In education, every subject is critical to engaging students and providing them with a full, well-rounded learning experience. While recent news items have placed a great deal of emphasis on science and technology programs (STEM), social studies programming is equally important to preparing students for further educational achievement across curricula as well as active citizenship.

The International Society for the Social Studies was founded to stress the importance of social studies education and the continued professional development of researchers and educators in the field. But what many don’t realize is that the scope of social studies goes far beyond civics or U.S. government subjects, and has a global resonance in the humanities and social sciences.

“What we wanted to do was have an organization that catered to individuals interested in social studies in all areas and countries, not only the U.S.,” Dr. William Russell explains. “The organization and the conference came about at the same time, and were both conceived with the goal of fostering research, conversations, and engagement in the various fields and subjects of social studies throughout the world. We want to get people talking and keep them talking as a way to grow the field and further advance the professional development of teachers and researchers.”

The interdisciplinary reach of social studies, touching on areas including history, economics, geography, psychology, and much more, makes the International Society for the Social Studies annual conference a unique opportunity for collaboration and communication among scholars and educators.

In recent years special emphasis has been placed on testing and assessment related to learning, teacher education and preparation, and utilizing primary sources in teaching. With the broad scope of social studies, these current issues are of importance to an increasingly large audience, and the ISSS annual conference is a chance for scholars and students to engage in further discussion and development.

The conference also offers an opportunity to share research, findings, and best practices, and serves as a supplement to The Journal of Social Studies Research, for which Dr. Russell serves as editor-in-chief.

The International Society for the Social Studies annual conference is scheduled for February 26-27, 2015 at the Fairwinds Alumni Center on the UCF campus. Proposals are being accepted now and registration is currently open for attendees.