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Regional Conference on Social Studies to Take Place at Yale


New Haven, Conn. — Hundreds of social studies teachers, school administrators, and other educators from across the Northeast will convene in New Haven March 26–28 for the 39th Northeast Regional Conference (NERC) on the Social Studies.

“NERC 2008,” which will focus on integrating the study of globalization into the classroom curriculum, is hosted by the Programs in International Education Resources (PIER) of the Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale and the Connecticut Council for the Social Studies (CCSS).

Most of the events take place at the Omni New Haven Hotel at Yale with additional sites on the Yale campus.

Titled “Social Studies: Global and Local Connections, Shared Responsibilities,” “NERC 2008” takes its cue from a quotation by the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.: “Before you’ve finished eating breakfast this morning, you’ve depended on more than half the world. This is the way our universe is structured . . . We aren’t going to have peace on earth until we recognize this basic fact of the interrelated structure of all reality.” In line with this theme, the conference will present events and activities geared toward preparing students to be informed citizens in an increasingly interconnected world community.

Highlights of the conference will include welcoming addresses by New Haven Mayor John DeStefano, Jr. and Linda Lorimer, Vice President and Secretary of Yale University, and a keynote address, “Terrorism, Interdependence, and Democracy: How Globalization Transforms Social Studies,” by political scientist, global activist and commentator Benjamin Barber. In addition, Professor Martin B. Margulies, a specialist in First Amendment issues at the Quinnipiac University School of Law, will analyze “Speech Rights of Public School Students After Morse V. Frederick,” while Professor Matthew Warshauer, a historian from Central Connecticut State University, will examine the Constitutional question of “Freedom Versus Security: Protecting Civil Liberties in an Age of Terror.” Bill Curry, former Connecticut state controller and state senator, two-time Democratic gubernatorial candidate, and advisor to President Clinton will comment on “The Upcoming Elections and Other Political Observations.” In her talk, “Muppet Diplomacy: How Sesame Street is Working to Change Our World,” Charlotte F. Cole, Vice President for Education and Research at Sesame Workshop in New York, will describe whimsical solutions for critical problems, such as teaching children in war-torn countries not to pick up grenades.

In a special presentation, “Using Popular Music in the Social Studies Classroom,” West Hartford teacher Stephen Armstrong will describe the changing social fabric of America with one song from each decade of the 20th century. A pair of workshops sponsored by PIER will examine in depth and from many perspectives the complex complementary issues of worldwide migration and human rights. A new film from Katrina Browne/Ebb Pod Productions, “Traces of the Trade: A Story from the Deep North,” follows nine members of her Rhode Island clan as they travel the infamous triangular slave trade route, learning along the way the disturbing particulars of their ancestral family business.

For further information and to register for the conference, visit or contact Conference Chairman Maxwell Amoh at (203) 432-3438.


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