Civic Education, Democracy Education, Teaching for Civic Engagement, Teaching for Social Justice, Social Studies Education, Teacher Education for Pre-Service Teachers, Professional Development for Social Studies Teachers, Community-Based Learning and Student Service-Learning

Lena Morreale Scott is the Director of the Civic Education & Engagement Initiative which elevates civic education and engagement at the college, university, and across the state.  She is the Principal Investigator for the Maryland Democracy Initiative, (MDI) whose mission is to grow the capacity of all people for a lifetime of civic participation in service to a fairer and more just society. As a Grand Challenge Impact Award Intiative, MDI leverages the expertise of scholars and practioners in the College of Education, the College of Behavioral & Social Sciences, the School of Public Policy, and the Philip Merrill College of Journalism to advance innovative interdisciplinary, community-centered research, teaching, learning and civic engagement to strengthen our shared democracy. 

Lena co-chairs the Maryland Civic Education Coalition, a cross-partisan group of more than 170 classroom teachers, district-level coordinators, university scholars, leaders, students and community members from across the state, representing more more than 45 civic organizations dedicated to ensuring equitable access to meaningful, comprehensive civic education to prepare Maryland students for informed, lifelong civic engagement.  She also co-chairs the ad-hoc Cross Campus Civic Engagement Working Group and serves as Maryland's liaison to the state policy group of the national civic education coalition, CivXNow. 

Previously, Lena served as the Professional Development School Co-coordinator for Secondary Social Studies Education where she oversaw the internship experience for graduate students in our Curriculum and Instruction, Master of Education with Certification (MCERT) program.  She helped to provide support to Social Studies mentors, supervisors, and partners in four partner school districts. Lena also taught seminar courses designed to help graduate students integrate what they are learning in their field experiences with their coursework and current best practices and innovations in the teaching profession. 

Prior to joining the College of Education in 2018, Lena spent nearly 30 years in civic education as a classroom teacher in Montgomery County and in the nonprofit community.  Most recently, she served as the Senior Director for Teacher Professional Development Programs & Curriculum at Street Law, Inc.  Lena has trained hundreds of teachers, lawyers, social workers, and other youth-serving professionals in the United States and several other countries.  She is the author and editor of numerous textbooks and curricula about practical law, social justice, and civic engagement. She has served on multiple national civic education coalitions and working groups.  Lena graduated from Northwestern University with a B.A in American Culture and holds a Master’s Degree in Education from Harvard University.

Lena was selected as the winner of Transform Mid-Atlantic's 2022 Civic Leadership Award.  

Lena Morreale Scott  is the Principal Investigator (PI) for the Maryland Democracy Initiative, (MDI), a Grand Challenge Impact Award Intiative 

She is also the PI for two grants from Youth Service America for the Elevating Youth Engagement in Maryland project. 

In 2020-2021, Lena participated in the UMD Teacher Innovation Grant: Re-Imagining the Internship and Seminar Experience for Secondary / K-12/ Middle School Interns. 


  • TLPL 678 - Professional Seminar - Secondary Social Studies - MCERT 
  • TLPL 689 - Teaching Internship / Field Experience - Secondary Social Studies - MCERT 
  • TLPL 684 - Trends in Secondary School Curriculum (Methods 3) – Social Studies, MCERT 
  • TLPL 686 - Secondary Social Studies Pedagogy (Methods 2) - MCERT