ERIC Number: ED359118
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1993-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Constitutionalism in Education for Democracy: The Continuing Relevance of Arguments on Constitutional Government of the American Founding Era.
Patrick, John J.
This paper contends that the issues of constitutional government debated during the founding of the United States should be in the core curriculum of any school that seeks to educate students to become responsible citizens of a constitutional democracy. For purposes of teaching students, the issues debated by founding-era political thinkers can be formulated around three central, interconnected paradoxes: (1) how to achieve liberty with order, (2) how to have majority rule with minority rights, and (3) how to secure the public good and the private rights of individuals. Those documents that exemplify the founding-era consensus and controversy about constitutionalism are identified. These documents include The Declaration of Independence, the Pennsylvania Constitution of 1776, the Massachusetts Constitution of 1780, and many of the papers from the debate between the Federalists and the Anti-Federalists. All of these documents are suggested for student study and research. Finally, three imperatives of teaching and learning about American Constitutionalism are identified and discussed. These imperatives are: (1) systematic teaching of the ideas and issues of the founding-era dialogue and debate on constitutionalism; (2) intellectually active learning by inquiring students; and (3) ongoing inquiry about ideas and issues in an open classroom climate. Contains 48 references. (DB)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: United States Constitution