Nov 15, 2017 / E-news, James Madison Legacy Project
Teachers met in Anchorage, Alaska, to participate in the James Madison Legacy Project (JMLP) professional development workshop. They learned strategies for teaching We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution to their students by role-playing a simulated congressional hearing and hearing from speakers, such as Alaska Supreme Court Justice Joel Bolger. “This workshop offers content and engagement. The interactive activities were very strong reinforcement of the material taught to the class,” said one JMLP teacher.
JMLP Teachers Role-Play a Mock Congressional Hearing
The teachers presented to their school board explaining the We the People program and its benefits to students. Teachers Minty Ruthford, Mary Ulroan, and Valeria Owrey, had their students become part of the presentation through a candy bar simulated congressional hearing. Each group of students picked a candy that they felt best represented the United States and presented to their class and three judges.
Students argued for a variety of candies. “Peanut M&M’s are red, green, brown, yellow and blue and this represents the diversity of America because there are so people from so many different backgrounds,” said one group. Another group argued for Hot Tamales because, “Hot Tamales are made in Pennsylvania just like America’s Declaration of Independence.”
As classrooms move from candy bar hearings to their real mock congressional hearings, Alaska’s JMLP teachers are confident that the We the People curriculum “gets kids to become more involved in their community and to practice their citizenship both inside the school and out.”
Jul 13, 2017 / E-news, James Madison Legacy Project
James Madison Legacy Project summer institutes are in full swing this summer, engaging teachers in civics-oriented professional development courses across the country. Our week-long workshops serve teachers from schools serving high-needs populations in the We the People curriculum that encourages civic engagement and an informed citizenry. These institutes are part of a larger initiative to enhance the knowledge and skills of civics and government teachers who are steadfast in promoting student achievement across the nation.
JMLP Florida Summer Institute participants in the Florida Legislature Committee Hearing Room where they conducted their simulated congressional hearing
JMLP sites provide either the traditional We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution professional development course or the Center’s new blended-learning variation of the traditional model. This new blended model provides participants with an interactive online course facilitated by educators trained in the curriculum.
Participants interact with lawyers, judges, state and local representatives, and professors of law, history, and political science who provide expert knowledge to our teacher/students. These guest speakers bring context and real-life experiences in their respective fields to make the content even more engaging. In Florida, for instance, participants worked with Justice Lawson of the Florida Supreme Court and regional directors for Senators Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson. One group of JMLP teachers in Virginia visited James Madison’s Montpelier, a plantation house of the Madison family to see colonial history up-close and outside of the classroom.
JMLP VA-MD-DC-WV Summer Institute visiting the Montpelier grounds in Virginia
The blended model also includes videos featuring experts from across the country discussing topics that correlate with the We the People curriculum. All of the summer institutes conclude with a simulated congressional hearing where teachers work in teams to research and prepare testimonials about a unit of the textbook. They answer questions related to their assigned topics, displaying the knowledge and critical thinking skills that they have developed through the summer institute.
No matter the model implemented, JMLP teachers come away with more content knowledge and strategies to help them feel confident about using the We the People curriculum in their classrooms. If you participated in a JMLP summer institute, check out our Flickr page for more photos.
Mar 09, 2017 / James Madison Legacy Project
Watch some of the highlights of the JMLP meeting above!
From February 24-26, 2017, state coordinators and mentor teachers traveled from far and wide to meet in Southern California. The purpose: the second annual James Madison Legacy Project meeting. Read the rest of this entry »
Jan 23, 2017 / James Madison Legacy Project, Message from the Center
“A people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power
which knowledge gives.”
– James Madison
James Madison, noted as the father of the U.S. Constitution, reminds us in the preceding quote of the importance of an educated citizenry. Many institutions help to develop Americans’ knowledge and skills and shape their civic character and commitments. The family, religious institutions, the media, and community groups are important influences to this end. Our nation’s schools, however, bear a special and historic responsibility for the development of civic competence and civic responsibility. Read the rest of this entry »
Oct 25, 2016 / James Madison Legacy Project, We the People
Pulse of the Populace from Georgetown University is an online polling platform for students to weigh in on current issues ranging from Obamacare to Syrian refugees and see their representatives’ stances on these issues. Read the rest of this entry »
Oct 25, 2016 / James Madison Legacy Project
The James Madison Legacy Project is a three-year nationwide initiative of the Center for Civic Education funded by the U.S. Department of Education. The project aims to increase the number of highly effective teachers of high-need students through the professional development of 2,025 teachers. Now entering its second year, the James Madison Legacy Project is being successfully implemented throughout the United States by a dedicated cadre of site coordinators who are experienced leaders in their educational communities. Read the rest of this entry »
Jul 25, 2016 / James Madison Legacy Project
The James Madison Legacy Project is a three-year nationwide initiative of the Center for Civic Education to increase the number of highly effective teachers of high-need students through professional development. The project is made possible by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education through the Supporting Effective Educator Development program. Read the rest of this entry »
Mar 21, 2016 / James Madison Legacy Project
Diana Owen received the Daniel Roselle Lecture Award at the Middle States Council for the Social Studies conference on February 26. Owen is an associate professor of political science at Georgetown University. She is the evaluator for the James Madison Legacy Project, a three-year nationwide civic education initiative of the Center for Civic Education funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education through the Supporting Effective Educator Development program. Read Diana Owen’s keynote address. Read the rest of this entry »
Dec 21, 2015 / James Madison Legacy Project
The professional development sessions for Cohort 1 teachers of the James Madison Legacy Project are off to a great start. The Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia and Washington, D.C, partnership held a combined two-day kick-off seminar in the new conference facilities at Mt. Vernon. Read the rest of this entry »