Alan Cranston: Institute of International Studies, UC Berkeley

Alan Cranston's E-Mail Exchange with High School Students


Life History | Politics | Nuclear Weapons | Lessons Learned


On the occasion of the year 2000 Presidential election campaign, Gale Ow's 12th grade government class at Lowell High School in San Francisco studied the workings of the democratic process via an online civics lesson Cranston with Alan Cranston, president and founder of the Global Security Institute and former United States Senator from California. After studying the interview with Senator Cranston in the Conversations with History archive, the students prepared a journal which chronicled their experience using the world wide web to learn about politics from one of California's leading political figures. Their "virtual" journey focused on Senator's Cranston career in politics, including his work in reforming the California Democratic Party and his leadership role in the United States Senate where he served as Democratic Whip. The students also focused on one of the issues not being discussed in the 2000 presidential campaign, namely, the international security threat posed by nuclear weapons. The students then submitted questions to Senator Cranston. These questions and his responses have been posted on the following pages. Student comments on Cranston's answers concluded the exchange.

The project contributed to the students' understanding of the role, functions, and powers of the legislative and executive branches of the United States government (Standard 12.3) and to their understanding of the political, civic, and social rights and responsibilities of living in a participatory democracy (Standard 12.5). See this website's resources for San Francisco Unified School District High School History/Social Studies Content and Performance Standards.

Alan Cranston passed away unexpectedly on December 31, 2000. He was eighty six years old.

Life History | Politics | Nuclear Weapons | Lessons Learned

Student journals to prepare for the e-mail exchange, their follow-up comments, and other material can be found at the Connecting Students to the World's Case Study: 12 Grade American Democracy Class page.

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