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) email@example.com
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.
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