Sunday, May 3, 2009

U.S. Constitution Rediscovered

I have said repeatedly that the 4x4 law is wrong. An example of an important course that could be pushed off our children's schedules would be a history elective on the U.S. Constitution.

If you think high school teachers could not teach a course on the US Constitution, I say that with the use of a course from the Teaching Company that our teachers could do it. The Teaching Company has a course, The Great Debate, Advocates and Opponents of the American Constitution by Dr. Thomas Pangle of the University of Texas, Austin, that could serve as the foundation of a course on the Constitution.

Supplementing this lecture would be an examination of the Federalist and Anti-Federalist papers. Morton Borden has matched an Anti-Federalist paper against every Federalist Paper so contrasting views on every Federalist paper can be studied. The class or the teacher could pick some of the Federalist papers, read them and their corresponding Anti-Federalist papers and discuss them.

The best way to study the U.S. Constitution is to go beyond reading the words. The best way to study the meaning of the Constitution is to study the both sides of the argument over the ratification of our Constitution.

In addition, the Plano public library has a video on DVD that could be used in a class on the Constitution: "Key Constitutional Concepts", DVD 342.73029 KEY. This DVD has 3 segments. The 1st segment is inane, but segment #2 on "Gideon vs Wainwright" and segment #3 on "Youngstown vs Sawyer" are educational and intellectually stimulating. I believe there are other resources that could help our students understand and value the U.S. Constitution.

Our Constitution is a national treasure. We should all know it better. Our government will not respect the Constitution if we do not know when the Constitution is being violated and then demand it be followed.

The four-by-four law, requiring a 4th year of Math and a 4th year of Science, will push history electives off our children's schedules. History can be more valuable at times that Science or Math.

We need better leaders for a better future. Understanding and valuing the U.S. Constitution will make for better leaders.

Robert Canright

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