The Massachusetts Council for the Social Studies (MCSS) will present its second annual summer content institute for K-12 social studies teachers from July 31, 2017 to August 5, 2017. The central focus of the summer content institute is on Article III of the U.S. Constitution—the federal Judiciary. Constitution scholar Linda R. Monk (2003) describes Article III of the U.S. Constitution as “the shortest, and least specific, of the constitutional provisions establishing the three branches of government” (p. 90).
Some of the key objectives of the summer content institute include: examining long-lasting principles of the federal judiciary including, but not limited to, judicial review, judicial restraint, judicial activism, and strict construction versus loose construction; exploring how the federal judiciary have affected the relationship between the federal government and the states and the people; and analyzing the Supreme Court’s interpretations of the U.S. Constitution throughout the course of American history. In this content institute teachers will study the historical origins and developments of the federal judiciary by examining a variety of primary source materials including, but not limited to, Alexander Hamilton’s Federalist 78, Judiciary Act of 1789 and of 1801, Marbury v. Madison (1803), McCulloch v. Maryland (1819). Teachers will also look at how the rulings or actions of the Supreme Court may have led to constitutional amendments, and how constitutional amendments have affected the Supreme Court in interpreting the U.S. Constitution and future rulings. Teacher participants will also examine and assess consequential rulings including but not limited to Dred Scott v. Sanford, Plessy v. Ferguson, Korematsu v. United States, The Slaughterhouse Cases, Obergefell v. Hodges, and Citizens United v. FEC.
Teachers will explore tenures of some influential and consequential Supreme Court Chief Justices including John Jay, John Marshall, Roger Taney, Charles Hughes, Earl Warren, and William Rehnquist. Teachers will also learn about justices who have changed the socio-political dynamics of the Supreme Court such Thurgood Marshall, Sandra Day O’Connor, Antonin Scalia, and Sonia Sotomayor, as well as some from Massachusetts such as Oliver Wendell Holmes, Joseph Story, William Henry Moody, Louis Brandeis, Stephen Breyer, and Elena Kagan.
Partnerships: MCSS will be partnering, once again, with Massachusetts Center for Civic Education (MACCE) and James Madison Legacy Project (JMLP) and offer this professional development opportunity to its cohort members and provide historical content to its program mission and objectives for teaching and learning. MCSS is also seeking to build partnerships with Suffolk University (SU), University of Massachusetts-Boston (UMB), Boston Public Schools, New England History Teachers Association (NEHTA), American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) Teacher Law School program, and Massachusetts Historical Society (MHS).
More details and registration will be available in January 2017.