Learnging Civics: Adult Version

June 15, 2011
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The Three Branches of the Government:
What are They?


Legislative, judicial, and executive. Honestly, how many of you knew that those were the three branches of the government? That’s the problem nowadays (Hansen 32 - 37). “Forty-one states’ schools in America earned a D or F in teaching civics.” Half of American citizens can’t even name the three branches of their government. If schools, the government itself, parents, and communities tried to help teach students, more than fifty percent of people would know basic government facts.

School; it’s normally a place where people learn subjects such as, science and history, but the subject that American schools have a problem teaching is, civics class. If the school made civics a class that was mandatory, than probably more Americans would know about the branches. Once the civics classes are mandatory, schools should try to make them enjoyable. Instead of just having the students take notes all the time, teachers could try to develop a pleasurable, hands-on project for the students to do.

Since it’s the government the students are learning about, maybe the government itself should be the one teaching the students. When teachers give projects, they could have a field trip to the White House, Supreme Court and Congress and actually see how the three branches work. After watching, the students could actually be able to pretend to be judges in the judicial branch, or maybe even pretend to be the president. Thus, the judges, congressmen and women, and the president, if he has time, could personally teach the students about government.

Additionally, parents play an important role in the part of their kids learning about the government. Obviously, they don’t expect their child to be a genius about the government at the age of five, but they should expect their child to at least know about the branches by third or fourth grade. Your parents could encourage their kids on their projects and/or other assignments that they may receive in school.

Not only is the government and parents important in teaching the youth, but the community is also instrumental in helping children know the functions of government. By hosting several annual parties and/or special events in the community is another way to help kids become educated in civics. By planning these repetitious parties and/or special events, the community could be mentally planting a screw in the brains of young citizens. The themes of the events could include the following: when the judicial, legislative, and executive branches were made, the first judge’s birthday, and when George Washington (our first president) was elected.

It’s everyone’s, parents, students, government leaders, and community members, responsibility to know about the government. There are plenty of resources out there to help people learn civics. It’s everyone’s responsibility to acknowledge the information being given to them. So, instead of worrying about where you kids are now; maybe start worrying about where they’ll be in the future. If they don’t know anything about the government as an adult, their lives will be difficult. Start teaching them now, because, as Matthew Henry says, “It’s better late then never.”





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