Spring 2000

Name:    Mr. Matthew Barclay
Phone:    (831) 770-6118
Office:    Occupational Education                 Building: T-16
Hours:    By Appointment Only
Course Description:

This course is designed to provide students with principals basic to the organization of government in the United States and to its functioning on the national level and in the State of California.  Additionally, the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of California will be examined.

NOTE:  Political Science 1 satisfies 3 units of the         American Institutions requirement for
           both the UC and  CSU systems.

Course Objectives:

   For students to increase their knowledge of the historical development, structure, functions and processes of government in the United States on the national, state, and local levels.

   For students to understand the philosophical foundations of government in the United States.

   For students to understand and have personal concern for democratic ideals of government through comparison and contrast with other ideologies and forms of government throughout the world today.

   For students to evolve in their attitudes and opinions about responsibilities concerning
involvement in federal, state, and local civic affairs.  

   For students to think objectively and challenge common assumptions about government in the United States.

   For students to work collaboratively in presenting information that is well thought-out and organized.

   For students to improve upon their analytical, reading, writing and communication capabilities.

The Process in Achieving Course Objectives:

My vision for this course departs from the typical lecture format. We will begin by setting up a general framework for creating a discussion forum.  Furthermore, this class will involve considerable amounts of group work and presentation. Finally, 2 "Blue book" examinations (Midterm and Final) as well as a research paper will be required.  My aim quite simply, is to help you all further develop analytical and expression skills.  

Required Materials:

    by Sidlow and Henschen,     
    2000, Second Edition.
    Thomson Learning Inc.
    Available at the Hartnell bookstore.

Course Requirements:

   Class attendance and Participation
   Thursday Chapter Quizzes
   Individual and Group Projects.
   Term Paper
   Midterm and Final Exams.

Term Paper:

There will be a single paper of 6-8 pages (plus references). This will be an objective analysis of the politics of a specific current issue of government structure or public policy. This is an opportunity for you to apply your (newfound?) knowledge of government structure and political behavior to an issue of current concern. More details on paper specifics will be forthcoming. A brief presentation of your paper's major findings will be required.


Thursday Chapter Quizzes
        300 pts.
3 Group Presentations                            150 pts.
Attendance and Class Participation                    100 pts.
Mid-Term Examination                            50 pts.
Final Examination                                100 pts
Term Paper                                    200 pts.
Paper Presentation                                100 pts.
TOTAL POINTS:    1000 pts.

Grading Breakdown:

A= 900 - 1000 Points Approximately
B= 800 - 899 Points
C= 700 - 799 Points
D= 600 - 699 Points
F= 500 and below

Administrative Notes:

   Each student will be held responsible for submitting their class assignments in by the prescribed due date.

   If you are absent, it will be your responsibility to find out what has taken place during the class period.  This is where working collaboratively with your fellow classmates is essential. (i.e. getting a hold of missed lecture notes and assignments)

   Each student is responsible for all required transactions    with regards to registration, add-drop cards on due dates and all other pertinent administrative functions.  Anyone not dropping this course by the specified drop date will be dealt with according to Hartnell administrative regulations.

Instructor's Notes:

By looking at the syllabus, many of you may feel intimidated.  I want to emphasize that my goal in teaching this class is to make it as enjoyable and interesting as possible for you.  If you do the assigned work, I guarantee you will be successful in this class.

The writing and presentations may seem daunting, but my goal is to expose you all to as much writing, presentation and research as possible as these skills are vitally important in today's working marketplace. I am hopeful we can all create a learning environment which is "safe," supportive and comfortable for all of us to bring our best ideas forward.