Summer 2019 Announcements & PD Happenings


May 23, 2019

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES: If you have not already registered yourself and/or your teachers… HURRY!

REGISTER HERE: 2019 Civics Literacy Conference

The 2019 Civics Literacy Conference will gather educators and representatives from state, education, and community organizations to develop a deeper understanding of the importance of civic learning and the role K-12 educators serve in supporting all students to become informed, engaged citizens in a democracy and a global society. The theme is Civic Empowerment for Today and Tomorrow: In the Classroom and Community. Workshops will include a range of topics connected to the 2018 History and Social Science Curriculum Framework; Chapter 296 of the Acts of 2018,An Act to promote and enhance civic engagement; and school and community partnerships. Presenters will include K-12 educators as well as leaders from state, education, and community organizations. The conference will be held on Tuesday, June 11, 2019 from 8:45 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the U.S. Senate.

Note: We have over 20 unique sessions currently scheduled. If you attend the 2019 Civics Education Institute, this isnot the same as last year’s Institute. We encourage you to attend our send a teacher.

REGISTER HERE: 2019 History & Social Science Professional Learning Institute (10 PDPs)

The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education will partner with Facing History and Ourselves, Harvard University’s Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics Democratic Knowledge Project, and InquirED to present the 2019 History and Social Science Professional Learning Institute. The 2019 History & Social Science Professional Learning Institute is an opportunity for history and social science teachers and school and district curriculum leaders to participate in two to three in-depth workshops focused on high-quality, standards-aligned curricular materials supporting implementation of the 2018 History and Social Science Curriculum Framework

The purpose of the Institute is to deepen educators’ understanding of the three pillars of 2018 History and Social Science Curriculum Framework through examination and exploration of particular topics and content areas. Each session will engage educators in experiential learning, review of specific curricular materials related to each topic, discussion of connection to the Framework, key strategies for implementation, and review of a facilitator’s guide to sustain new learning with district teams. Sessions will illustrate strategies for increasing student engagement through meaningful, relevant, and standards-aligned learning experiences. In addition, the Institute will provide an opportunity for educators to deepen both their content and pedagogical knowledge related to specific topics and areas in the Framework. Topics include civics life and government; news and media literacy; teaching diverse perspectives and people; teaching current events and critical issues; and inquiry-based learning in the elementary classroom. 

Participants have the choice of attending on Thursday, June 13, 2019 or Friday, June 14, 2019 at Harvard Law School from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The conference agenda will repeat on June 14, 2019. FREE PARKING and lunch will be provided! 

More details, including a final conference agenda and workshop descriptions, to follow.


Harvard University’s Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics Democratic Knowledge Project 
Civic Identity, Values, and Agency
Developing Agency-Oriented Knowledge of Political Institutions

Facing History and Ourselves
Engaging with Diverse People and Perspectives (all grades)
Promoting News/Media Literacy and Teaching with Current Events 
Choices in Little Rock (all grades) 

History and Social Science Inquiry in the Elementary Classroom 


Know an outstanding middle school teacher who fosters civic engagement? Encourage them to apply for the Civic Engagement Champions Award by June 10!

Massachusetts is partnering with the National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) to honor the contributions of middle school educators who encourage their students to be active and responsible citizens. To be recognized as a 2019 Civic Engagement Champion, teachers must teach young adolescents in grades 5 through 8 in any discipline.

Interested teachers should submit a PDF copy of the application, not to exceed 10 pages, to no later than June 10, 2019. National recognition and $5,000 awards will be made at NASBE’s Annual Conference in October to teachers from Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, and Washington. For details, see the NASBE website.  


National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) is seeking members to serve on the NCSS-Children’s Book Council Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People selection committee. The committee consists of twelve reviewers who are responsible for reviewing, evaluating, and selecting children’s trade books for the annual bibliography “Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People.” The “Notables” can contain 100-200 titles selected from as many as 800 books submitted by publishers each year. The list is published in the May/June issue of Social Education, and is also distributed separately by NCSS to members, and by the Children’s Book Council. (See the  previous Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People.

For more information, click here.

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

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.

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.

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

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 UniversityRobinson Hall in Harvard Yard35 Quincy StCambridge, MA 02138