Guides to the Advanced Placement World History Course Revision and the New "Teacher Community" Resource: An Update
The AP College Board has begun a huge revision encompassing Curriculum, Syllabus audit, and new Teacher Communities Discussion/Resources groups. AP World History is one of the first to work through the change process. Eventually, all thirty plus AP courses will be guided through the revision. This article will explain the changes in each of the three areas and offer tips to help AP World History instructors use the new curriculum, get their syllabus approved, and use the new AP World History/Teacher Community effectively.
On the curriculum change:
This site shows instructors the AP World History revised curriculum. Components of change center around five course themes, and nineteen Key Concepts and six different chronological periods.
New teachers can use the Key Concepts (see pp. 23 ff) as a course outline and as a review prior to the May AP exam. Exam information is shown on pp. 91-123. The May exam has few changes. The penalty for guessing on the multiple choice section (70 MC questions) has been removed. The format of the AP World History exam will remain the same (70 Multiple Choice Questions followed by three Free Response essay questions--a documents based question, change and continuity essay question and a Comparative essay question) except for 4 choices (change from 5) for each multiple choice question. AP World History teachers must show how they will use the components, themes, and analytical skills in their syllabus.
Second, course syllabus audit: Note, the information below to help AP World History teachers complete their syllabus audit was taken directly from an AP/College Board message sent to all AP coordinators nationally. Following this information, is a "Helper and Hints" post put together by AP/College Board World History consultant John Maunu which has assisted, literally, hundreds of AP World History instructors gain audit approval of their revised syllabus.
2012-2013 Course audit syllabus calendar
The AP Course Audit
Calendar highlights important dates and information to ensure that, during the
2012-13 school year, the AP courses offered at your school are authorized to
use the AP designation.
What are the next steps?
If you have an authorized AP course that will again be offered in the 2012-13 academic year, the course must be renewed by your AP Course Audit administrator beginning in August 2012. If the course
will not be offered in the 2012-13 academic year, it should not be renewed but will remain eligible for renewal in subsequent years.
If you are planning to teach an AP course for which you have not yet received course authorization, two documents must be submitted from your AP Course Audit account:
Please see the AP Course Audit Resources for Teachers page to access the Syllabus Development Guide and four Annotated Sample Syllabi as well as other AP Course Audit resources to support the creation and submission of your syllabus.
If you intend to use one of the sample syllabi and structure your course per that syllabus, submit it using the Claim Identical submission process. To submit a sample syllabus, follow the steps below:
Requirements for the 2012-13 Revised Courses
Due to the
implementation of the revised AP Biology, Latin, and Spanish Literature and
Culture courses, all teachers of these subjects will need to submit a new
syllabus and Course Audit form regardless
For information about
ongoing revisions to AP courses, please visit the Advances in AP
Following are intended as aids AP World History teachers can use as they develop their revised syllabus for the College Board audit as posted on the old AP World electronic discussion group (EDG) or listserve and now as a thread in the Teacher Community for AP World History which replaced the EDG January 31, 2012:
"There are 4 sample syllabi on the apcentral.collegeboard.com website. (see College Board message above for that specific link)
Here are some key hints. Make sure to include the new time periods, 4 historical thinking skills, 19 core concepts, themes in the beginning of your syllabus.
1. Mindset must change for syllabus from what teacher is teaching to students to what the students are doing--specific activities that exhibit learning lessons for 19 Core concepts, 4 historical thinking skills, themes, etc. al.
activities quickly with short examples. If you show Guns, Germs and Steel DVD
to students, it is NOT enough just to note that film. Explain, briefly, what
activity Students will be doing to "learn" about GGS's themes. A POV
analysis short paper by students of Jared Diamond and how his
background/education influences his "HISTORIOGRAPHY," (historiography
being one of the 4 analytical thinking skills).
See Lynda Shaffer's, Southernization for example and quick explanation of how students will be studying it....or use "Students will compare and contrast Shaffer's "Southernization" to Niall Ferguson's essay on the British Empire."
"Classics" of Journal of World History, cited in University of
Hawai'i Journal blog.
The June 2011 edition of World History Connected , a FREE on-line publication, is focused on Environment in world history. Each issue, published three times a year, has articles and usually a Forum devoted to a subject or theme in teaching in world history with updates such as this one on AP World History matters.
3. Must include an exercise in Anthropology, Archaeology, Literature, Architecture, Political science, geography, visual arts in your syllabus. (see component 15 example below)
4. Do not forget to include Oceania/Australia in two different time periods.
Example: 2nd time period-post 600 CE- Polynesian migrations--students will map
Polynesian migrations in the Pacific/Oceania then follow with 2011 CCOT on
migrations as exam. And, 19th century time period---European imperialism in
Oceania/Hawai'i for example. A student paper on how the sugar companies gained
control of Hawai'ian properties or student research on how indigenous people
are effected by colonialism, with a comparative exercise with the British in India.
Periodization Evaluation guideline: "The syllabus must describe at least one activity or assignment that asks students to critically evaluate periodizations constructed by historians."
See examples of activity or assignments and proper wording to comply with components 11 and 15:
Component 11 Samples of Evidence:
1. Students read and
discuss a historian's work that questions periodization from a different
2. Students compare the appropriateness of 1450-1750 CE as threshold dates for the early modern period in both Western and World History.
3. Students are asked to evaluate the applicability of the "labels" 'medieval' and 'postclassical' to the period between 500 and 1450 CE in World History. Component 15: "The course provides opportunities for students to recognize how the study of history has been shaped by the findings and methods of other disciplines such as anthropology, archaeology, visual arts, literature, economics, geography and political science. (Synthesis)
The New AP World History Teacher Community:
As mentioned, January 31, 2012 the screen went black on the old AP World History list serve or Electronic Discussion group. All AP courses will see this change over time as their EDGs will be replaced by a Teacher Community. At first, some AP World history instructors were disgruntled with the change feeling the new Teacher Community was difficult to navigate and not as chat and user friendly as the EDG. Criticisms floated through the AP World community and the AP College Board listened carefully and made adjustments. The biggest complaint was no daily e-mail digest in the Teacher Community. As can be seen in the Teacher Community posting below, that was corrected:
New Features in Teacher Community: A Reminder About New Teacher Community new features
In early February (2012) there was an announcement posted for 2 weeks around new features for our Teacher Community. This reminder is for folks who didn't have the opportunity to log in over that period and may have missed out on the news or new subscribers who did not see that "change over time." In February, several new features were added to the community, including:
My Preferences, providing you with communications options such as:
Edit Resources, letting you update your resources once they are shared with the community (more)
You can learn more
about these features by clicking on the 'more' link next to each. If you have
any problems, just let me know.
In summary, the AP
College Board change over time is underway and coming to other AP subjects
soon. AP Biology, French, German Language, Latin, Spanish Literature, and World
History were the first courses to see curriculum, syllabus, and Teacher
Community Discussion Group revisions.
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