4 Updates to AP U.S. Government and Politics Course

4 Updates to AP U.S. Government and Politics Course

Beginning in fall 2018, Advanced Placement U.S. Government and Politics will use an updated curriculum. High school students who are interested in this AP class should be aware of the revisions before deciding whether to enroll.

As course registration for the fall approaches, take note of these four updates.

1. Clearer sense of course content: The College Board describes this revision as one that provides a detailed description of content that may appear on the AP U.S Government and Politics exam. This allows teachers to concentrate on topics of importance in greater depth and better prepare students for the end-of-year assessment.

The content outline will be divided into five units: foundations of American democracy; interactions among branches of government; civil liberties and civil rights; American political ideologies and beliefs; and political participation.

The more specific nature of the redesigned curriculum means that students will know precisely what they are responsible for understanding.

2. Stronger link between knowledge and application: The updated course design is also intended to make AP U.S. Government and Politics a class that emphasizes the application of knowledge.

Rather than focusing on memorization of concepts, the new course will prompt students to take the knowledge they learn and to apply it in order to “analyze, compare, interpret, and communicate political information,” per the College Board’s website. The research project, described below, is one way in which students will be asked to transform class content.

Keep in mind that AP U.S. Government and Politics is nonpartisan. The course is intended to provide the knowledge and skills necessary for students to reach their own informed conclusions.

3. Greater emphasis on primary sources: The redesigned AP U.S. Government and Politics class will require students to be familiar with an assortment of primary sources.

Students should expect to read and discuss a collection of nine foundational documents and 15 Supreme Court cases. These include sources like the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, specific Federalist Papers, Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail,” Brown v. Board of Education and Marbury v. Madison.

The 24 primary sources chosen for study in AP U.S. Government and Politics represent some of the most important documents in American history. For this reason, it is critical that students become familiar with them.

4. Student-led investigation/research project: All students enrolled in AP U.S. Government and Politics must complete an applied civics or political science research project.

This student-led project should link course content to a real-word issue. Students must share their findings through some form of media, such as an article, brochure, podcast, presentation or speech. Students may work in small groups for the project.

The College Board provides a list of project suggestions, though students are free to explore other options as well. Project examples include holding a mock congress, participating in relevant service-learning opportunities or analyzing public opinion via a survey.

The applied civics or political science research project does not count toward the final AP exam grade.

Students with a strong interest in American history are likely to enjoy AP U.S. Government and Politics, since it delves deeper into the founding principles and political structures of the American system. Students who hope to study law or political science may also benefit from such a course.

Before you enroll in AP U.S. Government and Politics for the next school year, review these updates to the course. Doing so will help you make the best possible decision.


Source by:-usnews