All Events, Conferences & Workshops

As a service to members of the Massachusetts Council and the wider social studies community, third party events may be posted in this calendar. Third party events are not endorsed by the MCSS board.

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C3 Teachers: Shifting to Inquiry / Burlington High School
Jun 26 @ 8:30 am – Jun 27 @ 3:30 pm

In this hands-on institute, Dr. John Lee, a founder and co-director of, will introduce participants to the Inquiry Design Model and craft classroom-ready inquiries that are aligned with the seven Standards of Practice at the heart of the 2018 MA History and Social Science Curriculum Framework. The Inquiry Design Model (IDM) is a unique approach to creating curriculum and instructional materials while relying on teacher expertise and experience.

Through whole group and small group work with classroom teachers, administrators, curriculum specialists, and coaches, Dr. Lee will also provide the tools and connections educational leaders need to deliver an IDM workshop in their schools or school systems to support inquiry-driven classrooms.

This institute is for K-12 educators, curriculum leaders, district administrators, museum educators, library/media specialists, and anyone else who develops Social Studies instructional material for Massachusetts students. Districts are welcome to send teams to support K-12 implementation.

John Lee was an author of the College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Standards in Social Studies, on which the Massachusetts Practices are based. Learn more at This institute is a local version of their 2019 IDM Summer Institute, held in Washington D.C.

JUNE 26-27, 2019 | 8:30AM-3:30PM | Burlington High School

123 Cambridge Street, Burlington, MA 01803 | $295; Team of four $1100  Registration includes lunch both days and the book Inquiry Design Model: Building Inquiries in Social Studies by Kathy Swan, John Lee, and S.G. Grant

Register Now or Inquire

Please Register by 5/29/19

Understanding and Teaching the U.S. Constitution in the 21st Century
Jul 1 – Aug 15 all-day

In July, Kelley Brown (bio) is teaching an online course: Understanding and Teaching the U.S. Constitution in the 21st Century. Info and Registration. Sponsored by the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources Program at the Collaborative for Educational Services, we can keep the cost low. Optional 3 grad credits in History from Westfield State University for extra fee.

  • Learn and apply strategies to address the 2018 Mass History and Social Science Curriculum Framework.
  • With two live discussions via videoconference Yale Law School’s Sterling Professor of Law, Akhil Amar. Bio.
2019 Summer Content Institute: Under-Represented Voices of the American Revolution
Jul 10 @ 10:00 am – Aug 15 @ 4:00 pm

Online course (anytime, anywhere) and live web sessions:
Begins July 10, 2019*
Face-to-face (required) site visits:
August 12-16, 2019

* Online course will include some live lectures/presentations by scholars that will be recorded and archived.

Underrepresented Voices of the American Revolution combines scholarly presentations with place-based learning at several historical sites in and around Boston including, but not limited to, the Boston Freedom Trail, Museum of African American History-Boston, Massachusetts Historical Society, Museum of Fine Arts, Royall House and Slave Quarters, and more.

Essential Questions:

  • How inclusive was “We” in “We the People?”
  • How inclusive was the American War for Independence?
  • What contributions did women, children, and enslaved and free Africans make in the War for Independence?
  • How did certain groups view the American Revolution (during, past, and present)?
  • How does a common enemy bring social, political, racial or cultural differences come together?
  • What compel ordinary people do extraordinary things?
  • To what extent will a person sacrifice for liberty (for all) and the greater good?

Application Deadline: June 15, 2019

Cost: $325 teachers; $100 students and retired teachers

Credit: 67.5 PDPs or 3 graduate credit available ($225 for grad credits payable to Framingham State University) (awaiting confirmation)


Pay by check or credit card, or purchase order (note: POs include $25 processing fee) 
Application information: or contact Gorman Lee, Ed.D. at

Primary Sources in the Classroom: Teaching the Civil War @ Boston Anthenaeum
Jul 11 – Jul 12 all-day

The Boston Athenaeum is pleased to announce a new workshop for educators, “Primary Sources in the Classroom: Teaching the Civil War,” to be held on Thursday, July 11, and Friday, July 12.

The two-day workshop will help educators incorporate visual and textual primary sources into classroom teaching to meet learning standards in the Massachusetts History and Social Science Framework and the Common Core. The course will use the Athenaeum’s deep collections of Civil War-related materials to demonstrate, and allow participants to develop, strategies and practices that will be applicable to teaching any historical era or event.

The workshop is designed primarily for teachers of students in grades 5 through 12, but will be of value to and is open to teachers of all grade levels, homeschool educators, school librarians, and museum educators. Space is limited to 20 people.

Licensed participants will receive Professional Development Points (PDPs) for successfully completing the workshop and all assignments and assessments.

For more information and to register, visit

This workshop is sponsored in part by Taylor Mudge through the Mudge Fellowship Program.

Argument Mapping @ Harvard University Robinson Hall
Aug 5 – Aug 7 all-day

August 5, 2019 to August 7, 2019

How do we discuss controversial topics? Often, it seems, we rely upon superficial research of the facts, intimidation, or appeals to emotion. Yet, democracy depends on citizens charitably and accurately engaging each other’s arguments.

In this workshop, we introduce ?argument mapping?: a simple, powerful, ?research-backed method for applying logical rigor to writing and classroom discussions. ?Visualizing the structure of arguments makes students more precise, confident thinkers across disciplines. ?Harvard philosophers have partnered with social studies teachers to develop and test this method with students. Teachers will be provided tools, resources, and best practices that can be implemented immediately to support student learning.

Click Here to View Tentative Schedule

Aligning with dimensions of the C3 Framework, argument mapping can help your students develop critical reasoning skills by:

  • Structuring their thinking using a visual method that organizes claims into a hierarchy of support relationships
  • Evaluating the quality of an argument by (1) evaluating premises (evidence) for truth or reasonableness; and (2) evaluating the strength and weakness of support relationships

This process helps students not just weigh evidence, but analyze whether that evidence adequately supports the logical structure that is at the heart of any argument, whether found in an essay, speech, editorial or other source vital to civic discourse.

Registration Fee*: $459 NCSS members / $599 nonmembers
*Membership can be acquired at registration to receive the member rate.


Who Should Participate?

This event is open to those with an interest in creating a classroom environment open to thoughtful, evidence-based discussion amongst students.

  • K-12 Classroom Teachers
  • Administrators
  • Curriculum Specialists/Coaches
  • Higher Education Faculty
  • Teams

Travel and Lodging

Travel and hotel are not included in registration. Participants are responsible for making their own travel and hotel arrangements. The Cambridge and nearby Boston area has many lodging options available to suit your schedule and budget needs – especially if you are planning an extended stay in the area for sightseeing or other activities before/after the institute.


Jonathan Haber is the author of Critical Voter, a curriculum that uses presidential politics to teach critical thinking. His professional background is in assessment, educational standards, certification and curriculum development.

Nate Otey is COO and Lead Instructor for ThinkerAnalytix and a Fellow in the Harvard Philosophy Department. He is also a co-founder of ThoughtFull.

Anne Sanderson is CEO and Co-Founder of ThinkerAnalytix and an Associate in the Harvard Philosophy Department. She taught high school English in California and Massachusetts schools for 25 years.


Institute Location

Harvard University
Robinson Hall in Harvard Yard
35 Quincy St
Cambridge, MA 02138

SAVE THE DATE! MCSS Fall One-Day Statewide Conference @ Holiday Inn & Suites-Marlborough
Oct 25 @ 8:00 am – 3:00 pm


2019 Fall One-Day Statewide Conference
“Preparing Students to Hold the Office of Citizen”

October 25, 2019
Holiday Inn & Suites-Marlborough



CALL FOR WORKSHOP PROPOSALS will begin June 1, 2019