The Problem

How does teacher education provided by historic sites affect teachers’ professional growth?

No one knows… (yet).

Little evidence-based research exists about what content, skills, or practices teachers acquire or improve upon in programs offered by historic sites.

Find out about our most recent progress.


Institutions spend significant funding annually to provide teacher education.


There is little consensus about how to evaluate teacher learning at historic sites.


Much of the existing research offers site/program-specific-evaluations rather than systematic investigations from which few meaningful recommendations can be extrapolated to inform practice at other sites.

The Approach

What We're Doing

Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello is partnering with the Institute of Museum and Library Sciences to develop an evaluation tool based on national content, skills, and professional development standards to assess teacher education programs at historic sites. Learn More


Q-Sort: How It Works

Q-Methodology offers a rigorous, quantitative study of subjectivity that is uniquely suited to address the complex problems of teaching and learning that history museums present. Learn More

How to Participate

Sign up to follow our progress. Updates include:

  • Results as they are published
  • How to include your site in the grant-funded study
  • How to analyze your own program

the latest

  • Tacos & Next Steps: Staff Reactions to the Initial Findings

    As we, the Monticello Teacher Institute staff, read the factor descriptions and talked to the research team, we knew that some time and thought would be required to make actionable meaning of the initial findings. So, we ordered our favorite local tacos and called a lunch meeting to figure out “what’s next?” For the Monticello […]

  • Factor 4: A Focus on the Relevance of History

    Factor 4 can be described as having a Focus on Relevance, connecting the on-site experiences to their students’ lives and worlds. Of all the factors, Factor 4 has the greatest number of participants move on or off of the factor. There were three teachers from both the pre and post who loaded on this factor. […]

  • Factor 3: A Focus on Learning from Peers On-Site

    Factor 3 can be characterized as having a Monticello-Learning from Peers/Colleagues focus. This is the largest factor, consisting of nine participants prior to the Institute, and a total of eleven participants afterwards, with eight remaining constant, creating a fairly stable group. While it is not exclusive, one of the interesting aspects about the individuals who […]