CIVICS & GOVERNMENT—MOORE
Purpose and Conduct of the Class
This mandatory junior-level course is meant to provide you a better understanding of American politics and civic engagement. What the course is not is a law class or a place to gripe about one political party or the other; rather, its aim is to give you the tools to make informed interpretations about the happenings around you. Thus, a large portion of the course is devoted to current events and their impacts on civics and government.
There will be a wide variety of published resources used, but the keystone of the course will be our textbook:
- Edwards, George, et al. Government in America: People, Politics, and Policy. Boston: Pearson, 2014.
- McClenaghan, William A. Magruder’s American Government. Boston: Prentice Hall, 2011.
You will also be assigned a number of outside readings to digest and be prepared to discuss in-class.
This course content is integral to being a civically-engaged American and, therefore, the expectations are high; your grades will come from many different forms of assessment. Both reading and writing will play a key a role in this course.
There will be some number of summative examinations throughout the course, as necessary. Those tests will usually be based on the material from several chapters in the textbook and class discussions about those topics covered in the material. Exams will be announced well in advance.
Plagiarism and academic dishonesty run rampant in all sectors of academia and are an ever-growing problem for schools. I would have you note those are two distinct items: to plagiarize is defined by Merriam-Webster as “to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one’s own; use (another’s production) without crediting the source;” academic dishonesty is more encompassing, as copying assignments or cheating may not seem like plagiarism but are academically dishonest. Plagiarism and cheating are covered clearly on pages 25 & 26 of Hatboro-Horsham High School’s Student/Parent Handbook and, as such, I will not go into depth on that matter here.
Attendance and Classroom Behavior
This sounds basic, but you need to be here. You never had a course like this nor has this material been covered in any other course and your absence from class will greatly diminish your ability to succeed. If you must miss class, it is your responsibility to find-out what you missed, which does not include asking me “what did I miss?” Instead, you should question your peers and copy any notes they may have taken in your absence. Coming to me with questions about what you missed will not work well; however, if you do not understand something we covered, I’ll be more than happy to go over it with you.
I am aware we live in the 21st Century and technology has infiltrated almost every aspect of our lives. We will use that technology, including mobile phones, when appropriate—the key word being appropriate—but texting throughout class will not be tolerated. Using your phone for note-taking or in-class research is encouraged, as it is an invaluable tool; however, I ask before you even enter my classroom to make sure your phone is in “silent” mode.
Below you will find the PACore Standards for Civics & Government provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) via the Standards Aligned System (SAS); clicking on the Standard Area title will expand/retract that area to display the content covered.
PACore Standards | Subject Area 5: Civics and Government
|5.1.C.A.||Analyze the sources, purposes, functions of law, and how the rule of law protects individual rights and promotes the common good.|
|5.1.C.B.||Employ historical examples and political philosophy to evaluate the major arguments advanced for the necessity of government.|
|5.1.C.C.||Evaluate the application of the principles and ideals in contemporary civic life.
|5.1.C.D.||Evaluate state and federal powers based on significant documents and other critical sources.
|5.1.C.E.||Analyze and assess the rights of people as written in the PA Constitution and the US Constitution.|
|5.1.C.F.||Analyze the role political symbols play in civil disobedience and patriotic activites.|
|5.2.C.A.||Contrast the rights and responsibilities of a citizen in a democracy with a citizen in an authoritarian system.|
|5.2.C.B.||Analyze strategies used to resolve conflicts in society and government.|
|5.2.C.C.||Evaluate political leadership and public service in a republican form of government.|
|5.2.C.D.||Evaluate and demonstrate what makes competent and responsible citizens.|
|5.3.C.A.||Examine the process of checks and balances among the three branches of government, including the creation of law.|
|5.3.C.B.||Analyze the roles of local, state, and national governments in policy-making.|
|5.3.C.C.||Explain how government agencies create, amend, and enforce policies in local, state, and national governments.|
|5.3.C.D.||Evaluate the roles of political parties, interest groups, and mass media in politics and public policy.|
|5.3.C.E.||Compare and contrast the different election processes for local, state, and national offices.|
|5.3.C.F.||Explain the Supreme Court’s role in interpreting the U.S. Constitution.
|5.3.C.G.||Analyze the influence of interest groups in the political process.|
|5.3.C.H.||Evaluate the role of mass media in setting public agenda and influencing political life.|
|5.3.C.I.||Explain various types of taxes and their purposes.|
|5.4.C.A.||Explain how United States foreign policy is developed.|
|5.4.C.B.||Explain why and how different foreign policy tools are used to advance a nation’s self interest (e.g., diplomacy, economic aid, military aid, sanctions, treaties).|
PACore Standards | Subject Area 6: Economics
|6.1.C.A.||Predict the long-term consequences of decisions made because of scarcity.|
|6.1.C.B||Evaluate the economic reasoning behind a choice.|
|6.1.C.C.||Explain the opportunity cost associated with government policies.|
|6.2.C.A.||Analyze the flow of goods and services in the national economy.|
|6.2.C.C.||Analyze how media affects economic decisions.|
|6.2.C.E.||Analyze the characteristics of economic expansion, recession, and depression.|
|6.2.C.G.||Compare and contrast various economic systems.|
|6.3.C.A.||Evaluate the costs and benefits of government decisions to provide public goods and services.|
|6.3.C.B.||Assess the government's role in regulating and stabilizing the state and national economy.|
|6.3.C.C.||Evaluate the social, political, and economic costs/benefits of potential changes to taxation policies.|
|6.3.C.D.||Explain why governments limit or promote international trade.|
|6.4.C.A.||Explain how specialization contributes to economic interdepence on a national and international level.|
|6.4.C.C.||Evaluate the impact of multinational corporations and other non-government organizations.|
PACore Standards | Subject Area 7: Geography
|7.1.C.A.||Use geographic tools to analyze information about the interaction between people, places, and the environment.|
|7.3.C.A.||Analyze the human characteristics of places and regions using the following criteria:
PACore Standards | Subject Area 8: History
|8.1.C.B.||Analyze the major arguments advanced for different systems of government. (Reference Civics and Government Standard 5.1.9.B.)|
|8.2.C.B.||Demonstrate an understanding of how the PA Constitution and the US Constitution co-exist. (Reference Civics and Government Standard 5.1.9.E.)|
|8.2.C.C.||Compare and contrast the basic principles and ideals found in significant documents:
|8.3.C.A.||Compare and contrast the politics of various interest groups and evaluate their impact on foreign policy. (Reference Civics and Government Standard 5.4.12.E.)|
|8.3.C.B.||Compare and contrast the basic principles and ideals found in significant documents:
|8.3.C.C.||Analyze the principles and ideals that shape United States government.
|8.3.C.D.||Analyze the role political symbols play in civil disobedience and patriotic activites. (Reference Civics and Government standard 5.1.9.F.)|
|8.4.C.A.||Evaluate critical issues in various contemporary governments. (Reference Civics and Government Standard 5.3.12.J.) Evaluate the effectiveness of various international organizations, both governmental and non-governmental. (Reference Civics and Government Standard 5.4.12.C.)|
|8.4.C.B.||Compare and contrast the basic principles and ideals found in significant documents:
|8.4.C.C.||Evaluate critical issues in various contemporary governments. (Reference Civics and Government standard 5.3.12.J.) Employ historical examples and political philosophy to evaluate major arguments advanced for the necessity of government. (Reference Civics and Government Standard 5.1.12.B)|
|8.4.C.D.||Analyze strategies used to resolve conflicts in society and government. (Reference Civics and Government Standards 5.2.9.B.) Evaluate the role of nationalism in uniting and dividing citizens. (Reference Civics and Government Standards: 5.1.12.F.)|