CIVICS & GOVERNMENT—MOORE

SYLLABUS

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.

Readings

There will be a wide variety of published resources used, but the keystone of the course will be our textbook:

You will also be assigned a number of outside readings to digest and be prepared to discuss in-class.

Evaluation

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.

Examinations

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.

Academic Honesty

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.

PACore Standards

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

Standard Area 5.1: Principles and Documents of Government
Standard Content
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.
  • Liberty/Freedom
  • Democracy
  • Justice
  • Equality
5.1.C.D. Evaluate state and federal powers based on significant documents and other critical sources.
  • Declaration of Independence
  • United States Constitution
  • Bill of Rights
  • Pennsylvania Constitution
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.
Standard Area 5.2: Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship
Standard Content
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.
Standard Area 5.3: How Government Works
Standard Content
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.
  • Individual rights
  • States’ rights
  • Civil rights
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.
5.3.C.J. Intentionally Blank
Standard Area 5.4: How International Relationships Function
Standard Content
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).
5.4.C.C. Intentionally Blank
5.4.C.D. Intentionally Blank
5.4.C.E. Intentionally Blank

PACore Standards | Subject Area 6: Economics

Standard Area 6.1: Scarcity and Choice
Standard Content
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.
6.1.C.D. Intentionally Blank
Standard Area 6.2: Markets and Economic Systems
Standard Content
6.2.C.A. Analyze the flow of goods and services in the national economy.
6.2.C.B. Intentionally Blank
6.2.C.C. Analyze how media affects economic decisions.
6.2.C.D. Intentionally Blank
6.2.C.E. Analyze the characteristics of economic expansion, recession, and depression.
6.2.C.F. Intentionally Blank
6.2.C.G. Compare and contrast various economic systems.
Standard Area 6.3: Functions of Government
Standard Content
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.
Standard Area 6.4: Economic Interdependence
Standard Content
6.4.C.A. Explain how specialization contributes to economic interdepence on a national and international level.
6.4.C.B. Intentionally Blank
6.4.C.C. Evaluate the impact of multinational corporations and other non-government organizations.
6.4.C.D. Intentionally blank
Standard Area 6.5: Income, Profit, and Wealth
Standard Content
6.5.C.A. Intentionally Blank
6.5.C.B. Intentionally Blank
6.5.C.C. Intentionally Blank
6.5.C.D. Intentionally Blank
6.5.C.E. Intentionally Blank
6.5.C.F. Intentionally Blank
6.5.C.G. Intentionally Blank
6.5.C.H. Intentionally Blank

PACore Standards | Subject Area 7: Geography

Standard Area 7.1: Basic Geographic Literacy
Standard Content
7.1.C.A. Use geographic tools to analyze information about the interaction between people, places, and the environment.
7.1.C.B. Intentionally Blank
Standard Area 7.2: Physical Characteristics of Places and Regions
Standard Content
7.2.C.A. Intentionally Blank
7.2.C.B. Intentionally Blank
Standard Area 7.3: Human Characteristics of Places and Regions
Standard Content
7.3.C.A. Analyze the human characteristics of places and regions using the following criteria:
  • Population
  • Culture
  • Settlement
  • Economic activities
  • Political activities
Standard Area 7.4: Interactions Between People and the Environment
Standard Content
7.4.C.A. Intentionally Blank
7.4.C.B. Intentionally Blank

PACore Standards | Subject Area 8: History

Standard Area 8.1: Historical Analysis and Skills Development
Standard Content
8.1.C.A. Intentionally Blank
8.1.C.B. Analyze the major arguments advanced for different systems of government. (Reference Civics and Government Standard 5.1.9.B.)
8.1.C.C. Intentionally Blank
Standard Area 8.2: Pennsylvania History
Standard Content
8.2.C.A. Intentionally Blank
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:
  • Pennsylvania Constitution (Reference Civics and Government Standard 5.1.9.D.)
8.2.C.D. Intentionally Blank
Standard Area 8.3: United States History
Standard Content
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:
  • Declaration of Independence
  • United States Constitution
  • Bill of Rights (Reference Civics and Government Standard 5.1.9.D.)
8.3.C.C. Analyze the principles and ideals that shape United States government.
  • Liberty/Freedom
  • Democracy
  • Justice
  • Equality
Reference Civics and Government Standard 5.1.9.C.)
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.)
Standard Area 8.4: World History
Standard Content
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:
  • Declaration of Independence
  • United States Constitution (Reference Civics and Government Standard 5.1.9.D.)
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.)