AP European History Course
The Birth of Venus, Sandro Botticelli
AP European History course is a full year college-level survey course that introduces students to the rich political, cultural, social and intellectual heritage of Europe. It is part of a cooperative endeavor by high schools, colleges, and the College Board to provide highly motivated students the challenge and opportunity to earn college credit during their high school years. Performance on the AP European History Exam determines a student’s eligibility to earn college credit. Course curriculum, materials, and expectations are designed to prepare students for success with this three-hour exam. The overall purpose of this course, however, extends beyond the possibility of earning college credit by providing students the opportunity to develop skills and knowledge that will form a foundation for their continuing educational endeavors.
This course will be taught as a seminar, which means that each student will play a vital role in the learning process. As in most courses, there is a tremendous amount of discussion. In the traditional seminar, students are responsible for completing outside readings so that the interpretation of the literature can be discussed for deeper analysis and understanding in class. Students will also assess primary source documents in the classroom as part of the daily lecture and class discussion requirement.
Overview of AP European History:
AP European History develops an understanding of the main themes in modern European history including political and diplomatic, intellectual and cultural, and social and economic history. Analyzing historical evidence and reading critical literary narratives is integrated into the chronologically ordered whole picture of the modern history of Europe. Using a college-level textbook, this course begins with the Renaissance and concludes with the demise of communism in Eastern Europe, the reunification of Germany, and the crisis of global terrorism. Emphasis will also be placed on:
1. The growth in power of the state and competition among nation-states.
2. Individualism as a force for progress and its conflict with the demands of society.
3. The impact of economic innovation on the standard of living and traditional
ways of life.
4. The struggle by women, workers, peasants, and ethnic minorities for emancipation
5. The dynamism and destructiveness resulting from Europe’s quest for mastery of
its natural and human environments.
Knowledge and Skills Objectives
This course will aim to heighten students’ ability to see relationships and distinctions in European political, social, economic and intellectual history. The study of history goes far beyond the mastery of content. The study of history is about developing critical skills that will serve students in college and as lifelong learners. Objectively, this course will help students improve on the following skills:
1. To develop time management, organization, and study skills.
2. To promote critical reading of primary and secondary sources.
3. To encourage the constructing and evaluating of historical interpretations.
4. To demonstrate essay writing and oral communication skills.
5. To emphasize cause and effect relationships.
6. To utilize comparative analysis.
7. To inspire historical analogies.
8. To implement inductive and deductive reasoning skills.
Additionally, the course’s requirements include all but are not limited to the following:
- The course emphasizes relevant factual knowledge about European history from 1450 to the present to highlight intellectual, cultural, political, diplomatic, social, and economic developments.
- The course teaches students to analyze evidence and interpretations presented in historical scholarship.
- 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.
- The course provides students with frequent practice in writing analytical and interpretive essays such as document-based questions (DBQ) and free-form thematic essays.
Exams/Essays - 60%
Quizzes - 40%
A History of the Modern World. R.R. Palmer, Joel Colton & Lloyd Kramer, 9th Edition. McGraw Hill, 2002.
A History of Western Society, McKay, Hill, Buckler, Crowsner, Wiesner-Hanks, 9th Edition. Bedford / St. Martins, 2008
References: Internet History Sourcebooks Project, Paul Halsall, ed., www.fordham.edu/halsall.