AP World History


Online for 2012-2013 School Year (section full)


Instructor: Mrs. Gloria Harrison harrison220@juno.com


Tuition fees: $670.


Registration Deadline: Sunday, July 15, 2012. Class is limited to 10 students max, and I receive lots of applications, so apply early. Students will be required to read the first five chapters of the textbook during the summer, as well as do Internet research. AP World History is jokingly known as "the class which begins in early summer." Students may be accepted shortly after the deadline, if there are still openings in the class. Audit option for strong students available ($150) but only after the class has filled, with the option of joining the class and paying balance of tuition if an enrolled student drops the class. 


Who should apply: Homeschooled students in grades 11-12, who are avid and mature readers, have very advanced writing skills and a strong passion for history. Academic performance must be well above average, as substantiated by standardized tests scores, such as SAT I, PSAT, other AP scores, etc. Depending on the student's qualifications, I may recommend taking AP European History instead. Advanced 10th graders may be considered on an individual basis, but all things being equal, priority will be given to juniors and seniors. Although no AP class is easy, AP World History is one of the most challenging, and students who usually do best in it have previously taken at least one AP class. Email me at harrison220@juno.com to request an application form, which will include a more detailed class description.


Texts Required:

World Civilizations, The Global Experience, by Peter Stearns, 4th edition (supplemented by 5th edition material). Used copies are still plentiful, and run from $20 to $50.

AP World History: An Essential Coursebook, by Ethel Wood.

These books and optional texts will be described in more detail in the application form.


Technical Requirements: High-speed Internet access. Computer and printer both in peak working condition. Anti-virus program required. Latest version of free Adobe Acrobat Reader, easily downloaded from the Internet. Scanner highly recommended.


The class is very intense and fast paced. Students and their parents must understand that the reading and writing component is significant. Students will be expected to use outside sources as well as their textbooks: videos, recommended books, Internet research. They will be submitting two or three essays a month, as well as taking weekly multiple-choice tests. Students should NOT apply unless they are extremely self-motivated, hard-working, and have both the time and the willingness to spend about 12 hours a week on the class. They will be expected to actively participate in the class through regular discussion on the website. The class website is highly interactive (rating: 3) with a message board, links to history sites, quizzes, etc. This is an exciting, fun, but challenging course. I recommend you read the student reviews before applying!


Class Meeting Time: Students do not "meet" at a scheduled time, but all homework is due by Friday evening via an online checklist. Although the basic syllabus is posted online, I send out detailed emails on Fridays with the assignments for the following week.


Class description: A study of world history from about 8000 BC to the early 21st century, focusing on the evolution of major civilizations in Eurasia, Africa, and Latin America; contacts among these societies through either warfare or commerce; and comparison of their political, cultural, and economic characteristics. The class will thoroughly prepare students for the College Board examination in World History given in May 2013. All students are expected to take this exam.


The class lasts 35 weeks (not counting a three-week Christmas break) and begins Monday, August 27, 2012. There will be assigned reading over the Christmas break. There is no spring break. Thanksgiving and Easter weeks will have minimal assignments. There will be a midterm exam in December and a final exam at the end of April. We will have finished the textbook by the end of March, and spend April reviewing.


General Objectives of the Class

  • to study world history by using a mixed chronological and thematic approach.
  • to understand the influence of geography upon history.
  • to see cause-and-effect relationships over time and across civilizations.
  • to understand similarities and differences between and among world civilizations.
  • to recognize major turning points in world history.
  • to analyze and interpret primary and secondary historical sources
  • to develop skills in written and verbal historical analysis
  • to encourage interest and understanding of global lifestyles, views and cultures.


Instructor qualifications: This will be my 11th year teaching this class online. My teaching experience encompasses: homeschooling my four children for 24 years, running the Homeschoolers Geography Club from 1995 to 2001, creating and maintaining a Geography enrichment website for homeschoolers, teaching French at a homeschooling co-op, and teaching AP European History online for the past eleven years. My background is extremely international. My father was Portuguese, my mother from Argentina, and I was born in France. I have lived in 11 countries and four continents. I was educated in several different schools in Europe and Asia, and graduated from the College of Translators and Interpreters in Lisbon, Portugal. I speak four languages fluently. I lived several years in Indonesia, Pakistan, the Middle East, and South America, and am familiar with the history, geography, and politics of those regions. However, perhaps my greatest asset for teaching this particular class is my life-long passionate interest in history and geography. I have an extensive home library of fiction and non-fiction titles relating to these subjects, and am eager to share with my future students my love and enthusiasm for World History.


My approach to the class: This is a secular class. All textbooks appropriate for AP World History have material which students and/or parents might find offensive, particularly from a religious or political viewpoint. I consider myself a Christian, and I will not ask students to write essays on these or other subjects that might be deemed inappropriate, nor will my exams contain questions on these topics. I will not require my students to watch R-rated movies or read 'racy' novels. I approach the class from a relatively conservative point-of-view, but due to my 60 years of globe-trotting, I tend to view the world from a broader perspective. Even so, I do not seek to enforce my own opinions. In turn, students should feel free to express theirs, while always being respectful of others' religious or political views, even if those views don't agree with theirs. I monitor the class website and reserve the right to caution any student whose postings may unintentionally offend others. I believe that careful reading and study of historical texts with an open mind can help to better understand the world we live in and God's plan for it.


Click here to read class reviews from former participants in this class

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