AMERICAN HISTORY & CIVICS ACADEMIES
The Center for Civic Education has received a grant from the U.S. Department of Education for a five-year series of Presidential Academies for teachers and Congressional Academies for high-need students. In the summers of 2019–2023, both Academies will include a two-week institute in conjunction with exemplary scholars and mentor teachers. Participants will be immersed in the study of constitutional history and principles following the intellectual framework of the We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution curriculum.
Given the success of the Center’s thoroughly researched professional development model, it is expected that teachers will greatly improve their knowledge of history and civics as well as their interactive instruction in the subject. Students will be expected to greatly increase their civic and historical knowledge, skills, and attitudes.
Teachers will be selected from schools with strong administrative support for work with high-need students. In order to meet grant priorities, preference will be given to teachers that work with high-need students and student applicants who are high-need. For each teacher, two students from that teacher’s school or school district will apply and participate in the summer institutes. The teachers and students will also participate in joint learning and civic engagement activities during the school year. Teachers will be expected to participate in the online forum and four online webinars and are encouraged to engage with other teachers and students at their school organizing history and civics activities. Students are encouraged to work with other students and teachers at their school to organize or participate in a history or civics activity.
Last July, during the 2019 Academies eminent scholars and mentor teachers lead participants in the study of constitutional history and principles of the We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution curriculum.
We are pleased that the Presidential Academy has been funded for 2020. Scholars for the 2020 Academies will be selected in the near future. In 2020 the participants will also enhance their learning with field trips to National Park Service and other relevant sites such as Gettysburg, Fort McHenry, the U.S. Capitol, the Supreme Court, Smithsonian museums, and Mount Vernon.
Engagement among teachers and students will continue during the academic year following the initial two-week institute. The Center hosts online discussion forums for teachers and for students to continue peer conversation as they engage in history and civics activities at their schools. Four webinars will be offered during the year that will extend the teachers' professional development and benefit students and the general public.
"This academy is a grand slam from the students' perspective and the teachers' perspective! The dynamic taking place between the teachers and between the students and all the combinations thereof has made for and continues to make for the most powerful, engaging and valuable seminar that I have been to in my thirty-year career."—Presidential Academy participant