Introducing Political Philosophy into the High School Curriculum: A Module Approach

Parish, Matthew
The skill of critical thinking is slowly being lost as Google and YouTube become the all-purpose solution for answers unknown. The expectations of rigor between college and high school are increasing. In an effort to better prepare high school students for college. My project contains six lesson modules that any social studies teacher can assimilate into their curriculum. The module is developed for upper classmen who have an interest in political science. Each module contains a different concept of political philosophy: justice, utopia, factions, negative/positive liberty, general will/will of all, and free rider vs. ideal citizen. The six concepts are explored in six different lessons, each with meaningful and straightforward activities designed to promote student exploration and understanding. Each lesson is backed by readings from political philosophers ranging from Plato to John Locke, challenging students with advanced primary source work. The discussions intend to move students beyond the mindset of right and wrong. Students will learn to make arguments, for and against, using textual evidence for support. Several of the lessons were tested in a European History class and were successful at exposing students to concepts of political philosophy as well as promoting critical thinking skills.
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University of Wyoming Libraries