Social Studies Signal

Social Studies Signal

May 2022- Social Studies Signal Newsletter


Updates from the Ohio Department of Education

Oberlin’s Kurt Russell named 2022 National Teacher of the Year

In April, the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) announced that Kurt Russell, a teacher at Oberlin High School in the Oberlin City School District, is the 2022 National Teacher of the Year! Russell was named 2022 Ohio Teacher of the Year in September 2021. CCSSO then selected him as one of four finalists for National Teacher of the Year in January 2022.
One of Russell’s math teachers, who was the first Black male teacher he had, inspired him to teach. As a 25-year classroom veteran, Russell has taught multiple courses, including African American history, U.S. History, international baccalaureate history of the Americas, and a course on race, gender and oppression. 

CCSSO’s National Teacher of the Year Program identifies exceptional teachers across the country, recognizes their effective work in the classroom, engages them in a year of professional learning and amplifies their voices.

As the 2022 National Teacher of the Year, Russell will spend a year representing educators and serving as an ambassador for students and teachers across the nation. He plans to advocate for classrooms to better reflect the students within them — from a curriculum that reflects their backgrounds and identities to a more diverse teaching profession.

Watch a video of the announcement on CBS Mornings and read more from CCSSO here.

Ohio’s New Financial Literacy Graduation Requirement

Under Ohio law, students entering 9th grade on or after July 1, 2022, must earn one-half credit of financial literacy as a graduation requirement. These students can use the one-half credit of financial literacy as a substitute for a one-half credit elective requirement or a one-half credit of mathematics required for graduation. The one-half credit of math cannot be Algebra 1 (or Math 1- if using an integrated approach), Geometry (or Math 2- if using an integrated approach), Algebra 2 or equivalent course, or Advanced Computer Science. Students who use Advanced Computer Science coursework in place of Algebra 2 or an equivalent course for graduation cannot use the financial literacy one-half credit as a mathematics graduation requirement. These students may use the one-half credit of financial literacy to satisfy a one-half credit electives requirement.

Ohio law states the study and instruction of financial literacy shall align with Ohio’s Financial Literacy Standards adopted by the State Board of Education in 2018. In developing the curriculum for the study and instruction of financial literacy, schools may use available public/private partnerships, resources and materials that exist in business, industry and through the centers for economic education at higher education institutions.

Educators with licensure in social studies, family and consumer sciences or business education are permitted to teach financial literacy. Additionally, by the 2024-2025 school year, Ohio law requires educators with other licensure areas to have earned a licensure validation in Financial Literacy to teach the required course. Social studies, family and consumer sciences or business education teachers are not required to obtain the licensure validation but may do so if they choose. The Ohio Department of Education is currently consulting an advisory group to help determine rules to recommend to the Ohio State Board of Education for the licensure validation.

Information on financial literacy instruction in Ohio, including a new frequently asked questions (FAQ) document can be accessed by educators on the Department’s website.

Introducing the Ohio Education Job Board

The Management Council of the Ohio Education Computer Network and Ohio’s Information Technology Centers recently launched the Ohio Education Job Board for K-12 jobs in Ohio. This job board incorporates an intuitive job listing page that includes search function filters and an interactive map.

News from Education Organizations

Congratulations to 2022 High School Mock Trial Participants

The Ohio Council for Law-Related Education has completed a successful 2022 Ohio Mock Trial competition season. Congratulations to the 2022 Ohio High School Mock Trial State Champion – Talawanda High School. They will go on to represent Ohio at the National High School Mock Trial Championship, hosted virtually in Kalamazoo, Michigan, May 5-7.  

This year, 214 teams representing 126 schools participated in the Ohio High School Mock Trial Competition. Approximately 2,000 students had the opportunity to present their cases. Over 300 volunteer judges participated to make the competition possible. The “Statewide Competition” tab of the Mock Trial website has a complete list of Outstanding Attorney and Outstanding Witness award winners for all levels of competition.

United States Submits Ohio Mounds for UNESCO World Heritage Site

According to WVXU Public Radio, The National Park Service reported in March 2022; that it submitted the nomination of the Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks to the UNESCO World Heritage List

Eight ancient earthworks sites dating to the Hopewell era comprise the Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks bid that first joined the tentative list in 2008.

The locations are:

May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

The National Council for the Social Studies offers journals, publications, teaching resources, exhibits, videos and podcasts to celebrate Asian Pacific American history and heritage throughout the year with students. 
  • Social Education: Teaching and Learning about Asian American History (March/April 2022). Read the edition here.
  • Social Studies and the Young Learner: Asian American Narratives in U.S. History and Contemporary Society (January/February 2022). Read the edition here.
  • Social Studies and the Young Learner: The Voices of Children: Re-imagining the Internment of Japanese Americans through Poetry. Read the article here.
  • Library of Congress: Asian Pacific American Heritage Month: Selected Resources for Teachers. Access the resource collection.
  • Smithsonian Institute: Righting a Wrong: Japanese Americans and World War II. See the exhibit.

Professional Learning Opportunities

H. Kenneth Barker Center for Economic Education Teaching Financial Literacy Summer Institute

Join K-12 educators and industry experts around Ohio at the H. Kenneth Barker Center for Economic Education 2022 Teaching Financial Literacy Summer Institute on the campus of The University of Akron. Educators will receive instructional materials and resources aligned to Ohio's Financial Literacy Standards on saving, earning, credit, investing and risk management. Educators will learn about recently enacted Senate Bill 1, Ohio's Financial Literacy graduation requirement for students entering ninth grade for the first time on or after July 1, 2022. Costs include all supplies, lectures, fees, certificates of completion and meals, with discounted graduate credit opportunities available. Spots are limited. Educators can visit the Barker Center's website to learn more and register.

Ohio Council for Law-Related Education Hosts Second Annual Civic Summit

The Ohio Council for Law-Related Education (OCLRE) will host its second annual civic summit on June 6, 2022, at the Ohio State Bar Association. The summit's theme is "Back to Basics," as sessions will cover remediating content for students, inquiry on a "time-budget," best practices roundtables and more. Teachers will be able to attend in-person or online, with discounts available for OCLRE members. Learn more at OCLRE's website

The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History Summer 2022 American History Summer Training

This summer, the Gilder Lehrman Institute will offer three professional development programs for educators. These programs will present a diverse group of scholars, topics and learning formats. They invite teachers to participate in some or all of these programs. Educators can find more information about the seminars and symposiums offered this summer on the Gilder Lehrman Institute website

Facing History and Ourselves Summer Workshops

Facing History and Ourselves will hold a summer, online seminar focused on teaching approaches for instruction on the Reconstruction era of United States history. During this online seminar, teachers will examine how Americans faced the challenge of restoring a nation amid the social and political upheaval of the Civil War. Interested educators can learn more about the seminar on the Facing History and Ourselves website

Facing History and Ourselves also will hold a June workshop called Democracy at Risk: Holocaust and Human Behavior. This two-day workshop will introduce participants to Facing History’s approach to studying the Holocaust, which enables students to wrestle with profound moral questions raised by this history and fosters their skills in civic engagement, ethical reasoning and critical thinking. Interested educators can learn more about this workshop on the Facing History and Ourselves website

Smithsonian Summer Sessions: Inspiring Civic Engagement

The Smithsonian Institute invites educators to register for a free five-day virtual summer session that will connect educators from across the country. Participants will discover how museum objects can help learners explore the challenges and opportunities of living in a democracy and inspire civic action.

Museum educators will introduce participants to the Smithsonian Learning Lab, a free interactive online platform for accessing digital museum resources. Participants will discover how to teach with museum resources to engage students in deeper thinking and support content learning across disciplines. Interested educators can learn more about the sessions on their website.  

Other Resources, News and Information

Every Cincinnati Public Schools’ Freshman to Visit Holocaust Museum

On March 30, 2022, the Nancy & David Wolf Holocaust & Humanity Center announced a partnership to engage every freshman student from Cincinnati Public Schools in Holocaust education through interactive field trips to the museum. According to Cincinnati Public Schools, "The partnership enables every CPS freshman to visit the Nancy & David Wolf Holocaust & Humanity Center at Union Terminal for the next five years, which will reach up to 15,000 students. This partnership allows us to reach a wider array of students within Cincinnati Public Schools in a way that was not possible before," said Sarah L. Weiss, chief executive officer of the Nancy & David Wolf Holocaust & Humanity Center.

Grandview Heights High School Model United Nations Team Earns Top Spot at 2022 World Conference

According to Grandview Heights Schools, "the Grandview Heights High School Model United Nations Team swept the competition at the National High School Model United Nations (UN) Conference, held March 18-21, at the United National Headquarters in New York City, NY.  Grandview Heights High School Model UN Team received first place for Research and Preparation and third place for Committee Performance. These are the only two awards presented at this conference, the world's premier conference held at the United Nations Headquarters."

Readers can access the full story on the Grandview Heights Schools website. 

The resources in this newsletter are free and have been reviewed using the Department’s Social Studies resource filter against established criteria. Copies of the completed filter forms are available upon request. Inclusion in this newsletter does not represent a recommendation to use a resource. Many quality resources are available beyond those included here. Educators should use their professional expertise to determine the suitability of any particular resources for use in their districts, schools or classrooms.

Send comments/questions to:

Justin Leach, Social Studies Consultant, Office of Learning and Instructional Strategies

Linda McKean, Social Studies Consultant, Office of Learning and Instructional Strategies