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We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution A Photographic Retrospective 1987-2007.

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Presentation on theme: "We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution A Photographic Retrospective 1987-2007."— Presentation transcript:

1 We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution A Photographic Retrospective

2 On September 16, 1987, about 140,000 people gathered at the nations capitol to celebrate citizenship and the American people on the bicentennial of the drafting of the U.S. Constitution.

3 In 1985, President Ronald Reagan named Warren E. Burger, Chief Justice of the United States, chairman of the Commission of the Bicentennial of the United States Constitution.

4 From its inception, the Commission focused on providing Americas young people with a history and civics lesson to commemorate the bicentennial of the Constitution.

5 The Center for Civic Educations Executive Director, Charles N. Quigley (center), reported during the Commissions second meeting in August 1985 that the Center had developed a national high school program on the Constitution.

6 That program, the National Bicentennial Competition on the Constitution and Bill of Rights, was funded by the Commission from 1987 to 1992.

7 The National Bicentennial Competition on the Constitution and Bill of Rights would use a specially designed curriculum to reach more than 2 million students from 1987–1992.

8 The centerpiece of the program would be a competition that would test students knowledge of the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

9 More than 215,000 We the People textbooks were distributed for the National Bicentennial Competition. About 4,000 teachers received professional development in the program. High SchoolMiddle SchoolElementary

10 Retired Chief Justice of the United States Warren E. Burger presented the first-place trophy to teacher David Vigilante (right) for Gompers High Schools victory at the first competition on the Constitution and Bill of Rights in April 1988 in Washington, D.C.

11 In 1992, with the close of the bicentennial, funding for the National Bicentennial Competition on the Constitution and Bill of rights was transferred to the U.S. Department of Education and renamed We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution.

12 During its twenty-year history, more than 28 million students and 90,00 educators have participated in the We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution program.

13 We the People enhances students understanding of the history and foundations of the institutions of American constitutional democracy.

14 Through their study of the We the People curriculum, students discover the contemporary relevance of the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

15 The culminating activity of We the People is a simulated congressional hearing in which students testify before a panel of judges.

16 During simulated congressional hearings, students demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of constitutional principles.

17 We the People students evaluate, take, and defend positions on relevant historical and contemporary issues.

18 Elementary and middle school classes conduct noncompetitive or competitive hearings before a school or community audience.

19 About 1,200 high school students and their teachers participate annually in the We the People national finals.

20 While in Washington, students visit historic sites and museums, and meet with members of Congress and other prominent officials.

21 The Educational Testing Service reports that We the People is a great instructional success.

22 Independent studies by the Educational Testing Service revealed that We the People students significantly outperformed comparison students on every topic of the tests taken.

23 Students involved in the We the People program develop greater commitment to democratic principles and values than students in comparison groups.

24 According to researchers at the Council for Basic Education, We the People students are enthusiastic about what they have been able to accomplish, especially in terms of their ability to carry out a reasoned argument. They have become energized about their place as citizens of the United States.

25 The We the People program is one of the best avenues for promoting civic virtue, leadership, and overall academic skills of students. John Stofer, Principal, Ohio County High School, Hartford, Kentucky

26 The program enables students to learn valuable skills that will benefit them throughout the rest of their lives…. Most important, however, are the things learned that will enable participants in the We the People program to become better and more active citizens. Rebecca Stevens, Alumna, Michigan

27 I still get excited about government and politics because of my experience with We the People. I became a much more knowledgeable and well-rounded person because of the program. Alumnus, Massachusetts

28 We the People gives students an alternative to the prevalent cynicism of American politics. Amy Stulman, Alumna, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania

29 We the People has given me more than I could ever ask for: valuable speaking, debating, and researching skills, long-lasting friendships and memories, and perhaps most importantly, direction for my future. Patrick Matheny, Alumnus, Findlay, Ohio

30 For more information about We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution, visit or call


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