President’s Message – December 2013

Hello and welcome back to our website. Our annual professional development conference (NERC 45) is being held April 7-9, 2014 in Sturbridge, MA. Click here or on the front page brochure to find in-depth descriptions about our professional development offerings each day. On Monday April 7th we will also be running our first off-site NERC workshop (Painless: A Survival Guide to the Dreaded History Project) at the National Archives in Waltham, MA. Under the direction of our conference chair Gorman Lee, we have assembled a wide range of workshops, clinics, and sessions designed to meet the needs of social studies teachers at the elementary, middle, and secondary levels. On-line registration is available on our website.

The National Council for Social Studies has recently put out their new College, Career, and Civic Life Framework (C3) for Social Studies state standards. While these standards can be used for states to re-design their state curriculum frameworks, the document is also very useful for teachers who are looking to enhance their programs by building in more critical thinking, problem solving, and participatory skills, as well as make more connections to the common core standards for ELA and Literacy in History/Social Science. One of the driving forces behind the creation of this framework was a nationwide concern about the marginalization of social studies due to increased emphasis on high stakes multiple choice tests in other subjects. The reduction of time has also taken away opportunities for social studies teachers to engage students in meaningful learning experiences. The C3 framework provides extensive resources and suggestions for enhancing social studies programs by incorporating more real world skills into the teaching of social studies and history. NCSS members were recently mailed copies of this new framework and the entire document is available on the NCSS website. Please continue to support your state and national social studies councils. We all volunteer our time to these organizations because we love what we teach and want to provide support and resources to everyone who shares our passion for teaching social studies.