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Teaching Government/Political Science

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Presentation on theme: "Teaching Government/Political Science"— Presentation transcript:

1 Teaching Government/Political Science

2 We’re not the only game in town
Teach different forms of government Pro’s and con’s of each Where do we find them?

3 So many choices… Presidential vs. Parliamentary Democracy Monarchy
Theocracy Dictatorship Anarchy

4 Define, describe, compare, contrast…
What is Democracy? What is Socialism? What is Communism? What are the differences? Are there similarities? Mixed forms of each Advantages and disadvantages?

5 Democracy: what does it mean?
Representational vs. Direct Democracy Which is better? How citizens participate in a democracy Voting, learning about candidates, running for office, campaigning for others, protests, mass movements, etc. Loewen: teach change from the bottom up, not top down, if you want to teach citizenship

6 Who did you vote for in the Presidential Election?
No one The role of the Electoral College Why it was created How it works Positive and negative arguments What do you (your students) think? Why?

7 How the U.S. Government is set up
A Federal System Balances states’ rights, peoples’ rights, and federal power 10th Amendment and the 14th Amendment: how the balance has changed over time Different state laws Which power has jurisdiction? Constant tension/evolution of this balance

8 The 3 Branches of Government
Separation of Powers/Balance of Powers: more like shared powers Concept: Power is divided Checks and balances How does it work? Does it always work? Depends on the will of the people to make it work: the system doesn’t work on its own

9 Roles of the 3 Branches Legislative Branch (aka Congress, aka House of Representatives and Senate) makes the law How a bill becomes a law, or doesn’t Executive Branch (aka the President) executes the law Judicial Branch interprets the law: is it Constitutional?

10 Branches have changed over time
Judicial Branch originally small and weak until Marbury vs. Madison and “judicial review” Judicial Branch is not supposed to create policy or law with its rulings Teach various court levels and systems Cases work their way up to the Supreme Court

11 Executive Branch has really grown
Originally much smaller and less powerful Fear of imperial power War and crisis increased size of executive branch Compare to today: Cabinets, budget, staff, amount of influence over our daily lives

12 The Constitution It’s really small!
Teach the contents: Preamble, Articles, Amendments Focus on Bill of Rights, but don’t forget the others Was the Constitution radical or conservative: or, does power change people once they get it? Rights have expanded. Who is still left out? What do you (students) think of that?

13 The Political Process Definition/difference between Liberal and Conservative Democrats, Republicans, Socialist Party (gasp!), Green Party, other parties The process of getting people elected: caucuses, primaries, elections, etc.

14 The Role of the Media Image making and advertising techniques
Name calling, transfer, bandwagon, plain folks, testimonial, card stacking, glittering generalities The roll of the polls How technology allows politicians to change their message Media bias

15 The U.S. and the World The role of U.S. foreign policy
The concept of “realpolitik” The role of multinational corporations

16 A short list of resources
Constitutional Rights Foundation of Chicago We the People Foundation

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