By Janet Pinto, Chief Academic Officer & Chief Marketing Officer, Curriki
When children hear their president referring to the media as “the enemy,” it’s time for a civics lesson in the important function of the press in a democratic society.
Freedom of expression is crucial for a successful democracy because it lets the public participate in making decisions based on the free flow of information and ideas. Without it, people would be unable to make informed decisions.
Curriki offers resources for teaching this very timely and important concept. Here are just a few:
- Constitution – Bill of Rights – First Amendment — The first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution make up the Bill of Rights, and the very first one guarantees freedom of religion and expression – which includes free press. Curriki provides a lesson with several interesting videos.
- From PBS, watch Freedom of the Press: Crash Course Government and Politics #26. The video very accessibly teaches that like an individual’s right to free speech, the press has a right, and arguably responsibility, to tell the public what the government is doing. The government cannot obstruct or censor the press, because, as one judge ruled, “A free press is essential for a political system to work.”
- The Bill of Rights and Freedoms of The Press, Assembly, and Petition, submitted by Curriki member Michelle Griffes, teaches that the U.S. founders saw these First Amendment freedoms as a bulwark of free, republican government and a means of assuring justice in government.
- The First Amendment: What’s Fair in a Free Country? – In this unit of six lessons from EDSITEment, students analyze specific Supreme Court cases and learn that interpreting the Constitution and the Bill of Rights is an ongoing process.
Janet Pinto, Chief Academic Officer & Chief Marketing Officer, leads and manages all of Curriki’s content development, user experience and academic direction. Learn more at Curriki.org.