Saturday, March 06, 2004

Education on the U.S. Constitution.

Education on the U.S. Constitution. Many American students know nothing about the U.S. Constitution. This essay endeavors to do somethign about it.

From the site:

The United States of America, a comparatively young country, has the world's oldest written constitution. In 1787, this Constitution was a striking innovation, a breakthrough in the establishment of republican self-government. Since 1787, this Constitution has been the preeminent symbol of American nationhood and a practical instrument of free government (popular government limited by law to protect the liberty and security of individuals). Furthermore, this Constitution has had an enormous influence on governments around the world. According to Albert Blaustein, a specialist in the comparative study of constitutions, "The United States Constitution is this nations's most important export" (1984, p. 14).

The bicentennial of the Consitution provides a special opportunity for renewal and improvement of education on basic values and principles of American constitutional government, which are essential elements of national unity and cohesion in a pluralistic society. These ideas are relevant and valuable to all Americans, regardless of their social differences, and must be understood and used by all who would exercise fully their rights and responsibilities of citizenship. What is the status of education on the Constitution in American secondary schools? This ERIC digest examines (1) treatment of the Constitution in the curriculum of secondary schools, (2) public opinion and knowledge about the Constitution, and (3) guidelines for improvement of education on the Constitution.

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