1998-1999 indexDistributed August 25, 1998
The Capitol Forum on America's Future
Students in Conn., Neb. will discuss foreign policy with elected officials
The Capitol Forum on America's Future prepares high school students for direct discussions on U.S. foreign policy with elected officials and policy makers in their home states. The Forum will be offered in Connecticut and Nebraska this year through the Choices for the 21st Century Education Project of Brown University's Watson Institute for International Studies.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- High school students in Connecticut and Nebraska will have a new incentive to delve deeply into social studies this year. Next March, after a period of intense debate and study, they will engage elected officials and policy makers in direct, public foreign policy discussions at state capitols in Hartford and Lincoln.
The Capitol Forum on America's Future, returning to Connecticut for its second year and debuting in Nebraska this year, is an innovative high school curriculum developed by Brown University's Choices for the 21st Century Education Project. The Forum organizes social studies discussions around four themes - international conflict resolution, immigration, global environmental problems and international trade - and gives students a powerful incentive to learn: Their voices and their informed opinions will be heard.
In addition to the public discussions on March 26, 1999, all students involved in the Capitol Forum will complete a ballot expressing their concerns, priorities and visions for the nation's future. The results of that ballot will be distributed statewide to public officials, news media and all high school students.
Teachers who participate in the program will attend two workshops - one in October, another in February - to learn how to implement this innovative teaching resource and integrate the debate about the U.S. role in the international arena into their broader social studies curriculum.
In last year's pilot program in Connecticut, 76 students from 19 high schools traveled to Hartford to discuss foreign policy with elected officials, and more than 560 high school students participated in the balloting. Results of that ballot, as well as student and teacher reactions, are available from the Brown University News Bureau.
The Capitol Forum Web site is www.choices.edu/capitolforum.html
The Second Annual Connecticut Capitol Forum on America's Future is sponsored by the Office of Secretary of State Miles S. Rapoport and the League of Women Voters of Connecticut Education Fund Inc., in cooperation with Choices for the 21st Century Education Project, a program of Brown University's Watson Institute for International Studies. It is co-sponsored by the Connecticut Council for the Social Studies and the Institute of Public Service at the University of Connecticut, with funds provided by United Technologies Corporation.
Twenty-five high school teachers will be selected to participate in the forum. Interested teachers have until Sept. 14, 1998, to apply. Applications are available by contacting League of Women Voters of Connecticut Education Fund, Inc., 1890 Dixwell Ave., Suite 113, Hamden, Conn. 06514-3183; phone: (203) 288-7996; fax: (203) 288-7998.
Nebraska's first Capitol Forum on America's Future is sponsored by the Office of Secretary of State Scott Moore and the Nebraska Humanities Council in cooperation with the Choices for the 21st Century Education Project. It is co-sponsored by the Nebraska League of Women Voters, the Cooper Foundation and the Nebraska Department of Education, with funds provided by the Omaha World Herald.
Twenty high school teachers will be selected to participate in the forum. Interested teachers have until Sept. 14, 1998, to apply. Applications are available by contacting the Nebraska Humanities Council, 215 Centennial Mall S., Suite 225, Lincoln, Neb. 68508; phone: (402) 474-2131; fax (402) 474-4852
The Choices for the 21st Century Education Project offers innovative curriculum resources and proven instructional techniques that make complex current and historical issues accessible for high school students. Interactive student-centered lessons promote the development of critical thinking and civic judgment. Teachers in more than 4,200 schools nationwide use the Choices curricular materials in their classrooms with approximately 700,000 students each year.######