Educator Institute

Educator Institute

Sunday, June 16-Friday, June 21, 2019 | $500*

45 clock hours
Graduate credit available**
Application Deadline: April 3, 2019
Notification of Acceptance: April 25, 2019


Applications for the 2019 Educator Institute are now closed.

What is the Educator Institute?

The 2019 Educator Institute builds upon MHC’s 40 plus years of working with educators in Minnesota and a ten-year partnership with Omaha Public Schools which has led to our Absent Narratives Approach™ to education reform. Used alone or interwoven with other strategies, our approach has proven to be a powerful way of engaging young people in learning, deepening and strengthening relationships, and engaging the community as a critical partner and resource for substantive change—all of which leads to better student achievement.

The Educator Institute immerses participants in MHC’s proven approach to increase student engagement through absent narratives — those voices often left out or marginalized. This week-long institute incorporates instruction and field experiences taught by a host of diverse community members ranging from youth, to past Educator Institute participants and fellow educators, to university instructors, to elders. These experiences prepare Minnesota educators to develop meaningful connections with their students and implement practical classroom strategies to bring absent narratives pedagogy into their practice.

We invite you to apply to be a part of the 2019 Educator Institute!

“[The Minnesota] Humanities Center is feeding whole teacher spirit. It models how we need to feed the whole student.” –Amy Lyga, Roseville Area Schools, 2017 participant

Why a Humanities-Based Approach?

The humanities are what help us make sense of our humanity and our human relationships – what could be more important or relevant? MHC is building an education strategy, based in the humanities, and founded on the fact that schools are first, human communities. Through critical reflection and dialogue, educators expand their ways of thinking about what is human—utilizing the disciplines of language and linguistics, history, literature, philosophy, and ethics—to deepen their relationships with their students and implement more equitable practices in their organizations. This strategy changes the narrative around education from success defined by a limited range of tests and subject areas to success defined by strong relationships that positively impact student engagement and, ultimately, achievement.

The Opportunity

The fifth annual Educator Institute will take place on June 16-21, 2019 at the MHC Event Center in St. Paul.

Participants will experience the transformative power of the Absent Narrative Approach™ through discussion, practical/applicable knowledges, and immersive experiences that build stronger relationships for student engagement and achievement.

Participants will come away with:

  • •Expanded capacities to relate across worldviews, lived experiences, and ways of knowing
  • •Strengthened relationships and shared vision among colleagues
  • •Strategies, resources, and classroom materials to implement in daily practice
  • •Relationships with a network of educators across Minnesota committed to relationship-based educational change
  • •A self-designed action plan for bringing absent narratives into the classroom

Themes include:

  • •Deep connection with place
  • •Story Circles
  • •Narrative and story strategies (i.e. master narrative, erasure, etc.)
  • •Ways of knowing and being
  • •Difference, power, and privilege
  • •Deconstructing (and rebuilding) curriculum
  • •Addressing the seen and the unseen

The Educator Institute includes:

  • •A trip around the Metro examining Dakota narratives in Minnesota
  • •Access to absent narratives resources, materials, and experienced content leads
  • •All meals
  • •Lodging for those outside the Metro area
  • •Certificate for 45 clock hours
  • •A $1,900 value for $500*

“It was a great opportunity to learn from and work with educators from around Minnesota who were all working toward the same goal: committing ourselves to doing right by the students we serve.” – Jessica Stewart, Osseo Senior High School, 2016 participant

The application process for the 2019 Educator Institute has closed. If you would like to be added to the waiting list for the 2019 Educator Institute, please contact Sung Ja Shin at or 651-772-4255.

* The Cost

In recognition of the time and energy educators will bring to the Educator Institute, due to generous funding from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund of the State of Minnesota, MHC is pleased to cover the majority of the cost for all participants. Those accepted into the Educator Institute will be responsible for a $500 fee. If this cost is a barrier to participation, additional scholarships may be awarded.

The 2019 Educator Institute is valued at over $1,900.

**Graduate Credit

Graduate credit is available through Metropolitan State University. Please contact Yvonne RB-Banks for more information about cost and requirements.