University of Virginia: Summer Civics Institute for Teachers

University of Virginia Rotunda

The Program on Constitutionalism and Democracy: “The American Political Tradition”


The Program on Constitutionalism and Democracy will host an inaugural week-long professional development seminar for middle- and high-school teachers at the University of Virginia. The teachers will explore the political philosophy and continuing legacy of the American Founding through primary sources. In this five-day, small-group seminar, led by faculty from the UVA Department of Politics, participants will read and discuss such texts as the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Federalist Papers. They will examine evolving debates over religious freedom, slavery, abolition, and civil rights, and over the constitutional powers of the three branches. This seminar provides invaluable preparation for civics, American history, and government classes.

This program is sponsored by the Jack Miller Center’s Virginia Founding Civics Initiative.

Monday, June 17, 2019, 9:00 AM – Friday, June 21, 2019, 3:00 PM
University of Virginia

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The Program on Constitutionalism and Democracy at the University of Virginia aims to promote scholarship and undergraduate teaching that are informed by political theory and by the political science of the American Founding. Since its founding in 2006 by Professor of Politics and JMC board member James W. Ceaser, PCD has sought to revive the spirit and intent of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison’s “Rockfish Gap Report” (1818), which recommends a curriculum of political studies for higher education that is designed to foster an enlightened body of citizens for a liberal democracy. The program regularly offers two undergraduate courses, open to all students in the University: American Political Tradition, and American Political Economy. Approximately 900-1000 students have enrolled in the program’s landmark American Political Tradition course since it was first offered in 2006, and American Political Economy was added in 2014. Emphasis is placed on the close reading and discussion of important texts and documents. Versions of the program’s American Political Tradition course have been offered or are planned at a number of colleges and universities, including Emory University, Middlebury College, Boise State University, the University of Montana, the University of Dallas, Louisiana Tech University, Christopher Newport University, and the City University of New York.

Learn more about the Program on Constitutionalism and Democracy >>



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