Wednesday, May 19, 2004

We the People...The Citizen and the Constitution

We the People...The Citizen and the Constitution. This is a description of an American program to teach about the history of the U.S. Constituion in schools.

From the site:

"We the People... The Citizen and the Constitution" is a national civic education program that helps elementary and secondary students understand the history and principles of our constitutional government. In addition, the program helps students develop a reasoned commitment to values that are integral to sustaining a democratic society. The program focuses on the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights and fosters civic competence and responsibility among students in public and private schools. The program is administered nationally by the Center for Civic Education through a network of 435 congressional district coordinators and 50 state coordinators. The program also includes the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. More than 20 million students and 70,000 teachers have been involved in the "We the People..." program.


The "We the People..." curriculum was developed by the Center for Civic Education and is presently funded by the U.S. Department of Education through an act of Congress. The program began in 1987 under the auspices of the Commission on the Bicentennial of the United States Constitution and Bill of Rights. The curriculum was written in consultation with leading scholars and educators from throughout the United States.
The upper elementary, middle, and high school textbooks examine the history and principles found in our Constitution and Bill of Rights through lessons that correspond to the essential questions guiding the National Standards for Civics and Government. The following are unit titles for the high school textbook: What are the philosophical and historical foundations of the American political system? How did the framers create the Constitution? How did the values and principles embodied in the Constitution shape American institutions and practices? How have the protections of the Bill of Rights been developed and expanded? What rights does the Bill of Rights protect? What are the roles of the citizen in American society? The unit questions in the upper elementary and middle school textbooks are similar in content. The "We the People..." curriculum complements the regular school curriculum and enhances the study of history and government. Students are encouraged to use critical thinking skills in a cooperative effort to master the content of the course and then demonstrate their knowledge through written and verbal assessments.

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