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Dive past Schoolhouse Rock! into this Learning Circle course

Posted on September 17, 2020 at 6:00 am

Photo source: Schoolhouse Rock! Preamble

BY DANA MANNINO

If I asked you what you know about the constitution, would you start humming a Schoolhouse Rock! song? Would you then blush and realize that the School House Rock song is pretty much everything you know about the constitution?

If so, blush no longer! The library has a learning opportunity especially for you.

Starting next week, the Library District is offering a Learning Circle about the Constitution of the United States. Learning Circles are study groups for people who want to take a free online class and learn together. I’ll be participating along with another librarian as a fellow learners.

To participate, you enroll in the free course “Instruction to Key Constitutional Concepts and Supreme Court Cases” offered by University of Pennsylvania through the online learning platform Coursera. You watch online course videos at home at your own pace, then we gather weekly, via an online video chat, to discuss the course material together. This means you also need to register for the library’s Learning Circle. Here’s information about when we meet and the registration link.

Learning Circle: Introduction to Key Constitutional Concepts & Supreme Court Cases
ONLINE
Thursdays, Sep 24–Oct 22, 6–7:30pm | REGISTER

Registration is required, and you’ll need email to receive login information for the group discussions. Registration closes at 5pm on September 23.

The Coursera online class is taught by Kermit Roosevelt III, a professor of constitutional law at University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School. He a decedent of President Theodore Roosevelt and a distant cousin of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. He has an extensive publication record in academic law reviews, and his op-eds have appeared in The Washington Post, CNN, The Guardian, and Time Magazine. A novelist as well as an academic, Roosevelt has also written two legal thrillers.

Roosevelt takes a historical approach to examining the constitution. For each of the key articles in the document, he invites learners to ask:

  • What problem were the framers trying to solve?
  • What solution did they use?
  • How did it work out?

Past students have praised this approach as non-partisan, allowing students to make up their own mind on any given debate.

If you feel the need to go beyond Schoolhouse Rock! songs and want to do it in a respectful, non-partisan environment with other learners, this is the course for you.

I hope you sign up today, and enrich our group’s learning experience with your perspective.

Dana Mannino

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