- Course type: Self-paced
- Available Lessons: 191
- Average Lesson Length: 8 min
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Watch a preview:chapter 1 / lesson 1What is Political Science?
Course SummaryThis Intro to Political Science Syllabus Resource & Lesson Plans course is a fully developed resource to help you organize and teach political science. You can easily adapt the video lessons, transcripts, and quizzes to take full advantage of the comprehensive and engaging material we offer. Make planning your course easier by using our syllabus as a guide.
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24 chapters in Intro to Political Science Syllabus Resource & Lesson Plans
Course Practice TestCheck your knowledge of this course with a 50-question practice test.
- Comprehensive test covering all topics
- Detailed video explanations for wrong answers
How It Works
You can use this political science course as a template for designing and implementing your course. Here are the key components of the course and how you can use them:
- Chapters - Each chapter covers a unit of political science, from an overview of the field and a definition of politics to current topics such as weapons proliferation and global health issues. Use these chapters as mile markers as you map out your course. We recommend planning to spend a week on each chapter, but you can always allocate the chapters according to the length of your specific political science course.
- Lessons - Within each chapter are video lessons that further break down topics into bite-sized chunks. These lessons cover single topics like freedom of the press or sovereign immunity. Each one is often appropriate for a single class.
- Key Terms - Within each lesson are key terms. These are emphasized on screen and in the transcript. As you develop your syllabus, these key terms help you focus on the most important learning objectives. For example, the lesson on how America views the political system includes key terms like frame of reference, liberty, limited government, equality, democracy, monarchy and civic duties.
As you work on your political science lesson plans, save time by incorporating video lessons from this resource. Here's how:
- Introduce Topics - Your students will be in the right mindset for understanding topics like the powers of Congress if you begin class with a short video. It can be a jumping-off point for a lecture, group activity or class discussion.
- Break Up Lectures - The video format, which often includes animation, helps students visualize topics like communism vs. socialism and how cases are appealed to the Supreme Court.
- Assign For Homework - Each lesson in the course, from campaign finance sources to means of political change, can be assigned to your students as homework.
Each video lesson includes a complete transcript. You can utilize these transcripts in several ways:
- Lecture Notes - Do you need a guide as you plan a lecture, such as one on third parties or bureaucratic accountability? The transcripts cover each topic in depth, with key terms highlighted for quick reference.
- Student Reading - Perhaps you'd like your students to learn about gross domestic product, but you don't have class time available. Assign the transcript as extra reading.
- Study Tools - When it's time for a unit exam on fiscal policy, you can point your students to the transcripts on regulatory policy, ways the government protects the economy, monetary policy, the Federal Reserve and related topics to help them study.
Each video lesson has a corresponding quiz. Here's how to use the quizzes:
- Homework - Assign a quiz to your students as homework. You'll receive an email with the results, which enables you to verify they've completed the assignment and that they've understood the material. Questions cover everything from basic principles of democracy to key facts, like the minimum jail sentence for a felony conviction.
- Tests - You can meld the material in the quizzes into your own student assessments, saving you valuable time. Need a few questions on international law? There are plenty!
- Discussions - Jump-start a discussion with questions like: What is the role of political parties in the electoral system?
Below is a sketch of the political science syllabus modeled on a 24-week course. This sample can be adapted based on your course schedule. Navigate the chapters and lessons for more detail.
|Week||Unit||Sample of Topics Covered|
|Week 1||Basic Terms and Concepts of Political Science||Definition of politics, the American political process, representation, factors that shift political power from the majority|
|Week 2||Civil Liberties||Development of the Bill of Rights, freedom of religion, the right to bear arms, the role of the courts in defining civil liberties|
|Week 3||Civil Rights||The history of the African-American civil rights movement, struggles by other groups, including Latinos, women, gays and lesbians, rights for individuals with disabilities|
|Week 4||Political Ideologies and Philosophy||Definition of political ideology and a look at several types, including conservatism, liberalism, libertarianism and anarchism|
|Week 5||Forms of Government||Definition of government and a look at several types, including democracy and autocracy|
|Week 6||Electoral Systems||Representation in the U.S. government, types of elections including primaries and runoffs|
|Week 7||Types of Legislatures in Government||Powers of legislatures, difference between the U.S. Congress and Parliament, function of legislative committees|
|Week 8||Presidential Elections and Powers||How a presidential system of government works, the nomination process, the electoral college|
|Week 9||The Congress: Powers and Elections||Powers of Congress, how districts are drawn, legal requirements to run for Congress, national factors that influence Congressional elections|
|Week 10||The Federal Judicial System||Theories of judicial interpretation, an overview of the federal court system, the selection of Supreme Court justices|
|Week 11||The Federal Bureaucracy in the United States||Definition of bureaucracy, the president's cabinet, how elections impact bureaucracy, accountability|
|Week 12||The History and Role of Political Parties||How the major parties function, history of the party system in America, ideological and non-ideological party structures|
|Week 13||Interest Groups in Politics||An overview of interest groups that are active today, strategies used by interest groups, the pluralist view of interest groups|
|Week 14||Mass Media and Politics||Old and new media, the media's influence on the public's political opinions, types of media bias|
|Week 15||Political Culture, Public Opinion and Civic Behavior||American political culture, political socialization, polling|
|Week 16||Comparative Law||Origins of American law, types of laws, including code law, civil law, constitutional law|
|Week 17||Public and Social Policy||How policies are made, categories of public policies, public assistance programs|
|Week 18||Fiscal Policy in Government and the Economy||Market- and state-controlled economies, the role of the Federal Reserve, how the government utilizes taxes|
|Week 19||Foreign Policy, Defense Policy and Government||An overview of U.S. foreign policy in the last half of the 20th century, the politics of national defense, the foreign policy powers of Congress and the president|
|Week 20||Concepts of International Relations||How globalization impacts politics, definition of sovereignty, imperialism and colonialism today|
|Week 21||Theories of International Relations||An overview of several views, including political realism, liberal internationalism and regime theory|
|Week 22||International Actors in Political Science||Various participants on the international political scene including terrorist organizations, non-governmental groups such as the Red Cross and Greenpeace, religious movements and the United Nations|
|Week 23||International Law in Politics||Business treaties, the Geneva Conventions, the Kyoto Protocol and the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act|
|Week 24||Global Issues and Politics||Global health issues, environmental concerns, poverty, human trafficking, security|
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