ERIC Number: ED313276
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989-Jun-29
Reference Count: N/A
"The Federalist" in the Curriculum.
Patrick, John J.
"The Federalist Papers," a collection of 85 essays on the principles of republican government written to support the ratification of the Constitution of 1787, has been praised as an outstanding work by individuals ranging from such founding fathers as Thomas Jefferson and George Washington to contemporary scholars in history and government. Some basic constitutional concepts treated in "The Federalist" include: (1) majority rule with minority rights; (2) public order with private rights; and (3) national sovereignty with states' rights. Yet this classic work is only mentioned briefly, if at all, in high school textbooks. While it is possible that teachers may feel the central ideas of "The Federalist" are no longer applicable in contemporary classrooms or curricula or that the rhetoric is too difficult for the average student to comprehend, a credible case for the inclusion of these essays can be made. The reasons for making such a case are: (1) the essays are the keys to knowledge of constitutional government and citizenship in the United States; (2) "The Federalist Papers" reflect core values in the civic culture; and (3) these papers are directly connected to the curriculum of history, government, and civics. Strategies that could be used to introduce these materials into the curriculum are: (1) document based teaching and learning; (2) issue based teaching and learning; and (3) course-wide infusion of content. Education for constitutional democracy should not be viewed as an ideological exercise, but as an extension to each new generation of citizens of the challenge confronted by James Madison and others of the founding period. (PPB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Practitioners
Sponsor: Department of Education, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: National Trust for Historic Preservation, Washington, DC.
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: United States Constitution