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Summer Teacher Institutes

Summer Institute Abroad 2020 - Antigua, Guatemala

"History of the Americas: Central America and the Cold War"

Dates: July 16-22, 2020

Location: Antigua, Guatemala

Join the Center for Latin American Studies (CLAS) and the Center to Support Excellence in Teaching (CSET) in Antigua, Guatemala, in summer 2020 for a professional development institute on Central America and the Cold War.

Designed to support the History-Social Science Framework for California Schools for grades K-12, this institute explores the Cold War and how it affected, and was shaped by, Latin America. Expert Latin American Studies scholars and community organizers will provide rich content knowledge on the lasting effects of the Cold War on Guatemala, including the work of women and indigenous groups in rebuilding the social fabric while seeking justice.

Teachers will have the opportunity to experience being students again while deepening and broadening their content knowledge. An expert CSET Pedagogy Instructor will provide space for teachers to deepen their pedagogical practice in the area of student talk and  academic discussion. Time will be provided for teachers to develop lessons with their evolving content and instructional knowledge during the institute, building curriculum that encourages students to think critically about key historical events and navigate complex and often contradictory content.

Visit CSET for application and additional information.


Previous Summer Institutes

Summer 2019: "History of the Americas: Latin America and the Cold War"

Location: Stanford University, Stanford, CA

CLAS and and the Stanford Graduate School of Education's Center to Support Excellence in Teaching (CSET) brought secondary and community college instructors together on Stanford campus to to deepen their understanding of Latin America and the Cold War and sharpen their pedagogical expertise. Participating teachers engaged with leading scholars on how the Cold War impacted, and was shaped by, Latin America and the Caribbean, specifically Cuba. Scholars underscored the role of underrepresented populations, including women and indigenous groups, in the conflict. The institute included a guided visit to the Hoover Institution Library & Archives to consult primary resources from the early years of the Cuban Revolution, including photographs, newspapers and posters, as well as a guided tour of the Mission District Murals in San Francisco to observe the role that migrants and refugee peoples—particularly those from Latin American countries impacted by the Cold War—have had in creating and shaping local communities in the United States. Following the in-person course, attendees participated in two virtual follow-up sessions to share resources and implementation strategies with other instructors. Read more about the program.

Summer 2018:  "History of the Americas: Mexican Revolution & Nation-Building" in Mexico City, Mexico

Location: Mexico City, Mexico

Mural Mexican RevolutionBuilding on the foundation laid by the 2017 summer institute, CLAS partnered with CSET and one of Mexico's leading universities, El Colegio de México, for a summer institute abroad in Mexico City! This professional development institute, designed for history and social science instructors, led teachers to Mexico City to explore rich content on the Mexican Revolution and nation-building with El Colegio de México faculty and an expert CSET Pedagogy Instructor. Participants spent seven days in Mexico visiting historical sites, museums, and murals around Mexico City; engaging with expert history professors at El Colegio de México; and strengthening their course curricula through guided pedagogy sessions.

Summer 2017: "History of the Americas: Mexican Revolution & Nation-Building"

Location: Stanford University

The California State Board of Education adopted a revised History-Social Science curriculum framework for grades K-12 in July 2016. The new framework reflects the struggles and progress of Chicanos and Latinos in the U.S., as well as major historical events in Latin America, including a focus on Mexico and the Mexican Revolution in 10th grade.  In this five-day summer course, held on Stanford Campus, historians from El Colegio de México joined U.S. scholars to provide rich content knowledge on the Mexican Revolution and nation-building. Topics included women of the Revolution, the use of media throughout the Revolution, Mexican muralists, and U.S.-Mexican political history.  A CSET Pedagogy Instructor led participants in using primary sources, literature, and scholarly texts to build curriculum that reflects the new History-Social Science framework and teaches students to think critically about key historical events.  Teachers had the opportunity to experience being students again while deepening and broadening their content knowledge.

Summer 2016: Ecology & Sustainability: Experiences with Mexico's Biocultural Diversity in Veracruz, Mexio

Location: Xalapa and Los Tuxtlas, Veracruz, Mexico

In July 2016, CLAS, in partnership with CSET, offered a professional development institute for secondary and community college STEM and social science educators. During this 10-day summer course, teachers went into the field in Mexico with Rodolfo Dirzo, Bing Professor in Environmental Science in the Department of Biology. Teachers participated in ecology, sustainability, and conservation science research (learning by doing) at Los Tuxtlas Tropical Biology Station; attended lectures and visits on resource management and sustainability at the Instituto de Ecología in Xalapa; and visited an indigenous community to learn about conservation efforts of tropical rainforest ecosystems via rural ecotourism. Upon returning from Mexico, teachers worked with CSET science educators to develop unit plans, lessons, or units for use in their classrooms.

Additional Opportunities

For a list of summer institutes offered by fellow Consortium of Latin American Studies Programs member institutions around the U.S., visit CLASP Professional Development.


CLAS is a U.S. Department of Education National Resource Center (NRC). Supported by the U.S. Department of Education under the auspices of Title VI, Section 602(a) of the Higher Education Act of 1965, NRCs serve to strengthen access to and training in the major languages of their respective regions, and to broaden area studies training across all disciplines.