Professional Development fo K12 teachers at the Penn Museum..

Increase content knowledge, discover new resources, and swap stories when you attend professional development opportunities at Penn Museum.

Current Professional Development Opportunities

Teacher Talks

Join Penn Museum educators on the last Wednesday of the month for “Teacher Talks” where Philadelphia teachers will enjoy insider access to some of the amazing resources we have at the Penn Museum. Teacher Talks in the past have included behind the scenes tours, talks from real archaeologists and anthropologists, and lesson plan swaps.

We hope you can join us for our first Teacher Talk of the 2016-17 school year!

Extension Lesson Preview

Wednesday, September 28th
4:30 PM – 6:30 PM

In an effort to offer resources to help teachers build upon the Unpacking the Past experience within the classroom, Penn Museum educators are developing a new extension lesson and we need your help! Role-play as your students and learn about the journey of our Sphinx from Egypt to Philadelphia, brush up on your map skills, and talk about visual literacy. Tell us about your classroom needs and participate in a group brainstorming session on ways we can modify our extension lessons to optimize learning.

Register Here

Past Professional Development Opportunities

Middle East Cultures: Preserving the Past

August 23, 2016
8:30 AM – 12:15 PM

ALL K-12 teachers are invited to join the Middle East Center and the Penn Museum for our FREE teacher training, "Middle East Cultures: Preserving the Past,” on August 23, 2016 at 8:30AM. A light breakfast will be provided.

Dr. Salam Al Kuntar will present the work of the Penn Museum’s Cultural Heritage Center on Safeguarding the Heritage of Syria and Iraq Project (SHOSI), an internationally recognized project which protects Syrian and Iraqi cultural heritage by empowering the Syrians and Iraqis to preserve their own cultural artifacts and sites. Dr. Al Kuntar was featured as a National Geographic’s Emerging Explorer for her work in protecting Syria’s cultural heritage. After the talk, teachers will participate in a guided gallery exploration using object-based learning strategies to explore and study real Turkish cultural treasures in The Golden Age of King Midas exhibition. To register click here.


Teachers and Scholars Creating Curriculum Together

A Mini Teacher Institute

WHO: Middle School teachers of ancient civilizations in public and Title I charter schools in the City of Philadelphia*


  • Participate in hands-on workshops and talks led by international scholars visiting Philadelphia for their annual conference. Topics include:
  • Cuneiform writing, first cities, growth of empire, climate/geography, jewelry-making, the role of women, and Hammurabi’s code
  • Deepen your content knowledge of Mesopotamia and the ancient Near East
  • Work with other teachers, museum educators, and scholars to develop engaging and expertly-informed lessons for your students
  • Get the insider’s scoop on the Penn Museum’s new Middle Eastern Gallery (scheduled to open Fall 2017)

WHERE: The Penn Museum, 3260 South Street

WHEN: July 14th and July 15th 8:00am – 3:00pm

WHY: An enormous amount of classroom materials made available on Mesopotamian subjects are produced by textbook publishers, sold on educational websites, or are written into tightly constructed core curricula. While some of these materials are beautifully produced and visually engaging, they are not always based on the most recent research. On the other hand, scholars who produce outreach materials often do so without any knowledge of how Mesopotamia fits into the larger curriculum, at what grade-level the subject is introduced, and what kind of critical thinking skills are being taught. As partners, teachers and scholars can produce materials that are not only easy for teachers to use and adapt, but are also animated by a sense of discovery and are written with a feeling for and a commitment to the subject.

COMPENSATION: Free parking, free breakfast and lunch, $100 stipend for completion of both days of the program.

*All middle school teachers in the SDP are welcome to attend, though preference will be given to those who teach about ancient civilizations. Unpacking the Past provides FREE programming to enhance students’ study of ancient cultures, including an outreach lesson and a trip (with free busing) to the Penn Museum!

Special Education Programs at the Penn Museum

Sponsored in part by PECO

August 26, 2015
8:00 am - 1:00 pm

Penn Museum
3260 South St.,
Philadelphia, PA 19104

All School District of Philadelphia 4th-12th grade Autistic Support, Life Skills Support, and Multiple Disability Support teachers* are invited to come to the Penn Museum on Wednesday, August 26th, 2015 from 8:00 AM – 1:00 PM to preview our new educational offerings for students with disabilities.

Supplement the Low Incidence Curriculum with any one of our interactive and multisensory programs, which include gallery tours, Museum workshops, classroom outreach lessons, distance learning, and our Loan Box program. Our programs build upon your classroom studies of functional academics, social and interpersonal communication skills, and domestic maintenance.

Participate in our Special Education Programs Preview to see what we offer, meet our educators, and learn how you and your students can get involved!

Teachers who attend will receive:

  • five ACT48 credits (SDP teachers only)
  • light breakfast and catered lunch
  • FREE one year dual-adult family membership to the Penn Museum
  • FREE parking
  • priority in booking Unpacking the Past programs
  • ideas for how to integrate a Museum visit with curriculum standards

* 6th-8th grade AS, LSS, and MDS teachers qualify for participation in the Unpacking the Past program, which provides an outreach lesson, Museum workshop and tour, busing, and family membership to your students at no cost.

Inquiry and the Ancients: A Mini Teacher Institute

Presented by the Penn Museum and the University City Science Center

July 13 - July 14, 2015
8:00 am - 3:00 pm

This FREE two-day mini institute, sponsored in part by PECO, is offered to all middle school (6th-8th grade) teachers in the School District of Philadelphia, KIPP, and Mastery Charter schools.  Teachers from these schools are also eligible for the Penn Museum’s Unpacking the Past program, which provides free outreach lessons and museum visits (including buses) for all of their 7th grade classes.

The educational value of a class visit to the Penn Museum can be greatly enhanced by what happens before and after the trip.  Participants in this FREE Mini Institute will learn from leading experts in the field of archaeology, receive behind the scenes tours of the Penn Museum’s world-class collections, and be given time and space to work collaboratively with other teachers to create extension lessons for their classrooms using inquiry-driven approaches. Parking, breakfast, and lunch are included on both days of the Institute and teachers will receive ACT 48 credits for attending.  Those teachers who complete their pre- and post-visit lessons will receive a $100 stipend. 

Native American Peoples: Past and Present Teacher Institute

Calling high school teachers of all disciplines! The Penn Museum will host a Teacher Institute in collaboration with the Yale Peabody Museum. Sessions will highlight the Penn Museum’s incredible collection of Native American objects and knowledgeable curators and professors. The Institute will assist and inspire teachers to create a curriculum that highlights Native American culture of past and present.

Through this extraordinary opportunity, teachers will receive:

  • Object and primary source workshops with Penn Museum curatorial staff
  • Guided discussion with Teacher Specialists to create pre- and post-museum visit lesson plans
  • An expansion of content knowledge, classroom resources, and ways to inspire students to critically think

As participants of the Teacher Institute, teachers that complete pre- and post-visit extension lessons will receive $100 stipends. Participating High School teachers of all disciplines will receive discounted student admission to the Penn Museum and free materials to take back to the classroom.

Indigenous Peoples: Past and Present will directly integrate Common Core and Pennsylvania State Standards into content and sessions for easy adaptation to any classroom.



Learning Programs Department


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