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SSZ613: AP ComGov+ (2013-2014)

CURRICULUM PROGRAM: Advanced Placement
COURSE TITLE: AP Com Govt & Pol+
CALENDAR YEAR: 2013-2014

About the Program:
The AP course in Comparative Government and Politics introduces students to fundamental concepts used by political scientists to study the processes and outcomes of politics in a variety of country settings. The course aims to illustrate the rich diversity of political life, to show available institutional alternatives, to explain differences in processes and policy outcomes, and to communicate to students the importance of global political and economic changes. Comparison assists both in identifying problems and in analyzing policymaking. For example, we only know that a country has a high population growth rate or serious corruption when we compare it to other countries. Careful comparison of political systems produces useful knowledge about the institutions and policies countries have employed to address problems, or, indeed, what they have done to make things worse. We can compare the effectiveness of policy approaches to poverty or overpopulation by examining how different countries solve similar problems. Furthermore, by comparing the political institutions and practices of wealthy and poor countries, we can begin to understand the political consequences of economic well-being. Finally, comparison assists explanation. Why are some countries stable democracies and not others? Why do many democracies have prime ministers instead of presidents? In addition to covering the major concepts that are used to organize and interpret what we know about political phenomena and relationships, the course should cover specific countries and their governments. Six countries form the core of the AP Comparative Government and Politics course: China, Great Britain, Iran, Mexico, Nigeria, and Russia.1 By using these six countries, the course can move the discussion of concepts from abstract definition to concrete example, noting that not all concepts will be equally useful in all country settings.

Major Instructional Activities: Instructional activities will be provided relative to the content standards of the AP World History, and use chronological and spatial thinking, historical research, and interpretation to demonstrate intellectual reasoning, reflection and research skills.

Major Evaluative Techniques: Evaluation will be comprised of assessments for/of learning in content standards knowledge, historical analysis, making historical connections and social studies research skills utilizing primary source documents.

Course Objectives: Upon completion of the AP World History course of study, students should be able to:

  • Understand major comparative political concepts, themes, and generalizations
  • Have knowledge of important facts pertaining to the governments and politics of China, Great Britain, Iran, Mexico, Nigeria, and Russia
  • Understand typical patterns of political processes and behavior and their consequences
  • Compare and contrast political institutions and processes across countries and to derive generalizations
  • Analyze and interpret basic data relevant to comparative government and politics
  • Take notes from both printed materials and lectures and discussion.
  • Write essay examinations, analytical and research papers