Civics: Democracy, Citizenship, and Public Policy: In this class, we will reflect on the structure and functions of American government at the federal and state level, as well as local and tribal governments. This class will consider the roles and responsibilities of citizens in a democracy, including how public policy is developed and how authority and responsibility are assigned. In addition, student will examine the relationship of the individual to the law and to the legal system. (taught by Joseph Mais) firstname.lastname@example.org
Week of March 11th: * On Tuesday, we performed a mock city council hearing considering a hypothetical federal matching grant for solar instillation on government buildings. Students took on randomly selected roles and developed their arguments.
Week of March 4th: * We continued our discussion on responsibility * Be sure to review your notes to remind yourself of what we have been doing; I list the work we've done on the blog so that you can be reminded of what happened in class and what you will be held responsible for at testing time. I also always list upcoming tests here. * We covered with regard to responsibility: a broader definition; the sources of responsibility; and the consequences * Be sure you are familiar with the sheet entitled "The Responsibility Study Chart"
Week of February 25: * Students took the exam on privacy on Tuesday * Students who got a grade lower than 75% are required to turn in an essay next week, Friday, March 8th * We began our discussion on responsibility by considering the potentially conflicting duties of an elected official and how one might reasonably resolve those conflicts * We defined responsibility, acknowledging that the definition can include a duty to do something and a duty to abstain from doing something * We considered the sources of responsibility and examples
Week of February 18th: * We considered the threats to privacy posed by technology and discussed * We discussed health care and privacy as related to technology * Students simulated a House of Representatives subcommittee hearing and role played various interests * REMEMBER THAT THERE WILL BE AN EXAM TUESDAY; PLEASE REVIEW: ----- THE SPHERES OF PRIVACY THAT WE DISCUSSED ----- THE WARRANT EXCEPTIONS WE DISCUSSED ----- BE ABLE TO ANSWER SHORT WRITING WORK IN CONTEXT WITH WHAT WE HAVE BEEN WORKING ON IN CLASS THESE PAST SEVERAL WEEKS
Week of February 11th: * We continued our discussion on privacy by considering expectations of privacy and conflicting rights * We considered the 4th Amendment, the warrant requirements and some of the warrant exceptions
Week of February 4th: * This week we simulated a Supreme Court hearing on NY Times v United States. Students took on roles as justices, or attorneys for one of the sides. We then discussed the case. * On Friday, we considered the outcome of the original case of NY Times v United States and listened to oral arguments. * We considered activity in DC related to climate change.
Week of January 28th: * We considered the consequences of privacy (i.e. - the costs and benefits). * We discussed youth climate action around the world in response to the World Economic Forum in Davos. * We watched Greta Thunberg, a 16 year old climate activist, giving a couple of recent speeches. * We considered the consequences of confidentiality in law and therapy. * At the end of this week, students read a newspaper article and contemplated the implications.
Week of January 21st: * This week we discussed differences in privacy behavior, both at the individual level and in cultures and organizations * We read an excerpt from a novel by Edith Wharton. * We considered a Zuni cultural norm of privacy. * We read a newspaper article on privacy from the 1960's to compare several generations of privacy expectation.
Week of January 14th: * We discussed how people exercise privacy. * We discussed why privacy is important, the spheres of privacy. * We considered the covert actions of a group of people in Nazi occupied France in helping Jewish families escape the Nazis * We conducted a mock Senate hearing on wartime censorship.
Week of January 7th: * We began the semester by reviewing the ideas around the meaning, purpose, and role of authority in our society * We discussed the general framework for the semester for the class * We then began to discuss the meaning and scope of privacy, as well as its role in our society * For the next several weeks, we will continued to discuss elements of privacy and its purpose
Week of December 10th: * We took our final exams in two installments this week. One part on Monday, the other on Friday. * We did some general trivia through a Jeopardy-style game on Wednesday.
Week of December 3rd: * On Tuesday, we considered the consequences of creating positions of authority. * On Friday, we considered the idea of breaking the rules in exigent circumstances. In particular, we discussed Lincoln's decision to suspend habeas corpus in certain areas during the Civil War and we discussed the forced internment of people of Japanese descent (and others) following the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941. * Next week, students will be tested on their understanding of the concepts surrounding: the use of authority and the consequences of its use; positions of authority and the consequences of their creation. I will be looking for an understanding from students that they can go through the analytical steps effectively.
Week of November 26th: We continued our analysis with regard to Authority by discussing: * Ways to evaluate rules and laws, and * How to determine the consequences of uses of authority, such as the costs and benefits of implementing a law or rule
Week of November 12th: * We continued our discussion of the midterm elections * We continued our discussion about authority by discussing what characteristics we should look for in deciding on who to choose for what positions of authority * We considered topics we were interested in for our policy projects and began to discuss that process * We reviewed for the test. * DON'T FORGET THERE IS A TEST ON TUESDAY. We will cover the discussions on authority that we have had thus far, including: authority versus power; sources of authority; how we can use authority; and, evaluating people for positions of authority
Week of November 5th: * We began this week with a reflection on the midterm elections. * We worked in tandem with the Chemistry class to discuss water contamination issues in Marana. * We ended this past week with a return to our theme of authority in civic society by discussing the qualities that leaders should possess. Week of October 29th: We continued our discussion on sources of authority and expanded it to use of authority.
Week of October 22nd: This week, we began a deep dive into public policy by discussing the concept of Authority. * Monday: What is the difference between authority and power without authority? * Friday: What are some sources of authority?
Week of October 15th: This week we reviewed material we have covered the past several week. On Friday, we took Test #2. Week of October 1st: * We continued our discussion on local government, considering the structures of Pima County and the City of Tucson * We identified who represented each of us at every level of electoral politics. You should be able to identify the President, your two US Senators, your US Representative, the governor of AZ as well as other state-wide offices, your state senator and representatives, your Pima County supervisor, the mayor of Tucson and your city council member. * We discussed the different structures of tribal government, including the 21 native nations in Arizona. * On Friday we brainstormed about possible public concerns that we might consider as a project later in the year * On Friday, we also reviewed our work through a Jeopardy-style trivia game
Week of September 24th: This week, we discussed local government: the types of governments, their organization, and the roles they play in civil society. We considered Pima County and the City of Tucson. We finished the week reviewing who we are represented by at every level.
Week of September 17th: This week, we considered the powers given to the federal government versus powers reserved by the state. We looked at explicit powers granted to the federal government through Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution. On Friday, we began to discuss state powers and local governments. On Wednesday of this week, we worked with the Physics class to consider Hurricane Florence, the effects of climate change on hurricanes, and to consider some potential solutions that we could consider from the public policy and civil society spheres. Next week we will continue our consideration of the roles and organization of local government.
Week of September 10: FRIDAY: Today we continued our discussion of spheres, with particular focus on contrasting the role of public policy, or government, versus the role of communities and individuals in ways to address matters of public concern. After a group discussion on potential roles each of those spheres could play in addressing specific issues, students were asked to consider a public concern they think should be addressed. We will circle back to in a few weeks. TUESDAY: We discussed the social spheres: private, the commons, and the government. We considered the interrelations of the three and how different activities involve each of them and began to consider roles of each in influencing and developing change. Students should be able to identify these three spheres and the roles they play in civic life.
Week of September 3rd: On Tuesday, we took the first test of the term. Following that, we reviewed the test and discussed. On Wednesday, we worked, in tandem with Steve's World History and Geography class, on looking at types of governments around the world. On Friday, we discussed the paper due as a makeup assignment for those who performed poorly on the test. Students are to read the three articles they were given and to answer the question, what, in your opinion, should be the criteria of a Senator in voting for or against a Supreme Court appointment, and how would you vote on the present nominee? Following this assignment, we began a discussion of public policy.
Week of August 27th: This week we discussed the structure and roles of the Judicial Branch, the other articles of the Constitution, checks and balances, and covered some vocabulary terms. On Friday, we discussed rights in the Amendments to the Constitution and we reviewed for the test on Tuesday.
Week of August 21st: This week we discussed the structure, qualifications, roles, and powers of the Legislative and Executive branches of government.
Week of August 14th: This week, we considered some documents from the founding era of the US, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. We also discussed the question, why government? We considered answers by Thomas Hobbes and John Locke, including their concepts of: state of nature, natural right, and the social contract. On Friday, we discussed the elements of a sovereign state.