Tuesday, August 27, 2002 CONTACT:
Brenda Bowser, (202) 293-6970


Teachers say it fosters lively classroom discussion, critical thinking skills

WASHINGTON, DC — As the school year begins, an award-winning Internet-based curriculum on capital punishment is offering educators the opportunity to take this timely topic from the headlines of the evening news into their classrooms. The Death Penalty Information Center (DPIC), in conjunction with the Michigan State Communications Technology Laboratory, has prepared this balanced educational tool that uses capital punishment to teach critical thinking skills, group decision-making, persuasive-writing, and civic responsibility.

This Curriculum on the Death Penalty is available here. Using exercises such as role-playing, written reports, quick-writes, learning journals, and simulations, the curriculum engages students’ interests and allows them to thoughtfully consider the central issues concerning the death penalty.

“Recent events have confirmed that the death penalty is a particularly timely issue throughout the country,” said Richard C. Dieter, DPIC Executive Director. “DPIC is proud to provide this curriculum for teachers to explore current issues in their classrooms, and we are pleased that those educators who have used the curriculum found it to be a valuable and accessible resource.”

Praised by teachers and students alike, the curriculum offers separate teacher and student sites, two 10-day lesson plans, teacher overviews, and objectives meeting national educational standards. In 2001, it was used by the Division for Public Education of the American Bar Association as a resource for teachers and students, and during the past year, teachers in Washington, DC used it as the curriculum base for a successful Capital Punishment Education Program.

Stephen R. Greenwald, President of Audrey Cohen College in New York City, noted the curriculum’s value in high schools, saying, “The Center’s web site provides a comprehensive and objective overview of the major issues surrounding the death penalty in a well-designed, interactive format. It’s a wonderful resource for teachers and students, and is especially useful in helping young people examine their own beliefs and begin to form an opinion on this issue.”

The curriculum has received numerous awards and has been cited as one of the best educational resources on the Web. To learn more about this resource or to interview teachers who have taught its lessons, please contact Brenda Bowser at (202) 293-6970. # # #