Teaching the Bill of Rights: The Second Amendment – Part One
Teaching the Bill of Rights: The Second Amendment – Part Two
The Bill of Rights Institute is a civic education organization with a network of over 50,000 history and civics educators, thousands of classroom-ready history and civics resources and annual student and teacher programming.
The Bill of Rights Institute is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in September 1999 to engage, educate, and empower individuals with a passion for the freedom and opportunity that exist in a free society.
The Institute develops educational resources on American history and government, provides professional development opportunities to teachers, and runs student programs and scholarship contests. The Institute’s depth of knowledge is drawn from a full-time staff with more than 100 years of combined classroom experience, as well as from partners who are experts in their fields.
Since its founding, the Institute has published over 4000 resources, including hundreds of YouTube videos and current events lessons for middle and high school classrooms. All of its resources are designed to drive students to the United States Constitution and Founding documents as the foundation of their analysis of American history and current events.
The Institute also offers several student programs and scholarship contests. During the week-long Constitutional Academy program held each summer, students work with scholars, academics, and leaders in history, government, and economics to learn more about how to examine issues based on constitutional principles. The Institute also holds yearly scholarship contests including the “We the Students” essay contest which awards $20,000 in scholarship funds to fourteen 8th-12th grade U.S. students.
From its founding to today, the Institute has remained steadfast in its mission of educating young people about the Constitutional principles which support civic life in America. With the generous support of individual, corporate, and foundation donors, the Institute has made significant progress in strengthening civic knowledge and values for the next generation of citizens. Through its programs and curricula, the Institute has provided a better understanding of the Constitution and Bill of Rights to more than 5 million students and over 50,000 teachers. Additionally, the Institute has directly trained over 25,000 teachers through its constitutional seminars.
The Institute envisions a society in which all individuals enjoy life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It is a society in which:
- Students engage with and champion these rights for themselves and others.
- Teachers educate students to seek knowledge and tackle challenges with these rights in mind.
- Parents empower their children to apply these rights in their own lives through interaction, example, and dialogue.
The Bill of Rights Institute engages, educates, and empowers individuals with a passion for the freedom and opportunity that exist in a free society.
Integrity: Have the courage to always act with integrity and in harmony with our vision.
Stewardship and Compliance: Act with proper regard for the rights of others. Honor donor intent in a manner that advances our vision. Comply with all laws and regulations. Stop, think, and ask.
Principled Entrepreneurship™: Practice a philosophy of mutual benefit. Demonstrate to people of all backgrounds and perspectives that this philosophy will improve people’s lives. Attract, motivate, and empower as many people as possible to become social-change entrepreneurs dedicated to advancing a society of mutual benefit.
Transformation: Transform yourself, your organization, and our efforts. Seek, develop, and utilize the vision, strategies, and methods that will enable us to demonstrate a better way to help people improve their lives and encourage rapid adoption across society.
Knowledge: Acquire the best knowledge from any and all sources that will enable you to improve your performance. Share your knowledge proactively. Provide and solicit challenge consistently and respectfully.
Humility: Be humble, intellectually honest, and deal with reality constructively. Develop an accurate sense of self-worth based on your strengths, limitations, and contributions. Hold yourself and others accountable to these standards.
Respect: Treat everyone with honesty, dignity, respect, and sensitivity. Embrace different perspectives, experiences, aptitudes, knowledge, and skills in order to leverage the power of diversity.
Self-Actualization: Be a lifelong learner, develop your aptitudes into skills that create value and help you realize your potential which is essential for fulfillment. As you become increasingly self-actualized, you will better deal with reality, face the unknown, creatively solve problems, and help others succeed.