The International Society for the Social Studies annual conference, held at the Fairwinds Alumni Center on the UCF campus February 26-27, offered a unique opportunity for scholars involved in any and every field in social studies to communicate, collaborate, and advance the field as a whole. With an emphasis on research advancement and continued professional development for all practitioners, the annual conference provided an interdisciplinary exchange of ideas, methods, and findings across the range of the social studies fields.

“We had terrific scholars and educators from all over the world join us this year – participants from China, Thailand, Canada, Saudi Arabia, just to name a few locations,” Dr. William Russell tells us. “So we had a great array of presenters and attendees from different countries and continents bringing their perspectives and experience to share. Topics ranged from teacher education in the social studies to teaching elementary subjects, to content knowledge, to work that helps us improve our understanding of society, local histories, and perspectives. We’re incredibly grateful to all of our attendees and presenters for sharing their wonderful scholarship with us.”

Ranging from digital literacy to pedagogical approaches in teacher education to “big idea” global concepts including social justice, liberty, equality, and revolution, this year’s ISSS Conference program offered a tremendous amount of information. Expanding on those areas and more, the international participation opened attendees’ eyes to the similarities and differences in the social studies fields across borders, cultures, and continents.

“We’re really excited to bring an international focus to social studies education,” says Bonnie Bittman, doctoral student and ISSS Communications and Outreach Coordinator, “because it offers an event for researchers from around the globe to bring their ideas and methodologies together to help improve and advance the field. It’s also a great place for beginning teachers to come and see what research is happening not only within the UCF community but throughout the world.”

To learn more about the International Society for the Social Studies, including information on membership and the annual conference, visit the ISSS website.