Professor Chris Fritz was invited to participate in the 17th Annual Teaching of History Conference at the University of North Texas in mid-September. The conference is designed to share new or different perspectives on subject matter (including the federal Constitution) that might be brought into the classroom to teach high school students.
The title of Fritz’s presentation was, "New Perspectives on the Constitution." The talk suggested that the true "turning point" in terms of U.S. constitutional history was not the formation of the federal Constitution in 1787 as much as the "revolutionary constitutionalism" ushered in with independence in 1776 – namely the acknowledgment and implications that followed from identifying the collective sovereign of "the people" as the ultimate constitutional authority in America. That fact makes the constitution-making and experience with written constitutions occurring both before and after the federal Constitution of much more significance than we have traditionally recognized,” he maintained.
Nearly 250 high school teachers participated in the conference.
"It's surprising how few universities and colleges feel a responsibility to collaborate with high school teachers," said Fritz. "Their students will soon be ours and helping those teachers in their efforts to encourage critical thinking about American history, law and politics would seem to benefit everyone."
September 24, 2012