Many opportunities for PD workshops require the submission of a proposal. Consider these guidelines and suggestions when planning and drafting a PD workshop proposal.

Step 1: Review Proposal Guidelines

When writing a PD workshop proposal, be aware of the guidelines and requirements of the hosting organization.

Consider these questions when planning your proposal:

  • When is the application deadline?
  • What are the required application materials?
  • What is the format of the proposal?
  • Does the workshop or program have a theme or criteria that should be considered in the proposal?
  • What is the submittal process?

Step 2: Plan the PD Session

The next step in the proposal process is planning. It is important to outline your ideas and understand your audience to present a meaningful PD workshop. The following links provide examples of PD workshop proposals and additional tips for writing a proposal:

Consider these questions when planning your PD session:

  • If you have attended a PD workshop before, what was successful and what did you like about it? How could you model that successful session?
  • What aspects of the workshop were not as successful and why? How can you avoid these aspects?
  • Who is your audience?
    • What ages or grade levels do they teach?
    • What subjects do they teach?

Step 3: Concept

A good proposal will outline the purpose and goals of the session, and be clear about what will be presented. Think about whether you want the participants to share ideas, engage with primary and secondary sources, participate in a hands-on activity, or actively participate in a discussion.

  • State the goals of the workshop clearly. What do you want to accomplish with the session?
  • Choose your focus. What historical theme or topic do you want to focus on? You could choose to present on a methodology such as “Teaching with Objects,” or a topic such as “Slavery in Washington’s World.”
  • Choose your presentation style. What kind of PD session will best fit your goals? Clearly defining your workshop goals and knowing your audience helps to narrow down the best style for your session. Some proposals may ask you to choose a specific session style. Here are a few examples:
    • Hands-On Activity- involves participation and active engagement through the idea of “learning by doing”
    • Breakout Session/ Discussion Group - promotes collaboration and sharing of ideas, as well as maximizes the expertise in the room
    • Think-Pair-Share- promotes individual thinking and collaboration through individual reflection and sharing with a neighbor
    • Inquiry/Q&A- uses questions to discover new ways to explore the topic at hand
    • Lecture- delivers rich content through a one-way delivery method and is often paired with a Q&A at the conclusion
  • Think about why you attend PD workshops and what you find useful. Why would teachers want to attend your session? Think about specific skills and/or content you want participants to leave with. Will teachers learn new pedagogical techniques, increase their knowledge, etc?
  • Will you have any supplementary materials, handouts, or online resources?
  • Are there any takeaways for the participants?

Step 4: Revisions and Review

Submitting a well thought-out and professional proposal can boost the odds of it being chosen by the selection committee.

Be sure to answer the following questions as you review the proposal:

  • Are the grammar, punctuation, and spelling correct?
  • Does the proposal flow nicely and have transitions?
  • Does the proposal have a clear content area?
  • Does the proposal have well-defined goals?
  • Is the title engaging? (which would you prefer to attend: “Teaching with Objects: George Washington’s Punch Bowl” or “Teaching With Punch! Putting Objects Back in the Classroom”?)
  • If possible, have someone unfamiliar with your proposal topic read and edit it for content and clarity.
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