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Government and Politics Autumn CPD 2012 GP3 and GP4.

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1 Government and Politics Autumn CPD 2012 GP3 and GP4

2 Better part (a) responses (explanations). Still too little knowledge (6/10) Part (b) responses show little improvement in skills from AS level (analysis and evaluation) Candidates that gain top grades have done independent work. Levels of K&U need to be higher than at AS level (range and depth) Skills issues at A2 level

3 Part (a): –Is not an essay – no introduction/ conclusion necessary –Range must be there (step up from AS). No extract to help –Depth must be there (step up from AS). Every point exemplified – probably need two examples and these to be developed not ‘dumped’ –Skill: focus is explanation – ‘importance’/ ‘significance’ etc –About a side of writing (ish) Skills issues at A2 level

4 Part (a) advice remains: –Devote a paragraph each to 3 reasons or factors (NOT to 3 examples, or 3 stages in a descriptive process). -2, done well, is fine if each is well- explained and exemplified in depth –PEEL each paragraph Skills issues at A2 level

5 Part (b): –Is primarily a test of skills (see generic markscheme), much more than at AS level –Is not about dazzling with reams of knowledge –Has analysis and evaluation as the core skills foci –Demands a methodical and focused approach from candidates who will only do well if they have prepared themselves Skills issues at A2 level

6 Part (b) advice remains: –Provide a balanced 2-sided answer (‘differing viewpoints’) –Focus on the issues raised by the question; this is a test of discussion and argument not description –Show K&U of the whole topic –Structure properly – paragraphs (PEEL), introduction, conclusion –As a rule, 3-4 points on each side is enough –There must be analysis and evaluation, and choice of the most relevant examples (more than one) which are explained, not ‘dumped’ in the answer Skills issues at A2 level

7 Implications for teaching: –Skills need to be developed well, and at a higher level than at AS –Strategies need to be found to enable pupils to acquire large amounts of knowledge quickly, freeing up class time for discussion and debate/ application of knowledge/ planning arguments/ evaluation. Skills issues at A2 level

8 Are we making enough targeted use of textbooks? Homework? The internet? Self-study units? Resource banks on shared areas?

9 Implications for teaching: –‘model answers’ and reams of ‘class notes’ will not enable pupils to achieve the highest levels. They MUST be enabled to sort out their understanding themselves –Teaching what things are like and how they work is not enough. Pupils need to move on to discussions and debates – how effective? How relevant today? They need to practice weighing up the relative importance of factors against each other –Pupils need to ask themselves what the question is all about, what is the debate here? Skills issues at A2 level

10 Implications for teaching: –The structure of answers at A2 is the same as answers (b and c) at AS level BUT: –Pupils need to be taught the language to use to analyse and evaluate effectively at A2 level – ie to make every sentence count. –‘Evaluation language’, the language of ‘weighing up’ and expressing opinions. Use the introduction, P and L parts of each paragraph, and the conclusion to do this. Teach pupils how to connect paragraphs to each other Skills issues at A2 level

11 Implications for teaching: –Many pupils learn well through diagrams and charts, discussion and debate, active learning, challenging the views of others etc. Pupils need to be given lots of opportunities to feedback and check their ideas, ask questions, submit work for the scrutiny of their peers, learn from others –Almost any strategy that delivers these things at other key stages is appropriate for A-level too. Never forget that the teacher is the expert in the room though Skills issues at A2 level

12 Implications for teaching: -Consider how Gov and Pol can support the development of Communication and WWO Essential Skills Wales: Speaking and Listening/ Reading/ Writing at Level 3 will also help raise the quality of pupils’ responses in Gov and Pol. - Quality of introductions needs to be improved Skills issues at A2 level

13 ‘Your job is no longer to teach. Your job is that they learn.’ ‘Invisible Teaching’, Keeling and Hodgson, (Crown House Publishing 2011) Skills issues at A2 level

14 Q1 and Q3 is a popular combination but candidates cannot be rewarded for the same answer, essentially, twice. In basic terms – Q1 is about candidates (campaigns, media, money etc) and Q3 is about voters (age, race/ ethnicity, geographical area, partisanship etc). The only item mentioned in both topics on the specification is ‘issues’ Issues of content – GP3a

15 Topic 1 – campaign finance needs to be understood in more detail, as does the stages of the election process Topic 2 – similarities and differences between and within the parties seems underdeveloped Topic 3 – partisanship and independent voters; impact of issues on specific elections Topic 4 – as with this topic for the UK, case studies would help candidates with specific examples of different types of campaigning at different access points Issues of content – GP3a

16 Topics 1 and 4 are a very popular combination, but again some candidates wrote two very similar essays – they cannot be credited twice for essentially the same answer (on the Supreme Court) Issues of content – GP4a

17 Topic 1 – the detail of the articles and amendments is sketchily known by many candidates. They should be able to refer to these specifically. The constitution is about a lot more than just rights. Checks and Balances are seen mainly negatively or only as a protection against tyranny. Their positive influence on the quality of government needs to be explored more Issues of content – GP4a

18 Topic 2 – recent trends in Congressional voting, and the balance in each chamber as affected by recent elections and deaths, are not known in enough depth

19 Topic 3 – the ‘executive branch’ is more than just the president and his powers and constraints. Understanding is required of the other institutions as well – Cabinet, EXOP, federal bureaucracy, and the relations of the executive with the legislature Issues of content – GP4a

20 Topic 4 – a greater range of landmark cases is needed eg Engel vs Vitale 1962 (freedom of religion), Griswold vs Connecticut 1965 (right to privacy), Miranda vs Arizona 1966 (due process), Furman vs Georgia 1972 (cruel and unusual punishment), United States vs Nixon 1974 (constitutional checks and balances), Buckley vs Valeo 1976 (campaign finance), Texas vs Johnson 1989 (freedom of speech), Planned Parenthood vs Casey 1992 (affirmation of Roe vs Wade), Bush vs Gore 2000 (presidential election outcome), Lawrence vs Texas 2003 (right to privacy), DC vs Heller 2008 and McDonald vs Chicago 2010 (gun control), Citizens United vs Federal Election Commission 2010 (freedom of expression) www.billofrightsinstitute.org www.streetlaw.org Issues of content – GP4a

21 Topic 4 contd. Greater depth needed on past courts – judicial activism and restraint in action Issues of content – GP4a

22 Issues of content – GP4b Topic 1 Liberalism: tendency to describe a range of liberal thinkers rather than answer the question, need for greater understanding of the core beliefs and values of the ideology itself Topic 2 Socialism: as above – the core beliefs and values of different types of socialism Topic 3 Conservatism: too little is known about how Conservatism has reinvented itself and the strands of Conservative thinking today


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