Teacher Professional and Curriculum Development

Teacher Professional Development Programs

Van Putten’s professional development sessions for teachers and have been conducted for faculty in schools in Philadelphia, PA, Charlotte, NC, West Palm Beach, FL, and Milwaukee, WI, amongst others. She also conducts “Educator-in-Residence” programs; in 2008, after a week-long residency, the Ravenswood School District of Palo Alto, California, called Van Putten, “…a true champion of children and the learning process.”

Lunchtime Seminar - Bermuda National Gallery

Lunchtime Seminar – Bermuda National Gallery

Teacher, Know Thy Self (TKTS)

Based on the premise of self-reflection as a necessary and critical exercise for self-care and self-empowerment, TKTS encourages participants to examine their personal and professional beliefs, practices and commitment to educating students in their charge. It also provides African American historical information, often surprising teachers with the wealth of knowledge they haven’t been exposed to. Finally, during the process of TKTS, teachers rejuvenate themselves, inspiring re-dedication to our profession. Can be conducted as a half-day or full day workshop and is facilitated by the TKTS workbook.

Universal African Values

Concentrating on a legacy of values, this professional development session explores the universal value systems of Ma’at and the Nguzo Saba as global African concepts for progress. Teachers learn practical application of global African values through cultural rituals, e.g., call and response, and through movement exercises.

The African Foundation Timeline

The African Foundation Timeline

African and African American Inventions

An interactive session utilizing actual or mock black inventions, the inventions workshop exposes participants to the many contributions and achievements of African Americans to world civilization. As a professional development program, the session provides documentation with patent numbers, background information, reference books, etc.

Kwanzaa: A Holiday for Anchoring Cultural Values and Lessons

This important workshop is designed to empower teachers in accessing the power of Kwanzaa as a cultural anchor for students in African-centered schools. Focusing in on the principles as values with practical application, the Kwanzaa workshop provides teachers with tools for reinforcing the values throughout the school year. Requires worksheets to be duplicated by school.


Got Kwanzaa? Workshop at the Bermuda National Library, December 2014

Got Kwanzaa? Workshop at the Bermuda National Library, December 2014


Curriculum Specialist

In 2001, Van Putten served as Education Officer, Social Studies in a one-year consultancy to the Ministry of Education in Bermuda. In that capacity, she was responsible for managing the implementation of the social studies curriculum for grades K-12 for the public school system of Bermuda. She was also responsible for re-writing social studies curriculum and providing teacher training to emphasize Bermudian Black history. Her work with filmmaker Errol Williams resulted in a re-edit of his definitive film, When Voices Rise… Dismantling Segregation in a Polite Society, creating a school version and teacher study guide.

Van Putten served as curriculum specialist with Khepera Charter School in Philadelphia, PA, from 2010-2012. In consultation with teachers, she created an African-centered social studies curriculum for grades K-6, meeting the PA Curriculum Standards while establishing African Centered Curriculum Standards. She also provided a series of teacher professional development sessions via her Ashay Training Manual for Teachers of African Centered Education. Written to fill the gaps in teacher training, the manual facilitates effective teacher implementation of culturally-relevant curriculum.

Her poetry books have been utilized at a number of schools from elementary to high school level for oratorical contests, enrichment reading and to augment curriculum lessons in social studies, history and literature.


Mwalimu Van Putten with the Second Grade First Place Winners of the 2012 Khepera Charter School Annual Oratorical Contest in Philadelphia who recited poetry from Obamatyme: Election Poetry.