WOW! Politics 2015 - Teaching & Learning Resources for the A Level Politics Classroom

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The logic of communities segregated by race?

Monday, November 30, 2009

I wonder if this clip by Tim Harford will provoke debate among students about race, whether in the UK or the USA.

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Glenn Beck: the renegade running the opposition to Obama

Want to get a flavour of the degree of partisanship in modern American politics?

Say the Observer:

“Glenn Beck is a TV host, bestselling author and the most influential voice on the rightwing Fox channel. Now, even some Republicans worry that the extreme and maverick views of Beck and his supporters will make their party unelectable. Is the TV tail wagging the political dog?”

Read the rest of the article and listen to this classic five minute radio rant by the man himself.  It takes a little time to load up, but it is hilarious.  And just a little bit scary!

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American Politics revision: seven exam tips

I’ve just sent this to my upper sixth sets.  It may be of some wider use.

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Terrorism - Analysis from the Economist

Thursday, November 26, 2009

It seems that terrorists are getting younger, according to an interesting piece of analysis from the Economist.  A good graphic here too for use in lessons.

Hung Parliaments

It was admittedly all the way back on last Sunday that the newspapers broke into a flurry of discussion about hung parliaments, but it is still worth drawing attention to the range of material newly available to hard pressed politics teachers on this subject.  It took only one poll - an Ipsos one in the Observer - which suggested that Labour were closing their lead on the Conservatives and that the next election could result in a hung parliament.  Suddenly, the commentators were all speculating about the consequences of an event we haven’t really experienced in the UK since the 1970s.

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Global Corruption - Interactive Guide

Monday, November 23, 2009

The 2009 Corruption Perceptions Index has this interesting interactive graphic which attempts to paint a picture of the varying nature of political and other corruption around the globe…

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Politics Classroom Posters - UK Constitution

Many thanks to Rachel Fairhead for writing the first in a new series of classroom poster collections for AS/A2 Government and Politics…

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Copenhagen climate change summit hopes and action.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Both AS & A2 students have something to look forward to as the Climate Change debate promises a Seattle-like ending in Copenhagen.

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Question Time - 20 November 2009

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The latest edition of Question Time - our weekly politics quiz - is now available:

Launch Question Time - 20 November 2009

The heat is on

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

There are a raft of useful articles on party politics in the papers at the minute, and great as a basis for any media lessons.

In the Times yesterday they focused on the forthcoming Queen’s speech and the likelihood that it will kick off a massive political tussle over the coming months.

See the features here and here.

Polly Toynbee in the Guardian at the weekend penned an article calling for Labour MPs to do the honorable thing and force GB to step aside.  There is a strong feeling in the Labour Party that the election may not be winnable with a new leader but the party is likely to suffer a crushing defeat if he remains in power.  Toynbee suggests that it’s still all to play for if a new person gets in.  See the article here.

Personally I have accepted that barring disaster David Cameron will be PM from May 2010 onwards, and that Labour should start preparing for life in opposition.  At the moment there is no sense of what will happen next and the worry is that the party will lose direction.  It’s happened before.  Think Labour after 1979, or the Tories after 1997.

Question Time - 15 November 2009

Monday, November 16, 2009

Our weekly politics quiz returns…

Launch Question Time for 15 November 2009

A shifting US electorate

The Washington Post has produced time slider to see how Democratic and Republican candidates have fared in presidential and congressional elections over the past 50 years. Here is the link.

Don’t mess with Texas?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

For reasons that are possibly too mundane to go into I have just read the special report on Texas from a summer edition of the Economist.

It is absolutely fascinating as a means of gaining a deeper insight into a rapidly changing state, and is a treasure trove of Americana.  Did you know for instance that Texas is one of four states where whites are a minority, or that tequila was invented there?

I recommend:

Lone Star rising
The best and worst of Texas
The red and the blue
The new face of America

A Republican revival?

Once a week my students are expected to contribute something to our media sessions.  A useful way to break a double, to be sure, but these are designed to supplement learning.  I usually keep something up my sleave just in case discussion doesn’t flow—though thus far it has yet to be a problem.

Here was last week’s from the Independent’s Big Question series.

The geography of US jobs

Monday, November 09, 2009

One of my colleagues at school sent me this link at the weekend which displays a fascinating graphic of job creation and loss in the USA over the last few years.  It gives the lie to the idea that there is such a thing as a national economy, even if there is a national picture.

It also serves to explain why despite a recent upsurge in gdp, many Americans are unhappy about the state of the economy—jobs are the pain that communities feel and make sense of.  Though a note of caution here since it only gives data to July 2009.

The link is here.

The New Conservative Policy on Europe - What Really Happened

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Iain Martin has an exclusive over at the Wall Street Journal.  He has been been handed a dodgy dossier which details the Conservative leadership’s fraught decision making process as they attempted to come up with the new policy. It is based on minutes of top secret meetings held in recent months and for historians offers a rare glimpse of the inner workings of the Tory high command.

Useful Politics online resources on the BBC

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

The BBC has launched a new online service that should make tracking politics on film easier. 

There’s also a very useful section on the various governing institutions, what powers they have, and so forth.

I also came across a section on the online archives on Mrs Thatcher.  Lots of clips and Panorama interviews that I once stored on VHS tapes.

Political Studies Guide 2010

Is available as a pdf from the New Statesman website, and contains lots of useful stuff on where to study Politics as well as a guide from a number of authors about one new and one old book those interested in politics should read.

Here is the link

President as “bargainer-in-chief”

Monday, November 02, 2009

It was perfect timing when I came across this article today, on the ‘behind the scenes’ role being played by Obama in passing health care reform.

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Media Monday Motown

This week for our American Politics media sessions we have been looking at a quite fascinating article about industrial decline in the USA. This tells us a lot about where power lies in America and is a useful basis for considering the extent to which America does really live up to the ideals it proclaims to stand for.

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