We are pleased to announce the official opening of registration for our NCSS 99th Annual Conference themed A4 | Austin Informed Action: Agency, Advocacy, Activism! We are equally pleased to take this step in partnership with two outstanding professional associations, the National Council for Geographic Education and the Texas Council for the Social Studies. Both partners are very close to us: one is literally our neighbor down the hall at our office, and the other is our state affiliate. So, to paraphrase that popular real estate adage, everything really comes down to “co-location, co-location, co-location” for us! Together, we bring you access to three premier social studies conferences in one place and time.
Building upon the success of our 98th Annual Conference in Chicago, our organizations recognized the possibilities that a co-located larger conference could have for increased programming. We understand the continued pressures that educators face regarding release time and budgeting to attend conferences each year. As you scan our program and speaker highlights, we hope our Annual Conference is your go-to social studies professional learning program for the upcoming school year, and look forward to seeing you there.
The terms “professional development” and “professional learning” are often used interchangeably, and they are multi-faceted. I tend to prefer “professional learning” because it suggests that, as continual learners, we are immersed in an ongoing journey—our experiences shape our learning and ultimately how we view and interact with the world around us. I view “professional development” as a fixed moment in time with an end goal or outcome, and “professional learning” as an ongoing and interactive journey. Yet both terms are designed to prepare you for professional action. In this regard, our Annual Conference is both professional development and professional learning. It provides you with access to classroom-ready resources, the latest research into practice, and the latest ideas to shape the state of our profession. It also provides an immersive experience in networking and (true to our theme) advocacy and leadership in our profession. Our featured speakers span the broader fields of media, education, and the law. Our general schedule provides a chance to come early and expand your learning in pre-conference clinics, AP workshops, tours and field trips, and Associated Group meetings.
Speaking to the last point on advocacy and leadership, we convene representatives from each of our Affiliated Councils, Associated Groups, and Special Interest Communities for our annual House of Delegates assembly. An important outcome of our House of Delegates is found in our resolutions, some of which become active position statements and projects of our association. These resolutions can also shape the direction of professional learning in the social studies for years to come. Resolutions take time and effort from many volunteer leaders over several months, and that process begins now. We invite you to register to attend our All About Resolutions webinar on Tuesday, May 14 at 8:00 PM EDT. During this webinar, you will learn the process of proposing a 2019 resolution to our next House of Delegates assembly in Austin. Between now and our Austin conference, you and the members of your NCSS leadership group will have the opportunity to craft and refine a resolution that moves our profession forward by taking a stand on, and calling for, things most needed in social studies education. The process of writing resolutions and participating in our various leadership groups itself is a strong act of professional learning. Both acts shape the national conversation around social studies education, and build your own professional network and learning community.
If this is your first NCSS Annual Conference, or you need additional support to attend, we have some tips to help you make travel plans and join us in Austin for what is simultaneously the largest social studies conference in the United States, and your community and home for social studies professional learning. On behalf of our hundreds of volunteers and team members who work tirelessly all year (and beyond!) to put social studies in action, we are excited to welcome you to Austin, and invite you to shape your professional learning journey with NCSS, NCGE, and TCSS this fall.