The Lauder Project: Constitutional Exchanges for Classrooms
Educating America: An Initiative for Constitutional Education and Civil Dialogue from the National Constitution Center
The Lauder Project engages students in fundamental questions about the United States Constitution and its relevance to their lives. The project builds opportunities for democratic dialogue among students in their own classrooms and with other students online.
The Lauder Project promotes collaboration on the fundamental task of developing programs that provide tools for and create classroom opportunities for engaging in civil, informed, non-partisan dialogue around current constitutional issues relevant to the 21st-century learner.
The project engages students across the country in utilizing the Interactive Constitution to connect with top scholarship. The project includes supporting materials, videos, and lesson plans make scholarly content accessible and meaningful in order to build an informed and engaged generation of citizens.
Lauder Exchange Launching on Constitution Day 2018
The National Constitution Center is piloting the first Lauder Exchanges on Constitution Day, September 17, 2018. Participating students will have the opportunity to engage in a Constitutional conversation with their peers from around the country by answering fundamental questions about the United States Constitution. Teachers who are selected to participate will receive supporting materials, including videos and lesson plans, as well as appropriate scholarly content, to prepare for their virtual exchange on September 17.
The pilot program is open to high school classrooms. If you are a high school teacher who is interested in participating in the pilot program, please complete the survey here.
Classroom Instruction Process
Step 1: Classroom instruction on key aspects of the Constitution
Step 2: Training and practice in democratic dialogue and active conversation skills focused on provided essential questions
Step 3: Reflection on the content and dialogue
This multi-year project began with the launch and on-going development of learning modules on Constitution Day 2017 and will continue in the through the 2018-2019 school year with national, virtual exchanges.
Key Aspects of the Learning Program
- Big constitutional questions to frame learning
- Introductory videos
- Text of the Constitution with scholarly analysis from the Interactive Constitution
- Classroom-tested lesson plans and activities
- Primary sources, resources on Supreme Court cases, and other supporting materials.
- Online, synchronous exchange opportunities
For an example of a Constitutional Exchanges learning module, watch a video of Justice Stephen Breyer explaining how the Supreme Court discusses cases using a thoughful, respectful process - and then use our Learning Tools with your students.
Click here to watch.
The Lauder Project is made possible through the generous support of the Laura and Gary Lauder Philanthropic Fund at the Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund.