AP US Government ~ 2011 Syllabus (second Semester)

People have asked to see how I organize my course, so here’s an example:

Welcome!  To many students this is one of the most important courses they take.  My approach is to emphasize what’s going on now, and we’ll long some theory as you go.  So I you’ll find that I take things up based on what’s happening.  I don’t “begin at the beginning”.   So much to cover, but we’ll begin with the Presidency….

For Thursday, January 20th Due Friday, January 21st Make a one-minute video with a suggestion on regarding what President Obama should take up in the State of the Union Address, Be sure to submit it! If yours gets picked to be on the website that’s kudos for you!

href=http%3A//voices.washingtonpost.com/44/2011/01/your-2011-state-of-the-union-s.html ]http://voices.washingtonpost.com/44/2011/01/your-2011-state-of-the-union-s.html

For Monday January 24th you should have read Chapter 11, pp. 263-293.Also take a look at this brief description of a day in the life of the President by Todd Purdham  http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=129090078

On Tuesday, January 25th Watch the State of the Union Address (Tuesday Night) and write a one to two page critique of the speech for Thursday, January 27 th

For Monday January 31st :  six-corner debate on how to reform the Electoral College. See “articles” for readings

For Wednesday, Ground Hog Day~ Professor David Lublin will be here to explain Congressional Redistricting.     Chapter 10.  To page 247 and see the brief debate under “Articles”

For Thursday, February 3rd.  Finish Chapter 10. We’ll begin talking about Congress.

For Monday, February 7th – Why is it so difficult to pass legislation?  
Wednesday, February 9th Profile of a Freshman Member of Congress or Freshman
Senator  (see “Projects”)
For Thursday, Feb 10th  Begin reading Chapter 9 on political parties  to page 218

For Monday  February 14th Look up a minor political party and be ready to tell something about it in class  (see Projects!)

For Wednesday, February 16th  Finish the Chapter on Interest Groups

For Thursday, February 17th  Complete a profile of an Interest group:See Projects

HAVE a GREAT Break!  

After Break~ We’ll look at Campaigns and elections, political socialization.

  Huge TEST on February 28th (Changed because of the David Brooks talk)

For Today:   Reports on Interest Groups and PowerPoint

For Thursday, /February 24th a debate: Should lobbying be restricted?
Use the setup on pp 224-225 in addition to these websites:

href=http%3A//www.foreignaffairs.com/features/readinglists/what-to-read-on-lobbying ] http://www.idebate.org/debatabase/topic_details.php?topicID=654

CQ Researcher (GDS library website

http://library.cqpress.com/cqresearcher/document.php?id=cqresrre1928030700&href=http%3A//www.foreignaffairs.com/features/readinglists/what-to-read-on-lobbying ]http://hopper.gds.org/webapps/blackboard/content/contentWrapper.jsp?content_id=_41682_1&displayName=Assignments+2011+to+the+end+of+the+year&course_id=_183_1&navItem=content&href=http%3A//www.foreignaffairs.com/features/readinglists/what-to-read-on-lobbying

[ http://hopper.gds.org/webapps/blackboard/content/contentWrapper.jsp?content_id=_41682_1&displayName=Assignments+2011+to+the+end+of+the+year&course_id=_183_1&navItem=content&href=http%3A//www.foreignaffairs.com/features/readinglists/what-to-read-on-lobbying ]http://hopper.gds.org/webapps/blackboard/content/contentWrapper.jsp?content_id=_41682_1&displayName=Assignments+2011+to+the+end+of+the+year&course_id=_183_1&navItem=content&href=http%3A//www.foreignaffairs.com/features/readinglists/what-to-read-on-lobbying

[ http://hopper.gds.org/webapps/blackboard/content/contentWrapper.jsp?content_id=_41682_1&displayName=Assignments+2011+to+the+end+of+the+year&course_id=_183_1&navItem=content&href=http%3A//www.foreignaffairs.com/features/readinglists/what-to-read-on-lobbying ]http://hopper.gds.org/webapps/blackboard/content/contentWrapper.jsp?content_id=_41682_1&displayName=Assignments+2011+to+the+end+of+the+year&course_id=_183_1&navItem=content&href=http%3A//www.foreignaffairs.com/features/readinglists/what-to-read-on-lobbying

Saldin, Robert. (2011). Lobbying: Overview. In Issues: Understanding Controversy and Society. Retrieved February 23, 2011, from http://issues.abc-clio.com/
(ABC-Clio Understanding Controversy on theGDS library website)

For Monday Feb 28th

DO NOT skip the assembly. David Brooks, Conservative -but iconoclastic-columnist for the New York Times, and this is not to be missed>!! We’ll talk about it in class, for which you should also have read Chapter 4, especially pages 85-98, which will a give you good background for talk.  Extra credit if you ask a question of the speaker!

Also take these quizzes online:

At the beginning of class have students take one or two of these online political quizzes, to determine their political ideology:

■ [ http://hopper.gds.org/webapps/blackboard/content/contentWrapper.jsp?content_id=_41682_1&displayName=Assignments+2011+to+the+end+of+the+year&course_id=_183_1&navItem=content&href=http%3A//www.theadvocates.org/quiz ]http://www.theadvocates.org/quiz
■ [ http://hopper.gds.org/webapps/blackboard/content/contentWrapper.jsp?content_id=_41682_1&displayName=Assignments+2011+to+the+end+of+the+year&course_id=_183_1&navItem=content&href=http%3A//politicalquiz.net/ ]http://politicalquiz.net/

 For Wednesday, March 1st

Chapter 7 Individual Participation

For Thursday, Class debate: Does a high voting turnout help to create a better government?  See especially pp1. 155-156 in Fiorina et all.  Also, see “Projects” for additional sources for this debate.

For Monday, March 7th TEST .  On the Presidency, Congress, Interest groups, American political culture

  For Wednesday, March 9th , Chapter 8, Elections

For Thursday, March 10th Debate : Should there be a national primary?

 For Monday, March 14th Chapter 5 Political opinion.  

 For Wednesday, March 16th write a one to two page paper on a polling firm or political consulting firm of your choice (see projects)

 For Thursday, 17th Chapter 6, The Media

**Over the Break.  If you’re planning to take the AP it might be a good idea to acquire a review book . I think the one published by Kaplan is the best.**

 For Wednesday March 30th -more on the Media-over the break, try to look at several media-print newspapers, blogs, cable TV, and other sources.  What are the differences in terms of media effects (priming, framing, agenda setting, watchdog function)?

For Thursday, March 31st  Chapter 12, The Bureaucracy

 For Wednesday April 6th A case study of an agency.  

See “Projects”

 For Thursday, April 7 th Read Chapter 2 on the Constitution

 For Monday, April 11 th Chapter 13, on the Judiciary

 For Wednesday, and Thursday April 13 th and 14 th Chapter 14 Civil Liberties

We’ll discuss a number of these cases.  You never know what the AP will ask among these, but the possibilities are quite numerous

For Monday, and Wednesday April 18 th and April 20 th Chapter 15, Civil Rights

More cases to discuss

 For Thursday Chapter 3 on Federalism-

 For Monday April 25th TEST on Chapters 2, 13, 14, 15

Be sure to know your cases!!

For Wednesday, and Thursday April 27th, April 28th Chapter 16, Public Policy

We’ll debate some of these issues

 For Monday, May 2 nd

If you’re not taking the AP you may submit a one-two -page analysis of chapter 1. What are the main points, and, now that you’ve read the whole book, how well do you think it articulates these themes?  I’ll have an exam ready, for anyone not taking the exam, which will be on my desk, Please take it by Friday, May 6 th.    

 If you’re taking the AP we’ll review on Wednesday and Thursday for the exam on Tuesday, May 10th.  I’ll have a review session on Friday, May 6th for this exam or Comparative as students indicate, and over the weekend if necessary.




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