In 1995, Heidi Roupp addressed the task of preparing instructors to teach world history (Teaching World History: A Resource Guide (New York: M. E. Sharpe, 1997) The value of this work and others that followedserved to encourage me to prepare the following resource guide for teachers who are not merely new to the field, but who may in addition be tasked at the end of the school year to begin teaching an Advanced Placement course in World History the following fall. Ideally, a new instructor should participate in a 5-day AP Summer Institute or at the very least a 1-day regional workshop (a listing is provided at http://apcentral.collegeboard.com/apc/Pageflows/InstitutesAndWorkshops/InstitutesAndWorkshopsController.jpf.) The following has been prepared to assist those who, for perhaps more than merely time constraints, are unable to attend these workshops and have limited access to published guides and other literature.
An instructor new to the AP process should begin by visiting "AP Central" at http://apcentral.collegeboard.com/apc/Controller.jpf. The APWH Course Description, also known as the "Acorn Book" is THE document that defines APWH, the course and exam, everything. The Acorn book is available for no cost at http://apcentral.collegeboard.com/apc/public/repository/ap07_worldhist_coursedesc.pdf. An instructor who has not mastered the Acorn book is depriving their students of much of their chance of passing the examination. Much the same is true of the APWH Teacher's Guide housed at http://apcentral.collegeboard.com/apc/members/repository/ap07_worldhist_teachersguide.pdf.
An additional essential on-line stop is Jay Harmon's Advanced Placement World History website, (http://harmonhistory.com/apwh.html). Harmon is the founder of the APUS, AP Euro, and APWH listserves. He is a member of the APWH Test Development Committee and the un-official "uncle" to all APWH teachers. His website points to textbooks, readers, other teachers' sites; in short, most everything you need to get started.
World History Connected, (http://worldhistoryconnected.press.illinois.edu/) the free on-line journal affiliated with the World History Association has for more than five years offered an enormous body of literature on the scholarship and teaching of world history. Each issue includes articles by experienced AP teachers whose topical essays range from classroom strategies to visual literacy. Its January 2010 issue will offer insight into the changes contemplated in the World History examination.
The AP-World Listserv (register at http://apcentral.collegeboard.com/apc/public/homepage/7173.html) features conversations among teachers on key issues. Membership is free. To join it, merely enter your name, email address and set a password.
You can see examples of helpful APWH listserv discussions in the past few years at http://moodle.egrps.org/mod/resource/view.php?id=1855&subdir=/Helpful_Listserv_Discussions.1 The selected topics include: "Bell Ringers;" (how to make effective use of the first few class minutes) discussions about how to teach necessary essay writing skills for the Continuity and Change-Over Time (CCOT) , DBQ; and common questions regarding POV, Grouping, and how the AP exam is scored.
The 1st and 2nd appendices to this essay offers basic statistical information that helps explain to students (and parents! I use this on "Back to School night") about realistic expectations for APWH. What is the average score? What score is a "good" essay," etc. These charts/graphs will answer many of your questions for how the exam is scored. I've included a Microsoft Word file with my comments for how I interpret the statistics, along with hints that function like a "script" for how to present this information to students and parents. The second file is just the original Excel file in case you want to edit any of the characteristics of the graphs.
The 3rd appendix is based on the Instructional Planning Report (IPR) that the College Board mails to all AP schools (addressed to your Principal, not your AP Coordinator). It has a statistical breakdown of your school's APWH students' performance on the 2008 Exam. It is mailed every year during September. If you have NOT received this, pester your Principal until she/he tracks it down for you. This document has valuable detailed information that every AP teacher needs to know about how your school's students performed on the AP Exam each year.
The 4th and 5th appendices offer "Must Know" dates and geographic regions. While specific dates are not overly emphasized in the course, a few dates will help students chronologically sequence their knowledge. There is no "official" list of which dates students are responsible for. This is just a compilation I use2. Teachers are welcome to edit these selections as they see fit. Also included is a list of "Must Know Geographic Regions" because students often need help locating regions according to the APWH definition. I use both these resources as quizzes throughout the year to make sure students still remember the information they learned over the past several weeks. I find this periodic, incremental/cumulative review especially valuable in helping students not feel overwhelmed at the sheer volume of information they've learned.
Appendix #6, Change Analysis Charts: These are helpful in periodic review throughout the year for preparation for the Continuity and Change Over Time question.3
Appendices #7-10, Name Five: I use these for end-of-year (or periodic) review. The "keys" are still incomplete, but they might at least give you and your students an idea of how to organize the mountain of information they have been exposed to. Students should select as specific as possible examples of each category. Ideally every example would start with a capital letter. (e.g. "NAFTA" rather than "trade.")
The 11th appendix is a series of Timelines: I use these to help students get a visual sense of chronology. By the end of the year students can place each timeline next to each other to get a quick overview of the entirety of world history. The value and use of timelines are further explored by Sharon Cohen in this issue of World History Connected.
An AP World History Examination Survival Guide
Instructors of other types or levels of instruction do not have to teach the skills necessary to excel on the "final" examination to the degree that AP teachers must . Moreover, the essay formats and rubrics used to score the thousands of AP-WH examinations has limited flexibility by design. The College Board trains AP examination readers to ignore student errors of fact. Instead, readers adhere closely to the rubric prepared for each essay they grade, assigning points for the requirements students have met. The College Board assumes students to be fully in command of rubric terms. Failure to prepare students in essay format and rubric patterns accounts for a large proportion of failures on the exam. Nothing angers readers more than to see the low scores they must give well-written essays that fail to address the format or rubric simply because their teachers either failed to train them properly, or, what is often clear from the exam, never trained them to do so at all.
Appendices 12-29 address the following related essay teaching and grading scoring issues:
#12-23 Annotated Rubrics: I developed these 12 files to teach students how to write better essays. They are the most effective tool I've found to reach students at all levels of how to improve the quality of their writing. Each year the College Board publishes a report from the Reading on how well students did on that year's exam. (see the "Student Performance Q&A," files for each year at http://apcentral.collegeboard.com/apc/members/exam/exam_questions/2090.html4) The Annotated Rubrics combine the Essay Question, the Rubric, and the Chief Reader's comments in the Q&A file to show students how to incrementally improve their writing so that it will earn a higher score at the Reading. Each Essay Rubric category is broken down into specific examples of excellent, acceptable, and unacceptable responses.
#24 How to DBQ: This is how I teach the APWH Document Based Question.
#25 DBQ Use of Documents: I use this with my students to highlight how the DBQ Rubric is designed to reinforce the "Habits of Mind" cognitive skills that students should practice when writing DBQs. It also specifically answers students' frequent (and vague) question of "how many documents do I have to use?"
#26 Must Do Essay Checklist: I use this with my students who have trouble remembering what the Rubrics require for each essay.
#27 Essay Rubrics Quiz: Once students are familiar with the rubric requirements, I test them on the rubrics themselves. Note: there is a possible danger in "teaching to the rubric" too much. When I introduce each rubric I emphasize how the purpose of the rubric is to encourage and reinforce good writing habits that my students have likely already learned in their English classes. At the same time my experience is that students write better when they are well-versed in the rubrics, as it encourages them to "think like a Reader" while they're writing.
#28-29 Answering the Question: One of the biggest problems students have on essays is focusing specifically on what the question asks. I used this resource this year for the first time, and it has definitely made a noticeable improvement in my students' ability to focus squarely on the question. Students quickly and intuitively understand the "bulls eye" metaphor. The two files are a Word .doc and an Excel .xls file.
Updates to this material can be found at my own on-line APWH Web Guide at (http://moodle.egrps.org//course/view.php?id=97). Feel free to use, ignore, or share any of this as you see fit. Also feel free to write me seeking further explanation of any of the above at email@example.com.
Learning to teach APWH can seem like the proverbial "taking a drink from a fire hydrant." Yes, there is a ton of information. After eight years of teaching this course I know I will never know it all, but I hope these files will help you teach a better course without having to reinvent the wheel. There is a supportive and encouraging community of teachers on the AP Listserv, at the Reading, and at AP Workshops and Summer Institutes throughout the year. Take advantage of other teachers' willingness to share from their experience, and be willing to ask questions. (Sounds disgustingly like what we tell our students, doesn't it?) I know how overwhelming this course can feel when you first begin. Hang in there! It's a ton of fun, and watching your students' eyes light up with surprise, frustration, laughter, skepticism, and understanding throughout the year is one of the great joys in being a teacher.
Bill Strickland teaches at East Grand Rapids High school in East Grand Rapids, Michigan. He has served as a Reader, Table Leader, and Sample Selector at the APWH Reading since 2004, and has led various AP World History workshops and Summer Institutes. He also serves on the Curriculum Development and Assessment Committee advising the College Board on the upcoming APWH Redesign that will take effect in 2011-2012.
Transcript of APWH CCOT Essay
Social hierarchies-classes, ability to move up the social ladder. Gender issues-rights of women, make sure to distinguish between upper and lower classes in the society. Slavery in society. Levels of education.
CCOT: what's it stand for?
Change, as in how did things change? What was different from when it started? Why? How? What were the effects?
What stayed the same from the beginning, despite the changes that took place?
What time period did these changes take place?
What time period is mentioned in the question?
What kind of topics could it include?
How long should I take on it?
take about 5 minutes to organize your essay (no more than 10 mins)
The most helpful thing you've got
in planning the CCOT essay...
what is happening at the beginning of the time period as related to the topic(s) in the prompt?
you'll spend the rest of your time writing the essay (30 mins is suggested)
try to write quickly, using your BCC chart for reference, but don't write so messy that it's unreadable.
What should my essay include?
using your BCC chart, you should make an outline for ideas and presentation
paragraph 1: intro and thesis
paragraph 2: beginning
paragraph 3: changes
paragraph 4: continuities
paragraph 5: bring it home
the thesis is your roadmap
this is important, your thesis is what will define the rest of your paper.
how to write a nice thesis
step 1. FULLY ADDRESS THE QUESTION
step 3. address AT LEAST 2 changes and 2 continuities
provide an outline of your changes and continuities that you can expand on in your body paragraphs.
step 2. Takes a stand (categories) with regard to the question asked.
A. the key terms and parameters
B. the time period(s)
C. the region(s) to be discussed
summarize all of the info in your essay, make connections to the world, how did this affect your topic's global standpoint? how did this impact the future?
How will I be graded?
a thesis that addresses
the global issues in the question
and covers the correct time period(s)
what they want
what it's worth
address all parts of the question
(both change & continuity)
historical evidence that supports
show change over time using relevant
history, including characteristic of
the time period to explain context
analyze the process of change and continuity, and describe what changed and how it changed, including the causes & effects
a comprehensive, analytical thesis
analysis of all parts of the issue
ample historical evidence that acts as proof for your thesis
connections to ideas, events, or other issues
what they want
what it's worth
what is a good score?
a 7 is quite good, but you want to
shoot for a 9. remember, if you
don't get all of the basic core requirements, then you don't even have a chance to get the expanded core.
even if you have all of the expanded core points, but miss one of the basic core points, you're looking at a 6, which is good but not great
what if I don't know about the topic?
there is a chance that you might get a question that you don't know how to answer, but the CCOT writing prompts always give you a list of countries, time periods, or political units to choose from
if you're stumbling through your essay, just write everything you know about the topic, even if it seems small or unimportant, just make sure you don't forget about organization
Explain the changes that occurred from the beginning to the end of the period OR from the first period to the second (depending on the question). Be sure to explain (analyze) WHY these changes took place; remember that the pivot is usually the determining factor of change.
Explain what conditions, characteristics or patterns remained the same from the beginning of the period to the end and (analyze) WHY the stability remained.
Brainstorm change(s) that occurred during the time period as related to the topic(s) in the prompt.
Brainstorm things that remained consistent during the ENTIRE period as related to the topic(s) in the prompt.
Establish the MAJOR characteristics, patterns or conditions at the beginning of the time period.
List the major occurrence(s) in the prompt's timeframe that caused changes to happen, this will often become the analysis for the essay.
Analyze WHY the change(s) happened
WHY the consistency remained
Includes state systems: having to do with political organization of a government in a society. Military power & organization.
Includes trade: internal and external economic activity within a society. Agriculture: subsistence or commercial. Manufacturing. Economic systems like merchantilism, manorialism, free enterprise.
Includes intellectual development: This incorporates ideologies, belief systems, aesthetics, and education. Written language and development.
MIGRATION AND DEMOGRAPHY:
M-The movement of peoples permanantly or temporarily.
D-Anything that influences population shift positively or negatively with respect to size and density, distribution and statistics.
New tools and inventions that help advance society. Include SPECIFIC EXAMPLES!
Systems of making a living including agriculture, trade, manufacturing; groups in society that perform manual labor and undesirable work of the society like slavery, coercive labor, debt labor indentured servitude.
How societies impact and are impacted by the environment. Both positively and negatively.
Points to Consider
Focus on WHY in change and continuty paragraphs.
ABCD Method for thesis and body paragraph set up.
A-Address the prompt
B-Beginning of period
D-Did not change
Be sure to support generalizations with SPECIFIC EVIDENCE.
Provide the connections to the thesis and the analysis.
Refer to time and sequencing to show understanding of the importance of chronology in history.
Connect local developments to global themes.