Browder and Local Teachers
JACKSONVILLE -- August 12, 2002 --
Getting teenagers to take responsibility for the future of American democracy is an ambitious assignment, but that's what former Congressman Glen Browder and some government teachers hope to accomplish with a new initiative in the Calhoun County school system.
Browder, now Eminent Scholar in American Democracy at Jacksonville State University, and the local teachers are putting together a course of study--called the American Democracy Project--that challenges young Alabamians to think seriously about "what America means" and "how America ought to work" in the Twenty-First Century. The project, which will be open to a limited number of interested students, has the blessings of JSU and the Calhoun County School Board.
JSU President Bill Meehan said, "The American Democracy Project has the potential to raise awareness among students who will become future leaders. This is an important outreach effort, and I applaud Dr. Browder's work."
Browder and the teachers are now organizing appropriate concepts and materials into a study course that consists of a video and workbook. They hope to launch their initiative during the 2003 school year.
Dr. Judy Stiefel, deputy superintendent for curriculum and instruction for the Calhoun County School System, said: "[Our] system is pleased to be working collaboratively with Dr. Browder on the American Democracy Project. The future of American Democracy truly is in the hands of today's students. The availability of a quality resource, such as that being developed by Dr. Browder and our team of Calhoun County American Government teachers, should help to better prepare our students to take part in ensuring that our system of democracy endures."
Gail Carpenter, a Calhoun County secondary education curriculum specialist, had this to say: "Our teachers are continually searching for new, innovative ways to present course content. Dr. Glen Browder's American Democracy Project promises to be just that. Calhoun County School System teachers of American Government are excited to be teaming with Dr. Browder in the development of a course of study to accompany his textbook and lecture videotape series.
"The final project will consist of a study guide to include teaching notes, discussion questions, vocabulary, student activities, research topics and project ideas, as well as the edited lecture videotapes. Dr. Browder's request of front-line teacher involvement in this project should result in a quality resource that is relevant to the needs of our students."
Browder said the class initially will confront the teenagers with a dramatic, rhetorical question: "Is America dying?" From this provocative introduction, the course proceeds to examine our civic and governmental health; it then proposes an "American democratic renaissance"; and it concludes by challenging the young citizens to become partners in American democracy. The course of study closely parallels the logic of Browder's Eminent Scholar Public Lecture Series and new book, The Future of American Democracy: A Former Congressman's Unconventional Analysis (2002).
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