High School > Social Studies > Government

In social studies, part of the subject can be about the government. Usually, the branches, functions, and who runs those parts of government are discussed. The aim is for students to have a good grasp of how the state works.

However, just knowing those bits of information is not enough. Students must also be in the loop with the many current events going on in their government, like what laws are being made, major legislation that is contentious, economic policies, and so on. Having this kind of knowledge will equip students to better participate in running their country, especially if it's under a democracy.

Let's say there is an election coming up, and there are a number of candidates that can be voted. If students are of voting age, the social studies classroom should inform them of what each candidate stands for: his principles, proposed policies, and other aspects of his leadership that are important for a government role. That way, students will be able to make informed choices during the election.

Crafting laws is another of the government's jobs that citizens can take part in. This is especially useful for laws that directly affect students, such as policies that have to do with education. Laws that would legislate standardized testing, for example, can be presented to students for discussion. All sides of the debate should be included, or else the students would be biased in coming up with their opinions. After discussing among themselves, each classroom can reach a consensus, which can then be presented to the policymakers. That way, even students can be encouraged to have an active role in nation-building.

Equipping students with the knowledge and skills to participate in government, even in those small ways, does empower them to become better citizens of their country. That way, ignorance of key issues is avoided, as well as the general attitude of apathy common to many people today.

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