Nov 14, 2017 / E-news, We the People
The fourth annual We the People Boot Camp for Nevada Congressional Districts 1, 3, and 4 took place October 14, 2017 at Spring Valley High School in Las Vegas, Nevada.
More than 300 students and 25 teachers participated. Presenters included District Coordinators Debbie Berger, Trey Delap, and Michael Vannozzi, Judge Elissa Cadish, Professors Rachel Anderson (UNLV), Sondra Cosgrove (College of Southern Nevada) and David Tanenhaus (UNLV), Assemblyman Lynn Stewart, Faiss Middle School Principal Roger West, Canyon Springs teacher Dr. Lou Grillo, and Clark County School District Social Studies Coordinator Jaynie Malorni. Congressman Ruben Kihuen’s Assistant Ashley Garcia was also on hand for the Boot Camp demonstration and workshops.
Professor Tanenhaus said that, for him, the highlight of the event was watching young people discover how relevant what they’ve been learning is to the world around them. “The students [were] working in groups to discuss how the most talked about stories in the news all related to constitutional elements,” he explained. Those events included the ongoing controversy about the National Football League (NFL) and the recent Vegas massacre. “They realized that the We the People curriculum gave them the vocabulary they needed to discuss these connections.”
Jayne Malorni, Roger West, and Dr. Lou Grillo demonstrate WTP Hearing
The president of Nevada’s League of Women Voters, Professor Sondra Cosgrove, was also impressed with the level at which participating students were working. “In [my] sessions, the students were highly motivated and eager to ask questions and share information,” she said. “We discussed research methods for leveraging online resources, as well as criteria for judging resource reliability. The students demonstrated a wide-range of research experience and constitutional knowledge, and a willingness to engage in debate.”
Vannozzi, a coordinator for District 4, was equally impressed. Working in small groups for just 15 minutes, he tasked his students with researching and composing answers to questions. The students then chose representatives from each group to present their answers in no more than 90 seconds. “The results were fantastic!” Vannozzi enthused. “Afterward, I had several teachers tell me that they will use our ‘sample follow-up question’ exercise in their own classrooms.”
Many of the students found the day valuable and said that it allowed them to become more comfortable with the hearing process, and the question and answer sessions. They also got to practice connecting current events with the U.S. Constitution using social media, technology, and other research tools.
Nov 13, 2017 / E-news
The Lyceum Scholars Program offers ten $10,000 scholarships to incoming Clemson University freshmen. The program uses a “Great Books” approach to studying the history of liberty, the American Founding, and the idea of moral character. Scholars take a series of eight hierarchically-structured courses (one per semester) as an intellectual cohort over their four years at Clemson. Students take classes including “Introduction to Political Theory,” “Wisdom of the Ancients,” and “Political Theory of Capitalism” and read works such as Plato’s Republic, Cicero’s On Duties, Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations and Friedman’s Capitalism and Freedom. Open to any major, the Lyceum Scholars Program awards a minor in Political Science and prepares students for careers in law, academia, policy making and business.
Because the program emphasizes moral character, Lyceum Scholars are assigned Socratic Tutors who guide students as they apply classroom theory to their own lives.
The priority application deadline for incoming Fall 2018 freshmen is December 11, 2017. Students accepted into the Lyceum Scholars Program receive $10,000 scholarships to Clemson University.
Please share this opportunity with your best students. If you have specific seniors in mind, please recommend them on our website here.
More information and an application are on the website, including a digital flyer for distribution that describes the program. Questions? Contact email@example.com.
Oct 04, 2017 / E-news, We the People
The Center would like to acknowledge the continuing generosity of the American Judges Foundation
(AJF). The Foundation voted at its annual meeting in Toronto to increase this year’s contribution to the Center for Civic Education for the We the People
program to $5,000 to support the We the People program. They have also made it an ongoing donation. In her gracious remarks, Judge Catherine Shaffer said, “This outstanding nonpartisan organization provides top notch civic educational opportunities for students across the United States via its highly praised ‘We the People’ program. Keep up your wonderful work!”
The Center thanks Judge Shaffer and her many colleagues in the American Judges Association
(AJA) not only for the grant but, more importantly, for the extraordinary services they have continued to render over the years as scholars and volunteer judges for the We the People program. Judge Shaffer is a King County Superior Court judge and currently serves as the AJA President-Elect. She has a long history as a participant in the We the People program, for years having served as a judge at the Washington State Finals and also as a judge at the National Finals competitions.
The American Judges Association is the only judicial organization that represents judges from both Canada and the United States and is the largest judges-only association in the US. Civic education and judicial education are central to its mission. Its members include a cross section of judges from all levels of courts with all levels of jurisdiction—a diverse group that, when united, speaks as the “Voice of the Judiciary.”
For additional information please contact John Hale at the Center.
Sep 25, 2017 / E-news, Project Citizen
Ghanaian students have now been participating in Project Citizen programs for eleven years! Since 2006, the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) has been organizing Project Citizen in all ten regional capitals of Ghana to empower young people with the knowledge and skills to be informed citizens.
Students from both senior and junior high schools identify real-world issues in their communities and present their research and solutions to a panel of judges from various academic disciplines. Judges evaluate the presentations and arguments of students who come up with solutions to solve real issues they have identified in their communities. Some topics researched by students include teenage pregnancy, cement dust pollution, child marriage, and elections.
Students present their project to a panel of judges.
Participants develop critical thinking and research skills, confidence in public speaking, and knowledge of the public policy process. These tools are critical in helping them understand democratic values and principles, so that they may demand transparency and accountability on key issues in Ghana.
NCCE has also collaborated with the Ghana Education Service (GES) to form Civic Education Clubs in public and private schools, where students are extending their civic education beyond even their Project Citizen portfolios.
Sep 25, 2017 / E-news
Mark Molli, associate director of the Center for Civic Education, spoke with fifteen international participants as part of the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) hosted by the U.S. Department of State and the Institute of International Education. The IVLP group focused on the goal of promoting civic engagement, exploring the legislative framework necessary to support civic engagement, and providing insight into how the United States engages youth in civic participation.
Molli highlighted the Center’s work to promote an enlightened and responsible citizenry, including its work at the national level to promote the Center’s programs with Congress and the administration.
Participants from all over the world attended the program and brought expertise from a range of professional fields, such as education, medicine, and human rights activism.
Mark Molli leads a discussion with IVLP participants. Photo by Daniel Labarca.
Sep 25, 2017 / E-news
The application for the 2017–2018 California Civic Learning Award for Public Schools is open! Co-sponsored by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson and California Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye, the awards celebrate civic learning and encourage public schools to enhance student engagement in civics and democracy.
A committee of representatives from the California Department of Education, the judicial branch, and other business and education leaders will assess the depth and breadth of applicants’ civic-learning classes, clubs, and programs. By identifying successful ways in which public schools are preparing students to be a part of an engaged citizenry, the California Department of Education hopes to spread effective models of civic education programs in other schools.
The application deadline is January 19, 2018, and Awards of Excellence, Distinction, and Merit will be announced in February 2018. Award of Excellence winners will be visited by Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye, Award of Distinction winners will be visited by an appellate court justice, and Award of Merit winners will receive recognition from superior court judicial officers. Those who receive Awards of Excellence and Distinction will also receive plaques and invitations to the California School Recognition Regional Awards Ceremony hosted by the California Department of Education.
For more information, check out the California Department of Education website and the California Courts website.
Aug 15, 2017 / E-news
The new school year is here and there are plenty of tools and resources available for students and teachers at the Center for Civic Education! The more you explore the Center’s website, the more resources you will find. The 60-Second Civics podcast offers brief lessons on the Constitution and includes a Daily Civics Quiz, which can get your students ready to learn each day. The Center offers free lesson plans for two important teachable anniversaries coming up this September: the 9/11 attacks and Constitution Day (September 17). You can energize your classroom with our extensive selection of free lesson plans for K-12 students. Read the rest of this entry »
Aug 14, 2017 / E-news, We the People
Each year, the American Lawyers Alliance recognizes three teachers of law-related education as the American Lawyers Alliance Teachers of the Year. At this year’s awards breakfast and ceremony on August 11 in the Yale Club of New York, the winners celebrated came from a broad section of the country, from the Ozarks to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Read the rest of this entry »
Aug 09, 2017 / E-news
When teaching students about the Declaration of Independence, there are a variety of valuable resources that can be found for free on the website of the Declaration Resources Project. The project curates content about the Declaration of Independence, teaching the origins and history of the document while providing research highlights and learning tools. A plethora of printable resources and insights about the Declaration’s importance and role in American history can be found on the Project’s website, as well as fresh takes on the document by scholars. Read the rest of this entry »
Aug 07, 2017 / E-news, National Academy for Civics and Government, Professional Development
“I couldn’t imagine spending July any other way. What a fabulous experience for my life, mind, and teaching.” These are the words of a participant at the Center’s National Academy for Civics and Government, which was conducted at Occidental College July 8–29 under the scholarly direction of Professor Will Harris of the University of Pennsylvania. Visiting scholars included Professor Steven Bilakovics, Dr. Kevin Ryan, and John Swaine, the CEO of the International Civil Rights Center and Museum. The “preceptors,” or mentor teachers, were Kevin Fox, Shellee O’Brien, and Keith Gall. Read the rest of this entry »