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      Instructor: Steven Burr
          Phone: 310.230.6623 x 5100               school website:
          Room: E-206
         Conference Hours: 2:15 3:15               Class website:
         M/W/Thurs. (period 7)            


      Palisades Charter's Advanced Placement World History is a College Board college-level
      survey course that introduces students to world civilizations and cultures. The course
      provides highly motivated and talented students the challenge and opportunity to earn
      college credit during their high school years. This course, as well as AP European
      History, is also the first AP course sophomores are likely to take.

      A student's performance on the AP World History exam (which was offered for the first
      time in 2001-2002) determines a student's eligibility to earn up to eight units of college
      credit. Course curriculum, materials, and expectations are designed to prepare students
      for the rigorous three-hour exam.

      The purpose of the course, however, extends beyond the possibility of earning college
      credit by providing students with the opportunity to develop skills and knowledge that
      will form a useful foundation for college studies. A recent study of the "AP Affect"
      reported the following results:

             -Better prepared academically for college
             -More likely to specialize in majors with tougher grading standards
             -More likely to complete more college course work
             -More likely to take subjects in their AP subject area
             -Likely to perform significantly better over four years of college course work
             -More likely to be superior in terms of leadership
             -More likely to make significant accomplishments in college
             -Twice as likely to do graduate level studies


      The purpose of the AP World History course is to develop greater understanding of the
      evolution of global processes and contacts, in interaction with different types of human
      societies. This understanding is advanced through a combination of selective factual
      knowledge and appropriate analytical skills. The course highlights the nature of changes
      in international frameworks and their causes and consequences, as well as comparisons
      among major societies. The course emphasizes relevant factual knowledge deployed in
      conjunction with leading interpretive issues and types of historical evidence. The course
      builds on an understanding of cultural, institutional, and technological precedents that,
      along with geography, set the human stage. Periodization, explicitly discussed, forms an
      organizing principle for dealing with change and continuity throughout the course.
      Specific themes provide further organization for the course, along with constant attention
      to contacts among societies that form the core of world history as a field of study.

       Students who take this course should realize that AP courses are taught and graded on
       the college level; they significantly exceed the demands and expectations for typical high
       school courses. But the class is manageable and I am aware that you have five other
       classes and extracurriculars.

       A. Reading
          There is NO substitute for reading. All studies show that truly talented and gifted
          students read and read well. And the one single ingredient to remedy low grades and
          low performance is to read. Other aspects of preparation enhance learning and
          understanding, but a student MUST read to be prepared. And you cannot read too

       B. Grades      (can be checked online @ email me for details)

              Standard Grading Scale                Your grade will be based on the following:

                      A = 90% - 100%                60%   (3) Unit Tests per semester
                      B = 80% - 89%                 20%   Essays and Projects
                      C = 70% - 79%                 10%   Preparation and Participation
                      D = 66% - 69%                 10%   Quizzes: based on Assigned Readings

       C. Notebooks
          Students are expected to keep a class notebook, which is critical for test preparation and
          the May AP exam. Students have discretion as to how they want to organize their books.
          Notebooks should include a section for lecture/class notes (Cornell style), handouts, and
          returned work such as tests and essays.

       D. Exam Format and Grading
          All exams will conform to the standard AP format of 70 multiple choice questions with
          five answer choices in 55 minutes. As with all AP and College Board Exams (i.e. SAT),
          there is an additional penalty for guessing. Guessing is defined as a wrong answer. The
          formula is  times the number wrong answers (answers left blank do not count as wrong).
          I will subtract the penalty directly before I figure the test grade. The multiple choice
          questions make up 50% of your test grade. The remaining test grade is based on three
          essays. These include a Comparison (COMP) essay, Document Based Question (DBQ)
          essay, and Change-Over-Time (COT) essay. Each has equal weight (each essay is worth
          ~16% of your total test grade)

       E. The May National Exam
          The AP National exam is on THURSDAY, MAY 15th, 2008 It is comprehensive covering
          material from the entire year. To prepare, students should participate in and form student
          study groups. Final responsibility for preparing and passing the exam is of course the

          Taking the AP World History exam is a requirement of the course
                    College Board Curricular Requirements [CR]

 CR1  Periodization guidelines and course themes form the organizing principles
        for dealing with issues of change, continuity, and comparison throughout
        the course

 CR2  Periodization guidelines are used to select relevant course content from
        8,000 B.C.E. to the present

 CR3  The six overarching themes articulated in the Course Description receive
        approximately equal attention throughout the course.

 CR4  The course provides balanced global coverage, with Africa, the Americas,
        Asia, and Europe all represented. No more than 30% of course time is
        devoted to European history.

 CR5 - The course teaches students to analyze evidence and interpretations
        presented in historical scholarship.

 CR6 - The course includes extensive instruction in analysis and interpretation of a
        wide variety of primary sources, such as documentary material, maps,
        statistical tables, works of art, and pictorial and graphic materials.

 CR7 - The course provides students with frequent practice in writing analytical and
        interpretive essays such as document-based questions (DBQ) and thematic
        essays addressing issues of change, continuity, and comparison.
                                             Course Outline

UNIT 1: Foundations (8,000 BCE  600 C.E)                                                 (5 Weeks)
      A. Environmental & Periodization issues
      B. Early development in agriculture and technology
      C. Basic cultural, political, and social features of early civilizations: Mesopotamia, Egypt, Indus
          Valley, Shang China, and Meso/South America
      D. The rise and fall of classical civilizations: Zhou and Han China, India (Gupta Empire), and
          Mediterranean civilizations (Greece and Rome)
      E. Major belief systems, including polytheism, Hinduism, Judaism, Confucianism, Daoism,
          Buddhism, and Christianity

Major Activities & Assignments
       Reading Comprehension Quizzes: Bentley/Ziegler [BZ] Chapters 1-12
       Readings: Periodization in World History Teaching: Identifying the Big Changes, Peter N. Stearns
                    The Myth of Continents, Martin Lewis and Karen Wigen (excerpt)
                    The Idea of Civilization in World Historical Perspective [WC4]
                    Environmental Disasters in the Cradles of Civilization [CRF]
                    The Edicts of Asoka [CRF]
       Maps: Ancient Egypt; Ancient Near East; Ancient India, Ancient China [WH:MA]
               Identifying and labeling regions of the World
       Socratic Seminar: Defining Civilization
       Videos: Pillars of Faith: Religions Around the World, Kultur
                 Guns, Germs & Steel: Episode 1-Out of Eden, PBS Jared Diamond
       Essays: Civilization Interpretive Essay (Homework)
                Fall of the Western Roman Empire (DBQ) (HW)
                Three in-class timed essays on UNIT EXAM (DBQ, COMP, CCOT)
       Overarching Questions:
                What is World History and why should we study it?
                What do we mean by geography and why is it important
                Does history develop in a deterministic fashion, or does free will apply?
                Is history governed by personal or impersonal forces  or both?
                What is "cultural diffusion" and why is it so important?
                What causes change?
                Are civilizations "civilized"?
                How important is technology in historical development?

UNIT 2: 600-1450                                                                      (6 Weeks)
      A. The Islamic World
      B. Interregional networks and contacts (increase in China's power, Mongols)
      C. China's internal and external expansion
      D. Developments in Europe (feudalism, division of Christianity)
      E. Social, cultural, economic patterns in the Amerindian world (Maya, Aztec & Inca)
      F. Demographic and environmental changes (urbanization, nomadic migrations, long distance trade,

Major Activities & Assignments
       Reading Comprehension Quizzes: Bentley/Ziegler [BZ] Chapters 13-22
       Readings: Lynda Shaffer, "Southernization" Journal of World History 5, Spring 1994, pp. 1-21
                  Ibn Battuta: The Greatest Traveler in the Middle Ages [CRF]
                  Muslim Conquests in Europe [CRF]
                  Blood and Tribute: The Rise and Fall of the Aztec Empire [CRF]
                  Marco Polo and Ibn Battuta: The Merchant and the Pilgrim, [P&P]
                  The Land of Ghana: Eleventh Century Western Sudan, Abu Ubaydallah al-Bakri, The
                  Book of Routes and Realms (A&O)
                  China and Japan in the Middle Ages (selected readings), [K]
        Maps: The Rise of Islam; Africa's Cultures Before European Contact; The Crusades [WH:MA]
        Socratic Seminar: Southernization
        Videos: Millennium, 11th- 14th Centuries, CNN
                 Islam: Empire of Faith, PBS
                 Barbarians  Mongols, The History Channel
        Essays: 2002 AP World DBQ
                 Islamic Civilizations: Its Contributions to World Culture (DBQ)
                 Marco Polo & Ibn Battuta COMP
                Three in-class timed essays on UNIT EXAM (DBQ, COMP, CCOT)
        Simulation: How Shall We Rule China? (Collegeboard)
        Overarching Questions:
                What were the similarities and differences between European and Japanese feudalism?
                How do cities around the world reflect the process of interaction at the time?
                How do gender roles change through interactions with other peoples, classes, and new
                    technologies and ideas such as religion?
                What is the connection between organized religion and the state?

UNIT 3: 1450-1750                                                                      (5 Weeks)
      A. Changes in trade, technology, and global interactions
      B. Major Maritime and Gunpowder Empires
      C. Slave Systems and slave trade
      D. Demographic and environmental changes (Columbian Exchange)
      E. Cultural and intellectual development (European Renaissance, Protestant Reformation, and
            Enlightenment. Neo-Confucianism in China, new art forms in the Mughal Empire in India.)

Major Activities & Assignments
       Reading Comprehension Quizzes: Bentley/Ziegler [BZ] Chapters 23-28
       Readings: Prince Henry and Zheng He: Sailing South [P&P]
                   That fateful moment when two civilizations came face to face, Charles L. Mee Jr. [AE 7vII]
                   Africa and the Americas (selected readings), [A&O]
                   The Voyages of Zheng He [WH:FoE]
       Maps: The Reformation: Religious Map of Europe, c. 1600; Latin America: The Indian Cultures;
               Latin America: The Colonies [WA:MA]
       Socratic Seminar: World Trade
       Videos: Millennium, 15th-17th centuries, CNN
                 Guns, Germs & Steel: Episode 2- Conquest, PBS Jared Diamond
                  The Slave Trade: History International
       Essays: Prince Henry & Zheng He COMP (HW)
                Editorial on the Mongols (HW)
                Spread of the Bubonic Plague CCOT (HW)
                Three in-class timed essays on UNIT EXAM (DBQ, COMP, CCOT)
       Overarching Questions:
                How is power achieved and maintained?
                What conditions are necessary for intellectual and cultural developments and exchanges to
                What accounts for the West's political rise and to what extent did they control the world
                   economy during this time?

UNIT 4: 1750-1914                                                                            (5 Weeks)
      A. Changes in global commerce, communications, and technology (Industrial Revolution)
      B. Demographic and environmental changes (Migration to Americas, demand for raw materials)
      C. Changes in social and gender structures (decline in serf/slave systems, gap btw rich & poor grew)
      D. Political revolutions and independence movements; new political ideas
      E. Rise of western dominance

Major Activities & Assignments
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