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New from the National Constitution Center: an Interactive Constitution

Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 9.32.01 PMIt’s Constitution Day and the National Constitution Center just launched an Interactive Constitution, perfect for high school and university study.

The podcast announcement, hosted by Jeffrey Rosen, the Center’s president and CEO,  celebrates the launch and offers detailed project background on the project.

The three-year project, currently covers the first 15 Amendments and invites students and teachers to explore scholarly debate surrounding the meaning of each provision of the Constitution.

Scholars are selected with guidance from leaders of the American Constitutional Society and the Federalist Society—two prominent constitutional law organizations that represent different viewpoints on the Constitution. Leaders of each organization recommend scholars to write about each provision of the Constitution. The pairs of scholars find common ground, writing a joint statement of what they agree upon about that provision’s history and meaning. Then the scholars write individual statements describing their divergent views on that part of the Constitution.

On the right side of the split screen the Common Interpretation shares areas of scholarly agreement.  On the left, you find the original text and Matters of Debate, essays describing conflicts and disagreement written by two constitutional law experts.  (That is, unless the matter inspired no real debate.)  A series of white papers, About the Constitution, offer general background relating to the Constitution, its history, interpretation, and application.

You can browse or search the Interactive Constitution by keyword or phrase from main menu screen.

Additional resources on the site include:

Note: The podcast announcement announced that the College Board, a partner in the project, plans to make the resource a centerpiece of the AP History and Government curriculum.  It will also be welcome by teachers of social studies, history, civics and English Language Arts and supports CCSS learning.


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Joyce Valenza About Joyce Valenza

Joyce is an Assistant Professor of Teaching at Rutgers University School of Information and Communication, a technology writer, speaker, blogger and learner. Follow her on Twitter: @joycevalenza

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