Presidential Powers: Historical Turning Points
July 23-27, 2018 – Washington, D.C.
At the Constitutional Convention in 1787, Edmund Randolph worried that the executive branch under the new Constitution would be the “fetus of monarchy.” The following year, Alexander Hamilton proclaimed in Federalist #70 that “Energy in the executive is a leading character of the definition of good government.” The debate around the constitutional duties and powers of the presidency continues today. Join the Bill of Rights Institute for five days of energizing professional development in Washington, D.C. This program will enrich you as a learner and help you wrestle as a scholar with debates regarding the constitutional powers of the presidency. Attending teachers will participate in pedagogical sessions with master teachers, lectures and discussion sessions with constitutional scholars, as well as visits to historic sites in the D.C. area. Classroom resources will help you engage your students in an analysis of the actions of United States Presidents in light of the Constitution.
Eligibility: Social Studies teachers of grades 7-12.
Objectives: Teachers will be equipped to guide students to do the following:
- Examine the constitutional principles of liberty, limited government, federalism, inalienable rights, separation of powers, and checks and balances.
- Analyze primary sources in classroom-friendly excerpts.
- Evaluate how various presidents have executed their constitutional powers with respect to their various roles and responsibilities.
Required pre-conference readings to include (but not limited to) selections from:
- John Locke
- James Madison
- George Mason
- Thomas Jefferson
- Federalist and Anti-Federalist papers
Lectures by constitutional scholars, as well as lesson plans and classroom applications on topics to include:
- Slavery and the Constitution
- President as Chief Diplomat
- Electing the President
- Presidency & Federal Power
- The President as Commander in Chief
- Impeachment and the Constitution
- Transfer of Power
Logistical and Program Details:
- The program begins with required pre-conference readings which will be sent to participants in May.
- Lodging, transportation during the program, and most meals will be covered by the Institute. Lodging and most program sessions will take place at a hotel in the Washington, D.C. area.
- Applicants should understand that scheduled activities will fully occupy their time each day. From the program opening on Monday, July 23 until its closing on Friday July 27, there will be little to no time for individual tourist or sight-seeing activities. Unfortunately, we are not able to include any participant’s family or guests in any of the scheduled activities.
- Participants should wait to book travel until they have been accepted to the program. Participants will be responsible for arranging their own transportation to and from Washington, D.C., but will receive a $400 travel stipend at the conclusion of the program.
- An additional $100 will be available upon completion of all post-program activities. *Required activities include creation of one or more Institute lesson plans.
- Participating teachers will receive a certificate for 30 seat hours.
Application Period and Process
- Acceptances will be made by mid-April.
Have questions about the program? Contact Laura Vlk at firstname.lastname@example.org!