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Free ‘REFUGEE’ Professional Development Workshop

Learn techniques for teaching controversial topics, including immigration and the refugee crisis, in this half-day workshop sponsored by Annenberg Learner.

Published Nov. 9, 2016

Updated Jan. 3, 2017. The session is currently full. Future applicants are being put on a wait-list.

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Thanks to a generous grant from Annenberg Learner, the Newseum is excited to offer a free open-enrollment professional development opportunity for middle and high school teachers, librarians and media resource specialists on Saturday, Jan. 28, 2017. The 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. event at the Newseum will include NewseumED‘s hands-on “The Third Rail: Teaching Controversial Content” workshop, a guided tour of the newly opened “Annenberg Space for Photography’s REFUGEE” exhibit, lunch and time to explore the museum on your own. This extended workshop includes tools and strategies from Annenberg Learner. Participants will receive a certificate of completion, a resource bag and a tutorial on using the and websites.

Workshop Description

How can you present First Amendment flashpoints – ranging from hate speech to religious discrimination – in a way that ignites positive discourse in a comfortable classroom environment? Our case-study approach provides a safe entry point for students to safely, respectfully and productively debate provocative and polarizing issues in the news and on their minds. Using inquiry-based teaching strategies, including promoting different opinions and adapting evidence to build a viewpoint, participants experience a case study on immigration and refugee issues, then learn how to write their own case study on a compelling topic. Leave with a ready-to-implement activity for your students and NewseumED resources to help students identify and debate key issues in immigration and refugee issues.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Middle and high school teacher, librarian or media resource specialist.
  • Applications will be accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis until Jan. 9, 2017.

Apply Now


About the Exhibit: “Annenberg Space for Photography’s REFUGEE”

Lesbos, Greece, 2015 - photo by Tom Stoddart

Lesbos, Greece, 2015: A father celebrates his family’s safe passage to Lesbos after a stormy crossing over the Aegean Sea from Turkey. (Tom Stoddart)

In images created by five internationally acclaimed photographers who traveled across five continents — Lynsey Addario, Omar Victor Diop, Graciela Iturbide, Martin Schoeller and Tom Stoddart — “REFUGEE” depicts the lives of diverse populations dispersed and displaced throughout the world and includes stunning portraits of refugees recently settled in the United States.

Sixty-five million people around the world are displaced, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). This exhibit presents a full range of global refugee experiences through singular and compelling images taken in Bangladesh, Cameroon, Colombia, Croatia, Germany, Greece, Mexico, Myanmar, Serbia, Slovenia and the United States. The photographs capture the hope and resolve of refugees in the face of dehumanizing and life-threatening persecution.

The exhibit also features an original documentary — commissioned by the Annenberg Space for Photography, produced by Tiger Nest Films and narrated by UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Cate Blanchett — that captures “REFUGEE” photographers at work on location, delving further into the stories behind their images. Through a virtual reality experience, visitors also will be able to experience what life is like in a camp for internally displaced persons in Soacha, Colombia. “REFUGEE” is a project of the Annenberg Space for Photography, made possible with generous support from the Annenberg Foundation.

See more images and a video from the exhibit. 

Exclusive sponsorship for the 2017 “Annenberg Space for Photography’s REFUGEE” Teacher Workshop has been provided by Annenberg Learner.

Annenberg Learner logo


Assistance (e.g. ASL interpretation, assistive listening, description) for professional development workshops can be arranged with at least seven business days’ notice. Please contact AccessUs at or by calling 202/292-6453.

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