ERIC Number: ED329496
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Sep-17
Reference Count: 0
Teaching "The Federalist Papers" in Secondary Schools.
Patrick, John J.
Although the collection of papers known as "The Federalist" (first published in 1788) has offered enduring wisdom to lawyers, judges, politicians, and scholars about principles and issues of constitutional government, this classic work has not occupied a prominent place in high school history and government courses. "The Federalist" deserves to occupy a prominent place and it should serve as an anchor for citizenship education. High school textbooks and curricula have treated "The Federalist" quite shabbily out of a belief that the document was too old, too removed from modern political realities, and too difficult to meet the interests and needs of modern students. Yet "The Federalist" can present teachers and students with insightful and provocative responses to the paradoxical problems of constitutional democracy--perennial problems that must be addressed by every generation of citizens. Three strategies for teaching and learning "The Federalist" are proposed and discussed: (1) document-based teaching and learning; (2) issues-based teaching and learning; and (3) course-wide infusion of core ideas. By challenging high school students to analyze and appraise ideas and issues in "The Federalist," secondary school teachers can contribute significantly to perpetuation of civic learning for ordered liberty in a civil society. (DB)
Descriptors: Citizenship Education, Civics, Constitutional History, Curriculum Development, Debate, Democracy, Democratic Values, High Schools, History Instruction, Learning Strategies, Political Science, Secondary School Curriculum, Teaching Methods, United States Government (Course), United States History
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Guides - Classroom - Teacher
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Boston Univ., MA. National Center for America's Founding Documents.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Federalist Papers; United States Constitution
Note: Paper presented at a Symposium on "The Federalist Papers: Their Contemporary Significance" (Cambridge, MA, September 17, 1990).