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Submit a Proposal to Present at the 2019 NCSS/NCGE/TCSS Annual Conference

Join Your Social Studies Colleagues in Austin Next Fall!

November 22–24, 2019

Deadline: March 3

In November 2019, NCSS will partner with the National Council for Geographic Education, and the Texas Council for the Social Studies to create an expansive professional learning experience for social studies, social science, and geographic educators and stakeholders. The call for proposals which follows includes joint sessions for NCSS and NCGE.

For more information on Texas specific sessions, please consider submitting a proposal to TCSS.  

A4 | Informed Action: Agency, Advocacy, Activism

Social studies is learning, doing, being, growing, and acting. The questions we pose, the inquiries we pursue lead us to a deeper understanding of ourselves and others; to appreciate the complexity of the world in which we live; to grapple with difficult topics; and to speak out against systemic injustices. The study of social studies enables us not only to have a voice, but also actively engage in our local, national, and international communities as informed, educated, and compassionate citizens. Our collective civic engagement is not simply about advocacy or action, but also about listening, questioning, respectful dialogue, and seeking common ground around shared democratic values. Social studies teaches us that knowledge is not neutral; it is socially constructed. Thus, the real value of knowledge is what one can do with that knowledge in pursuit of inquiry. Examining how we communicate and act upon our knowledge compels us to realize the importance of critical inquiry.  In fact, critical inquiry is at the heart of social studies and in practice is informed action through agency, advocacy, and activism. 

National Council for the Social Studies amplifies our collective voice as social studies educators through personal connection, collaboration and a shared mission to improve the teaching and learning of social studies at all levels. Through our collective discourse about social studies at the NCSS Annual Conference, we compel each other to build the knowledge and capacities of students to engage in critical inquiry. As deliberate social studies educators we prepare all students through high quality social studies instruction to be educated and inspired for lifelong, critical inquiry, and to engage in informed, thoughtful action.  Our shared aim is to equip students with the knowledge, skills, and dispositions for participatory citizenship in American democracy and our interdependent, global society. To achieve these aims, educators thrive with opportunities to interact with other professionals, to exchange ideas around high-leverage practices in the field, to learn research-informed strategies and practices, and to build a professional network of likeminded colleagues.

When creating your conference proposal, consider how it addresses one or more of the conference themes: Informed Action, Agency, Advocacy, Activism, and Geography/Geographic Inquiry.

Informed Action

Informed action is what good citizens do; it is about transforming and engaging through critical inquiry. Being informed is more than being knowledgeable, it is about the ways people create knowledge and what they do with that knowledge in pursuit of inquiry and action. Proposals in this area might focus on how individuals question, gather evidence, deliberate, learn, interact with others, recognize and respond to issues, formulate conclusions and use this information to act in educated, compassionate, and compelling ways. Read More


Social studies teaches students to reflect on themselves as agentic, to realize they are capable of change, and that being good citizens means moving toward change. Having agency is exercising one's voice in educated and informed ways, standing up for the most marginalized, seeking to create a more inclusive and compassionate society, and acting with intentionality and forethought.  Proposals should highlight the content and instruction that teaches students to self-reflect and self-regulate, to realize their capacities for change, and to see themselves as agents of change. Read More


Through advocacy people seek to ensure their ideas, as well as society’s  vulnerable, are genuinely considered and peoples’ rights are defended and safeguarded.  As individuals take informed action on behalf of others, they also have to examine the principles they want to lift up.  As a process, advocacy through critical inquiry in social studies teaches students how to eloquently express views and concerns, draw upon research and evidence to present sound arguments, access information and resources to explore choices and options, and effectively defend and promote rights and responsibilities.  Proposals in this area might focus on either the process of advocacy instruction or the role of students as advocates. Read More


Activism is a mainstay of contemporary society—protest has been and continues to be form for exercising agency and advocacy. Social studies knowledge and critical inquiry enable students to examine activism as an exercise of power, an embodiment of conflicting narratives around difficult topics, and a form of discourse about unresolved issues facing our society, nation and world.  Proposals in this area might focus on student activism, the role of critical inquiry in activism, the ways in which social media influences perceptions and movements, and how activism has and continues to be a tool for promoting change around social studies topics. Read More

Geographic Thinking/Inquiry

Geographic thinking is a way to view the world and understand our place and impact on it.  Geography seeks to understand where things are and how and why they got there by studying the connections and interactions among people, places and environments.  Proposals in this area might focus on the integration of geography and geographic tools into other disciplines, and how social studies educators can use geography to help students better understand current situations and events. Read More

Presentations with audience interaction, discussions, modeling, and interdisciplinary integration are encouraged.

Presentation Types

You may propose a presentation in any of the following formats:

  • Pre-Conference Clinic (3 or 6 hours)
    Ticketed half-day or full-day explorations of specific topics. All clinics will be held on Thursday, November 21, prior to the main conference program.
  • Traditional Model and Application Session (50-60 minutes)
    Informal presentations that include opportunities for audience participation. All sessions will be presented on Friday and Saturday.
  • Power Session (30 minutes)
    Short, focused, specific interactive presentations that focus on modeling and application and need little introduction. 
  • Lightning Round Presentation (15 minutes)
    Mini-sessions combining common topics designed to connect individuals with shared interests and provide interactive exchange.
  • Panel (50-60 minutes)
    Designated moderator facilitating a discussion among two or more panelists on a particular topic.
  • Round Table Idea Sharing (10 minutes)
    New instructional and content ideas to share with colleagues for discussion and feedback.
  • Workshop (2 hours)
    A more intensive format with time for hands-on experiences. 
  • Poster Presentation (50-60 minutes)
    An opportunity for presenters to illustrate an innovative lesson, teaching strategy, or research result. All poster presentations will be offered on Friday and Saturday.

Proposals that include interactive sessions inviting participant dialogue, modeling strategies, examining topics relevant to conference themes, encouraging critical inquiry, demonstrating informed action, and emphasizing interdisciplinary integration are encouraged.  

Before You Click Submit

Please review our tips on Writing a Winning Proposal

Historically, the acceptance rate for sessions and power sessions has been approximately 35-40 percent. For workshops, the rate has been lower, and for poster presentations higher.

Presentation slots are limited. For this reason, presenters may not appear on the NCSS/NCGE/TCSS program in more than two presentations.

All proposals will be reviewed blind (with no names attached) and scored by multiple reviewers. The Program Planning Committee will make its selection from the top-ranked proposals. We encourage you to volunteer to be a proposal reviewer. There is no better way to hone one’s submission skills.  Remember, reviewers get a discount off the full-conference NCSS member registration rate for the conference!

Presenter Registration

All presenters are required to register for the conference by the advanced registration deadline (November 5, 2019).  NOTE:  NCSS/NCGE does not reimburse conference presenters for travel or hotel expenses.

Presentation Materials and Audio-Visual Equipment

Presenters are responsible for providing any materials they plan to use or distribute in their presentation. They are also responsible for the costs of any A/V equipment needed. You will find those costs listed on the proposal form. If your proposal is accepted, NCSS will confirm your audiovisual needs and you will be billed for the options you choose.

Commercial Solicitation

Commercial solicitation is prohibited at all presentations. If you are representing a commercial interest, your presentation must be educational in nature. If the essential purpose of a proposal is to promote books, materials, or services for sale, it will not be accepted.


Acceptance/rejection notification will be sent via email to the primary presenters by the end of June. It is their responsibility to relay that information to all co-presenters. If you don't receive notice by the end of June, please contact

Scheduling information will be sent to all participants during the summer.

Proposal Reviewers

Regardless of whether you submit a proposal, we encourage all interested educators to consider becoming a proposal reviewer. As a reviewer, you will read and rate 12-15 proposals over a period of 2-3 weeks. The work is done entirely online, and you will help shape the NCSS Annual Conference conference to reflect the needs of educators like yourself.

Submit a Proposal Become a Reviewer

Submission Deadline

The submission deadline is March 3, 2019 at 11:59 pm, Hawaii Standard Time. No proposals will be accepted after this date.

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