President Ronald Reagan once made audiences laugh by claiming that “the nine most terrifying words in the English language are: ‘I’m from the Government, and I’m here to help.'”
But the reality is that government is necessary.
This is an honors level U.S. government course, designed to enable the student to gain and display an understanding of United States government and politics and the processes of government that shape public policy. Using Magruder’s American Government and several primary source documents, this course will provide an analytical perspective on government and politics in the United States, and will enable the student to become familiar with the various institutions of government. This course requires the development of a significant level of abstract thinking that goes beyond mere description of factual information and practical knowledge. As a means of assessing student ability to think critically about the material, a strong ability to write well constructed essays on a weekly basis is also required.
Assessment will include essays, quizzes, tests, oral exams, peer interaction and presentations.
Must have working webcam and printer. Microsoft Word is highly recommended to prevent students from having to re-create course material.
This is a 0.5 credit high school level course for junior and senior students only.
Approximately 1 hour per day will be required to complete assignments for this course.
Philosophical underpinnings for this course:
“A primary object should be the education of our youth in the science of government. In a republic, what species of knowledge can be equally important? And what duty more pressing than communicating it to those who are to be the future guardians of the liberties of the country?”
― George Washington, “Eighth Annual Message of George Washington” Dec. 7, 1796
This instructor is a strong constitutionalist. However, it is the aim of this course to equip students to discover their own understanding of the great thoughts of great men rather than have them “parrot back” the thoughts of their instructor (present and future) so that they will become the “future guardians of the liberties of the country”.