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Idea of America

Debate keeps America vibrant.
Debate over what course America should take.
Debate over our shared, democratic values.
Debate over the extent that our shared values influence public policy—and in which direction

Far from being a sign that our democratic republic is failing, this raucous, controversial, enduring debate—this Great Debate—indicates our republic is healthy.

Americans continually seek, in the words of the Preamble to the Constitution, “to form a more perfect union.” Not everyone agrees on how best to do that—and that’s where civic and civil debate comes in. Americans have debated what course the nation should take since before there was a nation.

Where do you stand? Take our American Values Quiz and find out.



The Idea of America™ is a digital, secondary U.S. history program of study that prepares learners for active citizenship!

What the The Idea of America offers:

  • Digital content that engages the 21-century learner and enhances your existing curriculum—a dynamic combination of printed text, video, audio, games, simulations, and primary sources—formatted into 65 case studies that span American history from pre-contact to the modern day
  • An intuitive pedagogical model that fosters critical thinking, debate, and speaking and writing skills
  • Compatibility with common technology platforms, from tablets to interactive whiteboards
  • A flexible platform that can be used either as a 1:1 program or in teacher-led presentation style

Fully Supported Teaching Resources

The Idea of America is a standards-based, supplemental, multimedia, interactive program you can integrate with your current history curriculum. From Teacher Roadmaps to assessments, to fully-supported professional development, this program supports a seamless integration with any social studies or civics curriculum.

  • Teacher Roadmaps: detailed strategies for each activity, including support for struggling learners, adaptations for advanced learners, and extension ideas
  • Assessments: a short quiz for each activity, plus graphic organizers, worksheets, and note-takers for many activities
  • LTI Compatible: Seamless access for your students when paired with any LTI-enabled Learning Management System
  • Professional Development: In-person or online options available through Colonial Williamsburg

Span American History!

The Idea of America comprises 65 case studies, each introduced by student hosts, and designed to make primary-source content relevant to today’s learners and to encourage active citizenship. Case studies can be sorted by topic and all case studies are fully searchable.

Case Study Eras Include:

The Great Debate The Industrialized Nation The Civil Rights Era
Colonial America Growth and Expansion Into the 21st Century
The American Revolution The Great War and the 1920s Growing Democracy
The Early National Period The Age of FDR Cold War
The Civil War and Reconstruction Modern Politics  

Sign Up for Your Free Demo of The Idea of America Today!