Social Studies Course Descriptions
Advanced Placement United States Government and Politics
Advanced Placement United States Government and Politics is a one semester course intended to provide the instruction, learning tools, and learning environment to enable students to develop the knowledge and skills to earn college credit upon taking the AP U. S. Government and Politics exam. It is imperative that students read the assigned text, as well as the supplemental readings in preparation for Socratic seminar discussions. Read, Study, and Reflect. Your instructor is available for mentoring in the office. Stay positive, be confident, most of all, enjoy the learning process.
This course provides learners with a thorough understanding of the operations of the institutions, groups, beliefs, and ideas that shape the United States federal government. The course builds on five political premises:
- All political behavior has a purpose.
- All politics is collective action.
- Institutions routinely solve collective-action problems.
- Political outcomes are the products of individuals’ preferences and institutional procedures.
- History matters.
By focusing on these organizing principles, learners will sharpen critical thinking skills as they analyze, evaluate, and assess the general concepts used to interpret U. S. politics. Students will also examine the manner in which political scientists conduct research in order to strengthen further their ability to analyze government and politics in the United States.
Topics addressed in the course:
- Constitutional Underpinnings of the United States Government
- Political Beliefs and Behaviors
- Political Parties, Interest Groups, and the Mass Media
- Institutions of National Government: Congress, Presidency, Bureaucracy, and Federal Courts
- Public Policy
- Civil Rights and Liberties
The AP U. S. Government and Politics course is a performance based course which enables learners to earn three college credits upon the successful undertaking of the AP exam administered in May. All students registered for the course are required to take the test.
For a more detailed description of the course, go to: http://apcentral.collegeboard.com/apc/public/repository/ap-govt-politics-course-description.pdf