• Walter Murray

    Government Class Syllabus


    What are the class expectations?

    This classroom is a place of learning so: Come in and sit down – make yourself comfortable in this learning environment.  Be quiet – quiet yourself - put out of your mind all outside distractions and focus on this class and the task at hand.  Listen – engage yourself in the learning activities – be an active participant in the learning process.  Take ownership of and responsibility for your learning.


    Whats this class about?

    The point to this class is to get the student to consider, to think, and to reason for themselves so that they come to understand what they believe to be right and why.


    Our study of the government will be guided by a series of essential questions like the following - What is the role of government?  What does it mean to be American?  Where does this unique American system of government come from?  What happens when the Constitution is not followed?


    There is a great deal of political science incorporated into the class.  Here are two examples: Abraham Lincoln said that government should not do for the people what the people can do for themselves.  So then what can the people not do for themselves?  And what are those items that they can do for themselves?  Would not the answer to these questions suggest a framework of government?


    Eisenhower told the American people in his farewell address to “beware the military industrial complex”.  He foreshadowed the day when big business would be the tail that wagged the dog of government.  He understood that when a nation builds an army it will use it, and he feared for the young soldier, their mother, and the effects on the mental and emotional well-being of the nation.


    Why do we have to learn this anyway?

    For a democracy to function properly and effectively it is contingent upon an educated populace.  To have a community where everyone gets along, where neighbor knows and understands neighbor, to go beyond living in a society to living in true community there has to be an understanding and appreciation of why government is necessary and how it functions.  This class explains how not to live in fear.  You are taking this class so you can understand and appreciate why it is radically important for you to be a good neighbor.


    When can I go to the bathroom?

    One person at a time will be allowed to go to the bathroom.  If the teacher thinks the student is abusing this simple policy alternative individual guidelines will be imposed on a case-by-case basis.


    What’s my grade?

    Grading is based on the culmination of all grades in each category.


    In-class assignments

    Current event research

    Participation points based on attendance. 
    Make-Up work will only be counted for half credit on unexcused absences.  Missed assignments must be turned in within a reasonable amount of time.

    100 – 90% - A

    89 – 80% - B

    79 – 70% - C

    69 – 60% - D

    less than that – F


    What kind of things are we going to be doing?

    The class will be comprised of reading and answering questions from the textbook and extra article assignments; there will also be individual and group projects, computer lab assignments, videos on a wide variety of topics, and some notes.


    Do I have to take the final?

    All students will take Final Exams. Students who have no more than 4 absences (one tardy or sweep counts as one absence) in the class and a grade of 75% or higher, and who are present in class on the final exam day, may choose whether or not to have the final exam calculated into their grade.  This policy does not apply to courses which may require final exams, including but not limited to IB, AP, and Dual Enrollment classes.


    Who are you?

    B.A. from Grand Canyon University, majoring in History with a minor in Political Science, graduated 1994.

    M.Ed., Secondary Education, from Northern Arizona University, graduated 2000.

    Have completed 69 graduated level hours of classes beyond my Masters.

    Taught at Bogle and Willis Junior Highs before coming to CHS in 1999.


    How do we get a hold of you outside of class?

    The best way is by e-mail murray.walter@cusd80.com, or you can call and leave a message 480 812 7796, or you can look for me in room 106.   I teach a 0 hour class so my school day ends early.  However, you will find me in the football score box, or keeping score at basketball games.


    Class Schedule











    Room Number - Subject

    221 - Economics

    221 - Prep

    221 -  Government

    221 - Government

    221 - Government

    221 -  Government