Topics in Contemporary American History

Teacher: Leanne Barnes

Extra Help: Tuesdays 3-4 in Room 206 or by appointment

Course Summary: This course will introduce students to key issues in contemporary society with a key focus on the 2016 Presidential Election.

 Through a variety of classroom activities and research students will acquire a foundation to understand the complexities of issues facing society today, analyze key political concepts, evaluate the contenders in the 2016 election and participate in a mock election.

 Students will be able to:

1)      Define the terms citizenship, politics, and government and explain the meaning and responsibilities of citizenship in the United States and Massachusetts

2)      Define and provide examples of the key foundational ideas of American government, including popular sovereignty, constitutionalism, republicanism, federalism, and individual rights

3)      Define and provide examples of fundamental principles and values of American political and civic life, including liberty, the common good, justice, equality, tolerance, law and order, rights of individuals, diversity, civic unity, patriotism, constitutionalism, popular sovereignty, and representative democracy.

4)      Evaluate, take, and defend positions on issues concerning foundational ideas or values in tension or conflict in contemporary US society

5)      Trace the evolution of political parties in the American governmental system, and analyze their functions in elections and government at national and state levels of the federal system

6)      Practice civic skills and dispositions by participating in activities such as simulated public hearings, mock elections and debates

Course Documents