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US Politics and Culture
  时间:2015-11-25 16:26:57  作者:

STU Core Curriculum Course Syllabus

 

Course TitleUS Politics and Culture

 

Course Group applied to2-3

 

Course Code

 

Credits2

 

Hours2

 

Student Requirements: ELC Level 3 or English Major of Grade 2010 Cap at 30

 

 

Pedagogical MethodsThe course will have a student-centered focus, where students will have the responsibility of developing knowledge in a learning community. Students will contribute through self-directed and guided research using electronic and traditional print resources. Classes will involve lecture and discussion components, and individual or small group presentations. Students will have the opportunity to engage in reading assignments, internet-based research, and online forum discussions; students will be required to take a midterm exam, deliver a WOVE presentation, and complete homework assignments.

 

About this Course

This course explores contemporary USA introducing students to America’s culture and politics and the issues and challenges that mark contemporary American life. Students will learn about the history and institutions that have shaped the government of the United States, the national mythologies that have defined the identity of US citizens, and the place of the USA in today’s globalized world. The course will also examine the ways that Americans understand their own political and cultural identity through film, literature, and popular culture and how changing migrations, technologies, and economics have been changing what it means to be an American. Students completing this course will develop skills in rhetorical analysis, and digital information literacy.

 

This class is a 2-hour, 2-credit course open for ELC3 students. The enrollment is set at 30.

 

Course Outcomes

By the conclusion of the course, students will demonstrate competence in:

Identify historical events and figures associated with the Cold War; and US cultural movements of the 20th-century

Knowledge points or skills

3.1.4 Recognize social construction of national, international, and global identities as well as their limiting and enabling effects. Make conscious choices in adopting, activating, or creating one’s identities.

Entrance Proficiency L1-Exit Proficiency L2

Intended Learning Outcomes

Competence in Discipline Related Knowledge

 

Learning Objectives(knowledge units/ skill specification ):

Integrate knowledge and experience to create an awareness of global citizenship

Knowledge points or skills

 

3.1.5   Demonstrate and creatively apply new global literacies—abilities and perspectives to understand and to interact in a globalized and diverse world (in class and extracurricular activities).

Entrance Proficiency L1 Exit Proficiency L2

Intended Learning Outcomes

Evaluate how student lives intersect between the local and the global.

 

Learning Objectives(knowledge units/ skill specification ):

Applying criticism and literary theories to fictional and poetic texts, both in writing and in class

Knowledge points or skills

1.1.3   Create inquiries based on sound research: Become familiar with established literature and data in order to create discussions literature and data in order to create avenues of research utilizing primary sources or additional academic works related to the subject.

1.1.2   Determine the relationships between facts: Group facts together to determine how they are related to each other or not. Go beyond just listing information in the order received.

Entrance Proficiency L1 Exit Proficiency L2

         Intended Learning Outcomes

Apply integrative thinking to complex academic and social situations.

 

Learning Objectives(knowledge units/ skill specification ):

Compose WOVE responses to course materials

                  Knowledge points or skills

2.1.1 Match the inquiry to the questions and information at hand: Understand the strengths and weaknesses of various modes of inquiry. Choose relevant data as it relates to the relevant form of inquiry.

5.1.7  Create written and oral projects that utilize communication skills to express their own ideas and research.

Entrance Proficiency L1 Exit Proficiency L2

         Intended Learning Outcomes

         Apply integrative thinking to complex academic and social situations.

 

Learning Objectives(knowledge units/ skill specification ):

Participate in a knowledge community

Knowledge points or skills

6.1.1   Create and ask information and discussion questions of the teacher and their peers that will help them understand the class content and expectations.

3.1.3 Identify cases of ethnocentrism and binary oppositions in academic work and daily life, evaluate effects/problems of such practices, and think beyond such frameworks.

 

Required Materials

Notebook, Text: Contemporary America by Russell Duncan and Joseph Goddard, 2005

 

Course Objectives

1.       Forum Posts 25%

2.       Midterm Exam 25%

3.       Final PowerPoint Presentation 25%

4.       Research Proposal and Annotated Bibliography 25%

Note: Full assignment sheets and grading rubrics will be distributed in class as the assignments are introduced according to the course schedule.

 

Course Contents and Class Schedule:

The course will be divided into four sections and each section will be divided into 8 hours, constituting a quarter of the course materials. Each quarter will consist of four class meetings of two-hour blocks. The first hour will focus on readings and lecture material; the second hour will involve student-centered learning activities, such as oral reports, fish-bowl discussions, question-centered sessions, team-based competitions, simulations, and writing workshops.

 

 

Quarter 1

Learning Objective: US Government Structure and History

 

Knowledge: Declaration of Independence, US Government structure: Executive Branch, Legislative Branch, Judiciary; local, state, federal branches.

 

Skills: SQ3R reading skills are introduced, rhetorical analysis, case study approach

 

Attitude: students will understand particulars of US political system in order to critically understand how longstanding issues in US society are tied to the political process, and how these issues are represented in different.

 

This Quarter will cover:

1.       Introduction to US Governance. This section will discuss the origins of the US political system, and how it is informed by Enlightenment political philosophy.

 

2.       The Executive Branch. This section takes the case study of President Obama’s first campaign as an introduction to the role of the Executive Branch, and the system through which US presidents ascend to power, and how they create their cabinet.

 

3.       Legislative Branch. This section will explain how a bill becomes a law, and the differences between the Senate and the House of Representatives, the role of Party Politics, and the corrupting power of Lobbyists in the US system.

 

4.       Federal, State, Local. This section will look at the different levels of government and landmark cases that separated their powers and influence, and their role in political culture.

                                     

Readings: An Outline of American History. Contemporary America: 1-129; Screenings: Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Wag the Dog

 

In-class discussion: Case Study Analysis; Civil War debates over slavery; famous court cases involving race, and the recent riots in Ferguson.

 

Assignment: Forum posts.

 

Quarter 2

Learning Objective: US Pop Culture and Cultural Studies

 

Knowledge: This section will introduce methods, terms, and arguments from Cultural Studies. Successful completion of this section will

 

Skills: Working collaboratively to share knowledge in a learning community.

 

Attitude: Students sharing ideas and developing dialogues, actively taking different positions in a debate, but being respectful and considering other points of view.

 

This quarter will cover:

1.       Defining Culture and Cultural Studies. This section of the course will examine what is meant by culture from different perspectives. Using examples from recent poetry, film, and television, students will explore Cultural Studies approaches to understanding how meaning is embedded in cultural texts.

 

2.       Religion and Education. Students will examine how religious and educational institutions shape American identity, and their influence on the political system; this section will introduce the “Culture Wars” in the United States as an ongoing political expression of cultural identity.

 

3.       Pop Culture and Politics. This section will look at the interrelation between sports, tv, pop stars, film, and literature and the political system with a special focus on “The Daily Show.”

 

4.       Midterm. Students will demonstrate their knowledge of the US Political System, and their understanding of Cultural Studies.

        

Readings: Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities, Ch. 1.; Contemporary America 156-217.

 

In-class discussion: Much of the discussion will cover how the expansion of US into the Pacific resulted in a change in both national identity and migration patterns.

 

Assignment: Forum posts, in-class assignments, midterm.

 

 

Quarter 3

Learning Objective: American Identity

 

Knowledge: This section of the course examines race, class, and gender in the USA, and how national identity has been contested by different groups along with contrasting visions of what it means to be an American—such as assimilation vs. diversity.

 

Skills: Students will learn media studies techniques for analyzing images and performing rhetorical analysis on mixed-media texts.

 

Attitude: Students will learn to use their questions and curiosity as a way of exploring course content instead of simply relying on a single authority tell them what they need to know.

 

This Quarter will cover:

1.       Identity and Gender. This section will look at dating, courtship, and family life in America; it will also explore the constructions of masculinity and femininity as aspects of national and political identity.

 

2.       Identity and Race. Interethnic violence has been a feature of many multi-ethnic societies, and the events surrounding the Rodney King beatings, and subsequent protests reveal structural inequalities in the United States, the damaging discourses of “model minority,” and obstacles for interethnic cooperation.

 

3.       Identity and Class: This section explores class in the United States, issues of poverty, “the 1%” and the representation of class in the US media.

 

4.       Identity, National Myth, and Domestic Policy: Immigration from the “Alien and Sedition Acts” to the current debates over amnesty for illegal aliens, American culture has used policy to reject groups of people as a foil for the construction of a coherent US identity.

 

Readings: From Contemporary America 130-154. Screening: Margin Call

 

In-class discussion: We will discuss refugees, national policy, statelessness, and the responsibility governments have for displaced peoples.

 

Assignment: Forum posts, oral presentations on readings.

 

 

 

Quarter 4

Learning Objective: US Culture and Political Identity Shaped by Globalization

 

Knowledge: Students will learn recent foreign policy issues related to economics and security and how these are having an effect on .

 

Skills: Students will use a WOVE approach to research presentation.

 

Attitude: Students will be able to give and take feedback on their poster presentations through peer review and feedback sessions.

 

This Quarter will cover:

1.       Creating Academic Research Proposals. Incorporating text, images, and audiovisual material greatly enhances an audience’s understanding and memory of presented information.

 

2.       National Myth and Foreign Policy in Global. From “mission in the wilderness” to “American Exceptionalism” to the “End of the American Century” mythologies have shaped Americans’ understanding of their place in the world, and as a part of global governance. This section explores attempts to revive “American Exceptionalism,” and how “the world” enters domestic politics and vice versa.  

 

3.       Guns and Butter Overseas: War on Terror, Afghanistan, Iraq and the Global Economy: This section focuses on Global War on Terror, the Pivot to Asia, and the connection between economic and security interests that mark US foreign policy.

 

4.       Student Multi-Media Presentations. Students will present their research on issues on US Culture and Politics.

                                     

Readings: Contemporary America 220-283; Screening Hurt Locker

 

In-class discussion: procedures for giving poster presentations.

 

Assignment: Forum posts on lecture materials, Poster Presentations, Proposals, Bibliographies, and Final Posters will be submitted.

 

 

 

 

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