Is the Constitution Important?

October 21st, 2011 by

I hear this question a lot – and I think this is an important question for all social studies teachers to grapple with. The first thing I would tell your students when they ask this question, is that as citizens of the United States of America, we don’t have one single thing that binds us Read more…

Countdown to the Constitution – Brearly Committee – Powers of Congress

September 7th, 2011 by

Philadelphia – As September began, the Convention had made remarkable progress toward drafting a new Constitution, but many questions had been left for later. The delegates agreed “to refer such parts of the Constitution as have been postponed, and such parts of Reports as have not been acted on, to a Committee of a member Read more…

Failing Liberty

August 24th, 2011 by

Civic education has a fundamental problem. It is not like other forms of education that teach specific content and skills that have an obvious value in the marketplace. Instead, it teaches content and skills that are necessary for our society to continue to function in ways that we take for granted. In other words, we Read more…

Countdown to the Constitution

May 24th, 2011 by

This summer, the Bill of Rights Institute will be blogging the Philadelphia Convention of 1787. Beginning tomorrow, May 25 – the date when enough delegates had arrived to give the Convention a quorum – the Bill of Rights Institute’s ”A More Perfect Blog” will give weekly accounts of the key actions and conversations of the Read more…

Calling for a Teacher Discussion of the Nation’s Civics Report Card

May 18th, 2011 by

Recently the results of the 2010 National Assessment of Educational Progress civics assessment were released. The results were mixed. It was encouraging to see that the performance of fourth graders improved since 2006 – and that this increase was reflected through all demographic groups and all skill levels. It is also worth noting that teaching Read more…

Liberty, Responsibility, and the New Deal

March 8th, 2011 by

Recently the Bill of Rights Institute hosted a colloquium on the topic of “Liberty, Responsibility, and the New Deal”. I had the pleasure of talking with several social studies teachers about the extended debate that occurred between Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Herbert Hoover on the appropriate role of national government in response to a time Read more…