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Education :: Professional Development Workshops for Teachers

Other Workshops affiliated with the New York State Museum:

National Endowment for the Humanities Landmarks of American History: Workshop for School Teachers
Heaven on Earth: Shakers, Religious Revival, and Social Reform in America
July 23-24, 2013 (Tuesday-Wednesday)

teachers in the field

The workshops are conceived and organized by the McCormick Center for the Study of the American Revolution, Siena College and Sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities. The New York State Museum, along with regional Shaker heritage sites, is a collaborator in two workshops for eighty school teachers that will focus on the nineteenth-century Shaker movement and the communitarian society it produced.

The workshops meet Common Core State Standards and are anchored in the observation that "[t]he impulse toward utopia has played a vital role in the evolution of American culture from the seventeenth century to the present." Given the opportunity to engage in close study of Shaker history and material culture, teachers gain a deeper understanding of the importance of the utopian experiment in American history. The Shakers came to America under the direction of Mother Ann Lee (1736-1784), who evangelized on the basic tenets of their faith, including celibacy, gender equality, and a communal life. The growth of the Shaker movement took place against the backdrop of industrial and commercial transformation that was particularly intense in New York.

Participants visit Hancock Shaker Village in Hancock, Massachusetts; the Shaker Heritage Society in Watervliet, New York; the Shaker Museum and Library at Mount Lebanon; and the New York State Museum. Throughout the weeklong workshop, a wide range of topics are covered, including health, diet, celibacy, spirituality, gender roles, education, children and material culture. The teachers are expected to develop curricula that incorporate material culture or use primary source documents.

For more information, visit


July 7-13 or July 14-20
Director(s): Jennifer Dorsey
Grantee Institutions: Siena College
Location: Loudonville, NY


Jennifer Dorsey
(518) 782-6947

NEH Shaker Workshop
Department of History

Siena College
515 New Loudon Rd.
Loudonville, NY 12211

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