Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Teaching "unit" for comparative politics

Almost a decade ago I wrote 40 teaching lessons for comparative government and politics. It was published by The Center for Learning. (They only publish material written by active teachers.)

I thought the lessons were good. The book is still in print, even as The Center for Learning moves toward publishing online materials. The organization of the lessons is not optimal because my original editor died while the project was underway, the curriculum changed in '06, and the new editor wasn't aware of the changes.

Some of the lessons are out of date but can be updated.

In the past, I have tried to recruit someone or a small group of people to propose a new "unit" to The Center for Learning, and now I'm doing it again.

The Center for Learning, once non-profit, is now owned by Social Studies School Service, so some things have changed. But I expect they're still open to people writing good teaching materials. In the old days, a unit like this consisted of 40 teaching plans.

If you and perhaps a colleague or two are interested in the project, contact The Center for Learning.

Here are some of the details of the current book:
Advanced Placement Comparative Government & Politics (Teacher Guide)
Grade Level: 11 - 12
40 Lesson Plans / 45 Handouts / 235 Pages
ISBN: 978-1-56077-812-7

Advanced Placement Comparative Government & Politics provides the tools necessary to develop an understanding of some of the world’s diverse political structures and practices.
It is divided into eight parts and follows the course outline suggested by the College Board in publications and workshops.
Part 1 covers systems theory, comparative concepts, and case study methodology.
Part 2 features lessons on governmental structure and deals with the powers of government and the limits on these powers. Various types of legislative and party models are also discussed.
Part 3 presents a study of recent British political history, focusing on various political parties, their political positions, and British constitutionalism.
Part 4 features the new Europe, with an analysis of the European Union and various European parties.
Part 5 covers the evolving situation in Russia, including a study of the political culture, leadership, and political elite. Recent revolutions in Russia are also discussed.
Part 6 covers Chinese politics, focusing on the vocabulary of politics in China, Chinese political leadership, the mass line and ideology, and finally the idea of democratic centralism.
Part 7 examines the political structures of Mexico, Nigeria, and Iran.
Part 8 presents a research project that can be completed after students take the Advanced Placement Comparative Government and Politics exam.

You can purchase What You Need to Know, 5th edition and The Center for Learning Comparative Government and Politics unit at Social Studies School Service.

The Second Edition of What You Need to Know: Teaching Tools is now available from the publisher

The Fifth Edition of What You Need to Know is also available from the publisher.

So far, you can only purchase Just The Facts! from the publisher.

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