2018 Teacher Scholars Program

Kentucky social studies teachers are invited to apply to our professional development series.

Applications are now closed. Limited to 25 teachers.

Kentucky social studies teachers, grades 5-12, are invited to apply for the McConnell Center's lecture and seminar series on "Tocqueville’s America? Politics and Culture in the 21st Century." The 2018-19 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 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 2018 will allow us to see our own political and cultural 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 can participate in one weekend intellectual retreat.

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 electronicallyPriority consideration deadline is Wednesday, Aug. 15.

Schedule of Events 

Fall 2018 (Must attend at least four)

Fall 2018 program events will be held at the McConnell Center at the University of Louisville. Participants must attend at least four of the following:

  • Thursday, Sept. 6, 6-8 pm: RJ Snell on "Is America's Mind Still Closed?" (lecture & dinner discussion)

  • Friday, Sept. 14, 6-7:30 pm: "Reading the Constitution in 2018: One Document, Two Visions" (public debate)

  • Friday, Oct. 12, 6-8 pm: Brad Birzer on "Conservative Confusion: Why We Should Read Russell Kirk Today" (public lecture & dinner discussion)

  • Saturday, Oct. 13, 10 am-3 pm: Brad & Dedra Birzer on "The American West" (seminars & lunch) (*Required event if selected to attend weekend conference at Mt. Rushmore)

  • Tuesday, Nov. 6, 6-8 pm: Gary Gregg on "Tocqueville's Democracy in America" (dinner discussion with McConnell Scholars)

  • Saturday, Nov. 10, 9am-3pm: Eric Sands on "Equality & Liberty in American Politics" (seminars & lunch)

  • Thursday, Nov. 15, 6-8pm: Nicholas Buccola on "Why We Should Read Frederick Douglass in 2018" (public lecture & dinner discussion)

Weekend Conference (Can only attend one)

Teachers selected for the TSP program are eligible to participate in one of two intellectual weekend conferences (each conference is capped at 15 participants):

  • Thursday, Oct. 18-Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018: Weekend conference on "Executive Power" to Mt. Rushmore (Keystone, SD) (Note: Required attendance at Oct. 13 event listed above)

  • Thursday, March 14-Sunday, March 17, 2019: Weekend conference on "Henry Clay" in Berea, Ky.

Spring 2019

Spring 2019 events are still being planned and will be announced later this fall.

Teacher Scholar Program Benefits

  • Monthly lectures and private seminars with nationally-recognized experts in American history, government and leadership
  • Take part in an in-depth intellectual and travel experience
  • Free books and study materials
  • Priority teacher consideration for other Center-sponsored professional development programs
  • Priority scholarship and programming experiences for students from participating teacher’s school
  • Networking with other teachers, administrators and content experts
  • Professional development certificate for participation

Enrollment and all professional development opportunities associated with the Center's Teachers Scholars Program are free to those accepted. Limited to 25 total participants.

Past Teacher Scholar Programs: