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ERIC Number: EJ751199
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Sep
Pages: 2
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0037-7724
Constitution Day: Start the School Year with Civics
Lesser, Eli J.
Social Education, v70 n5 p294, 300 Sep 2006
The celebration and recognition of Constitution Day on September 17th is now required by federal law. The new law, known colloquially as the Byrd Amendment, requires all schools receiving any federal assistance, from kindergarten to higher education, to teach students about the Constitution on Constitution Day. The concept of a school's civic mission has been growing in recent years, since the publication of the Civic Mission of Schools report in 2003 and with the launching of the Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools. Constitution Day is the perfect opportunity to enlighten students, administrators, faculty and parents that their school has a "Civic Mission." Based on the suggestions of best classroom practices from the "Civic Mission of Schools" report, the National Constitution Center has created a three sphere approach to civic education, with the belief that great civic education can be led by social studies teachers but must be carried out in all classrooms and at all grade levels. The "civic education philosophy" of civic knowledge, public action, and democratic deliberation is designed to promote the teaching of active citizenship. The three-sphere approach creates a framework for educators to consider when putting together lessons and activities. This framework, although best applied in the social studies classroom, can be used across all disciplines. Constitution Day and its federal requirement is an opportunity for social studies educators to lead, not just their classrooms, but their whole school, toward renewing its civic mission. (Contains 2 notes.)
National Council for the Social Studies. 8555 Sixteenth Street 500, Silver Spring, MD 20910. Tel: 800-683-0812; Tel: 301-588-1800; Fax: 301-588-2049; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A