State Curriculum - Social Studies

Grade 7
Standard 1.0 Political Science: Students will understand the historical development and current status of the fundamental concepts and processes of authority, power, and influence, with particular emphasis on democratic skills and attitudes necessary to become responsible citizens.
A. The Foundations and Function of Government
1. Analyze the characteristics and structure of various systems of government around the world
a. Describe and compare the advantages and disadvantages of limited governments, such as representative democracy and parliamentary democracy
b. Compare the advantages and disadvantages of unlimited government, such as authoritarian and dictatorships
c. Explain and demonstrate how nation-states interact with each other
d. Using multi-perspectives, describe and trace how past events assisted or impeded the development of nations, such as the founding of Israel, the break up of the Soviet Union
2. Analyze the historic events, documents, and practices that are the foundations of political systems around the world
a. Examine and report examples of historic events, documents and practices that have influenced individuals and groups around the world, such as the UN Declaration of Rights, German reunification, the formation of NATO, and Apartheid
3. Analyze the roles of governments around the world regarding public policy and issues
a. Evaluate the effectiveness of the various policies of governments in addressing issues, such as health, poverty, crime, security, and environmental concerns
b. Analyze the effects that different world issues have on shaping international responses, such as rainforest conservation, pollution, climate change, and energy sources (oil drilling, coal, nuclear)
B. Individual and Group Participation in the Political System
1. Analyze the methods used by individuals and groups to shape governmental policy and actions
a. Compare methods used to change governments, such as coups, elections and revolts
b. Evaluate ways citizens use, monitor and influence the formation and implementation of public policy
c. Describe how political parties and special interest groups influence and change government policy, such as third parties, and non-governmental organizations
d. Analyze the role of media and public opinion in shaping government policy and action
2. Analyze the importance of civic participation as a citizen of the world
a. Analyze the relevancy of sources and perspectives of information such as internet sites and online newspapers
b. Analyze the concept of a global citizen and how the awareness and responsibilities have changed during the information age
C. Protecting Rights and Maintaining Order
1. Examine the rights and responsibilities of being a citizen of the world
a. Justify the responsibilities associated with certain human rights in a global society such as a commitment to world peace and the elimination of poverty.
b. Explain how international rules and laws protect individual rights and protect the common good, such as the U.N. Declaration of Human Rights, European Union membership, Geneva Conventions
2. Analyze how governments, organizations, and policies around the world protect or fail to protect the rights of individuals and groups
a. Analyze how the definition of the common good differs in limited and unlimited governments
b. Debate the need to balance between providing for the common good and how protecting individual rights differ in governments around the world
c. Describe the role of international organizations and policies in maintaining order during a time of crisis, such as the International Red Cross/Red Crescent, the United Nations, the Geneva Conventions, and the World Health Organization


MSDE has developed a toolkit for these standards which can be found online at:


Date: 6/20/2006