Online for the 2023-2024 School Year
Teacher: Dr. Gillespie
Course Description: This course prepares the student for the AP Human Geography exam given in May. It introduces students to the study of the patterns and processes that have shaped human understanding, use, and alteration of the Earth’s surface. Students use spatial concepts to examine human interaction with the environment. They also learn about the methods and tools geographers use in their science and practice.
This is a year-long course for grades 9 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!
The class does not "meet" at a certain time or day of the week. The students work independently and we "talk" on our very active discussion board. Students also watch YouTube videos of me explaining key concepts every week. This makes this class a good fit for the student who must adjust a busy time schedule to include sports, debate, church activities, the performing arts, or travel. We are VERY flexible as many of our students participate in national forensics, sports, performing arts, and other competitive activities. I will email parents AND students with class website login and access information the week prior to the start of classes (August 30!)
This class is not reading or writing-intensive; however, there is a reading and writing assignment due each week and occasional fieldwork projects in which the student explores his or her local community and does research. Other assignments include a research review of an actual case study and several interactive labs.
Student Description: Grades 9 - 12. This class is sometimes considered an introduction or "gateway" to AP testing!
Instructor’s Background: My Ph.D. in Geography Education is from Texas State University – San Marcos and I have taught geography for over 20 years in both the traditional classroom and online. In addition, I have been involved with AP Human Geography's ongoing development since the course’s inception. I have served as an AP Reading Exam Leader and Reader, and written questions for the exam. I also wrote the essay “Survival of a Folk Culture- The Old Order Amish” on the AP® Human Geography website and wrote and update the AP Human Geography Review Book for McGraw-Hill’s ”5 Steps to a 5” curriculum. As a cultural geographer, I love to travel and explore regions and their people. I 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 - ISBN-13: 978-0073522852
5 Steps to a 5: A.P. Human Geography, latest edition, McGraw-Hill
Internet Access and Internet Explorer 6.0 or above
Optional Summer Reading List for Good Background in Human Geography (to be emailed after registration)
Tuition: $900.00 with Early Bird Discount rate of $880.00 if registered by June 30.
Class Schedule: The class will begin September 5, 2023 and end May 2024 one week after the AP exam is taken. There will be three scheduled breaks - Thanksgiving break, a Winter (Christmas/Holiday) break, and a Spring (Easter) break.
Type of Work Required: Since geography is a spatial science and is learned best by “doing,” this class consists of a combination of readings and hands-on activities. On-line video clips, case studies, extra-credit book reviews, and other special features make this a fun way to learn about other cultures and countries.
Weekly Workload: The weekly workload consists of reading one chapter (or less) per week, review exercises, and viewing videos. Occasionally you will have an additional assignment such as a fieldwork assignment. Most students report spending one hour every night 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 quizzes. Students will practice for the AP exam by 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 and will give you detailed input and suggestions.
If you are interested in taking this course, please email me the attached Contact Information Form and pay class tuition at the Store on this website as soon as possible. Then I can send additional course materials to the student. Thank you!