The first Award will be announced as soon as possible.
The Center for the Study of Federalism (CSF), a respected academic organization, seeks to make up to three awards in the amount of $2,500 each for middle-school and high-school unit plans that advance the teaching and understanding of federalism as a principle and process of U. S. politics and government.
Federalism is a multi-faceted concept that is often misunderstood as either states’ rights or federal power. Federalism is about balancing both. In broad terms, federalism involves balancing opposite forces such as national and state concerns, unity and diversity, centralization and decentralization. Applicants must incorporate content consistent with the definitional article “What is Federalism?” in their unit plan. This article can be found on the Exploring Federalism Page on the CSF website.
The award theme “Does Federalism Still Matter?” encourages educators to design units that engage students in exploring the continuing relevance of federalism. Court decisions are only one way to assess federalism’s relevance. Students should be able to research, analyze, and assess the continued relevance of federalism in one or more of the following areas: public opinion and media attention, the platforms and organizational structure of political parties and interest groups, election campaign speeches and strategies, the roles of states and localities in the federal public policy-making process and in federal policies such as health care, intergovernmental relations in policy implementation, comparative state politics, state and local policy responses to contemporary public problems, independent state policy initiatives such as marijuana legalization, and/or, of course, judicial federalism and judicial review by both state and federal courts, including the increasing trend of state lawsuits brought against federal policy on federalism grounds. We are looking for unit plans that advance student learning in one or more of these areas.
Applicants may approach this subject area from one or more different perspectives, including but not limited to a particular policy area (e.g., education or environmental policy); intergovernmental lobbies in the policy-making process; the rise of federal mandates on state and local governments; intergovernmental cooperation and conflict in policy implementation; federalism policy debates (e.g., over Obamacare, federal-state marijuana laws, Common Core Standards, gun regulations, or drinking-age limits).
Whatever the perspective, we are looking for unit plans that enable students to grapple with issues relating to the continuing relevance of federalism as a political principle and process.
Please note: This is an award for existing classroom-tested unit plans, not a grant to develop plans. Lesson plans in the unit may be delivered in (1) a limited time frame such as a week or (2) as a recurring theme over a semester or year.