The following materials comprise the curriculum for the School Violence Prevention Demonstration Program:
• Foundations of Democracy is a series consisting of curricular models for use with students from kindergarten through twelfth-grade on four concepts fundamental to an understanding of politics and government: Authority, Responsibility, Privacy and Justice.
• We the People, the Citizen and the Constitution focuses on the history and principles of the U.S. Constitution and Bill of rights for upper elementary, middle and high school students
• We the People, Project Citizen is a civic education text suggested for middle grades that promotes competent and responsible participation in state and local government. It actively engages young people in learning how to monitor and influence public policy.
It is very important to understand that the School Violence Prevention Demonstration Program (SVPDP) has blended the curricular materials of three separate programs. When we refer to either Foundations of Democracy, the We the People, the Citizen and the Constitution, or Project Citizen, within the context of the School Violence Prevention Demonstration Program, we are referring to the curricular materials only and NOT the programs themselves. What follows on the subsequent pages is a brief description of the curricular materials as they pertain to the SVPDP.
The key is the blending of the different materials. None should be taught as separate entities, nor should one be taught in isolation. Although each curriculum deals with a specific focus and content basis that is different, they are in fact interrelated. That relationship provides students with a strong content basis and a greater opportunity for critical thinking.
The two most basic and important elements in teaching the School Violence Prevention Demonstration Program is the integration of the three curricular materials and completion of the two major culminating activities. To help teachers with the integration of the texts, integration models for the year are provided to them. These models are there to guide the teacher in approaches that have worked in other classrooms. The site coordinator and the staff developer will be able to discuss how to use the integration models and how to adapt or alter them to suit the needs of an individual school or classroom.
The culminating activities, the mock congressional hearing and the public policy portfolio, are crucial to the success of the program. They provide the opportunity for students to apply the content knowledge they have acquired. Theses activities also provide the necessary team-problem-solving experience that will foster a change in attitudes. Special sessions have been built into the training schedule to prepare teachers on how to conduct the simulations.