45th Northeast Regional Conference on the Social Studies

Monday April 7 through Wednesday April 9, 2014

Thank You For a Great Conference!!!!!

THANK YOU for coming to NERC. We hope this was a worthwhile event for you and that you gained a lot from this experience! Your feedback is very important and would love to hear your thoughts and constructive suggestions to improve the NERC experience. We also hope you consider making time to attend the annual NATIONAL CONFERENCE in Boston this November! If you are interested in planning the conference with us, or volunteering at the conference, please email Norman Shacochis at normshac@verizon.net!

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This year’s theme: Social Studies in the Balance

The focus of this year’s theme is to investigate how social studies teachers and administrators can balance several educational priorities, including the Common Core State Standards, and yet maintain the importance and value of a rich and rigorous social studies education for all of our students.For the past couple of years, there has been a collective and concerted effort from the national and state departments of education and school districts nationwide to embrace, adopt, and incorporate the Common Core Standards for Literacy in History and Social Studies in grades K through 12.

In recent years we have seen both regional and national social studies conferences offer workshops and informational sessions for social studies teachers and administrators dealing with how the Common Core will impact the social studies curriculum. While it is commendable that such efforts have been made to include history and social studies in the Common Core standards, there is a real concern that the social studies will primarily serve as the contextual backdrop for the subjects of English language arts, mathematics, and science, engineering and technology.

We believe that the social studies should serve as the platform from which individuals can apply their skills and knowledge of literacy, mathematics, and science to solve real-world problems. If we neglect to act soon, social studies will be considered and treated as a sub-standard of the Common Core. In some school districts, this is already the current and concerning reality.

A primary goal of the 2014 Northeast Regional Conference for the Social Studies is to affirm the social studies as a major academic content area that is equal to English language arts, mathematics, and science, engineering, and technology. We recognize the importance of literacy, math, and science and technology; however, in order to fully nurture the whole child to succeed in the world of work in the twenty-first century, the individual child must acquire, possess, and demonstrate rich knowledge and deep understanding of who he is and how he relates to his community, society, country, and world. Students must demonstrate mastery of their individual rights, roles, and responsibilities as active and productive citizens, and that requires a rich knowledge of their nation’s history.

This year, the Massachusetts Council for the Social Studies and the Northeast Regional Conference for the Social Studies focus on balancing our educational priorities that promote the importance of literacy and learning for understanding and continue to maintain a rich and rigorous social studies education in our K-12 classrooms. The workshops and sessions offered in the 2014 Northeast Regional Conference for the Social Studies help provide the much needed support and resources to enable the social studies classroom teacher to deliver meaningful and effective learning opportunities to all learners.

Gorman Lee, Ed.D.
NERC 2014 Chair