Welcome to dese.mo.gov. We hope you enjoy the site, and we welcome your feedback.

Social Studies

Good day,

Spring is a busy time in schools across our state and here in Jefferson City. Here is some of what is happening in Social Studies around our state.

1. Social Studies begins with meaningful content, but it includes so much more. Our students need to read, write, speak, and listen and they also need tools to think critically about the world in which they live. Please join Missouri social studies teachers in Jefferson City in June as we explore ideas on how to integrate the Missouri Learning Expectations for K-12 Social Studies with these skills and with multiple content areas to enhance student learning.

Click here to see week-long schedule

Click here to move to registration site: REGISTRATION DEADLINE IS APRIL 12, 2017. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/registration-for-k-12-professional-learning-series-summer-2017-registration-32597847038 )

2. Thanks to all of you who have participated in our Social Studies Colloquia. It has been a great time to learn from social science researchers and to work with peers to apply that new learning in Missouri classrooms.We have one Social Studies Colloquium remaining this year. Please consider joining us for our the final 2016-2017 session on May 4. See the Colloquia tab below for further information.

3. You are cordially invited to apply for the second annual Social Studies Teachers’ Summer Workshop on July 14, 2017. Mapping Missouri: Geography Teacher Workshop is sponsored by Southeast Missouri State University and the Missouri Humanities Council. This one-day event will explore innovative ways to combine technology with geography education in the grades 6-12 classrooms.  Applications are due to Dr. Courtney Kisat, [email protected] by March 31, 2017.

4. Other opportunities and resources of interest to Social Studies teachers:

Thanks for all you do for our Missouri students,


Dixie Grupe
Director, Social Studies
Office of College and Career Readiness
Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
[email protected] 

The Missouri Civics Education Initiative, passed by the Missouri legislature and signed by Governor Nixon in June 2016, requires any student entering 9th grade after July 1, 2017 to pass an examination on the provisions and principles of American civics.

The law states that the examination shall consist of 100 questions similar to the one hundred questions used by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and may be included in any other examination that is administered on the provisions and principles of the United States and the State of Missouri, and in American history and American institutions.   The full text of the law can be found at http://www.senate.mo.gov/16info/pdf-bill/tat/SB638.pdf


So what does that mean for Missouri Social Studies?

  • We will continue with the current Government EOC exam and the voluntary American History EOC exam.
  • Local districts will assure compliance.
  • School districts may use an online test to comply.  See http://joefossinstitute.org/citizenship-survey/ for ideas.
  • Districts may choose to create a crosswalk of the USCIS questions and their existing American Government, Missouri Government and American History assessment, and then to amend those assessments to comply with the USCIS content. Districts are encouraged to maintain the crosswalk and adjustments as verification of content assessed.  The USCIS site testing materials are available at https://www.uscis.gov/citizenship/learners/study-test

If you have additional questions about this law and social studies testing, please contact [email protected]

Social Studies Missouri Learning Standards

Assessed Standards

The End-of-Course assessments will continue to be based on these standards through the 2018-2019 school year.

Social Studies - Grades K-8: PDF | Word | Excel
Social Studies - High School: PDF | Word | Excel

Revised Standards

The Revised standards, approved on April 19, 2016 are for implementation beginning in the 2016-2017 academic year. They will be assessed beginning in the 2019-2020 school year.

Social Studies - K-5: K-5 PDF | K-5 Word
Social Studies - 6-12: 6-12 PDF | 6-12 Word
Social Studies - K-12: K-12 Excel 


K-5 | MS American History | MS World Geography | MS World History | HS American Government. | HS American History | HS World History

Teacher View

These are the new Missouri Learning Standards K-12 Expectations for Social Studies, but the alternative layout includes details and resources classroom teachers may find helpful. 

Additional Resources

Professional Development Opportunities

Bowdoin College: Founding Principles

Bowdoin College: Founding Principles is a video series of 15 episodes designed to provide an introductory, non-partisan overview and basic understanding of American government. Each episode is 10-15 minute long and designed to promote civic engagement. For more information and to access the free videos http://www.bowdoin.edu/founding-principles/(link is external) 

Dar al Islam Teacher Institute

Free 2 week seminar in New Mexico: http://daralislam.org/programs/education/teachers-institutes.aspx

Fulbright-Hayes Seminars Abroad

Free with stipend (Applications are closed for 2017, but you can be thinking about 2018 as applications become available in August, 2017.  This summer participants are traveling Thailand, Bulgaria or Chile.) http://www2.ed.gov/programs/iegpssap/sapfacts.html


Low cost international travel with non-profit organization focused on teachers: https://www.geeo.org/

Goethe Institute USA

Seminar with trip to Germany: https://www.goethe.de/ins/us/en/spr/eng/top/top_teachers/top_study_tour.html

NEH Summer Learning

Free 3-4 week seminars in the US with stipend: https://www.neh.gov/divisions/education/summer-programs

US Holocaust Memorial Museum: History Unfolded

US Holocaust Memorial Museum: History Unfolded is a new project at the museum asking “citizen historians” to help research the way the Holocaust was reported in local US newspapers from 1933 to 1945. For more information on this project:ushmm.org/history-unfolded

Veterans National Education Program

This on-line resource includes free resources tied to modern history, culture, geography and current events. For more information http://v-nep.org/global-awareness-map/ 

Professional Development Series Resources



Teacher Awards

James Madison Fellowship

The James Madison Memorial Fellowship Foundation offers $24,000 James Madison Graduate Fellowships to individuals desiring to become outstanding teachers of the American Constitution at the secondary school level. Fellowship applicants compete only against other applicants from the states of their legal residence. As funding permits, the Foundation plans to offer one fellowship per state per year.   Deadline is March 1, 2017.  For more information  go to  http://www.jamesmadison.gov/

The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History

The National History Teacher of the Year Award recognizes outstanding K–12 American history teachers across the country. The national winner receives a $10,000 prize presented at an award ceremony in their honor in New York City. State winners receive a $1,000 prize, an archive of classroom resources, and recognition at a ceremony within their state. Deadline for application is March 31, 2017.   For more information go to https://www.gilderlehrman.org/programs-exhibitions/national-history-teacher-year


Student Awards


Social Studies Colloquia 2016-2017

This four-part series will bring together Missouri educators, K-12, who have an interest in Social Studies pedagogy and content. In addition to providing updates on curriculum and assessment developments, sessions will focus on the theme, Thinking Like a Social Scientist, an idea central to the new Social Studies K-12 Expectations.

Each colloquium will focus on a single skill related directly to improving students’ learning.  it will identify a skill highlighted in the Expectations, demonstrate anchor experiences to introduce that social science thinking skill to students, suggest ways to teach that skill in K-12 classrooms throughout a variety of content areas and grade levels, and elicit ideas for implementation from teachers and other social studies practitioners.


September 1, 2016

Causation: How do social scientists identify and then analyze relationships among historical causes and effects?  How do social scientists distinguish between causation and correlation? How do social scientists explain contingency, the idea that historical effects result from a complex variety of factors which can come together in unpredictable ways and often produce unanticipated consequences? How can we use grade-level or course-specific curriculum to teach causation to our students?

November 3, 2016

Comparison: How do social scientists use multiple perspectives on a given historical event to draw accurate conclusions?  How do social scientists compare multiple historical developments within a society and between societies? How do social scientists compare perspectives from different time periods and in different geographical contexts? How can we use grade-level or course specific-curriculum to teach comparison to our students?

March 2, 2017

Periodization:  How and why do social scientists divide history into discrete and definable periods?  How and why do they choose specific turning points? How are those decisions influenced by one narrative or by one region or by one influential group?  How can we use grade-level or course-specific curriculum to teach periodization to our students?

May 4, 2017

Contextualization:  How does understanding context help a social scientist understand specific historical events? How do regional, national, or global processes affect our understanding of specific historical events? How do social scientists connect historical processes and events to specific circumstances of time and place? How do we use grade-level or course-specific curriculum to teach contextualization to our students?

All sessions will be held in Jefferson City, at the Harry S Truman Building, Room 400, from 9:00 a.m. -- 3:00 pm, with lunch provided. 

Note: You may register for a single session or for all four sessions.  Space is limited. Registration will remain open until sessions are filled. Please respond to Dixie Grupe , Social Studies Director at [email protected] with your name, school district, position/grade level, and the session (s) if you are interested.

Colloquia Resources

Economics Contests

National Economics Challenge


Economics Professional Development

Teacher Professional Development from the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City

Click here for the registration page.  For more information see the flier below.

KC Federal Reserve PD Flier

Teacher Resources and Professional Development from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis