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The Constitutional Scholars Summer Teachers’ Institute

 

Bill of Rights: Past, Present, and Future

Group of teachers attending a Rendell Center Summer Institute

In 2022, our Summer Institute will focus on the Bill of Rights.

Date: July 24-29, 2022
Location: Virtual Sessions
Application Deadline: March 15, 2022
Notification Deadline: March 30, 2022
Deadline to Accept/Decline: April 5, 2022
Eligibility: K-12 teachers

Throughout American history, the Bill of Rights has been the epicenter for the major judicial and political battles concerning the Constitutional rights of individuals versus the exercise of governmental power. Gaining a deeper, scholarly understanding of The Bill of Rights – its history and where it is headed – is essential for educating your students.

Join educational colleagues from across the United States in this virtual institute as we examine how the Bill of Rights have evolved and expanded over time. Our 2022 Virtual Institute will study how the Founders’ original vision of these rights as limitations on the new federal government was extended to limiting state powers using the Fourteenth Amendment. We’ll also look at how, in doing so, the Supreme Court’s power to change the nature of our daily life expanded greatly. 

Frist Amendment section of Bill of Rights on scroll

Teachers Talk About Our Summer Institute

See what your colleagues in education have to say about what they’ve gained by attending our Summer Institutes.

Schedule – Synchronous Sessions 

DAY 1 – Sunday – July 24 (Optional Session)

7:00 PM

Welcome and Opening Orientation
Beth Specker
Dr. Bruce Murphy
Ryan Bravata

7:45 PM

Social Mixer

DAY 2 – Monday – July 25

9:45 AM

Welcome and Orientation
Dr. Bruce Murphy
Fred Morgan Kirby Professor of Civil Rights, Lafayette College

Ryan Bravata
Dutchtown High School

10:00 AM

How the Bill of Rights became the BILL OF RIGHTS I

Dr. Bruce Murphy

11:15 AM

Break

11:30 AM

How the Bill of Rights became the BILL OF RIGHTS II

Dr. Bruce Murphy

12:30 PM

Lunch break

1:15 PM

Speaker 3

2:15 PM

Break

2:30 PM

Pedagogy Session

3:15 PM

Day Ends

DAY 3 – Tuesday – July 26

10:00 AM

Application in the Classroom

10:15 AM

Interactive Constitution in the Classroom
Kerry Sautner
Chief Learning Officer, National Constitution Center

11:15 AM

Freedom of Speech & the Roberts Court

Keith Whittington
Princeton University

12:30 PM

Lunch break

1:15 PM

Freedom of Religion – Waite Court to the Roberts Court

Graham Lee
St. Joseph’s University

2:15 PM

Break

2:30 PM

Pedagogy Session

3:15 PM

Day Ends

Evening

Optional Tour of National Constitution Center

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DAY 4 – Wednesday

10:00 AM

The Bill of Right and Racial Justice

Nadia Brown
Director of Women and Gender Studies Program, Georgetown University

11:15 AM

Break

11:30 AM

Pedagogy Session

12:30 PM

Lunch break

1:15 PM

Judges on Judging

2:15 PM

Break

2:30 PM

Pedagogy Session

3:15 PM

Day Ends

Evening

Optional Tour of National Constitution Center

DAY 5 – Thursday – July 28

10:00 AM

Moot Supreme Court Session

David Trevaskis, Esq
Pro Bono Coordinator, Pennsylvania Bar Association

1:00 PM

Lunch break

1:45 PM

Pedagogy Session

3:15 PM

Day Ends
DAY 6 – Friday

10:00 AM

Pedagogy Wrap Up

Ryan Bravata

11:00 AM

Bill of Rights Wrap-up Session

Bruce Allen Murphy

3:15 PM

Day Ends

Faculty and Team

Bruce Allen Murphy

Bruce Allen Murphy
Co-Program Director

Bruce Allen Murphy is a judicial biographer and scholar of American constitutional law and politics. He is the Fred Morgan Kirby Professor of Civil Rights at Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania, a position he has held since 1998. Prior to that appointment, he was a professor of Political Science and a professor of American History and Politics at Pennsylvania State University. In 1978, Murphy received his Ph.D. in Government and Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia, where he studied with Professors Henry J. Abraham and Robert J. Harris. Murphy is the author of four judicial biographies, the co-author of a textbook, and the editor of a reader. Professor Murphy’s books include The Brandeis/Frankfurter Connection: The Secret Political Activities of Two Supreme Court Justices (Oxford University Press, 1982), Fortas: The Rise and Ruin of a Supreme Court Justice (William Morrow & Co., 1988), Wild Bill: The Legend and Life of William O. Douglas (Random House, 2003), and his latest book, Scalia: A Court of One (Simon & Schuster, 2014). In addition to his judicial biographies, Murphy is the co-author (with Larry Berman) of an American government textbook, Approaching Democracy (Pearson Education). Throughout his academic career, Professor Murphy has taught political science, history, and constitutional law courses, including: American Constitutional Law, Liberty in the United States, The First Amendment, Introduction to U.S. Politics, The American Presidency, and seminars on judicial biography.  Professor Murphy has extensive experience running teacher institutes having served as the Institute Director for The Rendell Center’s Summer Teacher Institutes in 2016 and 2017, as well as participating in the Freedoms Foundations Teacher Institutes for the past 30 years.
Ryan Bravata - Pedagogy Director

Ryan Bravata
Pedagogy Director

Ryan Bravata currently teaches AP US Government and Politics, AP Comparative Government and Politics, and AP World History and served as the Social Studies Department Head at Dutchtown High in Louisiana. He is a member of the Instructional Leadership Team and Superintendent’s Teacher Advisory Panel while also sponsoring Griffins Fighting Gender Inequality and Rho Kappa National Social Studies Honors Society. He was awarded District Teacher of the Year in 2019. Over the course of his career, Mr. Bravata has participated in many summer institutes including Gilder Lehrman’s Slave Narratives in American Literature at Yale University, NEH Summer Institute: Borders and Borderlands, and the Constitutional Scholars Institute through the Rendell Center. 
Beth Specker

Beth Specker
Program Administrator

Beth Specker is the founding Executive Director of The Rendell Center for Civics and Civic Engagement, where she has worked closely with Judge Marjorie Rendell and former Governor Edward Rendell to establish the organization. In this role, she also serves as chief administrator for The Rendell Center’s Summer Teacher Institutes, overseeing all aspects of the events from program development, to marketing and logistics, as well as financial planning. Ms. Specker was Chief of Staff to First Lady of Pennsylvania, Judge Marjorie Rendell. In that role, she was responsible for oversight of Judge Rendell’s initiative to restore the civic mission of schools, which required her to work with K-12 schools throughout the Commonwealth as well as national organizations such as iCivics, the American Bar Association and the Civic Mission of Schools.  Ms. Specker began her career in civics education at the Freedoms Foundation, a national, non-profit organization providing a wide range of educational and awards programs for students, teachers and citizens. During her 19 years at there, Ms. Specker oversaw all aspects of running 48 educational conferences each year, including graduate programs for teachers and programs for international students. Ms. Specker holds a bachelor’s degree from Villanova University and a master’s degree in Non-Profit Management from Eastern University.
Graham Lee

Graham Lee
Faculty

Graham Lee is Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Saint Joseph’s University. A native of Boston, he was educated at the Boston Latin School, received a bachelor’s degree from Boston College and earned a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. During his 45-year career at Saint Joseph’s University, Professor Lee has served as President of the Faculty Senate, Dean of the University College, and Director of Graduate Programs. His academic expertise centers on the U.S. Supreme Court, with particular interest in church/state issues. Professor Lee has authored three books on that topic, as well as books on the Burger Court, equal protection, and Chief Justice William Howard Taft.
David Keller Trevaskis

David Keller Trevaskis, Esq.
Faculty

David Keller Trevaskis, Esquire, is an attorney and former third grade teacher, with a Master’s Degree in Education.   Trevaskis has long been a champion of non-violence, having been th designer of and original trainer for Project PEACE (Peaceful Endings through Authorities, Children and Educators), a peer mediation, anti-bullying and youth court program jointly sponsored by the PBA and the Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General. A co-author of the 2017 updated text, School Law: Legal Framework, Guiding Principles, and Litigated Areas, David is an expert on school law and school crisis. He teaches in the classroom and online at Community College of Philadelphia, Gratz College, Arcadia University and the University of New England.
Keith Whittington

Keith Whittington
Faculty

Keith Whittington (invited) is William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Politics at Princeton University, and the current director of graduate studies in the Department of Politics. He has published widely on American constitutional theory and development, federalism, judicial politics, and the presidency. Whittington is the author of Constitutional Construction: Divided Powers and Constitutional Meaning, and Constitutional Interpretation: Textual Meaning, Original Intent, and Judicial Review, and Political Foundations of Judicial Supremacy: The Presidency, the Supreme Court, and Constitutional Leadership in U.S. History (which won the C. Herman Pritchett Award for best book in law and courts and the J. David Greenstone Award for best book in politics and history). Whittington is editor (with Gerald Leonard) of the New Essays on American Constitutional History and editor (with Maeva Marcus, Melvin Urofsky, and Mark Tushnet) of the Cambridge Studies on the American Constitution.
Kerry Sautner

Kerry Sautner, Ed.D.
National Constitution Center Staff

Kerry Sautner, Ed.D., serves as Vice President of Visitor Experience and Education at the National Constitution Center.  In her capacity as VP of Visitor Experience, Dr. Sautner oversees all aspects of the public’s on-site experience of the Center, including the box office, visitor services, and volunteer staff, as well as serving as the lead in the Center’s strategic partnerships in Philadelphia’s Historic District.  Building on her classroom and program development experience, Dr. Sautner also leads the Center’s education and outreach efforts. This includes the development of interactive programs for students, teachers and the public; theatrical productions; webcasts; and standards-based classroom materials available onsite and online.    Dr. Sautner obtained her Doctorate in Education Leadership and Management from Drexel University. She also holds a master’s degree in education from Drexel University and a bachelor’s degree in biology and marine science from Rutgers University.

Application

The application deadline has passed. Thank you for your interest. Applicants will be notified about acceptances by March 30, 2022.