Missouri teachers gather for summer institute

Dozens of Missouri teachers gathered June 27-29 at Columbia College to attend a James Madison Legacy Project training, coordinated by The Missouri Bar in conjunction with the Center for Civic Education. The program offers professional development for middle and high school educators, who are asked to teach their students using civics and government resources demonstrated by a variety of academics.

During the three-day summer institute, teachers studied the 14th Amendment, due process, incorporation and other topics under the direction of scholars including Dr. Steve Belko, executive director of the Missouri Humanities Council; Nisan Chavkin, executive director for the Constitutional Rights Foundation Chicago; Charles Hinderliter, manager of advocacy outreach for the St. Louis Regional Chamber; and Paul Litton, associate dean for faculty research and the R.B. Price professor of law at the University of Missouri School of Law. In addition to detailed lectures, the attendees tested out teaching methods, including the fishbowl technique and hearings-styled presentations.

“The James Madison Legacy Project teachers are amazing,” said Mille Aulbur, director of The Missouri Bar Citizenship Education Program. “The year one group of teachers are diligent, extremely cooperative and very creative. Year two teachers met for the first time at the summer institute. They are also incredible and we look forward to working with them during the 2016-17 school year.”

The James Madison Legacy Project is a national program that benefits Missouri students, teachers and schools when it comes to civics education. The three-year, nationwide initiative of the Center for Civic Education will:

  • increase the number of highly effective teachers of high-need students through the professional development of 2,025 teachers,
  • increase the achievement of at least 202,500 students in attaining state standards in civics and government,
  • serve the self-identified professional development needs of a minimum of more than 500 participating schools with significant concentrations of high-need students throughout the United States, and
  • evaluate the relative effectiveness of the Center’s research-validated traditional We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution professional development model enhanced with a new blended-learning variation which incorporates online resources.

The James Madison Legacy Project is made possible by a generous grant from the U.S. Department of Education through the Supporting Effective Educator Development program. The Missouri Bar Citizenship Education Program has been awarded a sub-grant from the Center for Civic Education in the amount of $137,500 for programs in 2015-16 school year, which included the three-day summer institute for teachers. Additional monies will be awarded for the 2016-17 and 2017-18 school years. For more information about the James Madison Legacy Project, go to or Click here to see photos from the event.

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