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I’m informally announcing the following:

What? A Federalist Papers/U.S. Constitution class
Where? Meet at my house (Ashburn, VA)
When? Tuesday nights from 6:30pm to 8:30ish for 4 weeks (optional 5th week depending on schedule hiccups)
Cost? $15 per student, so I can purchase a dry-erase board. Each student should plan on purchasing a copy of or printing the federalist and anti-federalist papers. Other readings are publicly available online.

Why? Because I have observed a dearth of knowledge surrounding the framing and purpose of our government in even our most advanced debaters. To really debate about the U.S. Government, it should be understood, and the federalist debates provide the best understanding of its purpose, limits, and principles.

Who? 1. Teacher: Isaiah understands the federalist papers because of government major education at PHC. He has also taught through the federalist papers with high school students before. They are one of his favorite subjects to teach about.
2. Students: Anyone 14+.

Capacity: 17 (if more, we move locations).

Teaching Method:
Socratically as Isaiah understands it: lead students along by asking them tough questions. If they have not thoroughly digested the readings, this quickly becomes lecture. As students raise questions, lecture portions will emerge. I’d say there will be discussion time, but having seen this mean a teacher says “so what else?” and students teach each other, I’m avoiding saying that. Students are encouraged to guide the discussion.

In reality, each class will probably look like this:
– 15 minutes of oral quiz (pop quiz…except it’s every week, so it’s not a pop quiz and it’s not on paper so everyone knows when you didn’t do the reading) to encourage reading and underlining material
– 1 hr lecture
– 45 minutes discussion/application

Basically, we’ll start with a backdrop for the Federalist papers (read several English common law pieces, a few declarations leading up to the declaration of independence, and the U.S. Constitution).

Then we will read 4-8 federalist or anti-federalist papers each of the following weeks. We will not be reading every single one, though the context I’ll provide will make doing so possible if a parent wanted to assign the rest of them as readings.

Grading: I will issue a grade for all students unless a parent requests otherwise. Grades will be based upon:
1. Weekly Quizzes (25%)
2. Final Exam (40%) — Take-home exam issued after conclusion of class.
3. 3-5 Page Analysis Paper (25%)
4. Active Participation (10%)

A parent is in charge of their student’s education and will be allowed to waive any of the assignments. If a parent plans on waiving item #1, however, the student will be considered as “auditing” and will be on secondary priority if we reach capacity.

Anticipating Questions:
– Childcare/Anything like that? None.
– Food/snacks? Only if you bring them. But Isaiah = intense teacher and this is not enough time, so we’ll be capitalizing on every minute we have.
– Can Parents Attend? Surely. They count towards capacity though. This course should be manageable for parents to even read along if they want, but I promise not to give them quizzes.

Registrations Due by: January 18, first come first served. Email your registration (Name, age, email, phone) to coachmcpeak@ethosdebate.com.

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