The Teachers Institute

About the Teachers Institute

The St. John’s College Teachers Institute provides a convenient way for educators to continue to learn and grow. Every year, our Teachers Institute provides opportunities for educators to read great books, experience the collaborative discussion-based learning at St. John’s, and exchange ideas with a network of educators who value the life of the mind as much as you.

Both our on-campus and online programs are made possible by the St. John’s Graduate Institute and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). The support from the National Endowment for the Humanities comes in the form of their We the People program, which is designed to encourage and enhance the teaching, study, and understanding of American history, culture, and democratic principles.

Upcoming Events

Exploring the Constitution

Online Seminar: Saturday, November 12, 2022
REGISTER ONLINE for Nov 12 Seminar

For well over two centuries, “We the People” have been governed under the Constitution of the United States. But what is a constitution, and why do we have or need one? What is the Constitution’s purpose? How should the document be interpreted and by whom? And why should our decisions be guided or constrained by something arguably so dated and so difficult to change? Questions such as these will be considered in the light of readings from a variety of primary sources, including the Constitution itself.

This seminar will be led by Steven A. Steinbach, who teaches history at Sidwell Friends School in Washington, DC. Mr. Steinbach is a graduate of the Graduate Institute of St. John’s College and editor of With Liberty and Justice for All?: The Constitution in the Classroom (Oxford University Press, 2022).

Participants will read selections from Steven’s books as well as the U.S. Constitution and amendments.

Teachers joining us for our online Saturday seminar will meet from 3 to 5 p.m. ET on Saturday, November 12, 2022, to discuss the text in a small, interactive class led by St. John’s faculty. The seminar will be followed by a discussion about ways in which what has been learned and discussed might be integrated into your own classrooms.

Booker T. Washington, “Democracy and Education” and W. E. B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk (selections)

Online Seminar: Saturday, January 21, 2023
REGISTER ONLINE FOR Jan 21 Seminar

“How I wish that from the most humble log cabin schoolhouse in Alabama we could burn it, as it were, into the hearts and heads of all, that usefulness, service to our brother, is the supreme end of education.” So Booker T. Washington insists in a famous address on “Democracy and Education.” Yet in a chapter from The Souls of Black Folk, entitled “Of the Training of Black Man,” W. E. B. Du Bois offers an equally famous rejoinder. Usefulness comes from a still higher aim, “the end of which is culture.” Beyond even brotherhood we so find “a loftier respect for the sovereign human soul that seeks to know itself and the world about it.”

Which of these great thinkers is right about the end of education? And what difference should American slavery and its aftermath make to the answer?

Teachers joining us for our online Saturday seminar will meet from 3 to 5 p.m. ET on Saturday, January 21, 2023 to discuss the text in a small, interactive class led by St. John’s faculty. The seminar will be followed by a discussion about ways in which what has been learned and discussed might be integrated into your own classrooms.

Our Method

As with all instruction at St. John’s, the Teachers Institute explores readings from original texts with all classes as seminar-style discussions. Our online classes are led by St. John’s faculty, include fewer than 20 students, and are interactive conversations.

The Teachers Institute is part of St. John’s Graduate Institute, which has a long history of preparing teachers at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. In particular, the Graduate Institute offers the Master of Arts in Liberal Arts, the Master of Arts in Eastern Classics, and the Liberal Arts Education Certificate, which is especially designed for teachers. Scholarships are available for educators, which can make the Graduate Institute tuition-free.

Past Events