Participate in Mass Council’s Legislative Day at the State House on Wednesday, March 29, 2017!

The Massachusetts Council for the Social Studies (Mass Council) recently held a Legislative Day to advocate, promote, and support social studies education in our public, private, and charter schools at the Massachusetts State House on Wednesday, March 29, 2017.

Twenty educators (both active and retired), college/university faculty, and interested stakeholders scheduled and met with over 35 state legislators at the Massachusetts State House and asked them to support several legislative bills that promote and support a viable, rigorous, and comprehensive social studies education that fosters virtuous citizens in a democratic society in the twenty-first century. Some of the bills include An Act Relative to Geography Education, An Act Relative to Financial Literacy in Schools, An Act to Promote and Enhance Civic Engagement, and An Act to Involve Youth in Civic Engagement.

The programs created in these bills offer our students a deeper appreciation to express freely and independently, to follow common laws, and to vote and serve for the public common good. Social studies education also enables our students to think critically about the world around them that enables them to live as upstanding and productive citizens in our society and to create and develop innovative ideas to improve our lives as well as to address and solve real-world problems. Substantial knowledge and understanding of history, geography, economics, government, and civics make it easier for students to read and comprehend non-fiction texts and distinguish indisputable facts and evidence from editorials, opinions, or non-credible news stories; at the same time, students can effectively articulate and cite factual evidence to support a thesis or claim (see E.D. Hirsch, 1988).

The primary goal is for constituents and stakeholders of social studies education, such as yourself, to engage in meaningful conversations with state representatives and state senators about the importance and necessity of social studies education in all K-12 classrooms across the Commonwealth, and to seek their full support in social studies education and related programs in our K-12 schools, higher education institutions, libraries, museums, non-profit organizations, and historical societies. There are several ways for state representatives and state senators to demonstrate full support of social studies curriculum and education; they could sponsor, petition for, and adopt legislation in support of social studies curriculum and education, actively support funding for education grants that promote social studies education and programs in schools, libraries, museums, and historical sites and societies, and to charge the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to promote and support social studies education in our K-12 schools as vigorously as they have for literacy, mathematics, science, engineering and technology education, and college and career readiness.

You can still make a difference by contacting your state representative and state senator. Schedule a meeting with them in their district office or at the State House and engage in a conversation about the importance of social studies education, and why we need their support. Invite them to your schools and social studies classrooms.


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