Founding Principles of the USA & NC: Civic Literacy (aka, Civics) is basically the study of the US & State governments. Students in this course will analyze and evaluate the extent to which the American system of government guarantees, protects, and upholds the rights of citizens. Through the integration of inquiry-based learning, students will also investigate how the American system of government has evolved over time while learning how to analyze topics, issues, and claims in order to communicate ideas and take action to effect change and inform others. When opportunities can be provided, this course can be augmented by related learning experiences, both in and out of school, that enable students to apply their knowledge and understanding of how to participate in their own community and governance. Mastery of the standards and objectives of this course will inform and nurture responsible, participatory citizens who are competent and committed to the core values and founding principles of American democracy and the United States Constitution.
NC Essential Standards/Course Objectives: The standards for this course are conceptual in nature and have been organized around five disciplinary strands and a skill strand designed to promote inquiry: Inquiry, Behavioral Sciences, Civics & Government, Economics, Geography, & History. Every student following the North Carolina Standard Course of Study for Social Studies will engage in rigorous academic courses inclusive of multiple ideas, viewpoints, and perspectives that prepare them with the knowledge, understanding, and skills needed to productively live and engage in a multicultural and globally competitive society. NC Standards for Civic Literacy can be found here (Links to an external site.). The course is designed around 8 units: Foundations of the American Government, Bill of Rights & Individual Liberties, Legislative and Executive Branches, Judicial Branch and Legal System, American Democracy and the Two Party System, Active Citizenship and Media Influence, Turning Points in the Battle of Rights, & Role of Government in the Economy. By the end of the course, students should be
- Apply the inquiry models to analyze and evaluate social studies topics and issues in order to communicate conclusions and take informed actions;
- Understand how values, beliefs, and norms influence the American system of government;
- Understand the impact of the founding principles of the United States on federal and state governments;
- Analyze the roles of the branches of government at the federal, state, and local levels;
- Analyze the various responsibilities of individuals living in the United States in terms of citizenship, civic participation, and the political process;
- Analyze how the judicial, legal, and political systems of the United States and North Carolina embody the founding principles of government;
- Understand the role of government in both the federal and state economies;
- Understand the role geography plays in civic participation, legislation, and public policy; and
- Understand how individual rights and the American system of government have evolved over time.