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2023 Constitutional Education Project: A Student Program for Future Educators

Students studying to teach secondary social education were provided the unique opportunity to deepen their knowledge and appreciation of the US Constitution and civic virtue.

Smiling Students at Washington Memorial
Students smiling in front of the Washington Memorial in Washington DC.

At the end of May 2023, a Wheatley Institute pilot program called the Constitutional Education Project provided 24 student participants with the opportunity to visit Philadelphia and Washington D.C. These students majoring in history teaching gained a deeper understanding of the country's unique history as they prepared to become the next generation of teachers in secondary education.

For a week, these participants visited notable sites in Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. Some of these sites included Independence Hall, the National Constitution Center, and the Franklin Court Post Office in Philadelphia, as well as the Library of Congress, U.S. Capitol Building, and the Arlington National Cemetery in the Washington, D.C. area. The students experienced the sites through the lenses of institutions, self-government, religious liberty, pluralism, sacrifice, and character.

This was the first year that students were involved in the Constitutional Education Project. The student participants were very grateful for this opportunity, and found that this program was incredibly insightful and inspiring.

One student summed their experience by saying, "I was truly in awe to be able to walk where many of the most important events in our nation’s history took place. I felt humbled to walk in these places and to learn more of their history as it helped me to better see the small role that I play in the nation as a whole. Yet, this trip also helped me to better understand the phrase 'We the People' and it taught me how I, as a citizen, can use my voice and actions to better the nation." In only six days, these participants were empowered and prepared to provide a new perspective on civic virtue to all of their future students.