Professional development opportunities for teachers at the National Museum of the American Indian are hands-on, standards aligned, and cross-curricular. Workshops span a range of relevant topics and incorporate Native narratives and more comprehensive histories that enable teachers to connect classroom needs with the museum's robust collections and accurate teaching resources. These sessions help educators explore new content about American Indian cultures and history and model strategies for teaching with objects and resources in the classroom. Workshops include classroom-ready resources, as well as interactive opportunities to explore common assumptions about Native peoples of the past and their ongoing relevance and vibrancy today.

Program Description

The Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) has launched Native Knowledge 360° (NK360°), a national education initiative to promote improved teaching and learning about American Indians. The NMAI's eight-week Teacher-in-Residence Program supports the development of educationally strong, culturally appropriate, and historically accurate resources. NMAI Teachers in Residence (TIR) apply their knowledge and experience to strengthen the pedagogical and practical goals of NK360°. Studies show that standards, textbooks, and curriculums often relegate Native Americans to the distant past and fail to highlight social, cultural, and political lives of America's Native Peoples and Nations. Persistent myths and misperceptions promote and perpetuate ignorance among the general population while negatively affecting American Indian Peoples and Nations themselves. NMAI welcomes qualified applicants to apply to this program.

Goals and Objectives

TIR will become immersed in NK360°'s Framework for Essential Understandings about American Indians, as well as pedagogical approaches employed in NK360° resources, such as the C3 Framework and Inquiry Design Model (IDM). Together with the Manager of National Education and other NK360° staff, the TIR will work to support the development of inquiries using the IDM, which revolves around compelling questions, the use of primary and secondary sources, and student tasks. In addition, the TIR will create professional development strategies and materials for training teachers in their school and district as well as a personal project aligned with their professional goals.

Who Can Apply

NMAI's TIR Program is a paid, eight-week residency between the months of June and August, and is located in Washington, DC. NMAI's residency is open to teachers, department heads, and curriculum coaches from all grades who have at least two years of classroom experience and have acquired a master's degree or are enrolled in a master's degree program in education or a closely related field. The museum's resident teacher will work alongside museum staff and partners to participate in the development and testing of educational materials that inspire and promote improvement in teaching and learning about American Indians. Applicants should have in-depth knowledge of inquiry-based instruction as well as the Common Core State Standards and the C3 Framework.

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Washington, DC
New York, NY

National Museum of the American Indian
Fourth Street & Independence Ave., S.W.
Washington, DC 20560

Why Treaties Matter

March 17, 2018

10:30 AM–2:30 PM

Uncover engaging approaches to connect content from the NMAI exhibition Nation to Nation: Treaties Between the United States and American Indian Nations to your classroom curriculum. Participants will discuss the power of word choice and engage in related concepts such as "Westward Expansion" from American Indian perspectives. Teachers will see a lesson plan in action, explore primary and secondary sources, and share classroom strategies to uncover the connections between historical treaties and their relevance today. Recommended for secondary school teachers. A light lunch and classroom materials are provided. In partnership with Teaching for Change.

National Museum of the American Indian in New York
Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House
One Bowling Green
New York, NY 10004

Essential Understandings: New Possibilities for Student Learning Experiences

April 19, 2018

4:30–7 PM

Learn about the NMAI's national education initiative, Native Knowledge 360°, and its Framework for Essential Understandings about American Indians. This workshop will address culturally sensitive ways to approach the study of diverse American Indian cultures in the classroom. This foundational workshop will support the teaching of indigenous peoples' history, culture, and art and help teachers learn concepts and strategies to assess educational materials in their schools and libraries.

P Credit and CTLE Course Offering | Tell Me About It: Oral Language Development Through Phonological Awareness, Visual Literacy, and Storytelling

May 5, 2018 | 9 AM–4 PM (Everyone Reading, 30 Broad Street, Suite 402)

May 6, 2018 | 10 AM–5 PM

How can oral language proficiency support literacy and school achievement? Offered in collaboration with Everyone Reading, this two-day course will provide strategies to support oral language and auditory development, guiding you through the progression from speaking to reading and writing. On Day Two, learn more activities and insights for your classroom as you gain a deeper understanding of oral traditions and non-text-based storytelling in different American Indian cultures, using visual literacy, culturally specific oral vocabulary, and object-based learning.


imagiNATIONS Activity Center: Open House for Teachers

May 17, 2018

5–7:30 PM

Join the museum on opening day of the family-friendly, interactive imagiNATIONS Activity Center. In this space, visitors of all ages will explore Native scientific discoveries and inventions so ingenious many continue to affect the modern world. This exploration is made even more fun by solving puzzles, performing experiments, and playing state-of-the-art computer simulations. Reservations required.

American Indian Removal: What Does it Mean to Remove a People

June 7, 2018

9 AM–3 PM

Learn more about the U.S. government's American Indian removal policies of the 19th century and their lasting effects on Native nations. Explore NMAI online resources that examines first-person perspectives from Native American communities through documents, maps, and multimedia resources.