UMSL Recognized for Civic Education

Curriculum and Instruction AwardOver the past year, the State Bar of Montana and the Montana Office of Public Instruction have partnered with the Curriculum and Instruction Department of the Phyllis J. Washington College of Education & Human Sciences to develop a Civic Education and the Law Institute. In this institute, high school students, in-service social studies teachers, and teacher candidates experience oral arguments before the Montana Supreme Court and have the opportunity to discuss the case, the workings of the judiciary, and related legal topics with University of Montana School of Law students, legal scholars, practicing attorneys, and teachers.

The institute, which has now been offered in conjunction with two cases heard before the Court and is slated to be offered in conjunction with two more cases this spring, is the brain child of Angela McLean, Montana’s Lieutenant Governor, and Terry Kendrick, the Special Education Projects director in the Office of the State Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Professor Anthony Johnstone, who teaches Constitutional Law and serves on the State Bar’s Law-Related Education Committee, has been instrumental in the development and sustenance of this institute. Professor Johnstone has worked with Lieutenant Governor McLean, Terry Kendrick of the Office of Public Instruction, Prof. Adrea Lawrence of the College of Education & Human Sciences, and Chris Manos of the State Bar with other members of the of the Law-Related Education Committee, to bring high school civics classes to attend and discuss the Supreme Court arguments.

Professor Johnstone and the School of Law, the Office of Public Instruction, and the State Bar were recognized as exemplary partners by the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the Phyllis J. Washington College of Education and Human Sciences at its annual gala on Friday April 10, 2015. The Civic Education and the Law Institute that has been developed collaboratively over the last year has been an invaluable opportunity for high school students, teacher candidates, law students, and teachers to learn about the policy issues at hand in the state of Montana and local jurisdictions.