With Constitution Day coming up on Monday in the United States, I can’t think of anything that would prepare a teacher better than to read Bill Bigelow’s piece, It’s Constitution Day! Time to Teach Obedience or History?
Here are the last two paragraphs:
Asking students to think critically about the Constitution is not a demand for them to come to any particular conclusion about the Constitution and those who drafted it. Rather, treating the Constitution as a product of social conflict and written by partisans in that conflict implicitly gives students permission to become thinkers. No longer intimidated by the document’s holy status, they can analyze and draw their own conclusions. And part of the analysis that our students need to do today is to ask of any social policy: Who benefits? Educators can introduce race and class as key categories of inquiry — an exploration that is essential if young people are to think clearly about everything from climate change to health care.
Today, we need young people who can look at the world from multiple perspectives — especially from the perspectives of those who may not be well served by our society’s arrangements of wealth and power. On this Constitution Day, let’s encourage schools to teach outside the textbook as part of a broader curriculum of critical thinking.
I’m adding this to The Best Sites For Learning About The Constitution Of The United States.