Williamsburg James City County Schools become the first school district in the nation to adopt Colonial Williamsburg’s interactive, fully digital, Web-based curriculum “The Idea of America” for implementation in the 2011–2012 school year.
Through “The Idea of America,” students learn lessons from history and the principles of American citizenship by exploring 65 individual case studies of the nation’s most important historical events, debating issues that changed America.
To support the lessons, teachers select from among resources and interactive tools including dramatic readings of key text, documentaries and interviews with contemporary figures. In addition, primary sources of enduring significance such as newspapers, works of art, diaries, journal entries, speeches and wills also are provided.
Four pairs of contrasting American values – unity and diversity, private wealth and common wealth, law and ethics, and freedom and equality – are presented to guide the discussion of each case study. Each study links to a current event website where students can examine the issues in the context of the current political and social debate.