Social Studies

Social studies teaches students not what to think, but how to think. The knowledge, skills and dispositions gained through social studies allow students to make informed decisions and participate fully in civic life. Engagement in social studies provides students with the opportunity to learn about their world and become active and involved members of their local and global communities.

The Maine Department of Education recognizes that social studies is an integral part of a comprehensive education preparing learners for college, careers and civic life. Through the study of each of the four strands of social studies—civics and government, personal finance and economics, geography, and history—students are provided with opportunities to acquire and apply knowledge and skills in a variety of authentic contexts. 

As part of the Maine DOE's commitment to supporting schools in the delivery of effective K-12 social studies instructional programs, this site offers teachers, administrators, nonprofits, higher education faculty, parents and community members with a broad range of resources reflective of Maine’s learning standards.

The State of Maine recently completed a mandatory Social Studies review process. Check out the new Standards and Instruction page to see the revised standards and supporting materials.

Upcoming Professional Development Opportunities:

2021-2022 Learning Cohorts - A Partnership Between National Organizations and Maine Social Studies Teacher Leaders

I am happy to announce that for the 2021-2022 school year I have partnered with some national organizations to develop professional development learning cohorts. All four organizations have already provided great webinars that can be found on the DOE Social Studies Professional Learning page, but now they are working with Maine Social Studies Teacher Leaders to develop ongoing supports. Each cohort will combine both training from the organizations as well interactives workshops led by Maine educators where participants will work to implement what they have learned in their classrooms. I encourage you to check out the links below for more information about each organization and what they are planning for the upcoming school year. Registration is now open for the next two cohorts.

The National Archives

Teachers! Ever want to have a say in your Professional Development? The National Archives Foundation in partnership with the National Archives, the Maine Department of Education, and some expert teachers from around the state are pairing up to create some curriculum about how to teach students to analyze documents (including photos, paintings, newspaper articles, speeches and more) at all grade levels with a connection to Civil Rights.

It will start with a presentation from the National Archives called Civil Rights -The Impact of Racial Discrimination on Black American Lives in the Jim Crow Era (Summary: Students analyze documents from the holdings of the National Archives to assess the impact of legalized racial segregation on the lives of Black Americans from 1944 – 1960.) Then you will help guide the professional development to meet your needs with support from Maine teachers and staff at the National Archives. If interested, please complete this form. We are so excited to start working with you! 

The OER Project from The Gates Foundation

Using resources from the OER Project's teacher track talks Maine Social Studies Teacher Leaders Melanie Brown and Derek Carroll will be creating bi-monthly web sessions centered around the topics of designing inquiry, designing arguments with evidence, young citizens, and assessing historical thinking. These sessions will begin in November, and continue through the end of the school year. Prior to each session participants will watch 3 track talks sourced from OER's existing library on the topic for that month. During each session participants will have the opportunity to debrief with other educators about the topic for that month, share any thoughts and questions that they may have on the topic, and most importantly leave with a classroom activity/strategy that they can immediately implement with little hassle or stress. If interested, please complete this form. We are so excited to start working with you!



Teacher Leader Cohort partnership announcements with Echoes & Reflections and The Bill of Rights Institute!


Primary Source Fall Workshop Series

Online Workshop: Diving into Maine History with Primary Sources

Looking for ways to connect your students with national issues and events through a local lens? Having trouble finding time to navigate all the information and websites out there? This workshop series is a collaboration of the Maine DOE, the Maine State Museum, the Maine State Archives, the Maine State Library, and the Maine State Historical Society and provides an interactive exploration of some great (and free) resources for Maine-based documents, images, and artifacts.

Part 4: “Maine Pandemics” Primary Source Set

Exploring pre-packaged online educator materials on the theme of the history of pandemics in Maine. 1:00-3:00 pm November 9th (Register for this session)