Center for Civic Education Curriculum  <  >
Content for these lessons has been adapted from curricular materials developed and administered by the Center for Civic Education.

Foundations of Democracy

A fundamental hypothesis of the Foundations of Democracy curriculum is that education can increase a person’s capacity and inclination to act knowledgeably, effectively, and responsibly. It follows that the role of educational institutions must be to help students increase their capacity to make intelligent choices for themselves—to learn how to think, rather than what to think. Following the curriculum, students develop the ability to identify issues that require social action. They are encouraged through informed inquiry to make a personal commitment to accept the responsibilities associated with the rights we enjoy as citizens.

Foundations of Democracy is about ideas, values, and principles fundamental to understanding our constitutional democracy. The curriculum is organized around four concepts—authority, privacy, responsibility, and justice—that form part of the common core of civic values fundamental to the theory and practice of democratic citizenship in the United States. These concepts are not discrete or mutually exclusive; some often conflict with others. As with all truly important ideas, they are subject to different interpretation.

We the People: The Citizen & the Constitution

The primary goal of the We the People: The Citizen & the Constitution curriculum is to promote civic competence and responsibility among students. It is designed to teach students about the history and principles of constitutional democracy in the United States. At the same time, students discover the contemporary relevance of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Critical thinking exercises, problem-solving activities, and cooperative learning techniques help develop intellectual and participatory skill while increasing the student’s content level.