AP Human Geography  

On-line for the 2012-2013 school year!



Course Description: The AP program in Human Geography is designed to introduce students to the systematic study of patterns and processes that have shaped human understanding, use, and alteration of the Earth’s surface. Students employ spatial concepts and landscape analysis to examine human social organization and its environmental consequences. They also learn about the methods and tools geographers use in their science and practice.


This is a year-long course for grades 10 through 12 that is designed to meet or exceed the experience of an introductory one-semester college human geography course.  This is NOT an “Advanced” high school course. This IS a COLLEGE course!


This class is not reading or writing intensive; however, there is a reading and writing assignment due each week and several fieldwork projects in which the student explores his or her community and does research.  Other assignments include a collaborative partner project, a research review of an actual case study, and several interactive labs.


Student Description:  Grades 10-12 only.  Ninth grade students, with rare exception, are not prepared for the rigors and workload of this course. 


Instructor’s Background:  My Ph.D. in Geography Education is from Texas State UniversitySan Marcos and I have taught geography several years at the college level.  I have been teaching college courses online for seven years.  In addition, I have scored AP Human Geography free responses for ETS since the course’s inception.  I also write exam questions, wrote an essay for the AP® Human Geography website – “Survival of a Folk Culture- The Old Order Amish” and authored several books and articles centering on geographic themes.  I recently wrote an AP Human Geography Review Book for McGraw-Hill’s “”5 Steps to a 5” curriculum.  As a cultural geographer, I am constantly exploring regions and their people and want to share some of the exciting and wonderful discoveries I have made with you!


Textbooks and Required Resources: 


Human Geography: Landscapes of Human Activities, 11th ed. By Fellmann, Getis, & Getis

Human Geography in Action, 4th ed. By Kuby, Harner, & Gober

Internet Access and Internet Explorer 6.0 or above (for interactive hands-on activities)

Summer Reading List (to be emailed after registration)


Tuition:  $650.00 with no registrations accepted past August 30.  This class fills quickly so early registration is recommended.


Course Format:  The course will consist of a full academic year broken into units.  The main topics or themes of the course are:

·         Geography: Its Nature and Perspectives

·         Population

·         Cultural Patterns and Processes

·         Political Organization of Space

·         Agricultural and Rural Land Use

·         Industrialization and Economic Development, and

·         Cities and Urban Land Use

·         Geographic skills such as using and thinking about maps and spatial data, recognizing and interpreting relationships at different scales, and defining regions


Since geography is a spatial science and is learned best by “doing,” a combination of required readings and hands-on activities will make this an exciting and relevant course.  On-line video clips, case studies, book reports, and other special features make this a diverse and fascinating experience in learning about the world and the people who are its inhabitants.  You will also keep actively contributing to our online Class Discussion Forum and weekly vocabulary list as part of your course requirements.  The last weeks will consist of a review for the AP exam and more practice in interpreting practice free response questions and responding to them in the best way to receive maximum points on the exam.


Weekly Workload:  Nightly college-level textbook reading and writing assignments, weekly online textbook exercises, consistent review and study.  Most students report spending one hour every night in reading, doing assignments, and participating in online class discussions. Some weeks require more work than others but I try to balance the workload.


Assessment/Grades:  Student assessment will consist of a combination of homework, interactive Geography lab activities, and multiple choice review exams.  Students will practice writing free-response essays on a regular basis during the last semester of the course. I will score these responses using a scoring guideline in the same manner as the AP Exam is scored.  My experience with designing scoring rubrics and scoring student responses will help me ensure that the students taking this course are well-prepared for a good score on the AP® Human Geography exam next spring!


If you are interested in taking this course, please e-mail me at: cagillespie@zoominternet.net and I will send you an application to complete and return.  Thank you!


Dr. Carol Ann Gillespie

101 Aberdeen Drive

Cranberry Township, PA  16066

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