American Democracy Educators' Forum

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Main Office

Education Outreach and Partnerships
School of Education
Teacher Education Building
225 N. Mills Street - Suite 264
MadisonWI  53706-1691

Tel: 608/263-5140
Fax: 608/265-4309

or by contact form
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August ​7-8, 2017
December 8, 2017
​April 27, 2018

Pyle Center, Madison, WI

and online content throughout the year

The ADEF is a program of the American Democracy Forum in partnership with the UW-Madison School of Education.  It is funded by generous support from the Jack Miller Center and is provided at no cost to participants, including meals and reimbursement for substitute teacher coverage.

Participants in the American Democracy Educators’ Forum will:

  • discuss principles and practice of American democracy with leading scholars and faculty from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and beyond
  • participate in 4 face-to-face meetings (2 days in August, 1 day in Dec., 1 day in April) and various online content throughout the school year
  • incorporate and highlight the theme of "Separation of Powers and American Democracy" into curriculum and
  • become part of a professional learning community that will inform and enhance current educational practices
  • earn two credits from UW-Madison

Interested in becoming a part of ADEF?

The application window for the 2017-18 program is closed.

Located outside of Madison and would like to participate?

Stipends ​are available to cover the cost of lodging and transportation. Chicago area teachers are strongly encouraged to apply.


Contact Matthew Freid at or (716) 553-2654.

2017-18 ADEF Overview

Separation of Powers and American Democracy


The relationship between the three branches of government and the implications of this relationship for freedom and democracy have been touchpoints for controversy throughout the history of the United States.  What is the proper scope of executive authority?  Has the executive branch grown more powerful because Presidents have taken power from Congress or because Congress has willingly given up power?  Did the authors of the Constitution envision the role taken on by the courts over the last 200 years?  And just where did their ideas about separation of powers and checks and balances come from?

We’ll explore these questions and more.  We’ll draw on the resources provided by the National Constitution Center’s online Interactive Constitution, read and discuss key texts from the history of political thought that informed the creation and interpretation of the Constitution, hear from experts from U.W., Madison, and work together to develop new curriculum.

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