Founded in 1921, National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) is the largest association in the country devoted solely to social studies education. With members in all the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and 69 foreign countries, NCSS membership represents K-12 classroom teachers, college and university faculty members, curriculum designers and specialists, social studies supervisors, and leaders in the various disciplines that constitute the social studies.
Join more than15,000 educators who have come together to strengthen their social studies careers and social studies programs in the schools!
See summaries of benefits by grade level.
Benefits of NCSS Membership
All NCSS members receive a subscription to one of our acclaimed journals and have instant access our searchable collection of 20 years of back issues. (Institutions like universities that seek a subscription should go to www.socialstudies.org/membership/institutions)
Our flagship journal, Social Education, contains a balance of theoretical content and practical ideas for classroom use. Resources include techniques for using teaching materials in the classroom, information on the latest instructional technology, reviews of educational media, research on significant topics related to social studies, and lesson plans that can be applied to various disciplines. Social Education is published 6 times per year, September through June.
Middle Level Learning is a supplement that focuses on social studies in the middle grades. MLL is published 3 times a year as an online PDF. The current issue is online, and all MLL back issues are available to NCSS members only at the Archive of Publications. All members of NCSS have access to the online MLL.
For K-6 teachers, we offer the peer-reviewed journal Social Studies and the Young Learner. The goal of SSYL is to capture and enthuse elementary teachers across the country by providing relevant and useful information about the teaching of social studies to elementary students. SSYL is published quarterly, September through May. You also receive the September and May/June issue of the flagship journal, Social Education. ("Notable Trade Books for Young People" is published each year as an insert to the May/June issue of Social Education, so you will always receive that too.) And you have access to the online Middle Level Learning.
Members who choose the “Comprehensive” option (when they join or renew) also receive NCSS Bulletins, which are in-depth publications in book form. Bulletins focus on specific disciplines within social studies disciplines and pedagogy (such as service learning, teaching history in the middle grades, or teaching social studies to ESL students).
Current Professional News
The Social Studies Professional (TSSP) is the official newsletter of NCSS, featuring the latest news, new resource and professional development listings, and information on local and state meetings. TSSP is published 8 times per year (January/February, March, April, May/June, July/August, September, October, and November/December). It is an electronic publication available online to members at the Publications Archive. To learn more about our newsletter visit the TSSP webpage: socialstudies.org/publications/tssp
The online U.S. History Collection is easy to search! It includes a collection of classroom activities, teaching ideas, and articles from Social Education, Middle Level Learning, and Social Studies and the Young Learner. Search by historical period, grade level, or key word. Anybody can browse the collection and read titles and abstracts--but you must be a member of NCSS to have access to the full articles.
The NCSS Annual Conference is a news-making event that brings social studies educators together from all across the nation. More than 400 sessions, workshops, and clinics, bring together top professionals in social studies education and highlight the central role of social studies in our schools—preparing 21st century citizens for college, career, and citizenship in a complex world. Awards are presented for teachers of the year, programs of excellence, and many other categories. Notable speakers give keynote presentations on each day of the Conference, which is held in a different city each year (Washington, DC every fifth year). Come to listen, learn, and celebrate. Members receive discounted registration rates for our Annual Conference. Submit a session proposal (December through early February) about your own best lesson!
The NCSS website is a portal to all that NCSS does as your professional association. As a member, you can access the Publications Archive, where you can download current and past issues of the TSSP newsletter, Middle Level Learning, and the journals Social Education and Social Studies and the Young Learner. As a member, you can search the U.S. History Collection by grade level, historical period, or key word and then access articles as PDFs. Connected is a new online network where members of NCSS can meet and communicate with one another through discussion e-groups. At Connected, you can
- post a blog, and then anyone in the world can read your blog, as it's open access reading;
- post your profile or search the member networking directory;
- search and connect with people you've met so that you can stay in touch;
- post messages to discussion lists to keep topical conversations going; and
- share presentations, pictures, documents, videos or other content with your colleagues.
Click the following link to check out the new site and start getting CONNECTED: connected.socialstudies.org
Finally, as a member, you can update your own member record at any time. For example, if you move, you can change your mailing address. The NCSS website is under constant development and improvement, and we welcome your input!
NCSS Members are part of a professional association that asserts the voice of social studies teachers in our national life. For example, as curriculum standards are shaped nationally, NCSS is an active participant on the national standards panels. NCSS publishes National Curriculum Standards for Social Studies: A Framework for Teaching, Learning, and Assessment and the C3 Framework for Social Studies State Standards. NCSS publishes Position Statements that address (for educators, the media, and the public) important and controversial topics in the teaching of social studies. The NCSS Annual Conference showcases excellence in social studies teaching, kindergarten through college. Take a look at the NCSS Curriculum Standards and Position Statements on our website at: socialstudies.org/standards and socialstudies.org/positions.
Serve Your Profession
You have many opportunities to serve the social studies profession through this national association. Serve on a committee to help choose award and grant winners or advise NCSS on its operations. Help review session proposals for the Annual Conference. Serve on an editorial advisory committee for one of the NCSS peer-reviewed journals. Be a leading voice at one of the Internet discussion forums at Connected. Also, join your state council and develop your own leadership skills by representing your state council in the House of Delegates at the NCSS Annual Conference. Every member of NCSS is invited to cast a vote for members of the Board of Directors. Eventually, you could even be a candidate to serve on the NCSS Board of Directors. NCSS is your organization! It's your turn to step up to the plate! Click on the following links to learn about how you can get involved!
Join an NCSS Community (connected.socialstudies.org), associated group (socialstudies.org/groups), or state/local council (socialstudies.org/local). Connected is an online networking community for NCSS members, and its free. There may be additional fees to join associated groups or state, regional, or local councils. Please check out their websites for more information.
Volunteer to serve on an NCSS Operations or Awards Committee. For information, visit socialstudies.org/awards and socialstudies.org/about/committees. If you have questions about these groups or the application process feel free to contact Kristen at 301-588-1800, ext. 107.
NCSS provides its members with a number of professional development opportunities. Click the links below to see how NCSS can help support your professional growth. Lower prices for NCSS members apply to many of these items.
NCSS Summer Workshops. NCSS annually offers summer professional development workshops. For a list of upcoming workshops visit the summer workshops webpage
State, Regional, and Local Conferences. NCSS affiliate conferences offer great professional development and regional networking opportunities. NCSS compiles a list of affiliate conferences at socialstudies.org/affiliates/conferences
NCSS Annual Conference. Every year, NCSS hosts a national conference where you can discover the new ideas, resources, techniques, and skills that will pay off in your classroom, school, or district, and invigorate your career. Read about this year's premier professional development event at annual conference
NCSS Awards and Grants. NCSS annually recognizes teachers, researchers, authors, and other worthy individuals or programs. To learn about NCSS award and grant opportunities and application procedures, please check out the NCSS Awards and Grants webpages at socialstudies.org/awards
Powerful and Authentic Social Studies. PASS provides social studies educators with professional training in curriculum design, assessment, and instruction in a standards-based environment. To learn about upcoming PASS workshops visit: socialstudies.org/pass
Postings of Announcements and Opportunities. The online newsletter The Social Studies Professional includes professional development listings. Read about it at Newsletter. TSSP columns include "Professional Learning--NCSS" as well as "Professional Learning--Our Colleagues."
NCSS giving opportunities help to support and strengthen the profession. To learn about the different NCSS funds and how to contribute please visit our website at: socialstudies.org/giving-opportunities.
Save on insurance with our members-only discounts. Enrollment in our group insurance plan provides substantial savings and numerous options such as professional liability insurance, TDA program, cancer coverage, Medicare supplement, and other options for NCSS members and their families.
Get More Information on NCSS Insurance Programs
NCSS members receive substantial discounts on all publications and merchandise from our catalog. Members also receive discounted registration rates for our Annual Conference.