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American Government

Full Year                                                                                                                    
Grade 12   

Advanced Placement United States Government and Politics is a senior course designed for students with strong reading and writing skills interested in political philosophy, law, politics and the background of our government system.  The first part of the course covers the Constitution:  the philosophy and underpinnings behind it, the ratification debates, its implementation, and then the actual content and meaning of the Constitution and Bill of Rights.  The second half of the course covers the required Advanced Placement curriculum outside of the Constitution.  There is an in-depth study of the three branches of the government, their power and how they function.  Students will also study the political process--campaigns, elections, special interests groups, political parties, public opinion and the media's influence on politics.  Overlaying the entire course is an attention to current political issues and how they reconcile with the political theory taught in the course.  An emphasis is placed on being able to take positions on controversial issues and being able to support those positions with factual backing. 

Grade 11, 12    

American Government is designed to give students an understanding of the United States Constitution and the American Government in action.  The students begin the course with an examination of the history and philosophies that played a part in developing our form of government at the Constitutional Convention.  The theories of limited government, separation of powers, checks and balances and federalism are examined.  The functions of the branches of government, the role of political parties, interest groups and the media will also be studied.  The Constitution and Bill of Rights will be reviewed in detail with emphasis on their applicability to students' lives.  This course may be taken concurrently with the typical 11th grade American history choices.  

Full Year
Grade 12         

Problems of Democracy is a course for senior students whose needs are not met by the Economics and Government courses offered each semester.  This one-year, one-credit course will focus on the basics of our federal government, the Constitution, local government, citizenship, economics at the national level, current market situations and current economic events. 


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