*New* Position Statements

Position Statements

Position Statement on Social Studies and the Aftermath of the 2016 Election

The Executive Board of the College and University Faculty Assembly of the National Council for the Social Studies

In the wake of a presidential election cycle that featured invective speech toward traditionally marginalized, oppressed, and under-represented citizens, the College and University Faculty Assembly (CUFA) of the National Council for Social Studies—the national organization of social studies education researchers, scholars, and teacher educators--calls on social studies K-12 educators and professors to reaffirm their commitment to an open and inclusive democracy through their instruction, curriculum and advocacy.

The express purpose of social studies is to help young people develop the ability to make informed and reasoned decisions for the public good as citizens of a culturally diverse, democratic society in an interdependent world. This charge demands that social studies educators cultivate civic habits and dispositions that not only acknowledge the various identities that children, youth, and adolescents possess, but that also cherish and utilize identities to build community, engender compassion, and uphold tolerance.

A full embrace of race, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation, ability, socio-economic status, religion, indigenous status, language, immigrant-status, and nationality in the social studies classroom supports the full duties of citizenship in a participatory democracy. Anti-democratic discourses of discrimination, marginalization, and bigotry act as barriers to any democracy. Therefore, we urge social studies professionals to stand against prejudice and engage in pedagogical acts that model inclusivity, justice, and equity.

Because our classrooms are incubators for democracy, human dignity must be a hallmark of our work, as well as a commitment towards the common good. Together social studies educators must uphold our responsibility to educate for democracy and work tirelessly to promote human dignity. 

Social Studies and the Aftermath of the 2016 Election:
A Resource Guide

Teaching about the Election and Post-Election Resources (Lesson Plans)

First Vote NC


 Generation Nation: 2016 Election Toolkit


 Returning to the Classroom after the Election


 Teaching in the Time of Trump (Articles & Reports)

 Benjamin Justice & Jason Stanley (2016). Teaching in the Time of Trump. Social Education, 88(1), 36-41.

 Southern Poverty Law Center (2016). The Trump Effect: The Impact of the Presidential Campaign on Our Nation’s Schools. https://www.splcenter.org/20160413/trump-effect-impact-presidential-campaign-our-nations-schools

 Diana Mutz (2006). The Workplace as a Context for Cross Cutting Political Talk. The Journal of Politics. 68(1), 140-155.

    Discussing Trump with Children

 How to Discuss Donald Trump With Your Kids. Chicago Tribune.


 What to Say to Say to Kids on November 10 and Beyond. Teaching Tolerance.


What should we tell our children


Web-based Resources

 Campus Election Engagement Project


 Discussing Controversial Public Issues


Institute for Democracy and Higher Education


Southern Poverty Law Center


Southern Poverty Law Center: Hate Map


Speak Up for Civility Contract


Teaching Tolerance.org


Trump 2.0 Syllabus. Public Books


Zinn Education Project


 Educational Policies and the Trump Election

 Donald Trump and the Future of Education


 Trump Set to Shift Gears on Civil Rights, ESSA, Says a K-12 Transition-Team Leader


 Trump’s School Choice Opportunity


Additional election resources can be added at: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1HEXhVn60R86-zXA31TBMd89o_hIFjGBlxkiVQrwahN4/edit



Position Statement on Racial Injustice and the #BlackLivesMatter Movement

The Executive Board of the College and University Faculty Assembly of the National Council for the Social Studies


November 3, 2015

The Executive Board of the College and University Faculty Assembly of the National Council for the Social Studies calls on social studies educators and researchers to acknowledge, study, and work to end racism and racial prejudice. Both continue to damage not only individuals and families but society and its institutions, including schools and the criminal justice system. We hereby declare our support for the #BlackLivesMatter movement, which identifies and challenges discriminatory and oppressive practices in institutions that should serve and protect the rights and interests of all citizens.  Were we to remain silent, we would fail to model the very values, dispositions, and skills we advocate.


The structure of opportunity and experience for people of color in the United States has been shaped by historical and contemporary inequality and injustice. National attention and conversations surrounding the deaths of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Renisha McBride, Tamir Rice, Freddy Gray, Meghan Hockaday, Sandra Bland, Natasha McKinny  and the Charleston 9 (just to name only a few) illustrate the long and detrimental legacy of racism and the privileging of Whiteness in this country.


Young people of color in high poverty communities have radically different experiences with civic institutions and their agents (schools, law enforcement, criminal justice system, teachers) than do their more affluent peers in predominantly White communities.  All students should have equitable opportunities to learn social studies in high-quality schools; yet, race and ethnicity are significant predictors of inequities in access to social studies curriculum and instruction.


Social studies classrooms are places where young people have the opportunity to make sense of the world, including issues that affect their lives on a daily basis. Experiences of injustice and inequality become salient within the social studies classrooms of the United States as students learn about the history and civic values and commitments of the country. Social studies educators have a key role to play in questioning institutional access and fostering critical understanding of issues of race and inequality, including the role of Whiteness and privilege.


The C3 Framework endorsed by NCSS emphasizes that “Social studies is the ideal staging ground for taking informed action because of its unique role in preparing students for civic life.” NCSS also outlines a vision for “Human Rights Education” that fosters “the democratic ideals of freedom, equality, non-discrimination and respect for the rights of all” (see http://www.socialstudies.org/positions/human_rights_education_2014).  In order to live up to the positions previously taken, NCSS and its affiliated groups must be leaders in national conversations regarding anti-racist education.


An acknowledgement by social studies educators of the persistence of inequality, racism and racial prejudice and its profoundly negative impact on children, society, and our democracy will clarify the contribution to be made by the social studies in supporting racial justice and human rights.


The Executive Board of the College and University Faculty Assembly of the National Council for the Social Studies hereby commits itself to the development of social studies education and research that addresses these concerns. Further, it affirms its support for the #BlackLivesMatter movement and other initiatives that draw attention to and fight for an end to institutionalized racism, social injustice, and racial prejudice.