We the People ... The Citizen and the Constitution is a nationally acclaimed civic education program that focuses on the history and principles of the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights. More than rote memorization of histrionics, the program encourages contemporary application of principles underlying our constitutional democracy by students K-12. For many young people, the program results in a life-changing experience, one that promotes lasting participatory engagement in our democracy commencing at the community level.
Through We the People Students Examine:
- The Philosophical and Historical Foundations of the American Political System
- How the Framers Created the Constitution
- How the Constitution has been Changed to Further the Ideals Contained in the Declaration of Independence
- How the Values and Principles Embedded in the Constitution have Shaped American Institutions and Practices
- The Bill of Rights
- What Challenges Might Face American Constitutional Democracy in the 21st Century
Upon Completion of the Course
Students are afforded the opportunity to showcase their skills through simulated hearings. Hearings are held at the school, congressional district and state level throughout Kentucky. Winning teams from the high school level district hearings advance to a state level competition. At the state competition, students knowledge of the constitution and ability to think on their feet are tested by judges from an array of disciplines, including elected representatives from all three branches of government, academic professors from institutions of higher learning, and leaders from the private sector. The winning team emerging from this event advances to a national competition held annually each May in Washington, D.C.
Evaluations conducted on this rigorous academic program reveal that students who participate in We the People possess the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary for serving as an American citizen. In fact, it has been demonstrated that high school students understanding of our constitutional democracy surpasses that of young adults attending college.
The Administrative Office of the Courts
The Administrative Office of the Courts has been a partner with the Center for Civic Education since 1988, bringing this innovative, hands-on civic education program to students throughout the state of Kentucky. For more than two decades, judges, teachers and other community leaders have worked tirelessly to bring this riveting program to both teacher in-service programs and classrooms throughout the state. The endurance and increasing popularity of this program is testimony to its success.