The We the People curriculum is an innovative course of instruction on the history and principles of the United States constitutional democratic republic. The program promotes civic competence and responsibility among upper elementary and secondary students. Through print textbooks and enhanced ebooks, We the People offers interactive strategies, relevant content, and simulated congressional hearings that make teaching and learning exciting for both students and teachers.
"I soon realized it's much more than arguing. It's about guaranteeing rights, making sure everyone's voice is heard, doing what is right in society, and living up to those ideals upon which we were founded."
--Cara Mund, 2018 We the People National Final speech
The Curriculum The foundation of the We the People program is the classroom curriculum. It complements the regular school curriculum by providing upper elementary, middle, and high school students with an innovative course of instruction on the history and principles of U.S. constitutional democracy.
The high school text covers these six units:
One: What Are the Philosophical and Historical Foundations of the American Political System?
Two: How Did the Framers Create the Constitution?
Three: How Has the Constitution Been Changed to Further the Ideals Contained in the Declaration of Independence?
Four: How Have the Values and Principles Embodied in the Constitution Shaped American Institutions and Practices?
Five: What Rights Does the Bill of Rights Protect?
Six: What Challenges Might Face American Constitutional Democracy in the Twenty-first Century?
Simulated Hearings The We the People program’s culminating activity is a simulated congressional hearing in which students “testify” before a panel of judges acting as members of Congress. Students demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of constitutional principles and have opportunities to evaluate, take, and defend positions on relevant historical and contemporary issues.
Findings show that We the People students are much more likely to: - Be inclined to participate in politics - Respect the rule of law - Follow politics and enjoy talking about government and politics - Critically consume political news - Be inclined to vote in presidential elections, local elections, and serve on a jury - Believe that it is their responsibility to be involved in their community - Feel that they could make their community better by working with others rather than individually - Become more tolerant of opposing political ideas