Critical Thinking and American Government by Kent BrudneyCritical Thinking and American Government by Kent Brudney

Critical Thinking and American Government

byKent Brudney, Mark Weber

Paperback | November 10, 2011

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Critical Thinking and American Government contains 41 critical thinking exercises that use a wide variety sources to actively engage students in understanding and thinking critically about American government and politics.  These sources include court decisions, the Federalist Papers, legislation, public opinion polls, elections results, apportionment and population tables, data on topics such as African-American representation in Congress, among many others.


The critical thinking exercises require students to interpret and analyze data, discover basic relationships among variables, read critically, summarize information accurately, and formulate generalizations and hypotheses.  The exercises are based on the scholarship of teaching and learning.  Each exercises contains clear and discrete student learning objectives which facilitate the measurement and assessment of student outcomes and learning. 

Mark M. Weber was born and raised in Minnesota. He is a Lt. Colonel in the U.S. Army and has served a total of twenty-three years, both as an enlisted soldier in the Minnesota National Guard and on active duty as a commissioned officer. He has been stationed throughout the U. S, at the Pentagon, in Saudi Arabia, and in Iraq. He graduat...
Title:Critical Thinking and American GovernmentFormat:PaperbackDimensions:336 pages, 10.7 × 8.4 × 0.9 inPublished:November 10, 2011Publisher:Pearson EducationLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0205212808

ISBN - 13:9780205212804

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Table of Contents


Chapter 1 - Governing Principles and Ideologies

1.1       Reading the Constitution                               

1.2       The Framers of the Constitution and Republicanism                        

1.3       Contemporary American Political Ideologies            

1.4       Direct Democracy via the Web                      


Chapter 2 - Federalism                                                    

2.1       Creating Federalism   

2.2       Reforming K-12 Education:  The Disputed Role of the Federal Government

2.3       The Amendment Process       

2.4       Is the Federal Government or Are the States in Charge of the Minimum Drinking Age? 


Chapter 3 - Public Opinion and the Mass Media          

3.1       Public Confidence in U.S. Institutions              

3.2       Bias and Accuracy in the News Media: The Case of CBS News and George W. Bush’s Military Record                            

3.3       Are the News Media Doing Their Job?  Hard and Soft News                      

3.4     Distinguishing Fact from Opinion in the Internet Age


Chapter 4 - Political Parties and Elections                     

4.1       Presidential Elections: Are You Better Off Now Than You Were Four Years Ago?

4.2       Gerrymandering                     

4.3       To Vote or Not to Vote?                   

4.4       Alternative Voting Systems               


Chapter 5 - Interest Groups                                            

5.1       AARP Versus Generations X and Y: Mismatched Interest Group Power

5.2       Earmarks and Pork: Can We Live Without Them?

5.3       Whither Campaign Finance Reform?                                    


Chapter 6 - Congress                                                       

6.1       What Is the Role of a Congressional Representative?                   

6.2       Why We Hate Congress but Love Our Member of Congress                                   

6.3       Blacks in Congress                 

6.4       Legislative Apportionment                  


Chapter 7 - The Presidency                                                         

7.1       The Electoral College             

7.2       Evaluating Presidential Performance 

7.3       The Power of the Sword                                


Chapter 8 - Bureaucracy and the Regulatory Process              

8.1       The Fourth Branch                                         

8.2       The National Security State   

8.3       How Much Regulation Is Enough? How Much Is Too Much?  A Case Study of Gene Therapy Protocols


Chapter 9 - The Judiciary                                                                       

9.1       Establishing Judicial Review             

9.2       Judicial Activism Versus Judicial Restraint: The Supreme Court and the Juvenile Death Penalty

9.3       What Role Should the Senate Play in Judicial Appointments?                     

9.4       Beating the Odds on Judicial Appointments             


Chapter 10 - Civil Rights                                                               

10.1     Mandating Racial Segregation by State Law

10.2     Same-Sex Marriage: The New Civil Right?                           

10.3     The Gender Wage Gap                      

10.4     The End of Affirmative Action?                   


Chapter 11 - Civil Liberties                                                           

11.1     The Tension Between Civil Liberties Advocates and Civil Rights Advocates: Campus Hate Speech Codes                                   

11.2     Sexual Intimacy and the Right to Privacy                 

11.3     Random Drug Testing in Public Schools                   

11.4     Offensive Speech: Jerry Falwell, Hustler, and Funeral Protestors       


Appendix 1    For Instructors: A Guide to Using This Textbook

Appendix 2    The United States Constitution