My name is Joe Schmidt and I am the founder of Joe Schmidt Social Studies LLC. My passion is supporting educators and districts as they work to provide quality social studies education for students. This site is intended to give you more information about my work, provide resources, and connect with me to support you.
Joe is proud of his work that spans from teaching in the classroom to district, state, and national level leadership where he supports educators that teach grades PK-12. He strives to connect social studies educators regardless of grade level, content area, geographic location, or political leanings. He has worked with Colonial Williamsburg, Learning for Justice (formerly Teaching Tolerance), the National Council for Geographic Education, ThinkerAnalytix, Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Finance, iCivics, National Geographic, and has taught Elementary Methods at the University of Maine.
Joe served as a high school social studies classroom teacher for nine years in rural Wisconsin before leaving the classroom to be the Social Studies Teacher Leader for the Madison Metropolitan School District for three years. Joe was the Social Studies Specialist for the Maine Department of Education for five years and is now the Director of Programs for the Bill of Rights Institute, a 501(c)3 non-profit based out of Arlington, Virginia. He is an elected member of the Board of Directors for the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) and is running for president of NCSS this fall.
Joe can be found on almost all social media @madisonteacher and is currently working on his second book about evolving best practices in social studies education today.
Joe currently holds leadership positions or serves in an advisory capacity with the following organizations:
Throughout his career, Joe has lead or served in support of the following committees or organizations:
Joe is a frequent presenter at state, regional, and national conferences with presentations focusing on civil discourse, disciplinary literacy, inquiry, assessment, and the use of primary sources among others. He has presented for or consulted with organizations and school districts in states representing more than half the country.
If you want to learn more, you can order Civil Discourse: Classroom Conversations for Stronger Community by Joe Schmidt and Nichelle Pinkney from Corwin. Joe and Nichelle are also available to provide professional development to your district, and you can fill out this form to have one of them follow up with you to learn more.
Joe offers professional development to fit the needs of your school or district, with a variety of synchronous and asynchronous professional supports available.
"Joe brought tremendous energy to the two-hour workshop about civic discourse at NCSS 2022. This session was on the final morning of the conference, and his session definitely energized me and will help me in my work with educators and students." - Caitlin, Head of Growth & Implementation, at Local Civics
"Joe brings with him a knowledge, insight and passion for social studies that can compliment and elevate a state or district mission. He is a heart-first educator who champions students and educators in all of his endeavors. I am lucky to know Joe and to have collaborated with him." Jaclyn Holimon
"One of the absolute best presenters I have ever had for a conference." Jada Diket
"Joe will bring with him a passion and excitement for Social Studies that will quickly be passed on to your staff that attend his training. I highly recommend reaching out to Joe for your professional development needs in the area of social studies." Jared Deshane
"Joe was incredibly knowledgeable and did a great job of explaining new concepts and practices with us. I am very appreciative of everything Joe did for us that day, and our students are certainly benefiting from it." Matt Parkansky
"Joe came to speak to our group of dual enrollment social studies instructors while we were reading Civil Discourse. He was energetic and interesting (not news anyone who knows him) and unafraid to tackle hard questions about both his book and larger themes of social studies education. I appreciated his willingness to get into the weeds of participant’s questions with useful solutions and (like any social studies educator worth their salt) an occasional tangent." Anthony Feldpausch
"I found Joe to be very engaging and a wealth of knowledge in the area of social studies. This planning session took place several years ago and I still use many of the sites, concepts, and ideas that he shared with us." Sue Stoltenberg
11/28/2020 - Racism and Bias w/ Joe Schmidt & Deqa Dhalac - Maine Education Matters Podcast
1/21/2021 - Courageous Conversations About Contentious Topics - Teaching History, Politics, and Stuff Podcast
10/26/2021 - "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without expecting it." - Aristotle - The Teach Different Podcast
3/10/2022 - Belonging, Empathy, and Civil Discourse - Conceptually Speaking Podcast
4/13/2022 - The Importance of Civil Discourse - Teaching History, Politics, and Stuff Podcast
4/17/2022 - “The First Duty of Society is Justice” - Wendell Phillips - The Teach Different Podcast
5/13/2022 - Let's Talk About Civil Discourse - Let's K12 Better
5/17/2022 - Civil Discourse: Classroom Conversations for Stronger Communities - First Amendment Unscripted w/ the First Amendment Museum
7/20/2021 - Reflecting on 100 Years of NCSS - National Council for the Social Studies
1/11/2022 - Questions Are the New Answers - Social Studies School Service
2/24/2022 - A Republic if We Can Keep It: Civil Discourse in Our Classrooms - Western States Civics Coalition
3/10/2022 - Disciplinary Literacy in the Social Studies Classroom - Social Studies School Service
4/28/2022 - CUBED Classrooms Support Civil Discourse - Corwin Connect
5/12/2022 - Research Based Best Practices - Social Studies School Service
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