United States Government
In Government, the focus is on the principles and beliefs upon which the United States was founded and on the structure, functions, and powers of government at the national, state, and local levels. This course is the culmination of the civic and governmental content and concepts studied from Kindergarten through required secondary courses.
Students learn major political ideas and forms of government in history. A significant focus of the course is on the U.S. Constitution, its underlying principles and ideas, and the form of government it created. Students analyze major concepts of republicanism, federalism, checks and balances, separation of powers, popular sovereignty, and individual rights and compare the U.S. system of government with other political systems. Students identify the role of government in the U.S. free enterprise system and examine the strategic importance of places to the United States. Students analyze the impact of individuals, political parties, interest groups, and the media on the American political system, evaluate the importance of voluntary individual participation in a democratic society, and analyze the rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. Students examine the relationship between governmental policies and the culture of the United States. Students identify examples of government policies that encourage scientific research and use critical-thinking skills to create a product on a contemporary government issue.
To support the teaching of the essential knowledge and skills, the use of a variety of rich primary and secondary source material such as the complete text of the U.S. constitution; selected Federalist Papers; landmark cases of the U.S. Supreme Court; biographies, autobiographies, and memoirs; speeches and letters; and periodicals that feature analyses of political issues and events is encouraged. Selections may include excerpts from John Locke's Two Treatises of Government, Federalist 51, and Miranda v. Arizona.
The eight strands of the essential knowledge and skills for social studies are intended to be integrated for instructional purposes. Skills listed in the geography and social studies skills strands in subsection (c) of this section should be incorporated into the teaching of all essential knowledge and skills for social studies. A greater depth of understanding of complex content material can be attained when integrated social studies content from the various disciplines and critical-thinking skills are taught together.
Throughout social studies in Kindergarten-Grade 12, students build a foundation in history; geography; economics; government; citizenship; culture; science, technology, and society; and social studies skills. The content, as appropriate for the grade level or course, enables students to understand the importance of patriotism, function in a free enterprise society, and appreciate the basic democratic values of our state and nation as referenced in the Texas Education Code, §28.002(h).
The student is expected to:
- understand major political ideas and forms of government in history
- understand how constitutional government, as developed in the United States, has been influenced by people, ideas, and historical documents
- understand the roles played by individuals, political parties, interest groups, and the media in the U.S. political system, past and present
- understand why certain places and regions are important to the United States
- understand how government policies can affect the physical and human characteristics of places and regions
- understand the roles played by local, state, and national governments in both the public and private sectors of the U.S. free enterprise system
- understand the relationship between U.S. government policies and international trade
- understand the American beliefs and principles reflected in the U.S. Constitution
- understand the structure and functions of the government created by the U.S. Constitution
- understand the concept of federalism
- understand the processes for filling public offices in the U.S. system of government
- understand the role of political parties in the U.S. system of government
- understand the similarities and differences that exist among the U.S. system of government and other political systems
- understand rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution
- understand the difference between personal and civic responsibilities
- understand the importance of voluntary individual participation in the U.S. democratic society
- understand the importance of the expression of different points of view in a democratic society
- understand the relationship between government policies and the culture of the United States
- understand the role the government plays in developing policies and establishing conditions that influence scientific discoveries and technological innovations
- understand the impact of advances in science and technology on government and society
- apply critical-thinking skills to organize and use information acquired from a variety of sources including electronic technology
- communicate in written, oral, and visual forms
- use problem-solving and decision-making skills, working independently and with others, in a variety of settings
Texas Administrative Code (TAC), Title 19, Part II
Chapter §113.35 (12th)
Texas Essential Knowledge & Skills for United States Government
Subchapter C. High School
To view U.S. Government Curriculum, click here.
To view U.S. Government AP Curriculum, click here.