American Sociological Association

ASA Footnotes

A publication of the American Sociological AssociationASA News & Events
January-March 2019

ASA Sponsors a Symposium at the National Council for the Social Studies

Hayley Lotspeich, Teresa Ciabattari, Chris Salituro, Diego de los Rios, Laura Beth Nielsen, and Lynette Hoelter.

Hayley Lotspeich, Teresa Ciabattari, Chris Salituro,
Diego de los Rios, Laura Beth Nielsen, and Lynette Hoelter.

In November 2018, members of ASA’s High School Program attended the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) Annual Conference in Chicago. At the conference, ASA sponsored a half-day symposium led by the leaders of the High School Program and sociologists from the University of Michigan and Northwestern University. The goals of the event were to share innovative teaching resources as well as promote the importance of sociology for high school teachers. 

The first session in the symposium at NCSS focused on how teachers can use data in high school social studies classes. The session was led by Lynette Hoelter, Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research Director of Instructional Resources and Development and a research scientist at the University of Michigan. In addition to discussing the importance of quantitative literacy, Dr. Hoelter highlighted several free datasets and class activities that teachers can use in their classes. The second session was led by Laura Beth Nielsen, Professor of Sociology and the Director of the Legal Studies Program at Northwestern University. Dr. Nielsen drew on her legal research and years of experience teaching sensitive topics to discuss hate speech and how teachers can use free speech controversies to teach sociology. The third and final session covered strategies 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, and Assistant Director Chris Salituro, from Adlai. E. Stevenson High School. In addition to attending the conference, ASA staff members Teresa Ciabattari and Diego de los Rios also had the opportunity to visit the high schools where Lotspeich and Salituro teach to observe their sociology classes and meet with students, teachers, and administrators. 

For more information about this and past years’ NCSS symposiums as well as information on the ASA High School Program, visit