OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma fifth- and eighth-grade teachers can apply now for fellowships to attend the Colonial Williamsburg Teacher Institute in summer 2024 in the restored capital city of 18th-century Virginia.
The Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence coordinates the selection of teachers from the state to participate in the renowned teacher institute.
To apply, educators can visit ofe.org. The deadline is 5 p.m. Feb. 1. The fifth-grade teacher institute will take place June 2-June 7, 2024, while the eighth-grade teacher institute will be June 9-14, 2024.
The fellowships cover program activities, airfare, lodging and most meals. Each teacher also receives a $300 stipend for classroom materials.
Teachers will meet character interpreters of 18th-century people and be immersed in early American history through hands-on activities and reenactments at Colonial Williamsburg, the world’s largest living history museum. Participants will meet daily with a Master Teacher to discuss interactive teaching techniques and develop creative lesson ideas.
“It was a gift to experience Colonial Williamsburg and the surrounding areas firsthand,” said Lisa Wilkins, a middle school social studies teacher at Chickasha’s Pioneer Public School who participated in the teacher institute in 2023. “I think my students and I will most benefit from the network of other educators from around the country that shared this experience with me. It is invaluable to be able to support and connect with those teachers and share ideas that engage and improve our students’ classroom experiences.”
Oklahoma’s fifth-grade teacher institute is open to fifth-grade social studies/history teachers and resource teachers, such as school librarians or gifted-talented teachers, who plan to teach U.S. history in their schools in 2024-2025. Their sessions will focus on the daily life of colonial Virginians and the transition from subject to citizen that occurred during the Revolutionary War period.
Oklahoma eighth-grade classroom teachers who will teach U.S. history as part of their social studies curriculum can apply for fellowships to attend the program for secondary teachers. Their sessions will examine how the concept of American identity began in the colonial period and continues to evolve and transform with each generation. Through inquiry-based analysis of primary sources, teachers will explore how that identity influenced American citizens to shape and change the Republic through the 1860s.
The fellowships are available to public and private school teachers. Participants are asked to share materials, skills and experiences with fellow teachers upon their return from the institute.
The Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence, a nonprofit that recognizes and encourages academic excellence in Oklahoma’s public schools, has coordinated Oklahoma’s participation in the Colonial Williamsburg Teacher Institute since 1993. The program is made possible through the leadership and support of the late Oklahoma City businessman Edward C. Joullian III. Joullian was an active supporter and former board member of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and a trustee of the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence. Joullian’s family, along with a group of loyal donors, continues to support the fellowship program, which has served 946 Oklahoma teachers to date.