A Message From Our President
Welcome to our newly designed website! It is our pleasure to bring our We the People programs to all of our Massachusetts teachers. Although our expectation is that those teachers who primarily focus on civic education may benefit from our website, it hopefully will be useful to all teachers and administrators who will want and need information relating to improving school climate, to providing service learning opportunities, to helping to navigate governmental institutions, to understanding the governmental process, and to promoting character education for their students.
Our primary mission is to help students learn about their government, to provide them skills to participate in their government and most importantly to embrace a healthy attitude about their government. This last point aims to shift students' attitude from one of apathetic cynicism to one of vigilant skepticism. We want to support our Founders' vision for the principles and values upon which our government is based, allowing students to determine for themselves their views on how these should be internalized.
With the base knowledge about government and the opportunities to participate in government, we believe that this generation will be able to distinguish between the political messages from our leaders and political parties and why we have and need a government to protect and to support We, the People. As John Adams quotes in his Thoughts on Government (1776), a good government is about "an empire of laws, not of men".
Given the age we live in, it is paramount that we, as educators, give our students the tools to be empowered and enlightened citizens. Through my 28 years associated with the Center for Civic Education, I have found these programs to be hugely successful in giving students the means of exercising their civic duties and understanding their role in this nation. I look forward to working with you in helping to preserve our democratic republic.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with our programs, go to:
We the People: The Citizen & the Constitution to learn more about the foundations of our government, its historical context, its contemporary application and the many opportunities to analyze the events of history and current events. Through interactions found in each lesson, students can discuss, evaluate and take positions on the issues being studied. The culminating event is a highly recognized performance based simulated congressional hearing. Throughout the website, you can see references to this. If you want further clarification, do not hesitate to contact me.
We the People: Project Citizen to find out about a genuine opportunity for students to learn about government by participating in government. Students discuss and select a problem within their school, community, state or beyond through deliberation, interviews, and collection of data. Once the problem is selected by the class, additional research into the solutions for this problem is done weighing the advantages and disadvantages of these solutions. The class then selects the solution they think would work best and explains their reasoning. Finally, the students determine an action plan to enlist support for adoption of their proposed policy. The culminating activity is to present their proposed policy to the authorized governing body. Students may also participate in a State Showcase which offers a simulated legislative hearing. This process has been applied by many school districts and youth organizations as a service learning tool. For more information on this program, please contact Ellen Barber-Morse. .
President of the Massachusetts Center for Civic Education