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Constitutional Scholars Institute

Michael Smerconish, Political Broadcast Journalist and Columnist, poses with former PA Governor Ed Rendell and teachers following one of the 2017 Institute sessions

Michael Smerconish, Political Broadcast Journalist and Columnist, poses with former PA Governor Ed Rendell and teachers following one of the 2017 Institute sessions

A knowledge-filled week dedicated to civics education and constitutional study

Each summer, educators from Pennsylvania and around the country converge for a week’s intensive study with Constitutional Scholars and members of the judicial community. The annual Institute delves into the the historical, legal, philosophical, and political evolution of specific topics such as The Supreme Court, The American Presidency, and Constitutional Amendments.

The result: new perspectives paired with the skills and tools teachers need to successfully apply new knowledge in the classroom.

About the 2018 Constitutional Scholars Institute – July 22-28

In 2018, The Rendell Center will be partnering with Glider Lehrman Institute of American History on a Summer Teacher Seminar entitled, Our Constitution:  The Bill of Rights. It will take place July 22-28, 2018, and will combine the best of what both organizations do for teachers. This year’s institute will be held on the campus of Lafayette College where our Constitutional Institute Director, Dr. Bruce Murphy teaches.  Get additional information

Judge Marjorie Rendell headed up a panel on “Judges and Judicial Independence”

Some comments about our Institutes include…

  • I love the mixed issue Hypotheticals! Every minute spent with Akhil and/or Judge Rendell was golden!
    This is such a fantastic experience! I am so thrilled to be part of this program. I am very thankful to the Rendell Center for the opportunity. I have so many ideas for new lessons and new approaches to old lessons. The Resources made available are a huge help.
  • I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to attend this seminar. I can’t thank the Rendell Center enough for providing scholarships for Pittsburgh teachers. This was the single most beneficial professional learning experience I have ever attended. To be able to learn from and interact with the best constitutional scholars was a fantastic opportunity. Judge Rendell is so passionate about civics education and that makes me want to be a better teacher; she explained (so eloquently) things that I can now share with my students.
  • Every single presenter provided me with something valuable that I can in turn, share with my students. A sincere thank you to everyone.
    Thank you for a great week of learning!! Exceeded my expectations
  • This program treats us as professionals, respects teachers, and equips us to go back to school refreshed and enthused.
  • Thank YOU! It was so clear that you each put so much thought, effort and care into each element of this institute. From the professional, personal service to the content-rich, engaging sessions. I am amazed at how wonderful this institute was. The materials, content, conversations and experiences were relevant, useful, and current. Topics that I can implement immediately! I have never felt as appreciated and respected as an educator and believe me I needed it. Thank you!!
  • I attend a lot of professional development and this program shows how it can be done well.
  • This is one of the best institutes I have ever attended. Thank you for your expertise, your humor, your competence – everything.
Akil Amar_CS_2016_Web

Akil Amar from Yale University lead a discussion on “Timeless Lessons on the American Constitution”

Read the 2017 Constitutional Scholars Institute Report

Read the 2016 Constitutional Scholars Institute Report

Read the 2015 Constitutional Scholars Institute Report