Mass Council has identified major themes for the 2020-2021 school year:

  1. Teaching and Learning Social Studies in the Age of Covid-19. Some of the workshops being offered this fall will explore and share best practices and strategies to designing and delivering social studies synchronous (real time) and asynchronous (on your own) instruction in full and hybrid remote learning formats.

  2. The U.S. Presidential Election of 2020. Recent U.S. presidential elections have been groundbreaking and historic, but the upcoming 2020 presidential election has already been considered—by many—as the most consequential and contentious in our lifetime. We are looking for PD opportunities to help guide social studies teachers on enriching instruction on the complicated political issues that are defining our present-day national political discourse and the 2020 U.S. presidential election.

  3. A History of Protests. Protests have been one of the cornerstones of American democracy long before the establishment of the United States of America under the Constitution and Bill of Right, and it is arguably protected under the First Amendment, provided that protest is peaceful and lawful by obtaining permits. That said, exceptions have been made when protestors gather in response to breaking news, such as the recent Black Lives Matter protests happening across the nation in response to the death of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers. We are looking for PD opportunities to focus on the historical significance and importance of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, and the power of the American people to exercise their rights to peacefully assemble and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

  4. Under-represented Voices in American History. Over the course of the history of the United States, “We” in “We the People…” have expanded beyond white male property land owners, but we still have so much work to do to achieve equal justice and protection under the law. We are looking for PD opportunities to enrich curriculum and instruction to include under-represented groups in our history curriculum. Once students realize that the United States was established and developed by women and men of all races, not just white, they can better identify themselves and each other as members of the American populace. Students of color will see the United States as their country too. Not only is this important to students of color, but it is equally if not more important for white students to realize this as well.

  5. Preparing Students to Hold “The Office of Citizen.” Social Studies is a large academic field that includes history, geography, economics, civics and government, archaeology, and the behavioral sciences such as psychology and sociology. Social Studies is intended to prepare students to hold the “Office of Citizen” and is essential for responsible citizenship in areas such as history and government, geography, economics, sociology, and communication. Social Studies creates opportunities for students to apply critical thinking and content knowledge to analyze information on complex issues and to seek solutions to real-world problems.