Welcome to the official site of the Thomas Jefferson Knowledge Institute.
We are dedicated to providing public educators the materials and tools for you to teach the Constitution on September 17th as required by federal law. For the average teacher, this is not a subject matter you are well versed. Therefore, we have provided you single lessons for you to choose for that hour of instruction. Also, we have handouts and projects to enhance the students learning experience.
Historical figures teach us how to succeed. Our founding history teaches how we can be a healthy society, learning from our mistakes and providing the ways to correct our past mistakes. Historical stories that are inspirational, can provide our youth valuable life lessons. It is important we learn the examples of critical thinking of Americas founders. The reasoning and philosophies of our founders was key to establishing a nation unlike anything the world had ever experienced or dreamed.
American history must not be confused with that of the Colonies, when Great Britain ruled and determined all acts of the governing authorities. As Alex de Tocqueville said, "America is great because the American people are good. Should her people ever cease to be moral, she will cease to be good." As important as their successes, their failures must be taught to show us what not to do and how we can avoid repeating them again as all other nations have before.
Several years ago, a group of educators and businessmen discovered the many federal and state mandates required of teachers was difficult and sometimes made it impossible for public teachers to really educate. This was hampering their ability to teach their students to be ready for further studies and a career. They saw one mandate that required music, science, math and english teachers to have to teach a subject matter they were not trained nor did they have the resources.
Constitution Day, September 17th, is the anniversary of the ratification and signing of the Constitution. In 2005 it became federal law that "[e]ach educational institution that receives Federal funds for a fiscal year shall hold an educational program on the United States Constitution on September 17 of such year" for the students served by the educational institution. The educators and businessmen soon discovered they could respond to and assist educators without undue burdens to the schools' budgets or the educators time. Over two years (in between jobs and projects), spending thousands of dollars in time and researching requirements, they formulated a plan: provide a solution. Using business principles, critical thinking and problem solving skills, they developed this Library Resource Site for educators and the public schools.