UNIT 2
POLITICAL CYNICISM AND CITIZENSHIP

OBJECTIVES
1) Address contemporary cynicism about public life
2) Understand the importance of role models in shaping public life
3) Encourage a healthy skepticism about politics but challenge cynicism
4) Develop an appreciation for the complexity of public life

TOOLS and MATERIALS
1) Web access for online projects and research
2) Surveys and handouts

ACTIVITIES
1) Group Activity 1: Student Survey: "Politics and My Future"
2) Group Activity 2: Politicians and Public Officers in Disgrace

SUMMARY of the LESSON

This lesson begins with a class conversation about student impressions of politics and politicians. Many question the relevance of politics to their lives and hold negative attitudes about politicians. Where does all this cynicism come from and is it healthy? What do we expect of politics and our leaders? What expectations do we have of different kinds of people, parents, teachers, public officials? All of these topics raise questions about role models and where students see themselves in public life. The goal of this discussion is to challenge student cynicism and encourage students to see the relevance of politics in their daily life.