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Historical Connections

Use ‘Freedom in the Balance’ to Teach About Paris Attacks

The EDCollection contains historical and contemporary examples of how we have balanced First Amendment freedoms with concerns for safety, diversity and the public good.

Freedom_in_balance_980x560logoNov. 20, 2015

Looking for a contextual way to bring the Paris terror attacks and ensuing debate over religion and civil liberties into your classroom? A sampling of our newest EDCollection, Freedom in the Balance, is a perfect resource.

We’ve all heard the anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant backlash, the calls for creating a religious test for refugees or a registry of U.S. Muslims.  But the questions over how far our freedoms should extend and what price we are willing to pay for security didn’t start with Paris. Or Sept. 11. They can be found throughout U.S. history.

Freedom in the Balance is a multimedia collection of primary sources and artifacts that uses an engaging case study approach to support student examination of the fragile balancing of First Amendment freedoms with concerns for safety, diversity and the public good. The content draws on historical and contemporary examples.

The Freedom in the Balance EDCollection is divided into three units: Freedom of Expression, Freedom of Belief and Freedom of Action. Through case studies, students will learn how multiple perspectives shape debates about the First Amendment, how to put today’s news in context and how to discern facts from opinions.

The full Freedom in the Balance EDCollection will launch in March 2016, but you can preview and use a portion of it now.  Register now to get access to the EDCollection, as well as complete access to NewseumED’s vast library of primary sources, artifacts and videos, including copyrighted materials. Registration is free, secure, and only takes a minute.


This EDCollection is made possible by the For Action Initiative and Families of September 11.


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