About Government & Politics AS/A Level
Government and Politics (to give it its full title) is the study of the collective decision-making system that we use in our society. The government side focuses on how the different parts of government work, together or separately, to make decisions on behalf of the state. The politics side focuses on how governments are, or should be, created and authorised, and what sorts of decisions they should make. Politics includes both some wide philosophical questions, such as ‘What is democracy and why should we have it?’ and some much more specific factual questions, such as ‘How does the Supreme Court help maintain the US constitution?’ Should the UK change its voting system? Should Prime Ministers lead from the front or co-operate more with their colleagues in the cabinet? Is Socialism dead? Does the US President have too much power? These are all further examples of political questions you might consider in A Level Politics.
The study of Politics will be of interest if you like to discuss these public questions, if you follow current events and are interested in the news, and if you want to understand the ideas and institutions that are referred to in the news. If you participate actively in politics, this will help you understand it from the inside, but this is not a requirement, and you might prefer to approach the subject more theoretically. It is also a useful qualification for a range of social science studies at university, and of course for any kind of political career – whether as a politician, or as a researcher or a civil servant.
Robert’s qualifications to teach Politics A Level
Robert’s interest in Politics grew out of an interest in Political Philosophy, which formed part of the studies in his Ph.D. thesis, along with a lifelong interest in current affairs. He prefers to approach Politics from a balanced theoretical perspective, seeing strengths and weaknesses in all the major parties, and has found this a good standpoint from which to teach Politics.
He took up the teaching of Politics as a video conference tutor following the retirement of a colleague, which gave him the opportunity to get involved in it. He taught it for four years with Nelson Thornes and MB Learning, working with a variety of schools, and during those four years it was his biggest subject. He also wrote new distance learning resources in Politics for MB Learning during this time, and gained some experience of all three available specifications. He has taught UK and American Politics, and Political Ideologies, and also written distance learning courses in these topics.
In 2017 Robert was an examiner for Government & Politics with AQA.
OCR, AQA and Edexcel all offer A level Politics specifications. Please see the exam board’s website for up to date specifications. Robert can work with your preferred specification and options.