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The Indiana Bar Foundatrion is a charitable foundation dedicated to strengthening access to justice and appreciation for the rule of law in Indiana.
The Indiana Bar Foundation administers two civic education programs: We the People...The Citizen and the Constitution and Project Citizen. Both programs are designed with the ultimate goal of preparing students to become responsible citizens.
The foundation of the We the People program is the classroom curriculum. It complements the regular school curriculum by providing upper elementary, middle, and high school students with an innovative course of instruction on the history and principles of constitutional democracy in the United States. The We the People textbooks are designed for a wide range of student abilities and may be used as a supplemental text or for a full semester of study.
Critical thinking exercises, problem-solving activities, and cooperative learning techniques help develop intellectual and participatory skills while increasing students' understanding of the institutions of American constitutional democracy. The We the People curriculum fosters attitudes that are necessary for students to participate as effective, responsible citizens. After studying the textbook, students take a multiple-choice test and prepare for the simulated congressional hearing. Upon completion of the course, they receive a certificate of achievement signed by their member of Congress or other prominent official.
Project Citizen focuses on the role of state and local governments in the U.S. federal system. The curriculum involves an entire class of middle grade students or members of a youth organization, in a series of structured, cooperative learning activities that are guided by teachers, organization leaders, and adult volunteers. Working in four cooperative teams, the students learn to interact with their government through a five step process that includes:
- Identifying a problem in their community that requires a public policy solution.
- Gathering and evaluating information on the problem.
- Examining and evaluating alternative solutions.
- Developing a proposed public policy to address the problem.
- Developing an action plan to get their policy adpoted by government.
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