AP GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS
COURSE SYLLABUS – 2017/2018
The Academy for Technology and the Classics
Joaquin Martinez: email@example.com
Course Description: AP United States Government and Politics is a two-semester, college level course offered to students who wish to be academically challenged and plan to take the AP exam in the spring. It is a survey course that provides an introduction into the operation of American national government.
As such, we will examine:
• The American system of government and its origins
• Political opinions, interests, and behaviors
• Political organizations, to include parties, interest groups and mass media
• The institutions of government and their role in making and enforcing public policy
• Civil liberties and civil rights
• Primary source materials and contemporary news analyses. In exposing you to these areas, it is my goal to foster the development of the analytical perspectives for interpreting, understanding, and explaining the political processes and events in this country.
Learning Outcomes: At the completion of AP United States Government and Politics Course, the student will be able to identify and explain the formation, function, players, organizations, and institutions that make up the American system of government based on the following themes:
• U.S. Constitution—the U.S. Constitution is a living document that revolves around interpretations of our democratic ideals.
• Civil Rights and Liberties—the government's responsibility is to protect civil rights and liberties for all citizens.
• Federalism—our government is more responsive to the people due to the division of power between the states and the federal government.
• Separation of Powers—distributing political authority among three branches of government protects against potential abuse of power through a system of checks and balances.
• Civic Responsibilities—A democratic government's ability to protect every one's rights requires the participation of citizens in the political process.
• The Media's Role—the media has a great amount of influence on American politics.
Current Events: One of the most effective ways of learning about politics and reinforcing what you have learned is to pay attention to current political events. Therefore, it is expected that you are actively reading a major newspaper, a magazine such as Newsweek, a politically oriented journal such as Foreign Policy, or watching the news and other politically oriented programs and/or websites. In order to see the facts of the matter clearly, a minimum of 3 sources should be monitored, “left”, “right”, and “center”. We will research these sources and concepts in class. The more you pay attention to current events and how they relate to what you have learned, the more effective you will be during class discussions.
Content Standards: This college-level United States Government and Politics course is written to the content standards outlined by the College Board’s U.S. Government and Politics Required Content.
Texts: United States Government and Politics: Preparing for the Advanced Placement Examination, Perfection Learning Corporation
Government in America: People, Politics, and Policy, Edwards, Wattenberg, Lineberry. 14th ed.
Course Methodology: This is an inquiry-based course where you will discover and utilize knowledge about the American political system via the textbook, supplemental readings, primary sources, political websites, the creation of a product for each topic, and synchronous and asynchronous discussions with other students and Mr. Martinez.
Acting as a facilitator, your instructor will guide you through the process, however, as the learner you are responsible for actively acquiring and constructing information by completing all assigned readings, activities, projects and products. Both formal and informal assessment will be used in evaluating your performance throughout the course. Formative assessment will include an evaluation of the quality and timeliness of your participation in class activities. Summative assessment will involve Multiple-Choice Quizzes, FRQ’s, Bi-Weekly Products, 2 Product Presentations per 9 Weeks, One Test per 4 ½ Weeks, Midterm and a Final Exam/Thesis Presentation.
Scope and Sequence
We will invest approximately 2 weeks in each area.
This will provide more than ample time for review, project completion and AP Exam Practice in the Spring.
Each unit, with the exception of The US Constitution Unit, will follow this 2 week cycle with minor variations due to holidays, content, and other ATC scheduling issues.
Monday - Short answer question on “what you remember from Friday’s preview” and preliminary reading / Introduce Topic / Guided reading or activity related to the topic / Notes and questions on the Topic as an exit ticket.
Tuesday – Powerpoint/Lecture /Media/Discussion/Activities on Topic
Wednesday - Inquiry: The Topic in Action: historical, life experience, or current events. Bloom’s Taxonomy/Cognitive Dimension Levels met.
Thursday - Due date for chapter reading, with written Analysis/Clarification Questions turned in. Unit Product will be assigned and explained.
Friday - Vocabulary Quiz (20 min.) followed by whole class self-grading (15 min.) ; 1 FRQ response (15 min.) with a peer edit (15 min.) -- FRQ responses must include at least two highlighted vocabulary terms that were not on the quiz.
Monday - Unit Product work & Progress, Check-In. Last 20 minutes of the period can be used for studying and for asking clarifying questions about tomorrow’s test
Tuesday - Chapter Test: Multiple Choice & 2 FRQs
Wednesday - Unit Product work-in-progress share out, peer editing, and/or gallery walk.
Thursday - Unit Product Submission. Current Events: Harper’s Weekly Review
Friday - Unit Product Presentations (based on student sign-up). Next week’s reading assignments given and basic introduction of topic.
As we move through each topic we will utilize The Cognitive Process Dimension and record progress in a document that will also serve as a study guide.