A Candid Government Curriculum Creates Informed Citizens "America is not a democracy, it's an oligarchy" Really? Princeton tells all. 

A government curriculum could prepare its citizens for how the world works if it were realistic, but it's not.

However, there's something to be said for a bit of background information, but let's not let it get in the way of a good time.

And learning about government and its stooges (politicians) should always be fun. 


Move over Schoolhouse Rock, this is how Congress really works

Making Government A Dynamic Curriculum

The Fool's Card

Therefore, I'm going to start posting updates more regularly. Students can learn how the basics of government theoretically works while reading about what the government is actually doing to us, its citizens. 

One of the basic ideas that Americans have held for many years if not forever in its culture is that our government is better than their (every other country's) government. It's called American exceptionalism.

Recent Update

Studying the parts in a government curriculum isn't really a quality education.

Understanding that there is more to a government bureaucracy will give students a better understanding of how a country's political system works is better.

But knowing not to play the game when it's completely rigged shows wisdom. That's what we want our children to learn how to win. 

This article may help. 

“The truth is that the State is a conspiracy designed not only to exploit,

but above all to corrupt its citizens.”   Tweet this

                                                                                                  —Leo Tolstoy

Here's another page update: If Ivy League college Princeton University says it, does that mean the cat is out of the bag? America is no longer a representative democracy. It's an oligarchy.   

If your teen is studying government, she should read this article and respond to it by writing an essay response, interview others, or have her create a  survey to learn more. 

The following guide offers videos, primary sources, political essays, and contemporary news items that will offer your teen a valid insight into the political world today. Traditionally, government is taught a student's senior year, but if she wants to enter this study early on, that's a great idea. Education should always meet the needs and interests of your young scholar first. 

  "The true forms of government...are those in which the one, or the few,

or the many govern, with a view to the common interest."

                                                                                                         Aristotle (384-322 B.C.)

Since government is only a half credit in high school, there will be enough information here to easily fill that requirement.

My intention, however, is to make this government curriculum a work in progress and continually offer and update information from my own point of view- and hopefully others too- to provide enough information to meet her personal interests.

You can comment below, leave links to other sources, and participate in this process. In fact, I encourage you to do so. 


Why Was The U.S. Government Created?

Think about changes in your own life. When you are unhappy with something, you make changes. After a brief period of time, you find that implementing those improvements usually involves the cooperation or keeping at bay at least, who float in your life's sphere. You have entered the world of politics and diplomacy. 

Here's an excellent video on the concept of liberty that can generate additional research. John Stuart Mill's book On Liberty is free on your Kindle. 

I hope, through your teenager's history lessons, she has learned the basics about life in America before the Revolution. A good government curriculum should include the ideas and values of how the United States was founded upon. 

Government Curriculum Offers Primary Source Documents

The most objective way of doing that is by reading first -source documents.

As a bare minimum, I would suggest the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, The Federalist Papers, the Bill of Rights, and the U.S.Constitution.The books on the right will also offer quality supplemental readings. 

Here's a study guide for The Federalist Papers. 

Few men have virtue enough to withstand the highest bidder.

GEORGE WASHINGTON, letter, Aug. 17, 1779



When the people fear the government there is tyranny, when the government fears the people there is liberty.


― Thomas Jefferson

Objective:

Your teen will then have a knowledge of the ideas, values, and beliefs, and even prejudices by the persons who formed the United States of America. 


Government Curriculum: Bill of Rights Quiz

These are headlines I found on the internet. Based on your reading and understanding of the first ten amendents to the Constitution, what amendment has been violated. 

  • "Orlando FL Judge Imprisons Man Without Trial Over Pamphlets – Yet Another US Political Prisoner"
  • Supreme Court Justice Scalia stated that internment camps were illegal, but that doesn't mean they won't happen again. 

Government Vocabulary

Having a working knowledge of governments involves a good

government vocabulary. 

Political Involvement

Hands-on political projects are an excellent way to learn about the political arena, so here are a few of my suggestions for advancing your teen's education: 

  • volunteering for a local candidate.
  • canvassing a neighborhood distributing political literature
  • soliciting signatures for a political issue, such as an environmental issue.
  • following a bill pending before Congress or the Senate and writing letters to your US congresspersons

Learning Activism: Taking Back The Internet and Your Privacy

Although you and your teens may not be using all your freedoms now, you never know when you'll need them. Edward Snowden speaks on TedTalks about steps we can take to protect our privacy from the prying eyes of the government.

This video reflects good Socratic thinking skills and a strong awareness of how governments can usurp our freedoms when not kept under control. 

Government Curriculum- Writing Assignments

A teacher's habit of assigning an essay for a student certainly helps the student avoid self-thought, but it really doesn't enhance her education. That said, however, here are a few suggestions that I hope your child will modify and improve on her own. 

  • Write a report about a local issue in the news in your home town. 
  • Write an analysis and an opinion of the news coverage that a candidate receives during a campaign. 
  • Research the judicial process through the local, state, and federal levels of a political issue in the news today.

Examples could be ...


  • The German family that sought political asylum in the United States and were possibly going to be deported. 
  • Another could be the new "Stand Your Ground" gun laws that have recently been enacted in the United States. 
  • Yet another could be an analysis of the campaign contributions that a specific lobby gives to political candidates. 
  • Recently, former presidential candidate Ron Paul has had his campaign contributors list subpoenaed by the IRS. 

Modern Perspectives on Government 

All opinions and beliefs are filtered! That's why it's important to read from first sources, so you can get information from the horse's mouth, so to speak.

But reading only American views of itself isn't completely objective either. Your child can learn more about common propaganda techniques here. 

So how does a young person choose her own political philosophy?

She reads different views and perspectives from various sources. I'll include some of those here, and you and your teen can look for some of your own. 

This government curriculum page is a work in progress. Please comment, like, and make suggestions for improvement. 

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