ERIC Number: EJ817701
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Reference Count: N/A
Teaching the Constitution to Twenty-First Century Students
Jackson, Peggy S.; Hinde, Elizabeth R.; Haas, Nancy S.
Social Education, v72 n7 p377-378 Nov-Dec 2008
Civic education in public schools faces major challenges. Under No Child Left Behind, many schools have favored teaching math and English rather than civics, which undermines one of the purposes of public schools--to educate students to be responsible and active citizens in democracy. A second challenge comes inside the classroom: engaging the interest of students in civics, and increasing their knowledge and analytical skills. Teaching about the Constitution can sometimes be overly dry and textual, and may be hampered by the fact that the language of the eighteenth century can make the document seem remote and distant to students. Nevertheless, it is possible to make it exciting and engaging, so that students appreciate the relevance of its principles to everyday public life and contemporary issues. The study of the Bill of Rights, for example, does not have to rely only on using a textbook or having students memorize the main points of the ten amendments. This article presents a lesson plan from the Sandra Day O'Connor Civic Education Project which involves students directly in the Bill of Rights by stimulating their curiosity and challenging their knowledge and thinking skills. The purpose of the lesson plan is to expose students to controversies or complaints and discover whether or not the Constitution addresses those issues.
Descriptors: Public Schools, Citizenship Education, United States History, Constitutional Law, Lesson Plans, Civil Rights Legislation, Democratic Values
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: email@example.com; Web site: http://www.socialstudies.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Bill of Rights; No Child Left Behind Act 2001