ERIC Number: ED369727
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1993
Reference Count: N/A
The Power of Comparison in Teaching about Constitutionalism, Law, and Democracy.
Hall, Kermit L.
Promoting change in civic education means rethinking what are the important aspects to teach about the Constitution, law, and democracy to equip students to be effective and affective citizens. The scope of instruction needs to broaden to include specific comparisons between the U.S. federal system of law and constitutionalism with counterparts in other nations. The comparative approach offers three functions: (1) creates an awareness of alternatives; (2) allows students to test the relative impact of various social, economic, demographic, political, or intellectual factors on the form of different nation's civic cultures; and (3) permits students to identify common patterns of action and behavior. A discussion of various constitutions and laws provides examples to learn about the advantages and limitations of the U.S. Constitution, law, and policy. The examples show the unique aspects of the U.S. Constitution and law, gives meaning to concepts of globalization, internationalization, and multiculturalism, and provides opportunities to appreciate others. Two proposals promote a modest and a radical view on instruction: (1) the modest proposal combines the multicultural emphasis to a broadened vision of cross-cultural and international studies of law and law-related subjects; and (2) the radical proposal adopts a strongly thematic and value-based approach that would look less at understanding the system and more on appreciating the values embodied in that system. (CK)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: United States Constitution