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TPS SIUE event- Teachers view Library of Congress images during a gallery walk-type exercise.Overview

The Teaching with Primary Sources Program at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (TPS SIUE) is funded by a grant from the Library of Congress and is a member of the TPS Educational Consortium.  Members of the TPS Educational Consortium assist in the design of the TPS program and offer TPS professional development on an ongoing basis, year round.  Visit to view a list of current Consortium members and their respective states.

The mission of the Teaching with Primary Sources program is to: build awareness of the Library's educational initiatives; provide content that promotes the effective educational use of the Library's resources; and offer access to and promote sustained use of the Library's educational resources.  The Library achieves this mission through collaborations between the Library and the K-12 educational community across the United States.  The program contributes to the quality of education by assisting teachers in their use of the Library's digitized primary sources to engage students, develop their critical thinking skills and construct knowledge.  Learn more about the Library's TPS program and other resources available to teachers at

*Locally, TPS SIUE offers free professional development opportunities to current and future K-12th grade educators at K-12 school locations in Illinois and surrounding the metro east St. Louis region, free of cost due to grant funding.

About the Professional Development

Professional development activities under Teaching with Primary Sources (TPS) progress along three programs levels.  K-12 educators have the option of taking workshops and courses offered by TPS Consortium members, under all or some of these levels, depending on their interests.

Level I

Participants gain strategies for using primary sources to help students engage in learning, develop critical thinking skills and build content knowledge.

Participants learn:

  • What are primary sources;
  • Why teach with primary sources; and
  • How to teach with primary sources.

Level II

Participants evaluate, create and teach topic-specific, content-informed lessons that integrate primary sources from the Library of Congress and exemplify effective instructional practices.


  • Gain a thorough understanding of effective instructional practices with emphases on inquiry-based and student-centered learning using primary sources
  • Learn to identify exemplary learning experiences
  • Create standards-based, content-informed learning experiences integrating primary sources form the Library of Congress that exemplify effective instructional practices
  • Teach, assess and reflect on their experiences using primary sources in instruction
  • Evaluate the effects of primary source-based instruction on student learning

Level III

Experienced educators advocate the use of primary sources and help disseminate the ideas, methods and products of the TPS program.

  • Mentor colleagues on the effective instructional uses of primary sources
  • Evaluate learning experiences for widespread dissemination and use
  • Interact and collaborate with other teachers who are using Library of Congress primary sources
  • Conduct research into the effective use of primary sources in education
  • Contribute to the use of effective practices for using primary sources in instruction by leading professional development activities
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