American Sociological Association

ASA Footnotes

A publication of the American Sociological AssociationASA News & Events
January/February 2020

ASA at the National Council for the Social Studies

At NCSS (left to right): Diego De Los Rios, Harel Shapira, Haley Lotspeich, and Chris Salituro.

At NCSS (left to right): Diego De Los Rios, Harel Shapira,
Haley Lotspeich, and Chris Salituro.

For the seventh year in a row, ASA sponsored a half-day symposium at the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) Annual Conference in Austin, TX. The NCSS symposium featured presentations from the leaders of the ASA High School Program and sociology faculty from Baylor University and the University of Texas-Austin. The goals of the event were to share innovative teaching resources and promote the importance of sociology for high school teachers.

The first session of the day was led by Harel Shapira, Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Texas-Austin. Shapira began the presentation by discussing his own introduction to the sociological imagination in his high school sociology course, and he explained that his research continues to be inspired by C. Wright Mills’ directive to examine the institutional and organizational contexts in which individual biographies are enacted. His current project examines how firearm training schools socialize gun-owners to, among other things, be afraid of the world, be comfortable around guns, and understand killing in terms of tactics rather than morality (See his Sociological Insights video at Shapira then discussed the implications of his research for educators teaching students about guns and violence in contemporary America. 

The second session covered strategies and lesson plans teachers can use to teach core concepts from the ASA National Standards for High School Sociology. The session was led by ASA’s High School Program Director Hayley Lotspeich, who teaches at Wheaton North High School (IL), and Assistant Director Chris Salituro, from Adlai E. Stevenson High School (IL).

The third and final session of the symposium was led by Kevin Dougherty, Associate Professor of Sociology at Baylor University. Dougherty’s presentation focused on how teachers can incorporate data literacy in their classes by using free teaching resources from the Association of Religion Data Archive. 

For more information about the symposium and the ASA High School Program, visit