Democratic Norms: The Guardrails of Democracy

Learn about five key democratic norms at the core of our system of government with this collection of brief podcast videos from 60-Second Civics.

Each episode below contains a video, quiz, and script. 60-Second Civics makes a great warmup activity for your classroom!

Use one of our lesson plans (middle school, high school) to learn how to engage your students with this curriculum.

And here is an easy and fun way to get your students started each morning:

  1. Select an episode from the list below each day for one week.
  2. Play the video for your class by projecting it on the board.
  3. Ask students to answer the Daily Civics question as a class.
  4. Debrief the activity by asking students why the correct answer is true.
Our special thanks to the Sidney Stern Memorial Trust and the Mara W. Breech Foundation for sponsoring this series.

Representative Government: Democratic Norms, Part 1

Today we start the first of our five-episode series on democratic norms with Dr. Meena Bose, the Peter S. Kalikow Chair in Presidential Studies and Executive Dean for Public Policy and Public Service Programs at Hofstra University. In our first episode, Dr. Bose discusses representative government, which is a fundamental feature of American democracy. Listen to learn more!

Civic Participation: Democratic Norms, Part 2

Civic participation undergirds American democracy. In fact, it is what makes American democracy thrive. Listen to Dr. Meena Bose discuss this important democratic norm in this episode.

The Rule of Law: Democratic Norms, Part 3

What makes a democracy function is the premise that no one is above the rule of law. But what does that mean? Learn more from Dr. Meena Bose in today's episode.

Separation of Powers: Checks and Balances: Democratic Norms, Part 4

To ensure that no individual or institution would have too much power in the American republic, the Framers of the Constitution designed a system of separation of powers and checks and balances. Learn more about this important concept in this episode.

Federalism and Limited Government: Democratic Norms, Part 5

Federalism and limited government are principles that ensure that the American political system protects liberty and natural rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness as outlined in the Declaration of Independence. Listen to learn more from Dr. Meena Bose in this final episode of our series on democratic norms.

Democratic Norms: The Guardrails of Democracy YouTube Playlist

We hope you've enjoyed the Democratic Norms: The Guardrails of Democracy series from 60-Second Civics. Feel free to check out our YouTube playlist for a playable list of all episodes in the series. Our special thanks to the Sidney Stern Memorial Trust and the Mara W. Breech Foundation for sponsoring this series.


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