Triangle University Internship Program

Triangle University Internship Program

The Triangle University Internship Program will launch a two-month initiative in May 2017, bringing together local graduate students and practicing classroom teachers in a unique collaboration. Participants will work together to enhance their own curricular and pedagogical knowledge and skills as well as to develop diverse materials and lessons that explore cross-curricular connections within the humanities.

Project Background

In spring 2016, the Center organized and hosted a series of activities designed to train PhD students in the humanities in curriculum design and lesson development. Recruited in collaboration with Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, eight students from four disciplines (American studies, art history, English literature, and history) attended five sessions at the Center and received immersive feedback on their work in a seminar. The primary goals of this program were:

  • To identify a compelling topic in research and scholarship and develop supportive instructional materials
  • To train participants on the development of classroom-ready materials for the secondary classroom
  • To provide structured feedback on the practice and implementation of writing for a broader audience rather than solely an academic one
  • To author, revise, and publish classroom-ready lessons in the America in Class® digital repository hosted by the National Humanities Center
  • To develop skills that are valuable as participants enter academia and/or the marketplace

Based on the first-year goals, this internship program was a success. The participants provided positive feedback in their evaluations, and the Center has accepted final submissions for publication. In particular, the following aspects seemed to provide the most value:

  • Building cross-university capacity by creating a collegial professional cohort
  • Providing expert guidance on the best practices in humanities education, thereby increasing relevance and advocacy for the humanities at all levels
  • Expanding future NHC education work across disciplines, thereby increasing impact and audience
  • Producing innovative understandings of the value and relevance of the humanities to current day classrooms and citizenry

2016–17 Project Goals

The Triangle University Internship Program has accepted 16 PhD students in the humanities to participate in a six-week training in spring 2017. We believe in connecting PhD students with practicing educators in the field so that our work is less hypothetical and more practical. To these ends, the Internship Program will include five TeachHouse members from Duke University who will work alongside the PhD students. These practicing in-service public school teachers will offer clear, relevant perspectives as well as insights into inquiry-based best practices in humanities education. The collective experience will provide all participants with a much deeper, more applicable understanding of humanities content, inquiry-based pedagogy, and instructional technology.

This program will provide experience and training in multiple aspects of humanities work including (but not limited to) curriculum design and lesson writing, outreach initiatives, and emerging digital technologies.

Year Two goals aim to build off of the positive outcomes of the pilot with the following changes and improvements:

  • integrate the work of the internship to provide more access into on-going Center initiatives and workplace culture
  • identify a theme with strong cross-disciplinary opportunities that encourages advocacy and outreach at the school, university, and national level
  • provide discipline-specific training in curriculum design and lesson writing
  • publish and promote final work through national NHC network, including associated professional organizations


The Internship Program will meet in a series of blended activities, including video conferences and work sessions hosted by NHC:

  • May 11, 7:00–8:30pm @ video conference
  • May 18, 4:00–8:00pm @ NHC
  • May 23, 4:00–8:00pm @ NHC
  • May 30, 4:00–8:00pm @ NHC
  • June 6, 4:00–8:00pm @ NHC
  • June 20, 9:00am–12:00pm @ NHC

Meet the Team