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Archive for the 'US GOV: Introductory Materials' Category

Political Parties

Saturday, September 8th, 2007

Your assignment:

Reading: Political Parties in the Legislature

Reading Response


Reading: Electoral Systems and Political Parties Briefing Paper

Reading: Political Parties, Elections, and Pressure Groups

Discussion Questions Concerning Political Parties

On Democratization…

Saturday, September 8th, 2007

Listen to Zakaria’s Interview on NPR

Fareed Zakaria on the Rise of Illiberal Democracy (in case your media player does not function)

The assignment: listen to (or read) Zakaria  and take notes strategically, thoroughly, and thoughtfully. You may bullet point. I will collect and assess and assess your notes.


Chip Hauss on Democratization (Hauss is the author of your textbook and a contributor to the AP curriculum)

Kropotkin Essay

Saturday, September 8th, 2007

“Ask yourself what you need to know to make this the kind of world you would like to live in. Demand that your teachers teach you that.”

The assignment

Reading and Learning Strategies

Thursday, September 6th, 2007

How to Study

SQ3R Reading Strategy

CLUES Model to Thinking Critically. This Rocks!

Several Note Taking Strategies

Notes on Quality Presentations

Multiple Intelligences

Thinking Like A Genius

The Political Service Project

Tuesday, September 4th, 2007

The assignment

Advice on Processing Possibilities & Rubric

How to Organize and Conduct Interviews

Your Service Contract

Teaching Against Idiocy

Wednesday, August 29th, 2007

Contemplating the root of the word “idiocy” leads Dr. Walter
Parker to explore the challenge that democratic societies
face of developing public-minded citizens. The schools,
he argues, are the most likely institutions to succeed in
that task.

The Article

The Response Sheet

Freedom House

Saturday, October 7th, 2006

Eugene V. Debs stated that, “years ago I recognized my kinship with all living things, and I made up my mind that I was not one bit better than the meanest on the earth. I said then…while there is a soul in prison, I am not free.”

H.L. Mencken asserted that, “the average man does not want to be free. He simply wants to be safe.”

Freedom House has set forth to gauge the state of freedom around the world.

Your assignment is to assess the state of freedom in the one AP country study assigned to you using the data provided in the Freedom House index. You do not have to write an essay (you’re welcome). Rather, come to class with notes (which I will collect) and be prepared to present and discuss the state of freedom in the country assigned to you.

First scan the methodology of the study so you know how FH arrives at their scores and what the scores mean.

Then read the most recent study (note the dropdown menu) of the country to which you were assigned.

The Age of (mis)Information

Saturday, October 7th, 2006
In a recent dialogue with my students I learned that, though they recognize and appreciate the power the internet to transform political culture, they are concerned about what news sources are reliable. In an effort to wean them from CNN’s intellectual stultification, I offer the following alternatives to the American mainstream:

From the Left:

Atlantic Monthly


Democracy Now

Harper’s Weekly

In These Times

The Jacobin

The Nation

The Progressive



Utne Reader



More or Less Centrist:


Foreign Affairs

Harvard International Review

National Public Radio

New York Times


From the Right:

The American

American Conservative

Cato Institute 

National Review

New American


Weekly Standard