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AP World History  

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The AP World History course is based upon a global perspective of the world and human interactions from approximately 8000 B.C.E. to the present day.  The course adopts a “periodization” approach to world history and is structured around the five AP World History themes and the four Historical Thinking Skills.  They are as follows:

World History Themes

  1.  Impact of interaction among and within major societies.
  2. Impact of technology, economics, and demography on people and the environment.
  3. Systems of social structure and gender structure.
  4. Cultural, religious, and intellectual developments.
  5. Changes in functions and structures of states and in attitudes toward states and political identities, including the emergence of the nation-state.

Historical Thinking Skills

  1. Crafting Historical Arguments from Historical Evidence
  2. Chronological Reasoning (historical causation, patterns of continuity and change over time, periodization)
  3. Comparison and Contextualization
  4. Historical Interpretation and Synthesis

Students will be required to develop and cultivate both critical thinking and analytical skills in order to understand historical and geographical context, make comparisons between times and cultures, distinguish changes across time and cultures, identify continuities across time and cultures, use documents and other primary sources, and recognize and discuss different interpretations and historical frameworks.  Issues like change and continuity are broad themes that are stressed throughout the entire course.  Likewise, the course is designed to challenge students to formulate independent ideas within the context of a truly global perspective.  To do so, the course requires an enormously heavy reading load, along with extensive writing as well.  Because the Advanced Placement test requires three written responses, the student will continuously practice these forms of historical writing.  Students will be required to read approximately one to two chapters in their text per week along with supplementary readings as well.  Debate, discussion, and the free exchange of ideas are vital.  The course workload is commensurate with that of a full-year introductory college course in World History.

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