Civic Literacy and Citizenship: A Symposium for High School Social Studies Teachers

Since 2019, the Center for the Study of Liberal Democracy has hosted an annual symposium intended to enhance high school teaching in texts and ideas that will contribute to a deeper understanding of America’s founding principles and history and the wider traditions that influenced their development. The CSLD covers the cost of registration, meals and lodging, as well as a modest honorarium for participants ($400).

The CSLD will host the next Civic Literacy and Citizenship Symposium
June 17-19, 2024
Wisconsin Dells, WI
(by invitation only)

Request Invitation

Why a symposium on civic literacy in Wisconsin high schools?


The Civic Literacy and Citizenship Symposium symposium seeks to provide secondary school social studies teachers with texts and ideas that will contribute to a deeper understanding of America’s founding principles and history.

Founding Fathers around table


The symposium seeks to provide social studies teachers with practical tools, resources, and best practices for addressing civic literacy at their home institutions.

Madison East High School, designed by architect Frank Riley in the "Collegiate-Gothic" style in Wisconsin's capital city

Previous speakers

  • Donald Downs: Emeritus Professor of Political Science at UW–Madison
  • Peter Myers: Professor of Political Science at UW-Eau Claire
  • Eric Pullin: Professor and Chair of Department of History at Carthage College
  • Timothy Shiell: Professor, University of Wisconsin–Stout; Director, Center for the Study of Institutions and Innovations
  • John Kaminski:  Director of Center for the Study of the American Constitution
  • John Sharpless: Emeritus Professor of History at UW–Madison

Previous topics

  • The Humanities Citizenship Initiative: Engaging High School Students in the Humanities
  • Ratification of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights
  • The Civil Rights Movement in Two Acts
  • The Evolution of the First Amendment: What Happened and Why It Matters
  • Civics Education and the Civics Examination in High School: Some Helpful Tools
  • Veterans in the Classroom
  • Citizenship Exam for WI High Schoolers

This was an outstanding event! I have already recommended it to several of my colleagues, and would eagerly participate again in the future if given the opportunity. Thank you for everything you did to make this event meaningful and successful!!

Sheboygan North High School, 2019

I really enjoyed the symposium. It was very informational. I liked the breadth of subjects and the structure of the workshop.

I liked the interaction between the presenters and the participants. It was beneficial to be able to discuss how other educators approach similar topics in their classrooms.

Parker High School, 2019

The speaker's interpretation of the readings and the discussion with teachers. Very interesting ideas all around. Loved the diversity of thought.

Waunakee High School, 2019
Are you a Wisconsin high school social studies teacher? Let us know you’re interested in this opportunity by emailing us at