Welcome to Advanced Placement (AP) Human Geography! For those of you who are unfamiliar it, AP is program that gives students an opportunity to take college-level courses and exams while still in high school. More than 14,000 high schools participate in AP and more than 4,000 colleges accept AP credit. Nationally, the College Entrance Examination Board offers thirty-three exams in twenty-two subject areas. (These are the same people who administer the SAT and a variety of other college entrance exams.) Milwaukee High School of the Arts currently offers fourteen such classes in the following areas: Art History, Biology, Calculus AB, Chemistry, English Language and Composition, English Literature and Composition, Human Geography, Physics B, Psychology, Spanish Language, Studio Art, U.S. Government and Politics, U.S. History, and World History. A student enrolled in AP courses can complete up to two semesters of college while still in high school, saving valuable time and money.
You must provide a notebook, looseleaf paper, and a binder or folder to save all handouts (start with this). The notebook is for notes taken both in and out of class. All assignments must be completed in ink on looseleaf paper. Bring your Rubenstein textbook to class everyday.
The main text is James M. Rubenstein, The Cultural Landscape: An Introduction to Human Geography, 10th ed. (Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Prentice Hall, 2003). Supplemental readings will be drawn from Michael Kuby, John Harner, and Patricia Gober, Human Geography in Action, 4th ed. (New York: John Wiley, 2004), John C. Hudson, ed., Goode’s World Atlas, 22nd ed. (Skokie, IL: Rand McNally, 2010), and various other print and electronic sources. There will also be one feature film and various documentaries each semester.
Organization of the Course and Tentative Timetable
|I. Geography: Its Nature and Perspective||Chapter 1||13|
|II. Population||Chapters 2–3||19|
|III. Cultural Patterns and Processes||Chapters 4–7||25|
|IV. Political Organization of Space||Chapter 8||16|
|V. Agricultural and Rural Land Use||Chapter 10||15|
|VI. Industrialization and Economic Development||Chapters 9, 11, 14||22|
|VII. Cities and Urban Land Use||Chapters 12, 13||22|
Individual and Team Effort
Success in this class will require a level of responsibility, cooperation, and interaction, which you may not have experienced before. Your individual effort will consist of reading, writing, analyzing, synthesizing, and greatly expanding your base of knowledge. It is very important that you complete all the required readings and the related assignments. Always remember that I am here to help you, and you are here to help each other. If there is ever anything you do not understand, let me know in a respectful manner, and we will try to figure it out together. If there are any changes that you feel need to be made in the class, please make me aware of those as well. I take student concerns very seriously and am always willing to listen to you. With these things in mind, it is my hope that this will becoming one of the most rewarding classes of your high school career.
Evaluation of Achievement
Your achievement in this course will be assessed and recognized in two ways. One will be a half unit per quarter (one and a half units total) and will become part of your high school record (A, B, C, D, or U). The other (5, 4, 3, 2, or 1) will determine whether you have qualified to earn college credits. Because this course is based on challenging college-level material, your grade will be assessed on the following curved scale:
Semester grades will be broken down according into the following categories:
|Unit Tests||= 30%|
|Chapter Notebook Quizzes||= 30%|
Unit tests will be part multiple choice and part essay. They will be evaluated according to the AP grading system (to be explained later in class). Chapter quizzes will be a combination of matching, identification, short answer, and essay. The quizzes are open-notebook, so it is to your advantage to take good notes, both in and out of class. A five subject notebook is recommended–that way you can keep all your notes in one place. The final exam is required each semester (no exemptions), if you want to be graded on the scale above. You may, however, request an exemption if you want to be assessed on the official Hamilton grading scale (93–100 = A, 85–92 = B, 78–84 = C, 70–77 = D, < 70 = U).
Your participation in class is also very important. “Participation” is often hard to define in an exacting manner, but for the purposes of this class, each student will be expected to do the following:
The National Exam for College Credit
The examination is two hours in length. It consists of a forty-five-minute multiple choice section and a seventy-five-minute free-response section. Each portion of the exam is counts as 50 percent of your final grade.
The multiple choice section consists of seventy-five questions designed to measure your knowledge of geography. The free-response section consists of three multi-part questions. You will spend approximately twenty-five minutes on each question.
There are several study guides available for purchase at local bookstores or on Amazon. Students interested in purchasing one should see me about discount prices. There are also a couple free on-line study guides accessible through the class website.
After you pass your exam, you'll want to know where take can take your credits. Click here for a complete listing of all University of Wisconsin System schools and the scores they will accept. Click here for all other colleges.