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Virginia’s Role in the Global Economy ,

Joe LaRocco

Virginia has a rich history in trading goods with other countries. Because the global economy is a great deal more competitive than it was in Virginia’s early colonial history, Virginia’s governors, legislators, and business leaders have…

The Supreme Court of Virginia: A Moot Court,

Cliff Gold

Individual liberties and public interest are at stake in two Virginia court cases engaged in this moot court: Rudolph v. Commonwealth (2009) and Cost v. Commonwealth (2008). Students will think about and analyze the decisions of the Virginia Court of…

Tribal Governance,

Karenne Wood

Understanding the complex nature of relationships between American Indian tribal governments, states, and the federal government is essential. American Indians possess a unique status in the U.S. because their nations exist within but predate the…

How Are Land Use Decisions Made?,

Charlie Grymes

Participating in land-use decisions made by one's local government, after learning the rules of the process, challenges the stereotype that residents affected by land-use changes are victims of uncontrollable circumstances. Working with a county's…

Student Lobbying,

Melanie Biermann, Teacher Education Accreditation Council and Jim Dillard, former member of the Virginia House of Delegates

Petitioning the Virginia General Assembly, a group of high school students was successful in getting legislation passed that requires the use of restraint devices in vehicles for all children under four years old. This case study will assist you and…

Dillon’s Rule: Should it Stay or Should it Go?,

Shawn English, Fairfax County Public Schools

As one of the central principles that guide policy making decisions of local jurisdictions, Dillon’s Rule (state control of local government) is an important concept in understanding government in the Commonwealth. Students will read an essay about…

Justice Learning: Lesson Plans for Current Issues,

NPR's Justice Talking and The New York Times Learning Network

Justice Learning provides lesson plans and classroom activities on a wide range of issues. Each issue challenges students to think about complex issues, such as free speech in classrooms. Some exercises encourage students to deal with more difficult issues, such as cross burning and free speech or capital punishment and juvenile offenders. Each issue challenges one to think within a national, state, local, or classroom context. At the end of each lesson plan, there is a list of “Other Information on the Web.” Researchers on any topics covered on the website may find these links a good jumping-off point for their studies.