push This Button?

Presenter: Trevor Rhodes – Content Coordinator at Ohio History Connection

This is your chance to take a deeper look into our award-winning digital curriculum Ohio as America. If you have questions about managing assessments, grading, and additional features of our online curriculum, this is your chance to get information directly from our content coordinator. We will also showcase our new features and content, and talk about the future of Ohio as America.



Who owns the past? A discussion about repatriation of archaeological collections.

Presenter(s): Nekole Alligood (NAGPRA Specialist, Ohio History Connection), Mark Hubbe (Professor of Anthropology, Ohio State University) and Stephanie Kline (NAGPRA Cataloger, Ohio History Connection)

Repatriation is a topic of special relevance in history and social sciences classes, as it relates to the construction and dissemination of knowledge, to awareness of different values and beliefs, and to long-term practices of downplaying the rights of ancestral groups. To help teachers build tools to better address this topic in the classroom, this session will offer a series of short activities inspired by our own work with the repatriation and recognition of Native American heritages. The session will start with a short presentation about the history of NAGPRA and the repatriation process in the US as well as in Ohio. The second part of the session will invite the participants to share their perspectives and knowledge about repatriation and the study of the past, which will be used to identify and then talk about the most pressing topics of discussion for the participants. In the final part, the session will guide the participants through a short activity about identifying biases in the study and reconstruction of the past, which will give the participants tools to work with students in ways to improve their critical reading ability and cultural literacy.

You can contact us at


Contact Us

Billing Address
Attention: Ohio as America
Ohio History Connection
800 E. 17th Ave. 
Columbus, Oh 43211
Ohio as America Help Desk