What a time to be a social studies teacher!
Those of us in the profession have always understood the importance of social studies in protecting and perpetuating our democracy. We have understood the value in knowing our complex history and the essential nature of civil discourse in resolving our conflicts and in strengthening our republic. We have understood the necessity of thoughtfully analyzing past challenges to develop reasoned responses for current ones. And, we have sought to share those pivotal understandings with our students every day. The call to teach high quality social studies to all our students is now greater than ever. It is our job here at DESE to support you as you rise to that challenge.
Below you will find several opportunities for you and your students as you work toward that goal:
Have Gavel, Will Travel: These free, interactive presentations are available for Missouri judges to give to student or civic groups. The presentations are free, interactive and can be adapted to give for any audience. Traveling judges are available to visit elementary and secondary schools, colleges and universities; libraries, community and professional organizations; service clubs; senior citizen centers and residential facilities; neighborhood groups; and faith communities. Given COVID-19 concerns, judges also are available to make presentations virtually, using a platform of the audience’s choosing.
Teachers and others can find more information about presentation topics from the committee’s Discover Missouri Courts website. To schedule a judicial speaker and presentation, select a presentation from https://www.courts.mo.gov/CivicEducation/presentations/
Missouri Youth Institute: The Missouri Youth Institute is looking for high school students who care passionately about the world, who believe everyone should have access to nutritious food, lean water and education and who are problem solvers who want to be part of the solution. At the institute, high school students engage with local leaders and experts on critical global challenges, participate in hands-on activities, and explore exciting ways to make a difference in Missouri and around the world.
The Missouri Youth Institute is hosted by the University of Missouri with the generous support of the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (CAFNR), USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS), Missouri 4-H, and the Missouri FFA. For more information, please contact Dr. Kristin Bilyeu at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 573-884-2234
Benjamin Franklin Transatlantic Fellows Summer Institute
The Department of Curriculum and Instruction at Purdue University is accepting applications to participate in the Benjamin Franklin Transatlantic Fellows Summer Institute (BFTF) to be held June 26 –July 31, 2021, on the campus of Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN.
Ten U.S. Fellows will join 45 BFTF Fellows from Europe to take classes in International Diplomacy, Media and Journalism, Global Problems, Democracy and Civic Education. Fellows will meet with US diplomats and politicians, prominent scholars and journalists and participate in debates, practical workshops, and seminars. The Institute, a US State Department-sponsored program, is conducted in partnership with the Department of Political Science, the Brian Lamb School of Communication, the James F. Ackerman Center for Democratic Citizenship, and the Center for Civic Education (Calabasas, CA).
Successful US applicants will receive a scholarship that will cover all expenses related to the Benjamin Franklin Transatlantic Summer Institute Fellowship. All 16-18 years old U.S. citizens may apply. To read more about the Institute and to apply, please go to the BFTF website: https://www.education.purdue.edu/ben-franklin-institute
Missouri Citizenship Award: Consider recognizing one of your school’s outstanding young leaders for this state-level award. High school students who have demonstrated knowledge of the principles of government and citizenship through academic achievement, participation in extracurricular activities and service to the community are eligible for nomination, one per high school. Click on the Missouri Citizenship Award Covid Update bullet in the Quick Links box on this page for additional details and for the application. Nominations due by February 26, 2021.
Priority and Supporting Standards Development: Finally, I want to invite you to participate in the development of priority and supporting standards for Missouri Social Studies. These instructional resources will help guide and facilitate the important work you do with our Missouri students every day. Meetings are set for January 27, February 24 and March 24, 2021. Sign-up through the DESE Curriculum calendar at https://dese.mo.gov/college-career-readiness/curriculum
As we work through these times together, the mindset of ‘challenge as opportunity’ remains paramount in our work and in our lives. Please feel free to reach out with thoughts, questions or ideas in the coming days.
Dixie Johnson Grupe
Director, Social Studies
Office of College and Career Readiness
Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education