Let’s Talk: Our Shared Future Through Education

On Wednesday and Thursday, July 27–28th, 2022, the Office of the Under Secretary for Education hosted its annual National Education Summit.

This year's theme was: “Together We Thrive: Creating Our Shared Future through Education,” acknowledging that given the right conditions and resources, all children can thrive. PreK-12 educators, librarians, media specialists, and policymakers nationwide participated in sessions exploring: Innovative lesson design for English Language Arts, Science, Social Studies, Visual Arts, and Civics Methods to cultivate social-emotional learning, inquiry-based learning, and youth creativity Insights from teachers and Smithsonian educators on instructional tools and resources to enhance learning. Participants also had the opportunity to hear about key issues and engaging learning strategies from experts from the Smithsonian and our collaborators at PBS Learning Media, Harvard’s Project Zero, the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL), the Library of Congress, the U.S. Department of Education, and many more.

Since January 2021, 42 states have introduced bills or taken other steps that would restrict teaching or limit how teachers discuss racism, sexism, and gender identity. To date, fourteen states have imposed these bans and restrictions either through legislation or other avenues.

Soledad O’Brien and representatives from the National Council for the Social Studies, National Council for Teachers of English, National Science Teachers Association, and National Council for Teachers of Mathematics discuss their joint position statement "The Freedom to Teach." This panel begins with remarks from Anna King, the CEO of the National Parent Teacher Association, who offers a national perspective on what the association is hearing from parents and communities across the nation.