2017 Teacher Scholars Program

Kentucky social studies teachers are invited to apply to our 9-month professional development series. A culminating travel conference will take place Summer 2018.

Applications will be considered on a rolling basis (with priority consideration given to applications submitted on or before Monday, May 1). Limited to 24 teachers.

Kentucky social studies teachers, grades K-12, are invited to apply for our year-long McConnell Center lecture and seminar series on themes of "Tocqueville’s America: Politics and Culture in the 21st Century." The 2017-18 cohort of Teacher Scholars will focus on the lessons of Tocqueville's master work, Democracy in America, to better understand our nation in the 21st century.

Teachers will read and discuss Tocqueville's work as they hear from contemporary speakers and experts on cultural and political developments in modern America. A monthly lecture series will explore the intersection of culture and politics, and occasional weekend seminars will allow us to more fully comprehend Tocqueville’s understanding of America and what it might mean to us today. 

“The polling is clear. Americans are losing confidence in nearly every institution that we once found essential. There is no better analyst of America’s institutions and their interplay than Alexis de Tocqueville," said Dr. Gary Gregg, director of the McConnell Center. "Revisiting Tocqueville in 2017 will allow us to see our own political institutions from a fresher perspective than the daily news cycle."

Teachers can earn more than 30 hours of professional development credit through the series and will participate in a culminating intellectual retreat for Summer 2018 (place, dates to be determined).

The McConnell Center's annual Teacher Scholars Program (TSP) is a signature professional development opportunity for teachers to work directly with and learn from national experts on American history, government and leadership.

Applications must be submitted electronically. Priority consideration deadline is Monday, May 1.

Content Focus

Anticipated topics for TSP 2017-18 include:

  • How did Tocqueville understand early 19th century America?

  • How did Tocqueville understand the relationship between culture and politics?

  • Have Tocqueville’s warnings about majority tyranny, administration, centralization and the decline of associations been born out?

  • How does understanding Tocqueville help us make sense of modern America?

  • What made America’s version of democracy “work” in North America?

Participation is limited to 24 teachers who will be given free books and other resources, study with a nationally-recognized expert each month, take part in a culminating in-depth intellectual and travel experience and be invited to bring students to McConnell Center programming.

Program Benefits

  • Monthly lectures and private seminars with nationally-recognized experts in American history, government and leadership
  • Culminating immersion trip in Summer 2018
  • Professional development certificate for participation
  • Free books and study materials
  • Priority teacher consideration for other Center-sponsored professional development programs, including opportunities with Liberty Fund, James Madison's Montpelier and FreedomTrust.
  • Priority scholarship and programming experiences for students from participating teacher’s school
  • Networking with other teachers, administrators and content experts

Enrollment and all professional development opportunities associated with the Center's Teachers Scholars Program are free to those accepted.

Check out past Teacher Scholar Programs: