Perhaps you might have skimmed articles on Google, listened to NPR, or accidentally flipped the channel to C-SPAN. Chances are that politics came into play. Often times, what is being heard, seen, and witnessed is dreadfully dull. There is no fun and games in politics! And, that’s the thing with political jokes, right? They always get elected. *Ba dum tssh*
Here is the point where I end up defining politics, explaining why it is important, and telling you how it might affect you someday. Right? Wrong! Instead, let us break it down with my man, Aristotle, and his modes of persuasion. Pathos, Logos, and Ethos. Emotion, logic, and credibility. The first two are self-explainable, emotion brings mood and tone into an argument while logic humbles with rationales and facts. Ethos is what allows politics to happen because it rests on the authority of an individual. Politics is the art of influencing others on a civil level, i.e. how someone can affect someone else and their ideas.
Let us consider how basic politics play in the classroom. Something we might all have dealt with is political labels. Are you conservative? Liberal? Libertarian? Moderate? Independent?
These terms are used to define an individual against a predetermined political spectrum, often times reflecting the tolerance toward social changes and dynamics. As with any social labels, it is meant to classify you. If you support more radical changes, you tend to be liberal, and if you are against more radical changes, conservative. Being libertarian often times describes one as fiscally conservative while socially liberal, supporting more traditional means of governments and economics while being inclined to advance more freedoms. These are just words that have connotations that derive someone’s perspective.
Remember to tolerate each other’s viewpoints and keep the arguments civil (and I’m talking to you, Andrew Jackson!). Things can truly turn interesting when you can challenge the ideas of others in a Socratic discussion while stimulating the notions and ideas of your classmates!
Following suit, we might have witnessed another common political idea that comes into play into the classroom: checks and balances. Surely, it is easy to stipulate the promises that individuals make for one another about project deadlines, assignments, and lab reports. Unfortunately, this is not the case. However, the basic idea of checks and balances is that one entity cannot be overpowered by another. So, powers are divided so that everyone has a share. Take this opinion into light is important to equalize the capacities and responsibilities in homework assignments and keeping your friends right on track!
Moreover, a government is basically a system of rules, and just as how a classroom has order through its own sets of regulations (Apparently, it resides in the class syllabus). Those ardent to follow said rules tend to be peaceful to what comes to them, and it is self-serving in nature. A government is basis on what one can contribute. Thus, take into consideration the analogy of a government to a classroom just as how a student can be a representative to his or her peers, or equals.
Thus, taking politics as a class or even learning its own effects is a great idea in the grand scheme of things, and truly, social science is where politics is born.
So, why bother taking a social science class? Is it all about remembering dates and what happened eons ago? How does learning about the past impact the present? Frankly, it just does. History tends to repeat itself. The main benefit of a social science is understanding human nature, and by reevaluating the extent of human progress throughout time and place, we, as human beings, can fundamentally change our behaviors. Of course, social science does have its own place in high school, for it prepares a student for the rigors of an open mind. Social science is a bridge between facts and opinions, and by disciplining your young minds early, it truly expands the horizon of new ideas and innovation.