I’ve come across a link to a host of documentaries that can be accessed online.
Further to my earlier posting on resources for the UK syllabus, listed below are the US books I have as desk copies.
If you are on the look out for resources, here is a list of British politics text books I found useful in teaching.
The House of Lords Constitution Committee’s Twelfth Report focused on Referendums in the United Kingdom and this document provides a wealth of background information for teachers and students.
A good resource from Google with the opportunity to enter your class or school’s votes into the election map, and be part of the national survey of how young people would vote.
Lots of developments recently regarding arms treaties and the control of nuclear weapons. This neat interactive graphic summarises which nation states currently have nuclear weapons, and also provides a summary timeline of the Arms Race
Further evidence that the judiciary can be engaging topic and one ripe for debate has cropped up just a few hours ago with news that Labour ministers and their counterparts on the opposition benches have turned DNA retention by the police into a political football.
You may remember that the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg ruled in late 2008 that keeping the DNA details of innocent suspects was in breach of Article 8 of the rights convention, covering the right to privacy. In one sense this shows how the judiciary has sought to protect the rights of citizens, but the judiciary, of course, had no police force, and the government appealed whilst not altering policy. Hardly, therefore, very good protection.read more...»
Over the next few weeks I will try to provide important updates of examples that students can employ in exams.
First off, the always popular PM power debate. It’s incredible to think that about two thirds of the way through the current election campaign, Gordon Brown will have been PM for longer than John Kennedy was the American President. By my rough calculations JFK was President for 1036 days, and Brown has been in Number 10 for 1014 days. What’s my point? Brown often barely gets a mention in essays analysing where power lies within the core executive.
An article by Nicholas Watt in today’s Guardian got me thinking about how we can apply our wider reading in the exam hall.read more...»
This four minute TED talk is quite entertaining with a useful message - the potential for users online to create momentum and finally persuade a government to postpone a controversial project. The Founder of Reddit talks about how his users energised a Greenpeace campaign to stop whaling by the Japanese government.
Can the collective voice of soccer fans have an impact at the forthcoming General Election? This post from Henry Winter raises some fascinating questions about the potential for a new breed of supporter-led pressure groups who have the passion and sophistication to use the power of social action to drive for new legislation governing football ownership and finance.
Advance notice of a couple of Vietnam related documentaries this week as part of the excellent Storyville series. Vietnam is a war that has left deep scars on the American psyche and heavily shaped US foreign policy through to the 9/11 era. Monday 15 February, BBC4 10pm.
The demon sheep ad produced as part of the Republican Senate primary campaign in California is being widely hailed as a pythonesque absurd spoof, but is actually a sign of poor political taste…read more...»
The first in a three part series on the great departments of state kicked off on BBC4 last night. You can catch this one on the Home Office for the next 21 days on iplayer here. It really was a fascinating insight into the internal politics of Whitehall.
Next week’s is on the Foreign Office, it should be equally fascinating. Michael Cockerill is a great documentary maker.
A little while back I penned an article for t2u’s digital politics magazine outlining the steps that would need to be taken for electoral reform to become a reality for Westminster. In summary, these were: a possible hung parliament; a PM committed to change; a majority of Cabinet; MP support; safe passage through the Lords; and at some stage in all of this a plebiscite of the people.
Like an alignment of the stars, this seems to be taking shape.
Yesterday’s vote on a vote in the Commons on AV brings us closer to moving from simple plurality than at any stage in recent history.
The BBC has some great graphics on how a remodelled election would have played out over the past three decades. Useful stuff for considering the merits of change. From a personal perspective, this move by Labour continues the British tradition of tinkering with the constitution for reasons of short term political expediency. In other words, Brown is trying to cuddle up to the Lib Dems—a horrible image for all sorts of reasons.
I’m sure teachers of American Politics won’t need reminding about the virtues of watching the Daily Show, but students may need a gentle reminder.
The episode broadcast in the UK last night contained a hilarious analysis of Sarah Palin’s major speech at the Tea Party conference in Nashville. Palin is a phenomenon and never quite manages to steer herself away from unintended controversy. If you’re not sure what I’m on about watch a replay from the Channel 4 website. Of course, Jon Stewart is presenting from a left wing perspective and I share many of his personal biases, so it may not be to everyone’s taste!!
Many thanks to Andy Lawrence for producing this revision quiz on Huntington’s Clash of Civilisations:
Launch quiz on Huntington’s Clash of Civilisations
How successful has Obama been in delaing with Congress?
Listen to this audio clip from national public radio to find out!
From the BBC website.
A useful Q&A on electoral reform explaining the AV debate and providing an overview of the operation of the various systems used in the UK in plain English.
I’ll file this away for use when doing Unit 1 revision later in the year.
There’s a useful two page spread on Obama’s presidency one year on in today’s Independent—here is the link to the web version.
The BBC devotes a special section to the one year anniversary.
And see how you get on with the one year quiz!!!
I’m definitely going to use all the abundant material for students to do a webquest presentation on his first year. A nice way to start Unit 4C having just completed the 3C exam. Andy Lawrence has posted details of a similar exercise on Cameron the t2u Pol teachers forum.
More interesting stuff on Obama for teaching and learning. A great article on Obama and race here. Younge is a corking journalist who has written two very readable books on the US, which are suggested reading for students of America. He has also made a documentary for the World Service entitled “Opposing Obama”, first airing scheduled for the 1st of Feb. List of times is here.
Obama and me on BBC Two might not offer great academic insight, but may give you a slice of insight into modern America.
Many thanks to Rachel Fairhead who has produced another classroom poster set - time focusing on electoral systems. The topics covered are:
- The Functions of Elections
- Elections used in the UK
- The First Past the Post System
- The arguments for and against the FPTP system
- Different types of electoral system available to use
- Examples of Plurality, Majoritarian, Hybrid, PR Systems
- The strengths and weaknesses of the different alternative systems
- Electoral reform
There’s a raft of material out there on Obama at the moment to coincide with the President’s first year in office. This seems like the second anniversary in recent months since the media sought to celebrate his “first year” back in Nobvember when, of course, this marked 12 months since he was elected, not when he was sworn in.
For the next few days you can see the second part of Simon Schama’s BBC documentary on Obama.
A stunning online slideshow here from Reuters tells the story of a decade of global terror and violence. Many of the images are hard-hitting. All are thought-provoking. An amazing resource to use as stimulus material for Politics units covering global issues.
BBC Political Editor takes us on a 5 minute video guide through the House of Commons as part of the excellent Democracy Live service
A super new interactive resource here from the BBC which allows users to track the trends, data and events behind the opinion polls over the last 20-30 years.
Many thanks to Rachel Fairhead for producing another super set of classroom posters - this time on the UK Judicial system.
I’m delighted that tutor2u has been asked to organise the 2010 edition of Challenge the Chancellor - a popular Spring term competition that is open to Politics students. More details can be found here on the competition home page of the Business Studies blog. Its a great and simple competition to enter, with some lovely prizes too.
Many thanks to Andy Lawrence for putting together this Auction House starter activity / quiz on Anarchism…read more...»
I wonder if this clip by Tim Harford will provoke debate among students about race, whether in the UK or the USA.