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AP World History Syllabus
AP World History will require the pupil to learn about foreign cultures from both an
analytical and comparative point of view. The course will force learners to identify new
ways to analyze the principal themes of history. The themes that are paramount to us are
as follows:
Theme 1- Interaction between humans and the environment
Theme 2- Development and Interaction of Cultures
Theme 3- State-Building, expansion and interactions of Economic Systems
Theme 4- Creation, expansion and interactions of Economic Systems
Theme 5- Development and transformation of social structures
Several modes of instruction must be consistently utilized to understand these abovementioned themes:
Interactive classroom discussion
Reading of the materials
Outlines based on classroom discussion
Pupil-based instruction and presentations
Modes of Assessment:
The following detail ways in which knowledge gained by the pupil will be accurately
1. Quizzes (Both large and small)
2. Document Based Questions based on AP standards
3. Free-Response Essays based on AP standards
4. Assessment on pupil-designed lessons and activities.
The Advanced Placement Test
The assessment includes four sections:
1. Multiple-choice
2. Document-based question essay
3. Continuity & change essay
4. Essay that compares & contrasts several regions
The Four Historical Thinking Skills
History is a sophisticated quest for meaning about the past, beyond the effort to collect
information. Analysis of historical information requires awareness of names, chronology,
facts and events. The following represents the way learners must interpret the information
learned in the curricula. Devoid of factual and detailed information, historical thinking is
not likely. The four Historical Thinking Skills listed below provide a solid foundation for
thinking historically.
1. Crafting Historical Arguments from Historical Evidence
2. Chronological Reasoning
3. Comparison and Contextualization
4. Historical Interpretation and Synthesis
The Course Timeline
The following units will be taught, interpreted, & assessed:
Unit I: Early Complex Societies
Southwest Asia & Indo-European Migrations
Early Africa & Bantu Migrations
Early Southwest Asia
Early Societies in East Asia
Early Americas & Oceana
Unit II: Formation of Classical Societies
Growth of Persia
Unification of China (Early dynasties)
State & Society of Early India
Greek Dominance of the Mediterranean
Roman Dominance of the Mediterranean
Cross-Cultural Diffusion on the Silk Roads
Unit III: Postclassical Era
Growth of Islam
Resurgence of East India
Indian Ocean Basin
Two Christian Worlds (Byzantine & Roman)
Unit IV: Cross-Cultural Diffusion Grows
Nomadic Empires & Eurasian Integration
Early African States of the Sub-Sahara
Europe’s Growth of Influence
A different world: The Americas & Oceania
Cultures Expand their Horizons
Unit V: Birth of Global Interdependence
Between Ocean Travel & Trade
Transformation of Europe to Medieval Times
A New World: The Americas & Oceania
Africa & the Atlantic World
Tradition & the Shaping of East India
Empires under the Islamic Flag
Unit VI: Revolutions in State, Industry, & Empire
Revolutions in Nation States throughout the Atlantic
Birth of Industry
Americas & Independence
Weakening of Ottoman Turks, Russia, & China
Unit VII: Modern Global Realignments
The World in Upheaval
Between the Great Wars
Increased Nationalism in Asia, Africa, & Latin America
World War II & the Cold War
Breaking of Modern Superpowers
True Global Interdependence
Supplemental readings used: SOURCES BEYOND TEXTBOOK!
(Included, but not limited to):
1. Plato, The Republic TEXTUAL
 Pupils will read this literature and write multiple short essays to examine the
literatures’ impact on national leaders. (Literature & political science)
2. Selections from the writings of Han Fei, Legalism TEXTUAL
3. Marco Polo, Travels Textual
4. Al-Umari Describes Mansa Musa of Mali
5. Excerpts from The Prince; Machiavelli
 Pupils will read this literature and write multiple short essays to examine the
literatures’ impact on national leaders. (Literature & political science)
6. Excerpts from the Journal of Christopher Columbus
7. Excerpts from the journal of Vasco de Gama
8. On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, Nicolas Copernicus
9. A Vindication of the Rights of Women, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelly
10. Montesquieu, The Spirit of the Law
11. Stuart Mill, On Liberty (Excerpts)
12. Kipling, The White Man’s Burden
13. Von Clauswitz, “Arming the Nation”
14. De Tocqueville, Democracy in America
15. Morel, The Black Man’s Burden
16. Wilson, The Fourteen Points
17. Acheson, “failure of the Chinese Nationalist Government”
18. Mandela, Excerpt from Freedom, Justice and Dignity for all South Africa
Assessment of Supplemental Readings:
Pupils will complete quickwrite activities during class to ensure grasp of the main ideas in
each supplemental reading. This will also provide assessablilty along with in-class
discussion. This ensures that pupils will evaluate written interpretations by scholars
beyond the textbook.
Charts, Tables, & Graphs
Pupils must display a depth of knowledge of various charts, graphs, and tables.
Pupils will describe the growth of the Egyptian kingdom through Old, Middle, &
New by analyzing a chart. Students will also, in a comparative essay, describe
life expectancy in ancient times versus modern in the same areas.
Dollinger, Andre. “Population Growth” The people of Ancient Egypt. January
2008. Web. 06 June 2013
Pupils will write an essay describing the author’s purpose and point of view in
analyzing The Intervention of the Sabine Women.
David, Jacques-Louis. The Intervention of the Sabine Women. Louvre, Paris. Web. 13 May 2013
Final Exam (Earning College Credit)
There are two ways to obtain college credits through this course. The conclusion of the
course offers the student the opportunity to take an Advanced Placement exam for college
credit. The test available in May is the AP World History test. This test is accepted at a large
majority of colleges and universities and depending on the score achieved (1-5) varying
amounts of credit or placement may be achieved. The test is not required for completion of
this course. However, in the place of taking the “actual test” those students electing not to
take the current test will take, for credit, a final exam. Students have a wide variety of
reasons for not completing the AP test, but that should not prevent them from experiencing
the cumulative final exam. There will be a final activity, but the final “exam” will be the AP
test mentioned above. The exam will be distributed on the days to be announced by the
College Board.
Essays (FREs & DBQs) handed in should be in the following format:
Margins must be one-inch on each side!
Thesis (Opening Statement)
 Introduction
 Thesis statement
 Give us a hint of what we will read about in the body paragraphs
Body Paragraph
 Supply evidence to support your thesis
Body Paragraph
 Supply Evidence to support your thesis
Body Paragraph
 Supply Evidence to support your thesis
Conclusion Paragraph
 Given the facts your have presented, restate your thesis in your conclusion.
When writing the document-based essay, it's important to:
 Refer to individual documents within the framework of the overall topic.
 Uses all of the documents.
 Discuss the materials in reference to the question — don't just summarize them.
 Cite documents by naming the author and/or by naming the document number.
We will grade FREs & DBQs in the same fashion as the AP Test. The rubric that the AP
Exam uses is available
 Select Course & Exam Description (PDF)
 Then turn to page 111
The timeline of the curriculum of the course will follow Historical
Periods and Key Concepts as dictated by Advanced Placements:
Historical Periods and Key Concepts:
Period 1: Technological and Environmental Transformations, to c. 600 B.C.E.
 Key Concept 1.1. Big Geography and the Peopling of the Earth
 Key Concept 1.2. The Neolithic Revolution and Early Agricultural Societies
 Key Concept 1.3. The Development and Interactions of Early Agricultural, Pastoral,
and Urban Societies
Period 2: Organization and Reorganization of Human Societies, c. 600 B.C.E. to c. 600
 Key Concept 2.1. The Development and Codification of Religious and Cultural
 Key Concept 2.2. The Development of States and Empires
 Key Concept 2.3. Emergence of Transregional Networks of Communication and
Period 3: Regional and Transregional Interactions, c. 600 C.E. to c. 1450
 Key Concept 3.1. Expansion and Intensification of Communication and Exchange
 Key Concept 3.2. Continuity and Innovation of State Forms and Their Interactions
 Key Concept 3.3. Increased Economic Productive Capacity and Its Consequences
Period 4: Global Interactions, c. 1450 to c. 1750
 Key Concept 4.1. Globalizing Networks of Communication and Exchange
 Key Concept 4.2. New Forms of Social Organization and Modes of Production
 Key Concept 4.3. State Consolidation and Imperial Expansion
Period 5: Industrialization and Global Integration, c. 1750 to c. 1900
 Key Concept 5.1. Industrialization and Global Capitalism
 Key Concept 5.2. Imperialism and Nation-State Formation
 Key Concept 5.3. Nationalism, Revolution, and Reform
Key Concept 5.4. Global Migration
Period 6: Accelerating Global Change and Realignments, c. 1900 to the Present
 Key Concept 6.1 Science and the Environment
 Key Concept 6.2 Global Conflicts and Their Consequences
 Key Concept 6.3 New Conceptualizations of Global Economy, Society, and Culture
Course rules and guidelines: please read carefully
! Makeup work: work assigned prior to an absence must be submitted on the day your
return from your absence. This policy is consistent with school policy. Any makeup work
incurred over a longer absence will be treated with flexibility upon return.
! Makeup exams: should you miss a scheduled exam during your absence you will take an
alternative exam upon your return. This exam will not be subjected to a curve as the
regular exam may have. The reason for this is that the curve is established using standards
and sample size as determining factors. The sample size from a makeup exam is
insufficient to properly curve an exam.
! To make up an exam please see me and we will arrange a time that is convenient for both
Generally the expectation is that exams will not be made up in class and must be made up
using your own time (study hall, lunch, free period). If you don’t have a free period exams
will be made up prior to school. Exams must be made up within 48 hours of the absence
unless permission is given to extend the timeframe.
! Grading: grading will occur on the basis of total points. You will be assessed on a
combination of points from quizzes, exams, writings, and daily work.
! Optional enrichment is available to students who have completed all in class tasks; it is
not intended to replace missing work but supplement-completed work.
! All other school rules apply in this class.
AP Exam Details:
(In Great Detail)
The exam is approximately three hours and 5 minutes long and has two parts — multiple
choice and free response. Each section is worth 50% of the final exam grade.
Section I: Multiple Choice — 55 questions; 55 minutes
The portion of questions covering each topic and time period is:
 Technological and Environmental Transformations to c. 600 BCE (5%)
 Organization and Reorganization of Human Societies c. 600 BCE to c. 600 CE (15%)
 Regional and Transregional Interactions c. 600 CE to c. 1450 (20%)
 Global Interactions c. 1450 to c. 1750 (20%)
 Industrialization and Global Integration c. 1750 to c. 1900 (20%)
 Accelerating Global Change and Realignments c. 1900 to Present (20%)
Total scores on the multiple-choice section are based on the number of questions answered
correctly. Points are not deducted for incorrect answers and no points are awarded for
unanswered questions.
Section II: Free Response — 3 questions; 2 hours plus a mandatory 10 minute reading
The free-response section covers the period from the first European explorations of the
Americas to 1980. The three essays are weighted equally.
 Part A: 1 Document Based Question (DBQ); 40 minutes
o This section tests your ability to analyze source materials and develop an
essay that integrates your analysis of four to ten given documents with your
treatment of a topic. Comparative topics on the major themes will provide
one of the focuses of the DBQs, including comparative questions about
different societies in situations of mutual contact.
 Part B: Continuity and Change-Over-Time Essay; 40 minutes
o This question focuses on large global issues such as technology, trade, culture,
migrations, or biological developments. It covers at least one of the periods in
the course outline and one or more cultural areas.
 Part C: Comparative Essay; 40 minutes
o This question focuses on developments in two or more societies, and their
interactions with each other or with major themes or events (e.g., culture,
trade, religion, technology, migrations).
Course Themes & Essential Questions
Major Themes:
 Developing and Expanding Community: Urbanization, Empire, Belief
 Emphasize AP themes #3,4,5 and 6
Key Questions:
 How did location matter in the development of early societies?
 Why are people willing to give up a nomadic lifestyle for a more settled
 How did the movement of people impact agriculture and religion, among
other things?
 What accounts for a simultaneous rise in spiritual and intellectual questions
and developments in a wide variety of unconnected places?
Assessing Assignment:
Comparing Essay on differing belief systems in early empires.
1000- 1450
Major Themes:
 Impact of Economic Interactions on community (local and global)
(technology, demography, culture, social structure)
 Control: Using technology as a means to control oneís world?
 AP themes #1, 3, 4, and 5
Key Questions:
 What forces are motivating people to interact? (trade, land, cultural/ religious
conflict, environmental limitations? search for something new?)
 What are the rewards and consequences of a more integrated world?
 How important is the connection between new technologies and trade?
Between technology and control?
 How does material culture (textiles) and the arts (including literature) provide
historical insight?
Assessing Assignment:
Continuation & change essay on cultural diffusion through early trade.
1450- 1750
Major Themes
 Empire and Expansion (Changing community)
 Forced labor systems (Control)
 Emphasize AP Themes #1,2, 4,5,6
Key Questions
 What are the symbols of empire? (architecture, leadership, cultural
achievements, control of wealth, of worldview and of individual labor)
 What role do individuals play in a society dominated by the state?
Assessing Assignment:
Compare essay on the different types of architecture found in major early
1750 -1914
Major Themes:
 Changes in Control: Revolution and Technology
 Changes in Identity within and among Communities: Imperialism and
 Continuities: Resistance to Change/ Control ?
 Emphasize AP themes # 2, 3, 4, 6
Key Questions:
 When and how did the West rise?
 How did individual places respond to the rise of the West? (Resistance, reform,
relinquishing control, isolationÖ)
 What drives the invention of new technologies?
 What are the social repercussions of political and technological change?
Assessing Assignment:
Continuation & change essay on the social impact on new technologies &
changing governments.
Major Themes:
 Global Conflict as a means of shaping a New World Order?: Ideology,
Revolution and Conflict
 De-colonization and Nationalism
 Globalization and Identity
 Emphasize AP themes #1, 2, 4, 5, 6
Key Questions:
 Recent conflicts are less over land and resources, and more about control of
markets, people, and ideas. How does this influence worldviews?
 What forces increase feelings of nationalism that lead to de-colonization and
independence for states and for ethnic groups within states? What determines the
success of the struggle?
 How does globalization both create and negate opportunities for forging new
Assessing Assignment:
DBQ on the causes of growing nationalism and its effects on the contribution
to global conflict. This will allow learners to describe how much impact that
nationalism had and identify other contributing factors as well.
Text Utilized:
Stearns, et. Al. World Civilizations: The Global Experience. New York: Pearson,
2011. Print
Sources Beyond Textbook:
Curtis, J.E. Forgotten Empire: The World of Ancient Persia. Berkeley:
University of California Press. 2005. Print
Twitchett, Denis. The Cambridge History of China, vol. 1 The Ch’in and Han
Empires. Cambridge: University of Cambridge. 1995. Print.
Academic Integrity
As regards Academic Integrity, I expect each of you to comply with the Community
Expectation here at Elizabeth Forward. Failure to follow these underlying guidelines here
at the High School will result in no credit given for assignments. This includes cheating as
well as plagiarism. If you have any question about attribution of sources (either from online sources, text sources or peers), please feel free to ask ahead of time.
Theme Assignments:
In addition to above listed assignments, pupils will complete the following to ensure
understanding of all course themes.
Theme 1:
Essay on the environment’s affect on the Bantu Migrations in Africa
Theme 2:
Multiple essays on cultural diffusion between east and west that resulted from trade.
i.e. Silk Road;
Essay on cultural interactions that have led to conflict.
Theme 3:
Essays on Empire-builders:
DBQ on the Classical Greeks
Essay on Alexander the Great
Essay on the consolidation of Latin America
Theme 4:
Essay on the Neolithic Revolution and early economies
Essay on surplus and early trade between Indus Valley and Mesopotamia
Essay on an emerging world economy
Theme 5
Essay on Women in Classical China & India
Presentation project on classes influenced by Confucius
Assignments not derived from textbook:
Project on Africa in the Early Modern Period
Pupils will analyze an outside source & present facts
Hall, Martin. The Changing Past: Farmers, Kings, & Traders in Southern Africa. Chicago:
University of Chicago Press. 1990. Print
Birmingham, D. and Martin, Phyllis. History of Central Africa, vol. 1. London: Longman.
1983. Print
Periodization assignment:
Pupils are required to write a change & continuation essay contrasting two if
the five following periods in World history:
Foundations: 8000 B.C.E.-600 C.E.
Period Two: 600-1450
Period Three: 1450-1750
Period Four: 1750-1914
Period Five: 1914-Present
Pupils, in pairs will write essays on why historians broke down history in such manner.
Opposing pairs will be given that essay to read and construct an opposing argument.
Argument will be built around another periodization model.
Neolithic Revolution Assignment
Pupils will find websites that show archeological evidence of the Neolithic Revolution.
They will use this evidence to make inferences on the impact of agriculture on social and
the foundations of economies. This is an example of using archeology to examine and
solve a historical question.