Spring 2000 Newsletter

New Advanced Placement Course in

Human Geography


After several years of discussion and research, the College Board will offer an Advanced Placement course and examination in Human Geography in the 2000-01 school year.  As many of you know, Advanced Placement tests allow juniors and seniors in high school to achieve college level credit for classes taken while in high school.  The purpose of the new AP course is to introduce students to systematic topics within human geography, such as population distribution and movement, cultural patterns, political organization in space, land use, economic development, and urbanization.  The course will also teach students about the methods and tools geographers utilize in their research and analysis.

When making the announcement, Donald M. Stewart, president of the College Board, said, "Geographic literacy is an essential component of the academic preparation of young Americans if we expect them to meet the challenges and demands of the twenty-first century in an increasingly global community."  Alexander B. Murphy, professor of geography at the University of Oregon and chair of the development committee, said, "The real problem is not that students can't locate a country, but that they don't understand how its political, cultural, and environmental issues are related.  Memorizing locations doesn't provide an understanding of how those places came to be the way they are."  The new AP course will play an important role in the renaissance happening in geographic education today by helping students move away from memorization toward geographical thinking and understanding.

For more information on the course, the exam, teacher training institutes, and related resources, see the websites listed below.


More Information from the Web


For general information, see the College Board site at:


For information on class structure and resources, see the following:

        Macalester College:


For related resources, see Matt Rosenberg's about.com site: