Professional Development

Empowering educators nationwide to facilitate meaningful conversations with students in any classroom setting.

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Why Choose Close Up for your Staff Development?

“I now have new ideas on how to approach controversial topics and how to do it via Zoom for online learning!” –Teacher, Katy, TX

As experts in both virtual and in-class instruction with almost 50 years of experience in nonpartisan, issue-centered education, Close Up offers professional development trainings, both online and on-site, that provide middle and high school teachers with the strategies and resources to engage students in meaningful discourse about current controversial issues.

  • Register for Close Up's FREE online Teacher Trainings this fall!

Close Up’s Professional Development Sessions

We provide 3-hour, 90-minute and 30-minute interactive trainings for individuals, schools, or districts.

Our innovative PD sessions are relevant, impactful, and informed by Close Up’s decades of expertise, helping teachers navigate challenging conversations about social and political issues in all types of classroom settings.  Each PD includes ready-to-use lesson plans, activities, and digital resources designed to promote thoughtful discourse, critical thinking, and engagement with multiple perspectives on issues. All sessions below can be adapted based on school curricula, objectives, and grade levels.

Navigating a Controversial Election
Media Literacy and Citizenship
Community Engaged Classrooms
Framing Issues for Debate and Deliberation
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Gain a wealth of resources and up-to-date materials

Close Up’s trainings not only provide educators with effective strategies for promoting inclusion and collaboration, but also with classroom-ready resources that inform and guide students’ thinking to help teachers facilitate civil classroom discussions on current controversial issues.

These nonpartisan resources fit into a variety of classroom settings. Teachers can easily use these materials on their own or choose to enhance their students’ civic education by pairing them with:

  • Virtual Programs, where Close Up instructors guide students through discussions and deliberations using our digital libraries; and
  • Washington, DC Programs, where students make personal connections with the people and institutions that embody our nation’s past and present.


To learn more or schedule professional development for your school or district, please complete this form. If you would like to speak directly with a Professional Development specialist, email

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