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Civil Discourse

Grades 6-12, College

Declarative Knowledge

The learner understands...

  • The history of the United States and the people from many cultures who contributed to its social, economic, and political heritage
  • what is meant by "the public agenda," how it is set, and how it is influenced by public opinion and the media
  • ideas about civic life, politics, and government, including how participation in civic and political life can help citizens attain individual and public goals
  • the character of American political and social conflict and factors that tend to prevent or lower its intensity
  • how the past affects our private lives and society in general

Procedural Skills

The learner is able to...

  • analyze historical sources for the influences specific ideas, beliefs, decisions, intentions, consequences, and chance events had on a period of history
  • specify how a period of history might have been different in the absence of certain ideas, beliefs, decisions, intentions, consequences, and chance events
  • make connections between the motives of people and the causes for complex events and those in his or her own life
  • view the past in terms of historical context, and the norms and values of the time period
  • judge the credibility and authenticity of historical sources, and the validity and credibility of different historical interpretations

Contextual Information

The learner knows...

  • what "civil society" is and how it provides opportunities for individuals to associate for social, cultural, religious, economic, and political purposes
  • how civil society allows for individuals or groups to influence government in ways other than voting and elections
  • the roles of voluntarism and organized groups in American social and political life
  • the role of diversity in American life and the importance of shared values, political beliefs, and civic beliefs in an increasingly diverse American society
  • the basic values and principles of American democracy, including the roles and responsibilities of the citizen, and the purpose of government and the media