Center for the Constitution

Montpelier Seminars

James Madison believed that an educated citizenry was necessary to maintain our form of government. Therefore, the future of the United States lies in educating citizens with the knowledge, understanding, and ability to ensure that our democracy will continue to thrive. 

The Robert H. Smith Center for the Constitution at James Madison's Montpelier offers intensive, content-rich programs taught by nationally recognized scholars. The programs involve concentrated immersion in the Constitution and founding, fostering the impassioned exchange of ideas among scholars and peers. These professional development opportunities are supported by teacher scholarships, and most are provided at significantly reduced or no cost. 

Studying constitutionalism at Montpelier - the very place where James Madison thought more profoundly and creatively about our American form of government than any other person - is a rich and powerful experience that cannot be replicated elsewhere. 

Seminar topics change yearly; click the link above to learn about this year's course schedule. 


Virginia and Washington, DC We the People

The Center for the Constitution is the Virginia and Washington, DC sponsor of the We the People program. We the People is a nationally acclaimed civic education curriculum designed to engage students in upper elementary, middle, and high school on their knowledge of the Constitution. Teachers who participate in We the People seminars will study the history and principles of the U.S. Constitution and become familiar with the content, strategies, and authentic assessment tools in the We the People curriculum. 

Each year, the Center for the Constitution hosts regional and state Virginia We the People competitions and citywide Washington, DC We the People competitions.