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Course Syllabus 2011-2012

Government
Course Syllabus 2011-2012
 
Course Overview
The United States is a diverse population in the places we live and how we live. Many Americans share the belief that freedom, justice, and equality forms the adhesive that holds our contrasting nation together. Family, education, religion, education and the economy are five basic institutions that teach Americans these shared values. In this course, we will try to encourage a foundation that will lead students to become active citizens. Through the year, students will explore the rights, duties, and responsibilities of American citizenship. The students will also create an understanding of the roots of our nation’s government, and how an unhappy America deleted the Articles of Confederation for our current Constitution. Over time, pupils will also dive into the basic protections they have found in our Bill of Rights. Students will be able to explore the work of the federal government and how the three branches of government work together as an effective team. Government class would not be complete without the knowledge of our local and state government as those levels are the closest to the heart of each American. Finally, the American government course would not be complete without three basic issues that impact our daily lives in the United States: the economy, the court system, and political parties.

Course Content:
Students will:
-          Analyze America’s political heritage from the Colonial Experience to the movement toward nationhood.
-          Create an understanding of the U. S. Constitution from the Constitutional Convention to the document we know as the Supreme Law of the Land.
-          Explore the Bill of Rights from they Protections that are there to be able to interpret the meaning of the Bill of Rights.
-          Explain how the Constitution continues to change, and be flexible to an ever-changing nation.
-          Compare and Contrast the three Branches of the Federal Government, and how each keeps an eye on the others.
-          Understand the impact state and local governments have on their daily lives.
-          Describe the foundations of American citizenship, society’s values, and the meaning of being an American citizen.
-          Analyze the American Economic system, and how it compares to the economies of other nations around the world.
-          Discuss the American legal system, and how justice is achieved through the American court system.
-          Explore how people make a difference in our democracy with an emphasis on voting and political parties.

Course Materials:

- Pen, pencil, lined paper
- 3-ring binder
- Primary/Secondary Sources

Course Policies:
 
  1. Be Proactive
    1. Take responsibility for your life.
    2. “I am the force, and the driver of my own destiny, not just a passenger.”
  2. Begin with the End in Mind
    1. Define your mission and goals in life.
    2. Control your own destiny or someone else will.
  3. Put First things First
    1. Prioritize, and do the most important things first.
    2. Learn to overcome your fears and being strong during hard moments.
  4. Think Win-Win
    1. Have an everyone-can-win attitude.
    2. This attitude toward life says “I can win, and so can you.”
  5. Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood
    1. Listen to people sincerely.
    2. Learn to see things from another’s point of view before sharing your own.
  6. Synergize
    1. Work together to achieve more.
    2. Be open-minded and celebrate differences.
  7. Sharpen the Saw
    1. Renew yourself regularly.
    2. Strengthen your body, brain, heart, and soul  
School Policies:  Any rule in the Studenet Handbook is a rule in this classroom as well.  Familiarize yourself with all school rules and policies.

Late Work:  There will be no penalty for work turned in late due to an excused absence.  For extended absences due to illness, late work deadlines will be worked out between the teacher and student.  For worked turned in late for unexcused reasons, points will be deducted based on lateness of turned in work.

Plagiarism/Cheating:  These wrongful acts will not be tolerated, and students will face consequences for these offenses.


 
Grading Policy:
 
A – 90% and above
B – 80 – 89%
C – 70 – 79%
D – 60 – 69%
F – 59% and below

Letter grades are determined upon the percentage of points earned based on the total possible.  Grades can be monitored by infinite campus.

Activities:
 
Writing assignments (from open-response to reactive writing)
Reading assignments with questions
Current Events Discussions
Quizzes and Exams
Individual and/or group projects
Bell Ringers
Exit Slips
Mid-Terms
Semester Final Exams

Personal Statement:

Government is an important aspect of everyday life in the United States.  There are few aspects of a person's life that are more influential than the role government plays in our lives.  As a result, take the time to prepare for class each day, and the classroom activities that take place.  Preparation is a major key to be successful in any task that a person challenges.

Additional Information:

If you ever have any questions, feel free to contact me at school by phone (651-8801) or email at steven.murphy@glasgow.kyschools.us. I am always readily available to set up an appointment to talk to you.
 
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Glasgow Independent Schools
711 South L. Roger Wells Boulevard
Glasgow, KY 42141

Phone: (270) 651-6757
Fax: (270) 651-9791
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