History and Citizenship Education (Cycle One)

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First experience of democracy

Democracy is a political system in which sovereign power rests with the citizens. In the fifth century B.C.E., Athens established the first democracy. By studying the institutions of this city-state and the limitations of Athenian democracy, students discover the major principles of democracy and understand the special nature of democratic systems.

The concepts prescribed by the program are not described using specific statements. It is by using all of the knowledge related to a social phenomenon that students develop their understanding of the following concepts: city-state, citizen, democracy, education, private space, public space, institution, philosophy, power and political regime.

Student constructs knowledge with teacher guidance.

Student applies knowledge by the end of the school year.


Student reinvests knowledge.

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  1. Organization of political power in society today
    1. Names the political offices whose holders represent citizens (e.g. commissioner, municipal councillor, member of parliament)
    1. Names the fundamental law that determines the political organization of a country: the constitution
  1. First experience of democracy and political life in Athens in the fifth century B.C.E.
  • 2.1.   Location in space and time
    1. Locates Greece, Attica and Athens on a map
    1. Locates on a time line the Age of Pericles and some facts related to democracy
  • 2.2.   Social structure
    1. Lists the conditions for citizenship in fifth-century Athens (e.g. citizens were free-born males over the age of 18, whose forebears were Athenians)
    1. Indicates the rights of the different social groups in the Athenian population in the middle of the fifth century B.C.E.: citizens had political rights; metics had civil liberties but no political rights; slaves had neither rights nor civil liberties
    1. Indicates tasks carried out by women in fifth-century Athens (e.g. household management, household chores, children’s education)
  • 2.3.   Political institutions
    1. Establishes a connection between the characteristics of the Greek territory and the political organization of city-states (e.g. highly mountainous terrain promoted the development of independent city-states; access to the sea promoted trade and colonization)
    1. Describes political institutions in Athens (e.g. the Ecclesia, which was made up of all citizens, voted on laws and elected magistrates and strategoi)
    1. Names public spaces and activities that took place in them (e.g. the Agora was a marketplace and civic centre; the Acropolis was a sanctuary and place of religious worship)
    1. Indicates limits of Athenian democracy (e.g. many people living in Athens were excluded from citizenship)
  • 2.4.   Culture and beliefs
    1. Establishes a relationship between education and the exercise of democracy (e.g. learning the language and rhetoric helped citizens debate issues in Athens)
    1. Indicates what differentiates philosophy from mythology (e.g. logical construction of discourse)
    1. Establishes a connection between colonization and the spread of Greek culture (e.g. by establishing colonies, the metropolises exported Greek culture throughout the Mediterranean Basin)
  1. Relationships between individuals and democratic society today
    1. Lists rights and responsibilities of citizens (e.g. voting, jury duty, participation in public debates)
    1. States some of the principles underlying democratic systems (e.g. majority rule, minority rights, multi-party system)
    1. States methods that allow citizens to witness first-hand the debates of representatives in democratic assemblies (e.g. televising debates)
    1. Indicates factors that promote informed participation in public debate (e.g. access to information)

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