Professional Development

Opportunities for teachers to learn how to teach with maps, geography, and history

“Maps to me are now dynamic, vibrant, alive and worth engaging” –Teacher Workshop Participant

The Leventhal Map & Education Center offers a variety of professional development opportunities for educators. From one-day workshops to summer-long fellowships, Map Center professional development is designed to support educators in using geographic approaches and materials in various subject areas and for various purposes.

Customized district-wide professional development training is available. Contact us at for more information.

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Workshops and Courses

Teachers as Scholars: 2023-2024 Seminars

Open to educators from participating districts
Visualizing the World: Maps as Stories

Visualizing the World: Maps as Stories

March 14 & 22, 2024
Maps tell stories. Historic maps in particular can tell us much about how our views of our world have evolved and also connect us to historic events both globally and in our own backyards. Helping students of all ages to read and analyze maps is key, not only for the where and what but also to help them evaluate the source critically, asking about the context, author’s purpose and motivations. This two-day seminar will introduce teachers to the collections of the Norman B. Leventhal Map & Education Center at the Boston Public Library, a wealth of over 200,000 maps and atlases dating from 1482 to the present. Participants will explore maps in the collection and connect to a variety of topics and time periods such as immigration, urban renewal and world maps. We will also go onto the streets of Boston to use digital mapping tools to explore how the city has changed over time and learn how georeferenced historic maps open up amazing possibilities for discovery.

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Geospatial Explorations: Learn to Map Data with GIS

Geospatial Explorations: Learn to Map Data with GIS

January 23 & February 1, 2024
Interactive maps create opportunities to explore and understand specific topics and our world at large. In this 2-day class, participants will learn how to find and map data using a GIS (Geographic Information System) called ArcGIS online. GIS connects data to a map and integrates locations with all types of descriptive information. ArcGIS online licenses are offered free to K-12 schools and educators and students can use it for everything from creating surveys to collect and map geospatial data to finding already-created interactive maps that cover a wide range of topics, from climate change to gerrymandering. Participants will leave the course with some basic skills in ArcGIS online and new ideas on how they might use it in their classrooms.

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Online Professional Development Opportunity
Empowering Maptivists: Using Maps & Data to Teach Social Justice Topics

Maps are instruments of power and can affect our understanding of issues and data depending on who is telling the story. It is our job as map consumers and educators to think critically about what maps are showing us (and what they aren’t). In Empowering Maptivists, course participants will explore the unique power of maps to make sense of the world around us. The course will provide clear pathways for helping students explore issues in their own communities and use spatial understanding to advocate for change.

Join us for this self-paced online professional development course hosted by the National Humanities Center. It’s all virtual and you will earn 35 professional development hours. There are two six-week windows.

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Past Workshops

See a list of past workshops here, with links to workshop materials.