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Teaching Political Science/Government/Civics. How to organize a course?. Part One: “looking under the hood” or, “how does this thing work?” Government Part Two: “let’s drive this thing!” or, Citizenship. Part One. What’s under the hood? How does this thing work?

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how to organize a course
How to organize a course?
  • Part One: “looking under the hood” or, “how does this thing work?” Government
  • Part Two: “let’s drive this thing!” or, Citizenship
part one
Part One
  • What’s under the hood?
  • How does this thing work?
  • Be sure to teach both how it was designed back then AND how it works now
first the choices
First, the choices
  • Many different kinds of government out there
  • Monarchy, theocracy, dictatorship, totalitarianism, anarchy…
  • Representational, not direct democracy
  • Democracy:
    • Presidential
    • Parliamentary
    • Pros and cons of each?
local government
Local government
  • What is the government of your school?
  • Your neighborhood?
  • Your county?
  • Your state?
  • Why might this be important to know?
what s under the hood
What’s under the hood?
  • First, it’s a “federal system” of states’ rights, federal rights, and peoples’ rights
  • Express, concurrent, and reserved powers
  • Constant tension among them
  • Examples?
the 3 branches
The 3 branches
  • What are they and what do they do?
  • How have they changed over time?
  • What can’t they do?
  • How is power both shared and limited?
  • Checks and balances and separation of powers
  • Why?
  • What role do citizens play? http://youtu.be/M9bbxNV7QY8
lobbying and pacs
Lobbying and PACS
  • A fourth branch?
  • See packet materials on lobbying
the constitution itself
The Constitution Itself
  • It’s really small!
  • Teach the parts and the contents
  • How do we change it? Amendments
  • How are laws made?
  • How has it changed?
the political process
The Political Process
  • Voting rights: “Electoral Dysfunction”?
  • The electoral college
  • The different kinds of political parties and their beliefs
  • The process: how people get elected
  • Campaigning and the media
the media
The Media
  • Propaganda techniques
  • Media bias
  • Image making and digital advertising
  • Polls
  • Role of technology to shape and target messages
  • Digital advertising
part two
Part Two
  • “Let’s drive this thing”
  • Citizenship and civics