Grade: 96.98% A
If anyone wonders why studying U.S. government is important, they only have to turn on the news these days. Learning about how our government runs is necessary to take an active stand for any cause, whether you are fighting against social injustice, struggling to protect our environment, or simply trying to get them to finally end Daylight Savings Time because, you KNOW no one likes it.
It is also crucial because, just like studying history, if one does not learn government, mistakes may repeat themselves as we find ourselves powerless to make the changes we want in our world. The power of the people to influence government policies is fueled by knowledge of the inner workings of the U.S. government. I shudder to think of what the country would be like if people had no knowledge of laws and how the government works. People would fall guilty to the government’s wrath (forgive the drama; I just re-read Fahrenheit 451 and that gets me riled up!) and the public would have less power.
Since government is a very important school subject to learn, I was excited to begin my adventure using Khan Academy U.S. Government and Civics course as my primary curriculum. I used Calvert to test my knowledge of the subject since I had technical issues with Khan Academy’s tests and quizzes.
Khan Academy manages to make the course very informative whilst still being engaging and interesting. It was not dry and boring like many other government courses that I sampled before deciding on this one. One thing I really liked was that it did not just talk about events hundreds of years ago, it talked about more recent and relatable events, which most government courses do not focus on.
Its lessons were very timely. Imagine taking a U.S. Government course during a major pandemic, as I watch a mind-blowing election transpire while also being saddened to hear of the death of a Supreme Court justice, and then ensuing witnessing the apparently futile fight against the nomination to replace her. Because Khan Academy’s U.S. Government and Civics does such a great job integrating recent events like recent presidential election years, protests, and the Civil Rights movement, I have no doubt they’ll be updating it again soon with all that transpired during this past year.
I also like how the course talks about the media with how it is hard to find unbiased news, especially with dealing with political parties and the “right” and the “left.” Information about famous Supreme Court cases, including Roe V. Wade, is also given in the course. I learned about citizen journalism, a form of journalism where the public does news reporting themselves using things like blogging and social media to spread a story instead of the giant media corporations and it helped inspire me to write, produce, and film my first documentary as well as a public service message, both of which I hope inspired action.
Using Calvert’s tests, I could see that my knowledge of the topic greatly increased from how much I knew before. The course provided a challenging way to enhance my learning and inspired me to take action and play a more active role in my government. I would highly recommend Khan Academy U.S. Government and Civics course to anyone willing to expand their understanding of how America’s government works.