AP U.S. Government and Politics
On-Line for the 2017-2018 School Year
Teacher: Julia Reed
Congratulations to the 2015-2016 AP US Government Students! 76% of the class received a 5 on the exam with a class average of 4.5, well done to everyone!
- Keeping the Republic: Power and Citizen in American Politics 6th Edition by Barbour and Wright isbn 9781452220161 NOTE: **There are other editions with VERY similar titles so check the ISBN.
- * You may see feedback that this text has a "liberal leaning" if you read reviews. This is true but the class is taught from a neutral perspective and the supplemental materials balance out any bias in the textbook. The textbook is strong and well organized in its content. It is near impossible to find a text without a bias as political science is often normative in nature. The students hear both arguments and when the text makes a "value judgement," by using loaded languages, (two occasions) we discuss this in class. It is helpful for the students to see the impact language makes (we address this in our media study as well).
- 5 Steps to a 5 AP US Government and Politics, current Edition by Pamela Lamb
- Declaration Of Independence, Constitution Of The United States of America, Bill Of Rights And Constitutional Amendments Paperback – January 9, 2013 by Benjamin Franklin (optional can find free on-line)
- The Supreme Court [Paperback] By William Rehnquist (summer reading)
- Miracle At Philadelphia: The Story of the Constitutional Convention May - September 1787 by Catherine Drinker Bowen (summer reading)
- Numerous articles and on-line sources (free)
- Films, available on-line (free)
- Hillsdale College "Constitution" lectures (Free on-line)
- "The Most Successful Revolution" by Irving Kristol (Free)
Class Fees: Early Bird (before July 1st): $600, Regular: $645.00
Tech Needs: hi-speed Internet access, ability to watch DVD’s, email account. I highly recommend a headset with microphone for on-line class discussions
Who Should Apply: Self-motivated 10th-12th grade students. Students should have reliable Internet access and an email account. Students should be prepared for a rigorous curriculum that will challenge them to make critical assessments of world views and their impacts on governments and societies.
Application: Please fill out the application (bottom of the page) and email it to me
This United States Government and Politics course provides an analytical perspective on government and politics in the United States. This course involves both the study of general concepts used to interpret U.S. politics and the analysis of specific case studies. We will become familiar with the various institutions, groups, beliefs, and ideas that constitute U.S. political reality.
This course will involve the study of democratic ideas, balance of powers, and the tension between the practical and ideal in policymaking. We will look at how "ideas have consequences"and how ones "first truths," develop into political positions. Students will analyze and discuss the importance of various constitutional principles, rights and procedures, institutions, and political processes that impact citizenship.
The class will be interactive and will have a live meeting each week (though attendance is not required). We will also have opportunities to meet informally to discuss current affairs. We will also have a few guest speakers who will talk to our class throughout the year. Students will be evaluated through tests, quizzes, short essays and threaded discussions. We will use Canvas as our class platform. There will be assignments and reading every week, along with required interaction on the course site (password protected). The students will watch a number of pre-recorded lectures and will have the opportunity to discuss this material. We will also have some class simulations involving the 3 branches of government Youth Leadership Initiative through UVA). These activities will encourage the students to think critically about current events and their own personal political ideals.
Live Component: There is a weekly lecture, times will be set based on the needs of the class. I will do my best to pick a time that is suited to the whole group. These lectures will also be recorded.
Goals for the Students:
- Equip students with the ability and desire to become informed, responsible American citizens
- Develop sound reasoning for their political beliefs and a solid understanding of the founding values and principles of our country
- Equip students with the ability to use history to understand current political situations
- Perform well on the AP exam
Grades will be earned by the students, not given by me. I will equip the students with everything they need in order to be successful.
The course will be 32 weeks (September 5 , 2017 - May 18, 2018) with the following breaks: November 20-24, Dec 20-Jan 3, March 26-31.
Instructor Qualifications: I am a retired Lt Col from the United States Air Force, serving over 20 years on both active duty and the reserve. My duties included both US and overseas locations. I have a BA in Political Science from the University of Minnesota, and an MA in International Relations from St. Mary's University (San Antonio, TX). Additionally I am a graduate of Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, AL, and a graduate of the Centurion Program (intensive worldview study led by Chuck Colson) in Lansdowne, VA. I still serve the Air Force Academy as a liaison in the state of PA; as well as serve on a board for our local congressman, nominating students to our federal academies. I have taught numerous courses over the years. This is my third year teaching for PA Homeschoolers. Additionally, I have worked with education institutions to improve the AP curriculum. I have also sold curriculum that are currently being used by a national company on on-line platforms. I am passionate about politics and love to teach and interact with students. I am a mother of four and currently teach one of my children at home.
Click here to open or download an application to this class (Microsoft Word document)
Click here to read class reviews from past participants
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