Letters Archive

Fall 2004, Vol. 12, No. 2 (requires Adobe Acrobat)
  • Strategic Actions: Women, Power, and Gender Norms: An Interview with Holly McCammon and Cecelia Tichi
  • 2004/2005 Warren Center Fellows Strategic Actions: Women, Power, and Gender Norms
  • Don Quixote: An Anniversary Celebration
  • 2004/2005 Warren Center Seminars
  • Joe Klein to Present Harry C. Howard Jr. Lecture
  • Artist Ana Flores to Install Exhibit at Monroe Carell Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt
  • We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution” Eastern Regional Summer Institute for Teachers
  • Rethinking Inequalities and Differences in Medicine
  • 2004 Summer Graduate Student Fellows

  • “We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution”
    Eastern Regional Summer Institute for Teachers

    Blaine Betts, Mary Catherine Bradshaw, Seth Swinhart, and Jeff Hudgins

    Thirty-three teachers representing 18 states gathered at the Warren Center July 8-16, 2004, for an institute designed to help them better instill the basics of the U.S. Constitution in their students. Funded by a $90,000 grant from the Center for Civic Education, the workshop provided teachers with the content, teaching methods, and assessment strategies that will help them effectively implement the “We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution” curriculum in their classrooms. The curriculum includes both text and simulated congressional hearings. Vanderbilt University was one of two sites to host the national institutes in 2004.

    Mary Catherine Bradshaw directed the institute. Bradshaw, a Vanderbilt alumnus, teaches American Studies and Advanced Placement Government classes at Hillsboro High School in Nashville, Tennessee, and also holds an appointment as adjunct professor at Vanderbilt’s Peabody College of Education. Sue Chaney Gilmore served as assistant director. Gilmore received her B.A. and her Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University, and is presently teaching European history at Martin Luther King Jr. Magnet High School, also in Nashville, Tennessee.

    The conference opened daily with lectures by scholars, each of whom specialize in different areas of the U.S. Constitution. Speakers included: John Lachs (philosophy, Vanderbilt University), Scott Casper (history, University of Nevada, Reno), Sam McSeveney (history, Vanderbilt University), Lisa Bressman (law, Vanderbilt University), Erin Casey (attorney, Covington & Burling, New York), Vikram Amar, (law, University of California’s Hastings College of the Law) and Stephen Frantzich (political science, U.S. Naval Academy).

    After each of the daily lectures, participants separated into small groups led by mentors. (Mentors are teachers who have participated in previous years’ institutes and have undergone special training with the Center for Civic Education.) The teams tackled questions that focused on particular aspects of the Constitution in preparation for a simulated congressional hearing that took place at the end of the conference. At the simulated congressional hearing, each participant had to give a four-minute presentation on a topic related to the Constitution.

    At the conference’s closing cinner, a number of teachers commented on the interactive nature of the program. One teacher said, “This program is not a sit and get,” meaning they didn’t spend all day just listening to lectures—they were given opportunities each day to apply what they had learned.

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    For more information, contact the Center's executive director, Mona C. Frederick.

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