Course Description/Overview/Welcome Statement
The main focus of this class will be exploring in depth the origins of American Government along with The Constitution/Bill of Rights. Students will also learn about other government and economic systems, the political parties and electoral systems of the United States, Civil Rights issues, along with participating in service projects where applicable and doable.
- 0.5 Credit
- Grade 12
- Credit Type: GOV, NCAA
- Philosophical concepts and structures of government
- The history of the Constitution
- Check and balances
- History and philosophy of party politics, voting systems, etc.
Grading will be distributed between four categories:
- Review quizzes: 10%
- Classwork: 30%
- Tests: 30%
- Term Projects: 30%
Review quizzes and tests will, in general, measure student understanding and retention of the content. The classwork and term projects will allow students to apply the content and experiment with controversial subjects.
Assessment of Progress
Daily review quizzes will allow students to test their own retention of the previous day’s content, and will allow me to see how well the students understood the content and whether we need to review.
Additionally, time will be set aside approximately every other week for catching up, class-wide reviews, or individual help.
Tests will allow students to assess how well they understood the essential standards (the most important details). Because these details will serve as the basis for projects, debates, persuasive writing, and creative works, students will need to have these details as a pool of resources from which they may pull. Students may retake tests if they need to until they master the content, but the purpose of this will be to further prepare them for more important tasks.
All students will need the following each day:
- A binder (does not need to be exclusive to government)
- Some spare paper
- A pen or pencil (better have a backup)
Basic outline for a typical day:
- Students have until the bell rings to review the previous day’s content.
- Right when the bell rings, we take a short review quiz.
- Students turn in their quizzes and gather materials for the day.
- We begin with some background information relating to the day’s learning target (usually a controversy or a question for analysis).
- With some guided practice, we begin to investigate the topic.
- Students practice independently to develop their own answer to the day’s question or controversy.
- We meet back up for some closing thoughts and to resolve any questions.
- Talking, cell phones, other more creative distractions—you know the drill. Don’t. There will be time for talking and using cell phones in class.
- There will be one hall pass students may use to get a drink or go to the bathroom. I reserve the right to arbitrarily retain items such as cell phones during the student’s absence, though I’ll more likely try to allow it without letting it distract the class.
Calendar of Due Dates for Major Assignments
Actual dates may vary, based on the pacing and needs of the class, but expect the following as a general rule:
- Daily review quizzes (students are expected to use Canvas or their peers to get caught up before the class following their absence)
- Two tests per term, one in the middle of the term and one toward the end
- One student project due on the last days of each term
Progress Reports and Report Cards
Grades will be updated on a daily basis, displaying student progress throughout the term. Contact me before or after school or through email to address questions or concerns with the grades.
Connecting Home to School
I will be at school every day from 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Any parents or students with questions or concerns may come in during this time before or after school hours. The best way to contact me is through my email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Personal Statement and other items (optional)
Political science can be a nasty cesspool of raging emotions outweighing things like reason, or civility. While this can be fun, it’s far more entertaining to do just about anything else. This class will explore several theories, ideas, and policies that might relate to subjects which evoke strong feelings. That’s alright, but know that this class exists to explore ideas—how people do think, and how they could think differently. Words like “should” tend to pollute the philosophies, and they solve nothing. I don’t care so much about what people “should” think or do so much as what they actually think or do. We’re here to study the system. Think of political science like a game: We’re here to learn the rules. Students can take that and form an educated opinion on what they should do afterward.