PoliticsNow Classroom

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Welcome to PoliticsNow Classroom, the product of a groundbreaking collaboration between ABC News, Washington Post, National Journal, and Houghton Mifflin Company, a leading publisher of college-level political science textbooks. The Classroom combines the news resources of PoliticsNow and the academic resources of Houghton Mifflin in a site intended to become an integral part of introductory American Government courses. PoliticsNow Classroom is designed to change the way political science is taught and learned.

PoliticsNow Classroom offers a rich collection of political reporting, documents and information, keyed to the standard organization of the American Government course and integrated with extensive pedagogical support emphasizing Internet resources. Our goal is to broaden the depth and breadth of students' knowledge about key concepts in American politics, allowing them to become more astute, more critical and more involved political consumers and participants.

This first edition of PoliticsNow Classroom, designed for the Spring 1997 academic semester, supplements four Houghton Mifflin texts referenced throughout the site:

Kenneth Janda, Jeffrey M. Berry, Jerry Goldman. The Challenge of Democracy, Fifth Edition.1997 copyright.
James Q. Wilson. American Government: Brief Version, Fourth Edition. 1997 copyright.
Alan R. Gitelson, Robert Dudley, and Melvin J. Dubnick. American Government , Fourth Edition. 1996 copyright.
William Lasser. American Politics: Institutions and Interconnections. 1996 copyright.

For structure, PoliticsNow Classroom follows the chapter format of the texts themselves. Each chapter is built around a Chapter Explorer, a selection of online readings from PoliticsNow, annotated with special interactive assignments and exercises, key terms and definitions, references to related Houghton Mifflin texts, chapter updates to the texts, links to related Internet sites and other resources--plus a "hotlist" of related readings. These materials are complemented by the Classroom's other departments:

  • The Current. This free portion of the site provides a selection of news and analysis from PoliticsNow related to Houghton Mifflin texts. Each week's edition will be posted Monday morning, and updated throughout the week. Subscribers to our faculty Mailing List will receive a preview of next week's articles each Friday afternoon.
  • Library. Featuring the PoliticsNow Classroom Guide to the Internet for Political Science, a collection of major political documents, the Classroom archives, and a link to the Almanac of American Politics.
  • Student Union. A variety of online opportunities, from topical discussion groups to a planned schedule of live events providing students and instructors the opportunity to submit questions in advance to important political figures and commentators, who will then discuss issues and respond to queries in real time.
  • Issues. Our policy area includes a variety of special reports focusing on hot topics, each with analysis and overview material kept up to date throughout the semester and supplemented by additional readings and links.
  • Faculty Lounge. Open to instructors only, offering professional discussion groups, syllabus-building suggestions, teaching tips and materials for classroom use--all intended to help teachers enrich their classes.

The Classroom schedule is patterned after the typical introductory American Government class, its focus progressing through the chapters of the site as the semester unfolds. While all Chapter Explorers will be complete and their online readings available throughout the semester, The Current and online events in the Student Union will change according to the Classroom's schedule for the semester. Instructors may find details in the Classroom Calendar section of Faculty Lounge. Highlights of upcoming events on the site are listed in Coming Up.

In designing this first edition of PoliticsNow Classroom, the editors have discussed the project with many political science instructors - most of them Internet enthusiasts, but others not--hoping to create an exciting and broadly useful teaching tool. We will consult regularly with ourAcademic Advisory Board of noted political scientists on all aspects of the site's development. We would also welcome your ideas about the Classroom. You may contact us through the Feedback page and, if you are an instructor, also make your thoughts known in the "Talk to the PoliticsNow Classroom Editors" discussion group in Faculty Lounge.

For newcomers to the Classroom, here are a few notes on navigation to help in your exploration of the site:

  • You may view any article in Chapter Explorer by clicking on the link there, of course. But our search engine also allows direct access to the document using the identification tag built into the document's Uniform Resource Locator (URL). For more details on this feature of the Classroom, see the Help page.
  • The Index page is a complete directory of links to all sections of the site.
  • You may always return to the Main page by clicking on the PoliticsNow Classroom banner at the top of every page on the site. To learn more about navigating the site, see our Help page.

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