The Center for the Constitution at James Madison’s Montpelier and The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation would like to graciously thank the Claude Moore Charitable Foundation, staff and supporters of The Montpelier Foundation, Dr. Quentin Kidd, Department Chair in American Politics and Director of the Judy Ford Wason Center for Public Policy at Christopher Newport University, and Christopher Borick of the Muhlenberg College Institute of Public Opinion.
WHO WE ARE
The Montpelier Foundation established the Center for the Constitution at James Madison’s Montpelier in 2002 as a nonpartisan educational institution that teaches constitutional principles and theories (self–government, individual rights, popular sovereignty, rule of law, separation of church and state, federalism, etc.). The Center’s programs are taught at Montpelier, immersing participants not only in the theories Madison articulated, but also in the history of the founding era.
The Center’s intensive, content–rich programs are designed for people who are stewards of the Constitution and who will return as advocates to their communities. A primary group served is educators — those who teach the Constitution to our children in classes on civics, history, and government. In addition, programs are offered to key communities such as judges, legislators, journalists, law enforcement officials, and representatives from other countries.
The seminars are taught by leading constitutional experts selected for the depth and breadth of their knowledge and for their ability to engage and inspire through their teaching. Drawing on primary founding documents and source materials (including The Federalist , writings of the Anti–Federalists, and the U.S. Constitution itself) as well as subsequent interpretations and modifications of these original theories, participants engage in conversation and discussion to develop a broader understanding of constitutional principles.
The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is a private, not–for–profit educationalinstitution. The Foundation operates the world’s largest living history museum, the restored 18th Century capital of Virginia, as well as the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum, the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum, Bassett Hall, and the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Library.
Colonial Williamsburg actively supports history and citizenship education in schools and homes by engaging in a wide variety of educational outreach programs and activities, including publishing books, videotapes, recordings, and interactive digital media.
Teacher–led student study visits to Williamsburg reveal the 18th Century to hundreds of thousands of students each year. The Williamsburg Teacher Institute, held on–site each year, along with dozens of workshops in school districts across the country, inspires thousands of teachers to use the Historic Area and Colonial Williamsburg resources to create innovative and engaging ways to teach about the past.
Colonial Williamsburg also produces “The Idea of America,” an interactive, fully digital, Web–based curriculum for high school students. Students learn lessons from history and the principles of American citizenship by exploring 65 case studies built around the nation’s most important historical events, debating issues that changed America, exploring the perspectives of contemporary historians, and accessing primary source documents of enduring significance.