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Social Studies - Political Science/Civic Literacy

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NOTE: The Essential Concepts and Skills listed in Social Studies - Political Science/Civic Literacy are the same as the Essential Concepts and Skills listed in 21st Century - Civic Literacy

Political science is the study of power and authority through the examination of political processes, governmental institutions, and human behavior in a civil society. In this context the study of civics is understood to include the form and function of government. Civic literacy encompasses civics but also addresses the individual's social and political participation.

Kindergarten-Grade 2

Essential Concepts and/or Skills

Understand the basic concepts of government and democracy and that the Constitution defines the rights and responsibilities of citizens

  • Understand what the US Constitution is and why it is important.
  • Understand the purpose of rules.
  • Understand the concept of fairness.
  • Understand rights and responsibilities.

Understand how government affects citizens and how citizens affect government

  • Understand the purpose of government.
  • Understand the characteristics of a good leader.
  • Understand respect for other’s point of view.
  • Understand the concepts of power and authority.

Understand the United States has a role in current world affairs

  • Understand the world is divided into nations.
  • Understand how the nations of the world interact with one another.

 

Grades 3-5

Essential Concepts and/or Skills

Understand the rights and responsibilities of each citizen and demonstrate the value of lifelong civic action

  • Understand what it means to be a citizen.
  • Understand why civic responsibility is important and know examples of civic responsibility.
  • Understand that Congress passes laws to protect individual rights.
  • Understand how people can participate in their government.
  • Understand what political leaders do and why leadership is necessary in a democracy.
  • Understand opportunities for leadership and public service in the student’s own classroom, school, community, state, and the nation.
  • Understand the importance of voluntarism as a characteristic of American society.

Understand how the government established by the Constitution embodies the enduring values and principles of democracy and republicanism

  • Understand the fundamental values and principles of American democracy.
  • Understand the difference between power and authority.
  • Understand fundamental values and principles of American democracy are expressed in documents such as the Declaration of Independence, the Preamble to the United States Constitution, and the Bill of Rights, as well as in American songs, stories, and speeches.
  • Understand the costs and benefits of diversity in American society.

Understand the purpose and function of each of the three branches of government established by the Constitution

  • Understand that the legislative branch passes laws to protect individual rights.
  • Understand that the executive branch carries out and enforces laws to protect individual rights.
  • Understand that the judicial branch, headed by the Supreme Court, makes decisions concerning the law that aim to protect individual rights.

Understand the differences among local, state, and national government

  • Understand the roles of local, state and national government and the roles of representative leaders at these levels such as mayor, governor and President.
  • Understand major services provided by national, state, and local governments.
  • Understand how national, state and local government officials are chosen.

Understand the role of the United States in current world affairs

  • Understand that the world is divided into many different nations with each one having its own government.
  • Understand the major ways nations interact with each other such as trade, diplomacy, cultural contacts, treaties or agreements, and use of military force.
  • Understand factors that contribute to cooperation and cause disputes within and among groups and nations.

 

Grades 6-8

Essential Concepts and/or Skills

Understand the rights and responsibilities of each citizen and demonstrate the value of lifelong civic action

  • Understand rights, roles and status of the individual in relation to the general welfare.
  • Understand issues regarding personal, political, and economic rights.
  • Understand what is meant by the "scope and limits" of a right.
  • Understand participation in civic and political life can help bring about the attainment of individual and public goals.
  • Understand the functions of political leadership and why leadership is a vital necessity in a democracy.
  • Understand the importance of voluntarism as a characteristic of American society.

Understand how the government established by the Constitution embodies the principles of democracy

  • Understand the essential ideas of American government that are expressed in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and other documents.
  • Understand the concepts of constitutional government as fundamental principles of American democracy.
  • Understand the essential characteristics of limited and unlimited governments.
  • Understand the basic concepts of a federal system of government.
  • Understand values such as individual rights, the common good, self government, justice, equality, diversity, openness and free inquiry, truth, patriotism are fundamental to American public life.
  • Understand the type of citizenry needed to establish and maintain constitutional government.

Understand the purpose and function of each of the three branches of government established by the Constitution

  • Understand the primary responsibilities of each branch of government in a system of shared powers (legislative, executive, judicial) and ways in which each branch shares the powers and functions of the other branches.
  • Understand how the legislative, executive, and judicial branches use checks and balances.

Understand the similarities and differences among the complex levels of local, state, and national government

  • Understand the relationship between state and local governments and the national government.
  • Understand the powers and responsibilities of local, state and national governments.

Understand strategies for effective political action that impacts local, state, and national governance

  • Understand the concept of civic responsibility.
  • Understand the importance of political leadership, public service, and a knowledgeable citizenry in American democracy.
  • Understand the concept of political leadership in the student’s own school, community, state, and the nation.

Understand how laws are established at the local, state, and national levels

  • Understand the concept of public policy.
  • Understand the sources, purposes, and functions of law, and the importance of the rule of law for the protection of individual rights and the common good.

Understand how various political systems throughout the world define the rights and responsibilities of the individual

  • Understand constitutions protect individual rights and promote the common good.
  • Understand the essential characteristics of limited and unlimited governments.

Understand the role of the United States in current world affairs

  • Understand conditions, actions and motivations that contribute to conflict and cooperation within and among nations.
  • Understand current foreign policy issues and the means the United States is using to deal with them.

 

Grades 9-12

Essential Concepts and/or Skills

Understand the rights and responsibilities of each citizen and demonstrate the value of lifelong civic action

  • Understand rights, roles and status of the individual in relation to the general welfare.
  • Understand issues regarding personal, political, and economic rights.
  • Understand what is meant by the "scope and limits" of a right.
  • Understand participation in civic and political life can help bring about the attainment of individual and public goals.
  • Understand the functions of political leadership and why leadership is a vital necessity in a democracy.
  • Understand the importance of voluntarism as a characteristic of American society.

Understand how the government established by the Constitution embodies the principles of democracy

  • Understand the essential ideas of American government that are expressed in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and other documents.
  • Understand the concepts of constitutional government as fundamental principles of American democracy.
  • Understand the essential characteristics of limited and unlimited governments.
  • Understand the basic concepts of a federal system of government.
  • Understand values such as individual rights, the common good, self government, justice, equality, diversity, openness and free inquiry, truth, patriotism are fundamental to American public life.
  • Understand the type of citizenry needed to establish and maintain constitutional government.

Understand the purpose and function of each of the three branches of government established by the Constitution

  • Understand the primary responsibilities of each branch of government in a system of shared powers (legislative, executive, judicial) and ways in which each branch shares the powers and functions of the other branches.
  • Understand how the legislative, executive, and judicial branches use checks and balances.

Understand the similarities and differences among the complex levels of local, state, and national government

  • Understand the relationship between state and local governments and the national government.
  • Understand the powers and responsibilities of local, state and national governments.

Understand strategies for effective political action that impacts local, state, and national governance

  • Understand the concept of civic responsibility.
  • Understand the importance of political leadership, public service, and a knowledgeable citizenry in American democracy.
  • Understand the concept of political leadership in the student’s own school, community, state, and the nation.

Understand how laws are established at the local, state, and national levels

  • Understand the concept of public policy.
  • Understand the sources, purposes, and functions of law, and the importance of the rule of law for the protection of individual rights and the common good.

Understand how various political systems throughout the world define the rights and responsibilities of the individual

  • Understand constitutions protect individual rights and promote the common good.
  • Understand the essential characteristics of limited and unlimited governments.

Understand the role of the United States in current world affairs

  • Understand conditions, actions and motivations that contribute to conflict and cooperation within and among nations.
  • Understand current foreign policy issues and the means the United States is using to deal with them.

Printed from the Iowa Department of Education website on April 17, 2014 at 9:01am.