Kentucky

Kentucky General Assembly Legislation:

704 KAR 3:305. Minimum requirements for high school graduation: §1 (2) “three credits of social studies to incorporate U.S. History, Economic, Government, World Geography, and World Civilization.”

704 KAR 3:305 Minimum requirements for high school graduation beginning with the class of 2012: §2 (2) “three credits of social studies to include the content strands of historical perspective, including U.S. History, geography, economics, government and civics, and cultures and societies.”

 

Kentucky Social Studies Standards

“The Kentucky Core Academic Standards contain the minimum required standards that all Kentucky students should have the opportunity to learn before graduating from Kentucky high schools. The standards address what is to be learned, but do not address how learning experiences are to be designed or what resources should be used.”

Kentucky’s social studies standards are contained in the High School Program of Studies for Social Studies and are organized around five strands, one of which is Government and Civics: “The study of government and civics equips students to understand the nature of government and the unique characteristics of American representative democracy, including its fundamental principles, structure, and the role of citizens…” Kentucky’s Academic Expectations for social studies Standard 2.14 is “Students understand the democratic principles of justice, equality, responsibility, and freedom and apply them to real-life situations.” Standard 2.15 is “Students can accurately describe various forms of government and analyze issues that relate to the rights and responsibilities of citizens in a democracy.” (page 109)

Grade 1-3

  • Government and Civics:
    • The study of government and civics equips students to understand the nature of government and the unique characteristics of American representative democracy, including its fundamental principles, structure and the role of citizens. Understanding the historical development of structures of power, authority and governance and their evolving functions in contemporary U.S. society and other parts of the world is essential for developing civic competence. An understanding of civic ideals and practices of citizenship is critical to full participation in society and is a central purpose of the social studies.

Grade 4

  • Government and Civics:
    • Address the basic concepts of representative democracy through a study of the Kentucky state government and constitution.

Grade 5

  • Government and Civics: Focuses on the United States government and Constitution.
    • Enduring Understandings: Students will understand that:
      • The fundamental values and principles (e.g., liberty, justice, individual human dignity) of American representative democracy are expressed in historical documents (e.g., the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States, including the Preamble and the Bill of Rights).
      • The Constitution of the United States establishes a government of limited powers that are shared among different levels and branches.
    • Skill and Concepts: Students will:
      • Demonstrate an understanding of government, using information from print and non-print sources (e.g., documents, informational passages/texts, interviews, digital and environmental) to investigate the basic functions of the United States Government, as defined in the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution, (e.g., establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, secure the blessings of liberty) and explain their significance today.
      • Describe the basic duties of the three branches of government (executive, legislative, judicial); explain why the framers of the U.S. Constitution felt it was important to establish a government with limited powers that are shared among different branches and different levels (e.g., local, state, federal).
      • Analyze information from print and non-print sources (e.g., documents, informational passages/texts, interviews, digital and environmental) to describe fundamental values and principles of American representative democracy (e.g., liberty, justice) found in the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution; explain their significance today.
      • Investigate the rights and responsibilities of U.S. citizens by describing and giving examples of specific rights guaranteed to all U.S. citizens in the Bill of Rights (e.g., freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of press) and explain why they are important today.

Grade 6

  • Government and Civics:
    • Students will compare the various most common forms of government today (e.g. monarchy, democracy, republic, dictatorship) and explain how democratic governments of the present day function to preserve and protect the rights, liberty, and property of their citizens by making enacting and enforcing appropriate rules and laws.

Grade 7

  • Government and Civics
    • Students will understand forms of government in world civilizations prior to 1500 A.D. and their similarities and differences in their purposes and sources of power.

Grade 8

  • Government and Civics, Students will understand that:
    • The American political system developed from a colonial base of representative democracy by the actions of people who envisioned an independent country and new purposes for the government.
    • The United States government was formed to establish order, provide security and accomplish common goals.
    • The fundamental values and principles (e.g., liberty, justice, individual human dignity, the rule of law) of American representative democracy as expressed in historical documents (e.g., the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States) are enduring and remain significant today.
    • The Constitution of the United States establishes a government of limited powers that are shared among different levels and branches. The Constitution is a document that can be changed from time to time through both formal and informal processes (e.g., amendments, court cases, executive actions) to meet the needs of its citizens.
    • As members of a democratic society, all citizens of the United States have certain rights and responsibilities, including civic participation.

Grade 9-12

  • Government and Civics
    • Students will understand  that:
      • People form governments to establish order, provide security and accomplish common goals.
      • Governments in the world vary in terms of their sources of power, purposes and effectiveness.
      • The Government of the United States, established by the Constitution, embodies the purposes, values and principles (e.g., liberty, justice, individual human dignity, the rules of law) of American representative democracy.
      • The Constitution of the United States establishes a government of limited powers that are shared among different levels and branches. The provisions of the U.S. Constitution have allowed our government to change over time to meet the changing needs of our society.
      • All citizens of the United States have certain rights and responsibilities as members of a democratic society.
      • Individual rights in a democracy may, at times, be in conflict with others’ individual rights, as well as with the responsibility of government to protect the “common good.”
      • The United States does not exist in isolation; its democratic form of government has played and continues to play a considerable role in our interconnected world.
      • The level of individual civic engagement in a democracy can impact the government’s effectiveness.
      • The development and ongoing functions of a political system (e.g., elections, political parties, campaigns, political identity and culture, the role of the media) is necessary for a democratic form of government to be effective.
    • Students Will:
      • Examine issues related to the intent of the Constitution of the United States and its amendments.
      • Explain the principles of limited government (e.g., rule of law, federalism, checks and balances, majority rule, protection of minority rights, separation of powers) and how effective these principles are in protecting individual rights and promoting the “common good.”
      • Analyze how powers of government are distributed and shared among levels and branches, and how this distribution of powers works to protect the “common good” (e.g., Congress legislates on behalf of the people, the President represents the people as a nation, the Supreme Court acts on behalf of the people as a whole when it interprets the Constitution).