U.S. Government and Politics is a vigorous, writing-intensive course that uses the perspective of political institutions to explore the history, organization, and functions of the U.S. government. Students are encouraged to use their knowledge of the structures and processes of governing to develop their own views on current political issues and apply what they have learned to the promotion of civic action. Beginning with basic theories of government, moving to the Declaration of Independence, and continuing to the present day, the course explores the relationship between individual Americans and the governing bodies. It looks closely at the political culture of the country and gains insight into the challenges faced by presidents, congressional representatives, and other political activists. It also covers the roles of political parties, interest groups, the media, and the Supreme Court.
U.S. Government and Politics is designed to fall in the fourth year of social studies instruction. Students perfect their analytic writing through a series of analytic assignments and written lesson tests. Students perform frequent close readings of primary documents and apply those documents to the course content.
The content is based on standards from the National Council for History Education (1997), the National Center for History in the Schools (1996), and the National Council for Social Studies (1994) and is aligned to state standards.