We The People
We The People is a one half credit required course. This course will emphasize the “participatory” side of the American citizen in our society and the relationship between government and the people. Students will learn about their individual rights and responsibilities in our society and be exposed to a unit on minorities. Finally, students will apply observations from class to current events. Several themes will be explored in this course, including:
- Principles of Democracy—examines the purpose of government and the basic values, principles, and ideals of American democracy;
- Civic Skills—encourages students to become active citizens by teaching the terms and skills that demonstrate how to participate in our local, state, and national government;
- Government Structure—students discover the purpose and structure of federal, state, and local government.
II. Course Overview
of American Government
- What is Government?
- John Locke & the Natural Rights Philosophy
- The Social Contract
- Limited vs. Absolute Governments
- Greek & Roman Foundations
- Classic Republicanism vs. Natural Rights
American Revolutionary Experience
- Our English Heritage & the Rights of Englishmen
- The Declaration of Independence & the American Revolution
- The Articles of Confederation
- The Constitutional Convention
- The Ratification Process
- The Declaration of Independence
- The U.S.
- The Preamble
- The Articles of the U.S. Constitution
- Federalism: Delegated, Concurrent, and Reserved Powers
- Division of Power Within the Federal Government: The System of Checks and Balances
- The Legislative Process
- The Executive Process: Powers of the President
- The Judiciary Process
- The Bill
- Origins of Amendments
- Analysis of Amendments
- Interpretations of Amendments: Landmark Cases of the Supreme Court
- Application of Political Ideologies Towards Human Rights Issues
Type of Work
Performance Tasks (homework, class work, etc.)
Assessments (tests & quizzes, projects)
All late work (unless the student has an excused absence) will be assessed a 10% penalty for each day that it is late, up to three days. After three days, the highest score a student can receive is the equivalent of a 50%
Those students who were not in class due to an excused absents will be given any work missed upon his/her return to class. The student will have until the next class to pass in the work without penalty.
- Be prepared and on time;
- Be respectful;
- No cell phones
You should come to class with the following materials:
- Various supplemental materials given out by the teacher;
- 3-ring binder, loose-leaf paper, and dividers;
- Writing utensils.
VI. Film Disclaimer
This course incorporates several films into the curriculum, some of which are rated R (Lord of the Flies and Dead Man Walking). A permission slip for viewing these films is attached to the syllabus. Students who do not view the film will be given an alternative assignment to be completed outside the class. Please feel free to contact me with any questions.