Foundations of Democracy
The U.S. Constitution arose out of important historical and philosophical ideas and preferences regarding popular sovereignty and limited government. To address competing states’ visions for the allocation of governmental authority, compromises were made during the Constitutional Convention and ratification debates, and these compromises have frequently been the source of debate and negotiation in U.S. politics over the proper balance between federal and state power and between liberty and social order.
Marcel Proust wrote, "The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes." Too long we educators have talked about our "teaching." Today, however, our testimonials need to be about "learning." It is time for us to open our eyes to a new landscape, a 21st century classroom. The wonderful Samuel Johnson said, "The supreme end of education is expert discernment in all things - the power to tell the good from the bad, the genuine from the counterfeit, and to prefer the good and the genuine to the bad and the counterfeit." Therefore our ancient TEXTS today
have become our useful TEXT MESSAGES. It's about learning.
It's about time. This is scholarship for a new generation.
Socrates wrote, "Just as others are pleased by a good horse or dog or bird, I myself am pleased to an even higher degree by good friends...And the treasures of the wise men of old which they left behind by writing them in books, I unfold and go through them together with my friends, and if we see something good, we pick it out and regard it as a great gain if we thus become useful to one another." An educated citizenry must demonstrate what they have learned. As
an artisan we learn from our available materials. From them
we make something new. As an artisan we create meaning. Find
these assessments helpful but also see them as a way to clearly
demonstrate what you have learned by making knowledge stick.
These writing prompts will make the complex simple and the confusing clear. To be literate is more then the ability to read. It is to be learned. Watch, learn and do. Citizenship, like our democracy, is a verb.
Malcolm Gladwell has written, "Success is a function of persistence and doggedness and the willingness to work hard for twenty-two minutes to make sense of something that most people would give up on after thirty seconds." So much easier to do when it is relevant.