·ASSIGNMENTS Week Journals (5x20) 100 Weekly Forums (5 x10) 50 Community Based Research Project 100 Orwell 1984 Paper 100 Community Engagement Week 25 Short Essay Question 50
TOTAL POINTS: 425 (382.5=90%/ 340 80%/ 297.5=70%)
LEARNING GOALS: We have five learning goals for you.
First, and foremost, we want you to learn how best to use the political tools available in a democratic society to make the best possible life and world for yourself, consistent with other people being able to do the same thing. The next four goals flow from this first goal. So.
Second, you should understand THE BASIC LANDSCAPE OF POLITICAL LIFE in our country-- both the major institutions of the formal government AND ALSO the major social structures that shape extra-governmental politics (the economy, the structures of race, class, and gender, corporations, etc.) By the end of the term, not only should you be able to explain "how a bill becomes a law" in the formal system of "public" government but, as important, you should be able to identify the political power dynamics of ANY social or institutional setting you are in. In particular, you should be able to identify the workings of the "private" system of government.
Third, you should know HOW TO PARTICIPATE in political life as a global citizen-- not just how to vote, but also how to write letters to the editor or elected officials, how to make an informational flyer, how to organize people to act collectively either in the electoral arena or around issues, how to hook into a march or protest, etc. You should especially know how to create more democracy in our society
Fourth, you should know HOW TO THINK critically about politics. This means both being able to see past the superficial rhetoric of politicians and mass media AND ALSO understanding your own political values and how these values inform your actions. You should understand the impact of political decisions, both on your own life, but also on the lives of other people and the planet.
Finally, we want you to master the KEY CONTENT ISSUES in contemporary U.S. politics: