National Council for Geographic Education

Top Ten Ideas for Teaching APHG to Ninth Graders

2014 Changes to the Course Description
By Sharon Shelerud

This month's column does not follow the Top Ten format.  Instead it is a listing of the changes to the AP Human Geography syllabus.  As you plan for next year and/or preview new textbooks be sure to have these changes to the curriculum in mind.

The next Top Ten column will be submitted in July and will cover ideas for the first week(s) of school.

                    I.            Geography: Its Nature and Perspectives

  • Identification of major world regions
  • Population
  • Education added under geographical analysis of population
  • Environmental impacts of population change on water use, food supplies, biodiversity, the atmosphere, and climate
  • Specifies types of migration (transnational, internal, chain, step, seasonal agriculture, and rural to urban)
  • Asylum seekers, internally displaced persons
  • Instead of just socioeconomic consequences adds to that culture, environmental, and political along with immigration policies and remittances

                  II.            Cultural Patterns and Processes

  • Globalization and the effects of technology on cultures
  • For religion specifies sacred space
  • For ethnicity adds nationalism
  • Cultural conflicts, and law and policy to protect culture
  • The formation of identity and place making
  • Specifies indigenous people under cultural landscapes and cultural identity

                III.            Political Organization of Space

  • ASEAN specified as an example of a regional alliance in the description
  • Political power
  • Function of boundaries
  • In addition to federal and unitary states adds confederations, centralized government, and forms of governance
  • Adds spatial relationships between political patterns and gender
  • Political ecology is used as a term
  • Fall of communism and the legacy of the Cold War
  • Patterns of local, regional, and metropolitan governance
  • Specifies the terms centripetal and centrifugal forces
  • Adds armed conflicts and war to terrorism

          IV.            Agriculture, Food Production, and Rural Land Use

  • Title of unit adds food production
  • Specifies agriculture types (subsistence, cash cropping, plantation, mixed farming, monoculture, pastoralism, ranching, forestry, fishing, and aquaculture)
  • Adds roles of women in agricultural production and farming communities
  • Specifies environmental issues (soil degradation, overgrazing, river and aquifer depletion, animal wastes, and extensive fertilizer and pesticide use)
  • Crop rotation, value-added specialty foods, regional appellations, fair trade, and eat local food movements

            V.            Industrialization and Economic Development

  • In the description talks about growth poles and uses as examples Silicon Valley, the Research Triangle, universities, and medical centers
  • Specifies Wallerstein and Rostow
  • Specifies measures of development (GDP, GDP per capita, HDI, GII, Gini index changes in fertility and mortality, access to health care, education, utilities, and sanitation)
  • The rise of service and high technology economies
  • Manufacturing in newly industrialized countries

          VI.            Cities and Urban Land Use

  • Specifies site and situation characteristics for beginning cities
  • Borchert’s epochs of urban transportation development
  • Primate cities
  • Founders of models are specified for concentric zone, sector, and multiple nuclei
  • Galactic city model
  • Models of cities in Latin America, North Africa and the Middle East, sub-Saharan Africa, East Asia, South Asia
  • For urban planning and design includes as examples gated communities, New Urbanism, and smart-growth policies
  • For edge cities specifies boomburgs, greenfields, and uptowns
  • Housing and insurance discrimination, and access to food in stores
  • Zones of abandonment, disamenity, and gentrification
  • Problems with suburban sprawl and urban sustainability are emphasized- land and energy use, cost of expanding public education services, home financing, and debt crises
  • Urban environmental issues- transportation, sanitation, air and water quality, remediation of brownfields, and farmland protection