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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Aug 1 @ 8:00 am – Aug 6 @ 4:30 am
AUGUST 1, 2016 – AUGUST 6, 2016
The Massachusetts Council for the Social Studies and the Massachusetts Center for Civic Education are currently planning an intensive six-day content institute this summer at Suffolk University in downtown Boston (August 1 through August 6). 
The central focus of the content institute is “The First Amendment: Principles and Practice” and is open to primarily K-12 social studies teachers, pre-service teachers, and undergraduate and graduate students pursuing a career in history, government, law, and political science. The content institute is honored to present outstanding keynote speakers including Mary Beth Tinker & John Tinker (Tinker v. Des Moines); Cathy Kuhlmeier Frey (Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier); Dr. David Hudson, Jr. of the Nashville School of Law and Professor Bob Allison of Suffolk University. 
The six days include a walking tour of Boston’s Freedom Trail, visit to the Museum of African American History and the African Meeting House on Beacon Hill, and explore the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library Museum and the Edward M. Kennedy Institute of the U.S. Senate. 

We are currently working with Framingham State University and Suffolk University to offer graduate credits for the successful completion of the six-day content institute. Workshops include sessions for teachers on incorporating the content learned from the seminars to design and develop meaningful instruction that can be implemented into the classroom.

Registration costs: $200 for MCSS members, $225 for NCSS members, $100 MACCE cohort 1, $325 non-MCSS members, $450 school members (send 3 teachers), $550 school non-members (send 3 teachers), $100 undergrad and graduate students, retired and pre-service teachers. 
For more information, please feel free to contact either Dr. Gorman Lee at or Roger Desrosiers at
The Citizen Lyceum: Bill of Rights @ Asa Waters Mansion
Oct 28 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

The Massachusetts Center for Civic Education (MACCE) will unveil its adult learning initiative on Friday, October 28th, at the Asa Waters Mansion in Millbury, Massachusetts, from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The Citizen Lyceum is intended to give greater understanding about American government. Its first topic will be on the Bill of Rights. MACCE is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that promotes civic learning and engagament in the community from primary through higher and continuing education. Through its We the People programs we support civic education in our schools and beyond. The event is free and open to the public. There will be light refreshments following the presentation provided by the Friends of Asa Waters Mansion. For further information please call Roger Desrosiers at 508-728-4733 or email at

National Council for the Social Studies Annual Conference @ Walter E. Washington Convention Center
Nov 30 – Dec 4 all-day

Sharpen your skills, gain new techniques, and further your professional goals at the 2016 NCSS Annual Conference.

  • Learn best practices and the latest research from experts and colleagues in social studies education
  • Receive classroom-ready lessons
  • Interact with nationally-known speakers and educators
  • Share teaching strategies and solutions with peers
  • Expand your professional network
  • Discover the latest teaching resources, products and services in the exhibit hall


Featured Speakers

Pre-Conference Clinics

Washington, DC offers an abundance of resources for the social studies classroom, and NCSS pre-conference clinics provide many options to take advantage of them through in-depth, hands-on sessions.


The Washington area is rich in history and culture, and there is no better way to appreciate that than on a custom tour. In addition to Washington’s famous landmarks, NCSS tours cover sites from Gettysburg, PA to Fredericksburg, VA, and a variety of subjects. Take advantage of these wonderful opportunities to explore the abundant resources and history of the mid-Atlantic region.

Special Events

Network with colleagues, visit famous Washington sites, and enhance your conference experience by attending these exciting special events, open to all NCSS conference attendees.

AP Workshops

College Board AP Workshops focus on providing both new and experienced AP teachers with in-depth explorations of specific AP course topics and offer instructional activities designed to increase student engagement with AP courses.

Community Scholar Speakers

NCSS Communities have invited prominent scholars to speak on issues related to their missions. Attend sessions of interest to learn about the discussion topics and NCSS Communities.


More than 800 presentations by the leading social studies researchers and practitioners with classroom-ready resources on the latest social studies issues and teaching methods

We the People Simulated Congressional Hearing State Competition @ Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate
Jan 28 @ 8:00 am – 4:00 pm

The culminating activity for the We the People: The Citizen & The Constitution program is a simulated congressional hearing in which students “testify” in front of a panel of judges acting as members of Congress. In addition to the simulated congressional hearings, some teachers, schools and districts choose to participate in the State and National Finals or the National Invitational. These additional learning opportunities can be exciting to many students and serve to further their understanding of the constitution and government.


During the simulated hearings, students have the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of constitutional principles through their testimony in front of a panel of judges. The entire class, working in cooperative teams, prepares and presents statements before a panel of community representatives acting as a congressional committee. Students then answer follow-up questions posed by the committee members. They will have the opportunity to evaluate, take and defend their position on a variety of historical and contemporary issues. In addition to the hands on learning experience the hearings offer, they also serve as an effective way for teachers to evaluate their student’s grasp of the material.

Summer 2017 Content Institute — Article III of the U.S. Constitution-The Federal Judiciary: Principles & Practice @ John Adams Courthouse & Suffolk University
Jul 31 @ 8:00 am – Aug 4 @ 4:00 pm

Download and print application [PDF]
Register online NOW (mail/send payment later)
Application extended deadline: June 30, 2017

The Massachusetts Council for the Social Studies (MCSS) will present its second annual summer content institute for K-12 social studies teachers from July 31, 2017 to August 4, 2017. The central focus of the summer content institute is on Article III of the U.S. Constitution—the federal Judiciary. Constitution scholar Linda R. Monk (2003) describes Article III of the U.S. Constitution as “the shortest, and least specific, of the constitutional provisions establishing the three branches of government” (p. 90).

The intensive five-day content institute will be held at the John Adams Courthouse, Massachusetts Historical Society, Suffolk University, and African Meeting House from July 31, 2017 to August 4, 2017. The focus is on Article III of the U.S. Constitution, focusing on a range of landmark Supreme Court cases, biographies of notable Supreme Court justices, its relationships with the Executive and Legislative branches of federal and state governments, and principles of judicial philosophy, restraint, and activism, and the rule of law with respects to the Bill of Rights.

Guest speakers include Professor Mary S. Bilder of Boston College, author of Madison’s Hand: Revising the Constitutional Constitution (Harvard University Press, 2015), David L. Hudson of Nashville School of Law, Honorable Robert Cordy (retired) of the Massachusetts Supreme Court, Charlie Newhall of St. John Prep, Professor Robert Allison of Suffolk University, Barbara Berenson of John Adams Courthouse, Kathleen Barker of Massachusetts Historical Society, Chris Duggan from American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), and L’Merchie Frazier of Museum of African American History. 

Some of the key objectives of the summer content institute include: examining long-lasting principles of the federal judiciary including, but not limited to, judicial review, judicial restraint, judicial activism, and strict construction versus loose construction; exploring how the federal judiciary have affected the relationship between the federal government and the states and the people; and analyzing the Supreme Court’s interpretations of the U.S. Constitution throughout the course of American history. In this content institute teachers will study the historical origins and developments of the federal judiciary by examining a variety of primary source materials including, but not limited to, Alexander Hamilton’s Federalist 78, Judiciary Act of 1789 and of 1801, Marbury v. Madison (1803), McCulloch v. Maryland (1819). Teachers will also look at how the rulings or actions of the Supreme Court may have led to constitutional amendments, and how constitutional amendments have affected the Supreme Court in interpreting the U.S. Constitution and future rulings. Teacher participants will also examine and assess consequential rulings including but not limited to Dred Scott v. Sanford, Plessy v. Ferguson, Korematsu v. United States, The Slaughterhouse Cases, Obergefell v. Hodges, and Citizens United v. FEC.

Partnerships: MCSS will be partnering, once again, with Massachusetts Center for Civic Education (MACCE) and James Madison Legacy Project (JMLP) and offer this professional development opportunity to its cohort members and provide historical content to its program mission and objectives for teaching and learning. MCSS is also seeking to build partnerships with Suffolk University (SU), University of Massachusetts-Boston (UMB), Boston Public Schools, New England History Teachers Association (NEHTA), American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) Teacher Law School program, and Massachusetts Historical Society (MHS).


Suffolk University has available lodging in the downtown Boston campus at Miller Hall, West Hall, and Modern Suites for summer content institute participants at an additional cost.

  • Single with Shared Bath: $81.00 per individual per night
  • Double with Bath for 4: $62.00 per individual per night
  • Quad (minimum 3 people): $49.00 per individual per night (Miller Hall only)
  • If you are interested in staying at Suffolk University and would like more information, please email Gorman at 


If you plan to commute daily, there are several parking garages near the Suffolk University Boston campus. The Boston Common Parking Garage is open 24 hours/7 days and is located underneath the Boston Common (entrance is on Charles Street, between the Boston Common and Public Gardens). Daily rate is $32 (Mon through Fri). Discounted price with online reservations.

For more information, visit 

It is more affordable to park your car overnight at the Alewife T or Braintree T Station ($7-8 per day/night) and take the subway to Park Street in downtown Boston. Riverside T Station also has parking ($13/night).

The Route 128 T Station in Westwood is $14/night; park and take the Commuter Rail to South Station in Boston (then take Red Line to Park Street). 


Finally, participants will have the option to earn 3 graduate credits from Framingham State University for an additional cost of $225, or 70 PDPs in content (history and government/political science). Participants will also be introduced to the Center for Civic Education We the People program, which coincides with the summer content institute.


Registration costs to this summer’s content institute is as follows:

  • MCSS/NCSS/NEHTA member/individual ($300)
  • MCSS/NCSS/NEHTA non-member/individual ($450) – cost includes 1 year membership to MCSS
  • MACCE cohort member ($200)
  • pre-service or retired teacher ($150)

Payment can be made by check (make payable to Massachusetts Council for the Social Studies, or Mass Council). We also accept payment by credit cards (MC, Visa, AmEx, Discover), you can provide your credit card information on the application form. We also accept payment by Purchase Order. Please contact June Coutu ( to request a copy of W-9 form.

Costs help to fund materials/books, travel expenses and Honorarium for guest speakers, some breakfasts and reception, and administrative costs.

For more information or if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Gorman Lee at