ALL THINGS SOCIAL STUDIES: A Podcast Series from Massachusetts Council for the Social Studies


June 15, 2022

In this month’s podcast, I will be speaking with Mark Finchum (Executive Director of Tennessee Council for the Social Studies) and June Morris (President of Oregon Council for the Social Studies). Range of topics will include genocide studies, Civics education, and more! I will also chat with my good friend Professor Robert J. Allison of Suffolk University and Harvard Extension School to talk about the anticipated 250th anniversaries of events leading up to the American Revolution. Please check back later!


May 16, 2022

The first episode of our podcast was live streamed on our YouTube Channel on Monday, May 16, 2022 at 7:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time! You can also subscribe and listen to us on Spotify at

We are lining up special guests and exploring some topics and issues concerning Social Studies education here in Massachusetts and across the United States. We plan to have conversations with Social Studies teachers doing awesome things in their classrooms, historian scholars, authors, and other Social Studies-related organizations around the state.

Our May podcast will focus on An Act Concerning Genocide Education. In December 2021, Governor Charlie Baker signed the legislation into law, which requires school districts to include in its curriculum a unit on the Holocaust and genocide, and it will create a Genocide Education Trust Fund to support the development of teaching materials and to provide professional development training for educators.

According to Professor Chris Mauriello, the Director of the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Salem State University in Salem, Massachusetts, Massachusetts is “a bit late” to enact such a requirement since about 19 other states already have similar mandates, but he goes on by stating it remains essential that the new curriculum be made available to all middle and high schools throughout the Commonwealth.

Professor Mauriello will join us on our debut podcast episode to discuss this new law and what it means for Social Studies teachers in Massachusetts, and Julie Fox, Social Studies Coordinator for the Norwell (MA) Public Schools. We will also be talking with teachers Troy Hammon and Beth Brandon, both from Indiana, which already enacted this law in 2007 and they will share their experiences, insights, and perspectives on what they did in their school districts and classrooms to incorporate genocide education in their curriculum. Also joining us is Professor Carl Hobert of Boston University, who will speak about his perspectives on genocide education based from his experiences in working with the Government of Rwanda in the aftermath of the height of its genocide in 1994, and Mishy Lesser, an Education Fellow at the Dodd Human Rights Impact at the University of Connecticut. She also serves as the Learning Director for Upstander Project and researcher for several outstanding documentaries including First Light, most recently Bounty, and Dawnland, which won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Research in 2018.

Reuben Henriques, History and Social Science Content Lead at the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education will also join us and talk through the expectations around implementation and some of the ways they imagine it might look, along the lines of the information in the FAQ posted on the DESE website.