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Executive Director's Message

Social Studies: The Original STEM

This post is not a plea to add social studies to list of STEM disciplines.  “SSSTEM” does not roll off the tongue politely in conversation.  “STEMSS” is not a memorable acronym, either.  I also worry that if we add too many more disciplines to STEM, we’re just going to end up with a clunky acronym for the traditional 8-10 course school day.

Instead, this post is a thought that social studies education is the original STEM initiative.

Consider this definition of STEM:

The Second Century of Social Studies

It started to dawn on me this week that we are entering the second full century of social studies education as we know it.  Of course, there was not a specific date in which a formal resolution declared, “….there shall be a new subject called social studies taught in every classroom and in every grade level throughout the United States.”  History is seldom that neat and tidy.

Toward Student Engagement in Community

Each year, NCSS partners with MyCollegeOptions®, the nation’s largest college planning program, to survey high school students on their perceptions about their social studies experience. Teachers receive a survey about their school’s course requirements and instructional program; they also comment on membership in associations like ours, benefits they derive from membership, and their continuing professional learning needs.