Live Scholar Exchanges

Live Interactive Classes on the Constitution

Part lecture and part lively conversation, Scholar Exchanges give students the opportunity to learn about constitutional issues, while interacting with a constitutional expert, historian, or federal judge. Sessions are open to the public so that students, teachers, and parents can join in a constitutional discussion with our scholars, including President and CEO Jeffrey Rosen and Chief Learning Officer Kerry Sautner. Each session begins with a current constitutional event that engages students of all ages in a relevant discussion. The scholars also answer student questions.

Open-source, 30 minute sessions take place on Monday and Wednesday, with sessions for middle school level at 12 p.m. ET and high school and college level at 2 p.m. ET. Additional sessions on Fridays at 1 p.m. ET are open to learners of all ages.

All sessions are streamed live on YouTube, recorded, and posted on our website.

*Educators are encouraged to have their student’s sign-up directly, share their logins with their students or screen share through your own classroom platform!

Upcoming Sessions

Article I: How Congress Works – The Legislative Branch <br>-

Article I: How Congress Works – The Legislative Branch
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Week of November 30

In this session, students explore Article I of the Constitution, which defines the powers of Congress. This class examines constitutional debates involving the legislative branch from the Constitutional Convention to the most recent term.

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Article I: How Congress Works – The Legislative Branch with Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon

Article I: How Congress Works – The Legislative Branch with Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon

December 4

In this Fun Friday Session, Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon, member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Pennsylvania, joins Center President and CEO Jeffrey Rosen, to explore Article I of the Constitution, which defines the powers of Congress.

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Foundations of American Democracy <br>-

Foundations of American Democracy
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Week of December 7

In this session, students will examine the form of government established by the Constitution, and its key ideas—including natural rights, the rule of law, and popular sovereignty. By examining the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, students will learn how these two documents set the foundation for American democracy and make possible the freedom that is the birthright of all Americans. 

For Friday's session, bestselling author Kenneth C. Davis joins Center President and CEO Jeffrey Rosen.

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Download 2020-2021 class schedule as a PDF >>

More for December 2020

Foundations of American Democracy Featuring Kenneth C. Davis
In this Fun Friday session, bestselling author Kenneth C. Davis joins Center President and CEO Jeffrey Rosen to examine the foundations of American democracy and answer audience questions. Davis is author of Don’t Know Much About® History and other books in the Don’t Know Much About® series. He also wrote the acclaimed In the Shadow of Liberty and Strongman: The Rise of Five Dictators and the Fall of Democracy. Students will explore the form of government established by the Constitution, and its key ideas—including natural rights, the rule of law, and popular sovereignty. By examining the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, students will learn how these two documents set the foundation for American democracy and make possible the freedom that is the birthright of all Americans.

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Supreme Court in Review: Article III – From Judicial Selection to Current Cases
Week of December 14
In this session, students explore Article III of the U.S. Constitution, which defines the powers of the judicial branch and the Supreme Court. This class covers the nomination and confirmation process of Supreme Court justices and how judicial power (and the Supreme Court’s role) is defined in Alexander Hamilton’s The Federalist Papers #78 and cases such as Marbury v. Madison (1803).

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January 2021

Constitution 101: The Constitutional Convention
Week of January 4
In this session, students will examine the issues and events that led to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in the summer of 1787, including the weakness of the Articles of Confederation, Shay’s Rebellion, and the growing need for a new national government. Students will also explore the Convention, and its major turning points and compromises—including the Connecticut Compromise, the Electoral College, the Three-Fifths Compromise, and the Slave Trade Clause.

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Constitution 101: The Constitutional Convention Featuring Sal Khan
January 8
In this Fun Friday session, Sal Khan, American educator and founder of the free online educational platform Khan Academy, joins Center President and CEO Jeffrey Rosen to examine the issues and events that led to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in the summer of 1787, including the weakness of the Articles of Confederation, Shay’s Rebellion, and the growing need for a new national government. Students will also explore the Convention, and its major turning points and compromises—including the Connecticut Compromise, the Electoral College, the Three-Fifth Compromise, and the Slave Trade Clause.

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Canonical/Landmark Cases Class
Week of January 11
In this session, students explore the history of the Supreme Court and landmark Supreme Court cases from Marbury v. Madison (1803) to the Roberts Court. Great session for students to preview and investigate the Supreme Court cases to encourage further study of government.

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The Civil Rights Movement, the Warren Court, and Landmark Civil Rights Laws (the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965)
Week of January 18
In this session, students explore the 1950s and 1960s civil rights movement; the Warren Court; and landmark civil rights laws enacted by Congress—including the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965—and how they have been interpreted by the Supreme Court


The Civil Rights Movement Featuring Hasan Kwame Jeffries
January 22
In this Fun Friday Session, Hasan Kwame Jeffries, associate professor of history at The Ohio State University, joins Center President and CEO Jeffrey Rosen, to explore the civil rights movement. Jeffries is the author of Bloody Lowndes: Civil Rights and Black Power in Alabama’s Black Belt and the editor of Understanding and Teaching the Civil Rights Movement. His current book project, In the Shadow of Civil Rights, examines the Black experience in New York City from 1977 to 1993.


Article V: The Amendment Process
Week of January 25
In this session, student will explore amending the U.S. Constitution. What is the amendment process, when has it been done before, and why did the framers write this into the Constitution in the first place? 


February 2021

First Amendment: Speech and Press
Week of February 1
In this session, students will examine the historical context and the drafting of the First Amendment—focusing especially on the factors motivating America’s founding generation. Students will also examine various types of speech, including symbolic speech, hate speech, and political speech. Students will learn that in America, speech can only be limited by the government when it is intended to and likely to cause imminent violence. Exploring when the government has the authority to restrict speech, students will learn about areas of consensus among scholars, judges, and citizens; the strongest constitutional arguments on each side of contested issues; and U.S. Supreme Court cases that have addressed free speech rights. 


First Amendment: Religion Clauses
Week of February 8
In this session, students will examine the historical context and the drafting of the First Amendment’s free exercise and establishment clauses. Students will examine the protections enshrined in the First Amendment’s religion clauses. They will explore the Interactive Constitution to study the religion clauses’ text and history and how the Supreme Court has interpreted them over time. Finally, students will compare and contrast the questions, opinions, and dissents in a series of Supreme Court cases to define when the free exercise and establishment clauses do and do not limit government action.


First Amendment: Assembly and Petition
Week of February 15
In this session, students will engage in a conversation on the First Amendment’s assembly and petition clause, and how these freedoms are defined in an age of new technology.


Civil Liberties Overview
Week of February 22
In this session, student will explore civil liberties—the basic individual rights of all citizens, as expressed in the Bill of Rights and reinforced by the 14th Amendment. The Constitution, and (especially) the Bill of Rights, guarantees many of these liberties, but have they always been respected? This class will explore civil liberties through the Second, Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Amendments. 


March 2021

Amendment Review – 27 amendments in 27 minutes…plus a few more
Week of March 1
In this fast-paced and fun session, students will review all of the 27 amendments added to the Constitution, and explore the big ideas and changes that each one has made on our system of government. Be ready for a quick review of over 230 years of constitutional history!


19th Amendment: Women’s Right to Vote
Week of March 8
In this session, students will trace the roots of the women’s rights movement—from early reform efforts in the 1800s to the ultimate decision to pursue voting rights. This class will explore the constitutional arguments over women’s suffrage, study the historical context of the fight for suffrage over 70 years, and cover the tactics suffragists used to persuade state legislatures and the national government to recognize voting rights for women.


Slavery in America: The Constitution to Reconstruction
Week of March 15
In this session, students engage in a conversation on slavery in America from the Constitution to Reconstruction. This session will explore the Constitution, the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments, and the Reconstruction founders’ vision of a “Second Founding” for our nation. 


Battles for Equality in America: The 14th Amendment
Week of March 22
In this session, students explore the 14th Amendment and the battles for equality in America. The class examines the clauses of the 14th Amendment and the battle over their meaning from Reconstruction to the Supreme Court’s landmark decision on marriage equality in Obergefell. This session will explore the America’s first and second civil rights movements, the Constitution and women, and modern interpretations of the 14th Amendment. 


April 2021

Constitution 101: The Constitutional Convention
Week of April 5
In this session, students will examine the issues and events that led to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in the summer of 1787, including the weakness of the Articles of Confederation, Shay’s Rebellion, and the growing need for a new national government. Students will also explore the Convention, and its major turning points and the compromises—including the Connecticut Compromise, the Electoral College, the Three-Fifths Compromise, and the Slave Trade Clause.


The Bill of Rights
Week of April 12
In this session, students study the Bill of Rights—its rights, its protections and limitations on government—and the process by which it was discussed, debated, and ratified. Students will also explore how the Bill of Rights affects them today.


AP Court Case Review
Week of April 19
In this fast-paced and fun session, students will review the top 15 Supreme Court cases from a typical course of study for an AP Government class. This class helps students better understand these landmark Supreme Court cases and the U.S. Constitution’s foundational principles. Cases include McCulloch v. Maryland (1819), Engel v. Vitale (1962), Schenck v. United States (1919), Gideon v. Wainwright (1963), Baker v. Carr (1963), and 10 more canonical cases. Great session for middle school students to preview and investigate the Supreme Court cases to encourage further study of government.


Founding Documents
Week of April 26
In this fast-paced and fun session, students will review America’s founding documents from a typical course of study for an AP Government class. This class helps students understand these essential documents better—including their fundamental ideas and the major principles underlying the U.S. Constitution. Primary sources include the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of the Confederation, the Constitution (including the Bill of Rights), The Federalist Papers (#51, #70, #78), Brutus #1, and Martin Luther King Jr.’s Letter from the Birmingham City Jail.


May 2021

Fourth Amendment privacy in a digital age, policing in America, search and seizure
Week of May 3
In this session, students will examine the historical context and the drafting of the Fourth Amendment. Students will explore what the Fourth Amendment says and means. This lesson will allow students to examine the Fourth Amendment text, history, and interpretation, describe key terms and ideas (like searches, seizures, and privacy), and define some of the key debates about where the Fourth Amendment is headed in an age of new technology.


Second Amendment
Week of May 10
In this session, students will engage in a conversation on the Second Amendment, and its protection of the right to keep and bear arms. This exchange introduces students to different viewpoints and debates surrounding the Second Amendment by using the National Constitution Center’s Interactive Constitution. Students will analyze the Second Amendment’s text and history, how the Second Amendment shaped its core protections, and how the Supreme Court has interpreted it over time. Through these discussions, students will build understanding of the resources and methods used by Supreme Court justices and constitutional scholars when analyzing and forming opinions this provision. Students will identify key points of agreement and disagreement from essays by constitutional scholars Nelson Lund and Adam Winkler in the Constitution Center’s Interactive Constitution. Students will be able to trace the historic development of the Second Amendment with help from the Common Interpretation and Matters of Debate essays, and use evidence from the readings to explore modern interpretation of the Second Amendment.


Supreme Court in Review: Article III – From Judicial Selection to Current Cases
Week of May 17
In this session, students explore Article III of the U.S. Constitution, which defines the powers of the judicial branch and the Supreme Court. This class covers the nomination and confirmation process of Supreme Court justices and how judicial power (and the Supreme Court’s role) is defined in Alexander Hamilton’s Federalist 78 and cases such as Marbury v. Madison (1803). This session will go right to present day and review the current term to date!


Constitutional Battles of the Branches
Week of May 24
In this session, students focus on separation of powers and how the Constitution set up a system of checks and balances between the different branches of government. Our Constitution set up this system to ensure that no one branch of government would become too powerful, but where did this idea come from and how has this been tested over time in America? From Andrew Jackson and the battle over the country’s national bank to modern conversations around COVID-19, students will engage in a lively and fast-paced conversation.


 

Teacher Advisory Council

The National Constitution Center is calling on you! We are looking for members of the classroom education field to join our Teacher Advisory Council as an NCCed Adviser and help us to promote constitutional literacy. NCCed Advisers are active and engaged educational professionals who support, promote, and represent the National Constitution Center with outreach and professional development opportunities. NCCed Advisers also help the Center build better programs to support classroom instruction on constitutional fundamentals for students across the country. The role comes with perks! Members of the advisory council will have a voice in shaping our free online classes, can join in our professional development opportunities that include prominent scholars and judges, and will receive a yearly stipend for their valuable time and professional advice.

Interested in joining or finding out more? Click here to complete our survey. 

If you have any questions before or after applying, or if you need assistance with the application, please email [email protected]