scales of justice

About Justice Teaching

Justice TeachingTM History and Model

State and national surveys frequently document how little Americans know about our government, the justice system and the basic principles underlying our constitutional institutions and design. We want to change that!

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The Justice Teaching Center for Civic Learning provides a statewide, nonpartisan resource for law-focused civic education and engagement programs, partnerships, and practices. Housed at Florida Southern College, the Center is unique in the landscape of civic learning in Florida. R. Fred Lewis, Justice, Florida Supreme Court (retired) spearheaded Justice Teaching when he was Chief Justice of the Florida Supreme Court. Now retired, the program has relocated to Florida Southern College to expand its efforts and program components.

Partnerships with the legal and judicial communities are offered to K-12 schools to help improve student understanding of our justice system, develop knowledge and skills to think constitutionally, and participate in experiential civic engagement and learning opportunities. Standards-based, experiential lessons and activities are utilized to enhance student learning and classroom instructional practices. A wide range of law-focused civics programs, academic competitions, simulations, and showcases are provided for students in elementary, middle, and high school.

The Center also designs and implements innovative and engaging professional development models and training opportunities for teachers and resource persons. Additionally, we are strengthening materials for higher education and adults to expand civic learning among all demographics. The JTC is here to help your school, district, students, and resource persons enhance civic learning opportunities and instruction in Florida. Let us help you bring civics to life in your classroom or community organization. Join us as we strengthen civic learning and law-related education opportunities statewide.

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With national surveys documenting the limited knowledge held by Americans about our government and its constitutional structure and foundations, we want to change that!

The Justice Teaching Center for Civic Learning inculcates the mission and goals of Florida Southern College to prepare students to make a positive and consequential impact on society through engaged law-focused civic learning opportunities. Come join us in our work.

Our website will be constantly changing with new materials and updates, The site will provide access to the instructional resources and training needed for effective partnerships. We will offer supplemental programs such as mock trial competitions, civic engagement showcases, and more to strengthen civic learning opportunities. Our partnerships are the centerpiece of our law-focused resources. But our new initiatives will provide additional opportunities for engagement.

R. Fred Lewis is our founder and now serves as the Eminent Professor of Law and Letters at Florida Southern College. He was a scholar athlete and attended Florida Southern during his undergraduate years. He served on the Florida Supreme Court from 1999 to January 2019. He continues to lead these efforts and visit schools regularly. Now he is also engaged with teaching at the postsecondary level.

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Our director is Annette Boyd Pitts. She is a nationally recognized leader in the field of law-focused civic learning. She is the recipient of the National Improvements in Justice Award, the American Bar Association Isidore Starr Award for Excellence in Law-Related Education, and the Sandra Day O’Connor

Award for the Advancement of Civic Education, among others. She is a state, national, and international trainer and curriculum developer. Pitts also serves as national education chair for the National Association of Women Judges.

We welcome volunteers to assist on campus with K-12 student and teacher events throughout the year as we expand our K-12 and community programs. Contact our director Annette Boyd Pitts at apitts@flsouthern.edu to learn more about our efforts in Florida.

Questions?

For further information or to learn how to partner with a school or legal professional, contact us.

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Annette Boyd Pitts

Director of Justice Teaching Center for Civic Learning

photo of r. fred lewis

R. Fred Lewis

Eminent Professor of Law and Letters,
Justice Supreme Court of Florida (retired)