Politics Political Structures: Tutor Support Pack



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Politics

Political Structures: Tutor Support Pack

(Intermediate 2)





Contents



Introduction

Statement of standards 2

Unit content 3

Assessment 4

Guidance for Teachers/Lecturers

Delivery advice 5

Scheme of work 6

Approaches to learning and teaching 8

Information for Student/Pupil Activities

The legislative branch of government: an introduction 9

The executive branch of government: an introduction 16

The UK Parliament: Outcome 1 – PC (a) & (b) 20

The UK Executive: Outcome 2 – PC (a) & (b) 35

The Scottish devolved political system: an introduction 44

The Scottish Parliament: Outcome 1 – PC (a) & (b) 46

The Scottish Executive: Outcome 2 – PC (a) & (b) 57

The European Union: an introduction 62

The European Parliament: Outcome 1 – PC (a) & (b) 70

The European Commission: Outcome 2 – PC (a) & (b) 78

The European Council: Outcomes 1 & 2 – PCs (a) & (b) 84

Other important institutions and bodies of the European Union 88

Summary of the political structures of Scotland, the UK and the European Union 89

Appendix

Resource information 93


Statement of Standards

Political Structures (Intermediate 2)



Outcome 1

Describe the legislative branch of government in Scotland, the UK and the European Union.



Performance Criteria




  1. The key features of the legislative branch of government are described clearly.

  2. Examples of the operation of the legislative branch of government are described clearly.



Outcome 2

Evaluate the political executives of Scotland, the UK and the European Union.



Performance Criteria




  1. The structure of the executive in Scotland, the UK and the European Union is compared clearly.

  2. The powers of the executive in Scotland, the UK and the European Union are explained clearly.


Unit Content

The unit has two Outcomes:




  1. Describe the legislative branch of government in Scotland, the UK and the European Union.

  2. Evaluate the political executives of Scotland, the UK and the European Union.

The unit content can be summarised as follows:




  • structure of Scottish, UK and European Union legislative assemblies: unicameral, bicameral and tricameral models

  • relative advantages and disadvantages of three different legislative systems

  • political decision makers within each of the systems

  • nature and functions of the committee systems used in each model

  • important institutions involved in the three legislative processes: the Queen, the House of Commons and House of Lords; the Scottish Parliament; the European Council and Council of Ministers, the European Parliament and the European Commission

  • functions of a legislature: monitoring and scrutiny of the executive; recruitment and control of political leaders; making and dismissing governments; democratic political representation; the passing of laws

  • comparison and contrast between the legislatures of Scotland, the UK and the European Union

  • structure of the three executives: the Scottish Executive, the UK Government and the European Commission/Council of Ministers

  • distribution of powers within each executive

  • checks and balances on the power of each executive

  • comparison and contrast of the powers of the Scottish, UK and European Union executives.

Note:


For further details refer to the unit specification from the National Unit Specification Document. This can be found at www.sqa.org.uk

Assessment

The unit assessment pack from the National Assessment Bank for this unit contains the following internal assessments:


Outcomes 1 and 2 = a 60-minute question paper comprising a mixture of short-answer and extended response items, where questions may be structured, and may be based on stimulus material; to be conducted under supervised test conditions. Evidence requirements apply to the Unit as a whole, and therefore, apply holistically to both outcomes of the Unit.
Instruments of assessment should, therefore, comprise questions/items that reflect marking of the Outcomes as follows:
Outcome 1: Knowledge and understanding – 10 marks.

Outcome 2: Analysis and evaluation – 10 marks.

10/20 or 50% score required for a pass.

Note:


Student/Pupil Activities within the Support Materials provide a balance of tutor-led and student-centred activities. Formative end of outcome activities have been included. A number reflect the style, content and layout of the NAB assessments. Marks out of 10, per question, should be awarded when feedback is given, thus reflecting the end-of-unit assessment.
Delivery Advice

Suggested timing

The notional time for this unit is 40 hours. A suggested scheme of work is shown below which is based on the assumption that the unit would be taught for three hours per week, over a 12-week period, the twelfth week being used for final assessment. This will leave four hours for feedback on assessment, remediation, and when the candidate is ready, reassessment.
Introductory sessions: 1 and 2

These first two sessions are designed to provide a general introduction to the legislative and executive processes.


UK sessions: 3 and 4

Sessions three and four examine the legislative and executive functions of the UK system. This means that aspects of Outcomes 1 and 2 are being covered, but at this stage, only in relation to one governmental system.


Scottish sessions: 5 and 6

These next two sessions concentrate on the legislative and executive functions of the Scottish devolved system; Outcomes 1 and 2 now being covered in relation to the 2nd political system.


UK/Scottish evaluative session: 7

This next session is designed to enable the learner to compare and contrast the UK with the Scottish system.


EU sessions: 8 and 9

These two sessions examine the legislative and executive functions of the European Union; Outcomes 1 and 2 now having been covered in relation to the last of the three political systems.


UK/EU evaluative session: 10

This session enables the learner to compare and contrast all three governmental systems.


Revision and Assessment sessions: 11 and 12

This then leaves two sessions: the first to revise and prepare for assessment, and the last for the actual assessment. Centres must obviously plan to deliver according to their own timetabling system, but it is suggested that a formative approach is adopted whereby the student/pupil is introduced to one political structure at a time; each then to be compared and contrasted with the previous one studied. This will enable later summative preparatory student/pupil activities to take place, which reflect the actual 60-minute assessment. The learning materials, sample activities and examples of formative assessment included in this support pack are presented in the same order as the advice given above, and the scheme of work shown below. It is suggested that learners undertake the student/pupil revision activity, provided at the end of each week’s outcome, before moving on to the next topic.


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