Syllabus - Thomas County Schools

Advanced Placement World History
Mr. James
[email protected]
Hello and welcome to Advanced Placement World History! I’m so excited about the new school year and this
course. AP classes are designed to help prepare students for college level classes. If a student scores a passing grade on
the AP exam (a 3, 4, or 5), he or she will be able to earn college credits. AP World (as we will refer to it in class) is unlike
any other history class offered. We will not get “bogged down” with names and dates, but rather we will be looking at
broad trends and making generalizations about mankind’s experiences.
**You have been forewarned: This class will be challenging. I write this not to scare anyone, but only to inform
you. Not only do we have to learn the content, but an important element of AP classes is application of that knowledge
through writing and high level thinking skills. The writing portion of the exam makes up 50% of the score, so we will
practice writing in this class on at least a weekly basis. Historically, this course has the lowest pass rate on the AP exam
of any course. This means will have to work that much harder and prepare that much better for May. I believe everyone
in this class can succeed and pass the exam, but it will take a great deal of work, preparation, and effort on your part.
The AP World History Exam:
Section I: Multiple choice- 70 questions, 55 minutes, 50% of exam score
Section II: Free-response- 3 questions, 130 minutes, 50% of exam score (each question weighted equally)
1 Document based question (DBQ)
1 Changes and continuities over time question (CCOT)
1 Comparative essay
The exam will be administered for students around the world at 8:00 AM on Thursday, May 12, 2016. Mark this
date on your calendars! It’s what we’re working towards all year.
World Civilizations: The Global Experience (6th Ed.) by Stearns, et al.
A variety of primary and secondary supplemental sources, when appropriate.
Because of the amount of content covered in this class, it is impossible for me to teach all of it to you. Reading the
textbook is a vital component to your success in this class, particularly during the first half of the year. There are 36
chapters which conveniently means you will be responsible for reading a chapter a week. I know this sounds
overwhelming, but you can (and will) do it! The average chapter is around 20 pages. As you read, you should also be
taking notes. I will check for notes at least once each grading period for a grade. We will talk more about this in
Tests (Multiple choice)
Participation (Discussion)
100 points
7 points
10 points
10 points
You will have some form of homework in this class every night. Homework includes, but is not limited to, reading
the textbook, taking notes based on the textbook, writing practice essays, reviewing your notes, and studying for
“Tests” will be multiple choice and take an entire class period. They will be comprised of AP exam style questions.
They will be different than your average multiple choice questions. These questions almost always involve higher
order/ critical thinking in addition to content knowledge.
“FRQs” will be timed writing assignments and will take an entire class period. These questions will help us prepare for
the free response section of the exam. They will be formatted and graded like the AP exam, out of 7 possible points.
Participation will be an important component in your success in this class. We will have a number of student-led
Socratic seminars where we will discuss a document. We are extremely fortunate to have a small class size. As such,
participation will be that much more important.
Cheating and Plagiarism:
In short, don’t do it! “Sharing” answers with a classmate is cheating. Discussing test questions with someone who has
not yet taken it is also an example of cheating. All answers should be in your own words. Please refer to the integrity
policy in the student handout.
- Students should have a good attitude and treat everyone with respect, just as they would like to be treated.
- Students should also treat others’ property and the school property with respect.
- Students should be seated and ready for class when the bell rings.
- Class is not dismissed until released by the teacher.
- Phones and other technology must be off and put away, unless told otherwise.
- Dress code and all other school policies, as outlined in the student handbook, will be enforced.
- Finally, do the right thing!
A final note:
If there’s anything I can do for you to help you, please let me know. I’m here to help you. There will be times when it
all seems overwhelming, but we’ll get through it together. It’s my goal to see you succeed both in and out of my
I’m looking forward to a great year!
-Mr. James
Course Outline:
The AP World History course is structured around themes and concepts in six different chronological periods from
approximately 8000 BCE to the present. In parenthesis is the amount each unit contributes to the AP exam. Please
note that this is a highly simplified course outline.
Unit 1 (5%): 8000 BCE to 600 BCE
Technological and Environmental Transformations
 1.1 Big Geography and the Peopling of the Earth
 1.2 Neolithic Revolution and Early Agricultural Societies
 1.3 Development and Interactions of Early Agricultural, Pastoral, and Urban Societies
Unit 2 (15%): 600 BCE to 600 CE
Organization and Reorganization of Human Societies
 2.1 Development and Codification of Religious and Cultural Traditions
 2.2 Development of States and Empires
 2.3 Emergence of Transregional Networks of Communications and Exchange
Unit 3 (20%): 600 CE to 1450
Regional and Transregional Interactions
 3.1 Expansion and Intensification of Communication and Exchange Networks
 3.2 Continuity and Innovation of State Forms and Their Interactions
 3.3 Increased Economic Productive Capacity and Its Consequences
Unit 4 (20%): 1450 to 1750
Global Interactions
 4.1 Globalizing Networks of Communication and Exchange
 4.2 New Forms of Social Organization and Modes of Production
 4.3 State Consolidation and Imperial Expansion
Unit 5 (20%): 1750 to 1900
Industrialization and Global Integration
 5.1 Industrialization and Global Capitalism
 5.2 Imperialism and Nation-State Formation
 5.3 Nationalism, Revolution, and Reform
 Global Migration
Unit 6 (20%): 1900 to Present
Accelerating Global Change and Realignments
 6.1 Science and the Environment
 6.2 Global Conflicts and Their Consequences
 6.3 New Conceptualizations of Global Economy, Society, and Culture
We will frequently refer to the historical thinking skills and themes and topics. These will provide us with the bulk of
potential questions for tests, essays, and the AP exam.
Historical Thinking Skills:
1. Chronological Reasoning
2. Comparison and Contextualization
3. Crafting Historical Arguments from Historical Evidence
4. Historical Interpretation and Synthesis
Themes and Key Topics:
1. Interactions Between Humans and the Environment
Demography and disease; migration; patterns of settlement; technology
2. Development and Interaction of Cultures
Religions; belief systems, philosophies, and ideologies; science and technology; arts and architecture
3. State Building, Expansion, and Conflict
Political structures and forms of governance; empires, nations and nationalism; revolts and revolutions; regional,
transregional, and global structures and organizations
4. Creation, Expansion, and Interaction of Economic Systems
Agriculture and pastoral production; trade and commerce; labor systems; industrialization; capitalism and
5. Development and Transformation of Social Structures
Gender roles and relations; family and kinship; racial and ethnic constructions; social and economic classes