State Bar of Texas Develops Civics Education Program for Texas Teachers and Students
AUSTIN – The State Bar of Texas has designed an interactive web-based project to assist Texas teachers and middle and high school students in preparing for the new Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) standards in the areas of government, history, citizenship and culture.
Civics education is a key component of State Bar of Texas President Bob Black’s initiatives this year, and he is working with the State Bar’s Law-Related Education Department to educate students as a way to help create more responsible citizens who one day will vote, sit on a jury, or become a public servant.
“Oyez, Oyez, Oh Yay! Civics Resources for Texas Students and Teachers” focuses on landmark Supreme Court cases that students will be required to know. The project, including case summaries, videos, multimedia links, and curriculum materials for teachers, is available at www.texasbar.com/civics or www.texaslre.org.
“Civics education is critical to fostering engaged citizens who understand our democracy and the liberties the rule of law protects,” Black said. “Technology allows us to connect with and engage students in new and innovative ways.”
The program is funded in part by a $35,000 grant from the Texas Bar Foundation. Since its inception in 1965, the Texas Bar Foundation has awarded more than $13 million in grants to law-related programs. Supported by members of the State Bar of Texas, the Texas Bar Foundation is the nation’s largest charitably funded bar foundation.
“These court cases expose students to some significant events in American history. They enable students not only to be aware of these events but also to think critically about certain parts of the Constitution,” said Jerry Perry, law-related education scholar and retired professor of government from Angelo State University in San Angelo. Perry prepared the case summaries and assisted with the video production, including introductory videos from Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Wallace B. Jefferson and retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.
The State Bar of Texas is an administrative agency of the Supreme Court of Texas. The Bar provides educational programs for the legal profession and the public, administers the minimum continuing legal education program for attorneys, and manages the attorney discipline system.