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Executive Director's Message

Headed for the Future

Throughout my career, professional associations have been my lifeline to a world of colleagues, connections, and learning beyond my classroom and office. As we begin “a new year” at NCSS, our Annual Conference theme—Building the Future of Social Studies—is both our mission and our promise to each member in our social studies community. I owe my success to our social studies professional associations at every level.

The Civic Life of Social Studies

Each year, National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) participates in a nationwide survey for high school seniors and social studies teachers through My College Options. Included in this survey are several questions for students about their social studies school experience, and other questions for teachers about their social studies programs and general professional learning needs. I am starting to share our 2017-18 survey results, following up on my “State of Social Studies in 2017” presentations to Affiliated Councils and other groups last year.

Changing the World

To all our members and readers who are part of our profoundly vital profession: THANK YOU! Thank you for opening our minds to explore new places, distant times, and bold futures. Thank you for helping us to stake a claim on ideas and carry them forward. Thank you for teaching us the rights and responsibilities we are afforded as citizens and participants in our communities. You change the world for us!

A New Professional

Welcome to the inaugural issue of a new TSSP! We are pleased to update one of our valued member resources. TSSP—The Social Studies Professional—enjoys a long tradition of serving you with timely and important information to keep you current on social studies news and help your professional practice stay on top. Our team wants to keep making TSSP your “go-to” resource for the most up-to-date information from our social studies community.

A Time to Lead

One of the biggest learning needs we hear from our members is the need to cultivate a personal leadership style as a social studies educator. Whether you are teaching students about leadership traits and habits, taking a personal leadership role within a team or department, or preparing for a professional move into an administrative role, leadership development is a critical area for social studies educators. It is also an area that is arguably overlooked.

Building the Future

Happy New Year!

Many of us took an extended holiday week off to spend time with friends and family, perhaps travel, and most certainly unwind and refresh. As 2018 begins, we look ahead to all that is possible in our new year, and reflect on the past year’s achievements. (Do any of us take out our 2017 New Year’s resolutions for comparison?)

Giving the Gift of Social Studies

I think we all agree that one of the highest priorities of a well-rounded education is to ensure that our students have the tools they need for active civic engagement. Regardless of our political beliefs, we collectively work hard so that our students are prepared for college, career, and civic life. That work is so important to our organization that it headlines the main page of our web site.

San Francisco and the State of Social Studies in 2017

As I post this blog, the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) is just two weeks away from hosting our annual flagship event, the nation’s largest social studies education conference. If you are planning to attend, I hope you’re as excited as I am for a phenomenal week of professional learning in the City by the Bay, and your bags are packed! If you’re reading this and are not too familiar with NCSS, I invite you to learn more about us and our conference at

Social Studies and the Anniversary of Sputnik

Sixty years ago today, October 4, 1957 the Soviet Union launched Sputnik. From that point on the emphasis on science and math education consumed the American public. Other curriculums including social studies/science took a back seat. Those emphasis in education still remain today.