Trinity Western University
Undergraduate Course Syllabus
Course Number: POLS 101
Course Name: Political Studies 101
Semester and Year: Summer 2022
Instructor: Calvin Townsend
Co-requisites or Pre-requisites: None
Semester Hours: 3
An introduction to the basic concepts, institutions, and ruling ideas in political thought and action. Through the study of classic political texts, competing concepts like equality and freedom, justice and power, are introduced within the context of conflicting ideologies like liberalism, socialism, and conservatism. The meaning of citizenship in postmodern contemporary liberal democracies are examined and contrasted with competing visions of the good society.
Course Learning Outcomes:
The following chart demonstrates how this course participates in Trinity Western University’s Global Student Learning Outcomes. The column on the left indicates TWU’s Student Learning Outcomes relevant to this course; the column on the right provides learning outcomes specific to this course. 1. Knowledge and its application • a broad foundational knowledge of human culture and the physical and natural world. • a depth of understanding in any chosen field(s) of study. By the end of this course, students will have gained • broad foundational knowledge of the history of political thought from Plato to Nietzsche. • a depth of understanding about how ancient and modern political philosophy has shaped Western civilization. • insight into questions of human ordering, the nature of man, of the state and the best (the just) political order. 2. Cognitive complexity • skills including: critical and creative thinking, quantitative reasoning, communication, research, and information literacy. • an ability to articulate various interdisciplinary and multi-disciplinary perspectives, integrating informed Christian perspectives. • an ability to respond with wisdom, humility and charity to questions, issues, and problems of the human condition. By the end of this course, students will have gained • the ability to carefully exegete a primary source. • the ability to write with clarity, precision and coherence. • an ability to articulate various interdisciplinary and multi-disciplinary perspectives, integrating a Christian perspective from an informed theological-political position. • an ability to respond with wisdom, humility and charity to questions, issues, and problems of the human condition explored in ancient and modern political philosophy. 3. Aesthetic expression and interpretation • creative, performative, material and narrative forms of critical inquiry. By the end of this course, students will have gained • via performance inquiry a deeper critical understanding of conflicting ideologies like liberalism, socialism and conservativism. 4. Inter-and Intra-Personal Wellness • a holistic awareness of their personhood, purpose, and calling within the context of the communities in which they live and study. • an appreciation of the role of community in wellness. By the end of this course, students will have gained • a holistic awareness of their humanity and citizenship within the context of the political communities in which they live. • an appreciation of the role of community in civil and political society. • an understanding of the political forces that have shaped communities and the type of human it tends to produce. 5. Spiritual Formation • a spiritual dimension by means of an exposure to a reflective and caring Christ-centered community which encourages: • a further understanding of God. • a discovery of a deep and personal spiritual foundation. • an embodiment of a Christ-like way of life characterized by love for and service to others. By the end of this course, students will have gained • an understanding of the relationship between Christianity and the political order. • a spiritual dimension by means of an exposure to the politics of Jesus and the Kingdom of God. • a further understanding of the crucified God. • an understanding of the relation between the spiritual and the political. • a discovery of the power of Christian charity and the Christ-like way of life characterized by love for and service to others. 6. Social Responsibility and Global Engagement • the resources, skills, and motivation to become engaged global citizens who serve locally, nationally, and globally in socially and economically just ways. • a commitment to informed and ethical reasoning. • respect for the dignity and rights of all persons. • respect for creation and its sustainable use and care. By the end of this course, students will have gained • the resources, skills, and motivation to become engaged global citizens who serve locally, nationally, and globally in politically, socially and economically just ways. • a commitment to informed and moral/ethical/political reasoning. • respect for the dignity and rights of all persons in light of the modern natural right tradition and modern constitutionalism. • respect for creation and the Creator. 7. Leadership • skills to become creative, collaborative, informed, competent, and compassionate people who influence the various contexts into which they are called. • abilities and attitudes characterized by service, humility and integrity. By the end of this course, students will have gained • a theoretical understanding of ancient and modern concepts of political leadership. • skills to become creative, collaborative, informed, competent, and compassionate Christian leaders who influence the various contexts into which they are called. • leadership abilities characterized by service, humility and integrity.
Required Texts and Materials:
Plato, Republic John Locke, The Second Treatise of Government Machiavelli, The Prince. Rousseau, The First and Second Discourses. Marx, The Communist Manifesto
The discussion groups, tutorials and lecture classes will be conducted in a dialogue fashion with occasional orienting lectures. Students will need to be ready to discuss the assigned readings intelligently.
One seven page term paper, footnoted and bibliographed in proper academic form. Subject matter of each student’s paper will be assigned shortly after beginning of the semester.
Reading Responses (10 one page responses).
Students will be expected to come to class having read the assigned sections from Locke, Rousseau and Machiavelli in order to gain a general and intelligent acquaintance with the subject matter to be discussed. Attendance is required and will be part of the grade.
A final examination on the material covered in class will be given on the assigned date.
|Evaluation Method||Percentage||Assesses Course Learning Outcome|
· Academic Integrity and Avoiding Plagiarism at TWU,
· Campus Closure and Class Cancellation Policy, and the
· University Standard Grading System (this policy could alternatively be located under the Course Evaluation section).
· Students With a Disability
Academic Integrity and Avoiding Plagiarism at TWU
One of the core values of Trinity Western University is the integration of academic excellence with high standards of personal, moral, and spiritual integrity. The University considers it a serious offence when an individual attempts to gain unearned academic credit. It is the student’s responsibility to be informed about what constitutes academic dishonesty. For details on this, and on identifying and avoiding plagiarism go to the University Homepage > Academics > Academic Calendar > Academic Information > Academic Policies > Academic Dishonesty and Plagiarism.
Campus Closure and Class Cancellation Policy
In the event of extreme weather conditions or other emergency situations go to the University Homepage > Campus Notification (in the page footer) > Class cancellation policy.
University Standard Grading System
The Standard Grading System can be found at the University Homepage > Academics > Academic Calendar > Academic Information > Grading Practices University Homepage > Academics > Academic Calendar > Academic Information > Grading Practices.
Students with a Disability
Students with a disability who need assistance are encouraged to contact the Equity of Access Office upon admission to TWU to discuss their specific needs. All disabilities must be recently documented by an appropriately certified professional and include the educational impact of the disability along with recommended accommodations. Within the first two weeks of the semester, students must meet with their professors to agree on accommodations appropriate to each class. Students should follow the steps detailed by the Equity of Access Office outlined in the Student Life section of the University Calendar.
Approved by University Senate May 5, 2015