About Constitution 101

Constitution 101 is a 15-unit asynchronous, semester-long curriculum that provides students with a basic understanding of the Constitution’s text, history, structure, and caselaw. Drawing on primary source documents from our new, curated online Founders’ Library—containing over 170 historical texts and over 70 landmark Supreme Court cases selected by leading experts of different perspectives—students will study the historical and philosophical foundations of America’s founding principles from a range of diverse voices. The curriculum guides students to think like constitutional lawyers—cultivating the skills necessary to analyze all sides of constitutional questions.

 

 

Each module includes detailed materials for classroom educators, as well as opportunities for guided discovery and practice and tools to check for understanding:

  • Course description, objectives, and goals
  • Background knowledge tools in preparation for the lesson
  • Direct instruction through interactive videos with National Constitution Center president and CEO and constitutional scholar Jeffrey Rosen
  • Closure activities to assess learning and allow for reflective practice
  • Scope and sequence guide using curriculum that can be aligned for districts as a pacing guide for state civic standards policy implementation
  • Formative assessment to check for understanding
  • Summative assessment
  • Enrichment activities and optional additional connections to NCC materials, including the Interactive Constitution

Go to the Curriculum

 

The Constitution 101 curriculum is designed to be comprehensive as a standalone course, but teachers can use individual modules to supplement their own curriculums, or explore our extensive resource library of educational videos, background materials, and other classroom tools.

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Meet the Authors 

Jeffrey Rosen is the president and CEO of the National Constitution Center, whose mission is to increase awareness and understanding of the U.S. Constitution on a nonpartisan basis. Mr. Rosen is also professor at The George Washington University Law School and a contributing editor of The Atlantic. He was previously the legal affairs editor of The New Republic and a staff writer for The New Yorker. He is the author of six books including, most recently, Conversations with RBG: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Life, Love, Liberty, and Law. His other books include biographies of William Howard Taft and Louis Brandeis. Mr. Rosen is a graduate of Harvard College; Oxford University, where he was a Marshall Scholar; and Yale Law School.

Kerry Sautner, Ed.D. is the chief learning officer at the National Constitution Center. In her current role, she oversees all aspects of the public’s on-site experience and leads the Center’s national education efforts. Through various platforms, Sautner drives the development and distribution of programs and online offerings that make the Center the nation’s leading constitutional education resource. Sautner also leads the development of interactive programs for students, teachers, and the public; theatrical productions; educational videos; and standards-based classroom materials available on-site and online. Kerry Sautner obtained her doctorate in education leadership and management from Drexel University with a focus on creativity and innovation within educational facilities. She also holds a master’s degree in education from Drexel University and a bachelor’s degree in biology and marine science from Rutgers University. 

Tom Donnelly, J.D. is the senior fellow for constitutional studies at the National Constitution Center. At the Center, Donnelly’s focus has been in creating content for Constitution 101, the Interactive Constitution, the Founders’ Library, various exhibitions, America’s Town Hall programming, and the We the People podcast. Donnelly’s specialties include constitutional theory, American political development, and American constitutional history (particularly, the Reconstruction era). Prior to joining the National Constitution Center in 2016, Donnelly served as counsel at the Constitutional Accountability Center, as a Climenko Fellow and Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School, and as a law clerk for the Hon. Thomas Ambro on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Donnelly is a graduate of Yale Law School, where he was a projects editor for The Yale Law Journal and a Coker Fellow. He has also received his master’s degree in politics from Princeton University, where he was awarded the Alpheus Thomas Mason Prize Fellowship, and his bachelor’s degree, summa cum laude, in government and philosophy from Georgetown University. Donnelly has taught courses on law and political science at Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Princeton University. His academic writings have appeared in various law journals, including the Yale Law Journal, the Vanderbilt Law Review, the Wisconsin Law Review, the B.Y.U. Law Review, and Constitutional Commentary, and he has written popular pieces for various outlets, including TheWashington Post, The Atlantic, Politico, Slate, The New Republic, and CNN.com.

Sarah Harris is the director of education at the National Constitution Center. During the past four years working at the Center, she has worked on student programs, facilitated teacher professional learning sessions, and worked with teachers nationwide in the Center's ever-growing teacher educator networks. Prior to joining the museum world, Sarah taught freshman history at a high school in New Jersey. She graduated from The College of New Jersey with a degree in history and secondary education. 

Jenna Winterle Kehres is the director of learning and engagement at the National Constitution Center. In this role, she is involved in the development and execution of the Center’s in-person and virtual educational programs, including online classes, virtual tours, and most recently, the Constitution 101 curriculum. Kehres has worked for the National Constitution Center for over 15 years, in various roles. During her time at the Center, she has overseen the Center’s civic holiday celebrations, including Constitution Day, managed the publication of the Center’s 12-month Civic Calendar, played a key role in the launch several large-scale annual events, such as the Finding the Founders Lecture Series and the Girl Scout and Boy Scout programs. A highlight of her time at the Center came when she was selected to represent the Center at the White House’s 2008 Constitution Day Celebration, for which she prepared and presented a program for First Lady Laura Bush and her student guests. Kehres’ work at the National Constitution Center has been recognized by the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Kehres holds a bachelor's degree in history and political science from Rutgers University.  

Jim Kearney, Ed.D. is assistant director of teaching and learning for Radnor Township School District in Wayne, Pennsylvania. In this role he provides leadership in K-12 curriculum, assessment, instruction, and professional development for English/Language Arts, math, science, social studies and technology education. Dr. Kearney was a National Board Certified Teacher, was elected to the Board of Directors of the Pennsylvania Council for the Social Studies, and serves on the National Constitution Center’s Teacher Advisory Board. He holds a bachelor’s degree in secondary education from the Pennsylvania State University, a master’s degree in history from Villanova University, a Supervisor of Curriculum and Instruction certificate through Lehigh University, and a doctorate in educational leadership from Drexel University.

Ellen Resnek is the educational programs and outreach manager at Classrooms Without Borders in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and serves on the National Constitution Center’s Teacher Advisory Board. She has been an educator for over 20 years, teaching in both Massachusetts and Vermont before relocating to Pennsylvania. She received her bachelor of arts in history from the University of Massachusetts and holds two master’s degrees in education from Wilkes University. Her expertise includes creating relevant and impactful professional development opportunities for educators, while also forging a supportive professional network among a community of learners to strengthen ties between peers and experts. 

Jen Jolley serves as the secondary social studies content specialist, grades 7-12, for Brevard Public Schools, Florida. Within the district, she supports teachers and secondary administrators, coordinates social studies curriculum development, assists with instructional planning, provides professional development, and coordinates student activities including Model Student Senate. With almost three decades in education, she is a National Board Certified Teacher, a 2010 James Madison Fellow, and Florida’s 2020 Gilder Lehrman Institute History Teacher of the Year. She holds a bachelor of arts degree from Flagler College in social sciences and philosophy/religion and a master’s in American history and government from Ashland University. She is a proud member of the National Constitution Center’s Teacher Advisory Board.


Constitution 101 and the Founders’ Library are made possible through the generous support of the Achelis and Bodman Foundation, the Bernstein Family Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, Mauree Jane and Mark Perry, and Cindy and Sheldon Stone.

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