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I found this image on social media from a great geography teacher (link to his site--looking for APHG group activities? Try this). This picture taken at the Jewish Community Center (JCC) in Memphis, TN shows an intrguing linguistic combination that I had never imagined before. This is referred to as cultural syncretism, where two or more cultures or cultural traits combine together to make something new. Globalization and migration are making more cultural combinations than we've ever seen before in this human mosaic we call home.
Tags: language, culture, the South, APHG, religion, landscape.
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The APHG course outline and description was changed over the summer and the 2014 test will reflect these changes. So what are the changes? I've created this slideshow to show what the changes are and add links to my site that might be thematically useful. The hyperlinks don't work in the first 4 slides so I duplicated the unit 1 slides at the end of the document (you can download this as a PDF file or the Powerpoint file as well).
Tags: geo-inspiration, geography education, APHG.
New changes to the 2014 test!!!
HUGGERS...this will affect YOU! Take a look!
Think everyone should just pull themselves up by their bootstraps? Try this one on for size.
This video shows the place matters; a Washington D.C. educator shows how food deserts and other spatial problems of poverty impact his students on a daily basis. We usually look at life expectancy data at the national scale and that obscures some of the real issues of poverty in developed countries. Above is a map that shows the Gini index which measures the degree of economic inequality (the Gini coefficient was recently added to the APHG course content for the Industrialization and Economic Development unit). Here are some maps and data from the World Bank that utilizes the Gini Index as well as an interactive Gapminder graph.
Tags: industry, location, place, migration, APHG, poverty, socioeconomic.
Just incredibly awesome, but so, so sadly true.
Educating in poverty
Do you find this information surprising?
"This is a compilation of videos that can be used to at the beginning of the school year to show the importance of geography, spatial thinking and geo-literacy."
I searched the tags below to find some of my favorite clips that show why taking geography courses is so important, useful and interesting. Do you know of a great video that I should put on the list? Send me a tweet.
Great little starters to get the students engaged with Geography!
This is a five-course part-time program that can be completed in less than one year. Offered through the Elmhurst College Online Center, the program is fully online in eight-week sessions. This program correlates directly with the College Board AP® Human Geography."
NCGE has recently announced that they are willing to offer scholarships to reduce the cost of Elmhurst College's Graduate Certificate Program in Human Geography for AP. Each course is $1950 per class, and every NCGE member that is a current teacher can receive a scholarship of $600 (reducing the per course cost down to $1350 per class). Not currently a member of the NCGE? Join today.
Essay #3 for the AP Human Geography 2013 exam focused on how railroads and highways impacted the size and form of U.S. cities. Andy Baker, one of the great readers on that question has put together an interactive map filled with tangible examples of how Indianapolis' land use history has been heavily influenced by the railroads and highways. This would be a great resource to prepare students to answer that FRQ.
Tags: transportation, urban, models, APHG.
"Planning to take the Advanced Placement Human Geography exam from the College Board? Try these five suggestions for review."
This is last minute, but every little bit can help. Good luck tomorrow!
"App4Success APHuG is an intuitive app for students to excel in AP Human Geography. Created by two students who scored 5 on all their AP Exams, the app is organized by the topics* indicated by the College Board."
I'm not an iPhone or iPad user, but this $1.99 app has received good reviews from within the APHG communities. Please share in the comments section any feedback.
This article from the NCGE provides 10 ideas on how to prepare ninth graders for the AP Human Geography Exam. Although tailored specifically for the youngest of test-takers, these strategies are good ideas for any teacher trying to help students do well on the exam.
Tags: APHG, NCGE, Geography Education.
"Brown University's Choices Program invites secondary level geography teachers to apply for a 2013 Summer Institute that focuses on using the Choices approach and materials to ask What is Where, Why, and So What?"
Applications for this tremendous Summer Institute are due April 8th and I am very pleased to announce that I'll be one of the presenters there at Brown University. I hope that many of seriously consider applying. I look forward to collaborating with all the participants in person (the only cost is travel to and from Providence, RI).
Tags: Rhode Island, APHG, training.
"More than 96,000 students took the AP Human Geography exam in 2012 and it is estimated that there are 3,200 AP Human Geography teachers nationwide. As demand for APHG exams increase, so will the demand for qualified teachers."
It is with great pleasure that I can announce to you that a Graduate Certificate Program specifically for AP Human Geography teachers is about to be launched. Offered through the Elmhurst College Online Center, the program will to taught fully online in 8-week sessions. The APHG graduate certificate program curriculum correlates directly with the College Board AP Human Geography established curriculum. This 5-course program can be completed in less than one year. The full announcement is available in this PDF.
Movements toward increased and better education are always an added plus!
See the big picture of how suburban developments are changing the country's landscape, with aerial photos and ideas for the future
There are many types of housing development patterns throughout the world. This article provides a summary of approximately 20 different housing patterns common in the United States with a visual example demonstrate the impact on the urban footprint (Pictured above is an example of new urbanism in Boulder, CO). Each neighborhood has distinct cultural amenities and attracts particular socioeconomic market segments.
Questions to Ponder: What housing patterns are you drawn to? How come? What are the advantages for the residents to live in that type of community? What are the impacts that the housing pattern has on the physical environment and the urban system? What systems are most profitable for developers? How does the layout of the neighborhood alter the sense of place?
Tags: housing, urban, planning, density, urbanism, unit 7 cities.
It is interesting to see how over time and depending on geographic location the housing patterns change so drastically. Its fascinating to see how each community uses its land to cater to the needs of its occupants.
I am drawn to urban housing patterns. I could care less about a having a big lot. I don’t want to take care of a lawn. I like the feel of living in a city and the fact that you can go out at night and find things to do. One of the main advantages to living in Providence is you can walk to your destination. There are more tall buildings in the city and more traffic than in suburbia. If roads are not well laid out traffic problems could arise. Issues with pollution from vehicle emissions could impact residents. Noise could also be a factor.
It is cool to see how each neighborhood has a different housing pattern depending on the area in which they live.You could almost say that it is like a quilt with all its different patterns.
Are you a high school teacher looking for some funds for your classroom? The My Community, Our Earth: Global Connections and Exchange Program (PDF) is connecting high school students in the U.S. with their peers abroad (in Bolivia, Ghana, Nicaragua and the Philippines) through virtual online meetings. The Association of American Geographers is especially eager to have AP Human Geography teachers participate in this program. These meetings are arranged through online video conferences, online phone calls and chat sessions using Skype. The purpose of these meetings is to stimulate thinking and collaboration between high school students across international borders around sustainable development themes such as climate change, green economy, food security and hazards and vulnerability, while enriching cultural literacy. We are looking for formal and informal educators in the U.S., at the high school level, who would like to participate with us. For every time that you complete one hour of exchange and submit one MyCOE exercise to our online system, you will receive $300 for your classroom (personal check or Amazon gift card).
Ready to Participate? Please send e-mails to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tags: AAG, teacher training, APHG.
Could have great potential experiences for the classroom
"If an urban population demands the freshest vegetables, they should be produced within a 24-hour field-to-table delivery zone. What, therefore, should be the highest and best use of agricultural land between Taiwan's two largest cities, Taipei and Kaoshiung, only 200 miles apart? The Lord of the Rings, a.k.a., Johan Heinrich Von Thünen, has the answer." 
This image and analysis comes from the blog "Geographically Yours" by Don Zeigler. He's a well-traveled cultural geographer and has been collecting great teaching images over his career and is now sharing them on this site. These pictures are great discussion starters and bell ringers to start the day.
Tags: geo-inspiration, geography education, APHG, images.
This image communicates the importance of agriculture and marketplace relativity. in an area where transportation is minimal and people happen to be more more poorer then need to supply needed resources in a timely manner is very important. Farmers and resource providers need to be close enough geographically. This image shows an outside clothing and food market were people get to shop around and choose in a convientent ways there most needed items. The umbrella suggests rain as the child and other shoppers are being covered. This outdoor market doesnt necessarily suggest poverty but a wide range of population given a convenient location to buy goods quikcly and efficiently. The market may be located in a urban downtown area or also a village central area. Regardless the location, and goods provided shows the valuable commodities need to be provided in a manner, freshest possible for delivery.
It is said that locally grown food can have more nutritional value than organic if the latter comes from thousands of miles away. If you had to choose, which would you rather have, locally grown or organic?
With rapid urbanization under way, cities want to call their own shots. Increasingly, they can.
This article could just as easily been titled, "The rise of the modern city-state." Parag Khanna (known for his TED talk, Mapping the Future of Countries) argues in this article that governance is happening increasingly at the city scale. "In the face of rapid urbanization, every city, state or province wants to call its own shots. And they can, as nations depend on their largest cities more than the reverse."
Questions to Ponder: Is this devolution? How so? How does this make us rethink political power and 'the state?' How might this shift reshape the world? How might this concept relate to the term primate cities?
Tags: political, urban politics, urban.
The end of Soverign nation states has alot to do with how interact with other states into a more integrated regional economy. The global community is realizing its importance of woking together to mazimize on trade and technology building as an economic world effort. This would blur the lines of independent soverign countires and bring regions together for economic puprposes even redrawing regional lines. Cities want more autonomy on responding to urbanization and move more away from being identified as a nation state. It is the desire to listen less to what washington has to say and act more as an independent state which makes more decisons with the regions around it to mazimize on rapid city growth and the money making opportunities that a re created from a rapidly changing global community.
Good examples: NYC, Washington DC, Brasilia, Hong Kong, London, and many more.
Where in the United States is fracking unlocking natural gas from shale rock?
New to the APHG course content is term political ecology. Briefly, the Political Ecology Society defines it as the study of the political and economic principles controlling the relations of human beings to one another and to the environment. Anytime people are managing the environment in a way that is politically contentious (such as fracking in the USA), that topic can be analyzed using political ecology.
Tags: political ecology, fracking, energy, resources, environment, environment modify.
What impact does the shale gas boom have on employment, migration and economics?
Many communities are fighting fracking. In Texas a man sued oil company and the oil company lost so they conter sued the man for defamation. Parts of Colorado have recently passed laws to keep fracking out of their communities.
In class we studied "fracking," or the fracturing of shale deep in the Earth with blasts of fluid, which produces a harvestable oil yield and much pollution to aquifers in the area. I live at a house sometimes, where the water is rusty- and it really prevents me from doing much of anything with the water. I can't cook with it, I can't shower in it, I can't drink it, I have to use bottled water to even brush my teeth because the simple rust content is so vile. I cannot even imagine what the industrial acid- hydrochloric acid, as well as other contaminants in the water- would do to the water someone relies on... I think of situations where neighbors trees are dangling over someone else's property, and how branches may be required to be cut down because of their interference with neighboring property, and I would hope that something can be done about protection of aquifers, along the same times... If there is something negative or unwanted affecting someone's water, something really should be done about it. Knowing that there are negative consequences that come along with fracking, I really can't fathom why people do it! I live in a protected watershed area in Scituate that does not allow development of any kind on one side of the road because of the Scituate Reservoir. People are not allowed in the Reservoir Property at all, let alone not allowed to dump waste or cause any sort of harm to the environment, because a huge portion of the state of RI gets their water from that reservoir. I am not an absolute tree-hugger, but I also don't think that such problematic activites should be 'stirred up' in areas that affect something that humans rely on and need to survive. While I see that I am not affected by these shale fracking ops as are indicated on the map, I also DO care about the peope in those areas! Why should they be subjected to such putrification of their water resources? I am once again perplexed by the darkness of humanity.
6 conference presentations on various economic and political geography topics given at NCGE 2013 as a part of the APHG strand.
The last two mornings in Denver, CO there was a series of presentations of economic and political geography given in front of a capacity crowd. 6 of the educators have agreed to share the slides of their presentations with the broader geography education community and you can access them all here. See also this livebinder with resources for teaching APHG to 9th graders (which can be adapted to older students as well). This was a fantastic professional development event and we are all thankful that they were willing to share these resources.
Tags: APHG, NCGE, political, economic.
The World Policy Analysis Center aims to improve the quantity and quality of comparative data available to policymakers, citizens, civil society, and researchers around the world on policies affecting human health, development, well-being, and equity.
Following seven years of data collection, the World Policy Analysis Center recently launched a series of over 100 easy-to-understand maps of current laws, policies, and constitutional rights in 193 countries. They are eager to share this information and the maps that we have created and believe it will help engage geography students. The maps address questions such as:
This data could provide exciting teaching tools to help students think about the implications of laws and policies around the world, particularly as they affect teenagers.
You can dowload the 2013 FRQs or any previously released FRQs on the AP Human Geography College Board website.
It's that time of year to really buckle down; several teachers have created PDFs versions of review guides for the May 17th AP Human Geography test. James Nelsen, a veteran APHG teacher has produced a “grand review.” This resource intentionally does not come with a key to force the students to delve deeper and search for the answers themselves. Allison Hunt had her students create their own study guide for the APHG test focusing on the ‘big ideas.’ Best of luck and these and other resources are archived on my "thematic" tab on http://geographyeducation.org.
"AP Human Geography Free Response Questions should be approached in a very deliberate and specific way. APHG teacher Tom Landon explains his approach to teaching students how to do it."
For those preparing students for the AP Human Geography test, this video gives great advice to help you instruct students on how to approach the Free Response Questions (FRQs). Understanding the content always comes first, but some bright students who I know understand the content fail to read the instructions or to answer every portion of the questions. This will help those APHG students.
Tags: APHG, training, geography education.
Promotional video for AP Human Geography enrollment
This is video is a great tool to drum up interest in an AP Human Geography course produced by David Burton. Similar videos and things designed to promote the discipline and it's study can be found under the tag, "geo-inspiration."
Tags: APHG, geo-inspiration.
La geografía tiene que ver con todo.
Con ella entendemos el desarrollo humano.
Echa un vistazo.
I need to show this Day 1 of next school year
Central Places:Theory and Applications produced by Ken Keller (email@example.com) adapted from Don Ziegler.
The Central Place Theory is a model that is not used much today in academic geography, but given it's explicitly spatial nature, it is used in many geography curricula (including AP Human Geography) to show systems thinking and spatial patterns. This powerpoint goes over the main ideas of the theory developed by Walter Christaller as well as some examples.
Tags: APHG, models, spatial.
Another way to think about Central Place.
Where are AP Human Geography courses being taught? What other schools in nearby districts also teach a certain AP course? This data has recently be made public (at least it's new to me) so you can find out where classes are being taught. The actual information for particular teachers is not revealed (for some important privacy issues), but this is still a great starting pointing for local and regional collaboration for teachers. Also additional link will show you where AP institutes and workshops are going to be held in the future.
Tags: APHG, training.
"A basic truth about the cultural geography of the California border [is this]—two very different city-building traditions come crashing into each other at one of the most contentious international boundary lines on the planet. In this collision, in the shocking contrast of landscapes, lies one critical ingredient of the border’s place identity."
As a geographer native to the San Diego region (with family on both sides of the border), I found this article very compelling. Relations across the border are economic, cultural and political in nature, and the merger of those varied interests have led to an uneven history of both cooperation and separation. Herzog analyses three distinct factors that have shape the landscape of the California-Mexico border zone: urbanization, NAFTA, and global interruptions (9/11).
Tags: borders, AAG, political, landscape, California, unit 4 political, Mexico.
Les territoires de la mondialisation: les frontières. Une frontière qui se ferme et pourtant, une urbanisation continue mais contrastée.
It is interesting to see how this border has transformed from a fence to a guideline and back over time. Researchers of these two cities can learn a lot about how the events of one country affect the other country, such as in the case of 9/11. This place is also a great place to study culture because it is here where researchers can study a melding of two cultures in action. Overall, this area gives great insight into how two bordering countries affect each other politically, economically, socially, and culturally.
Also have heard stories of Tijuana...you know what happens there stays there. Much like the Kennedy's in the US, Tijuana got its initial fame and wealth from the alcohol trade when the US started prohibition in the 1920, albeit the Kennedy family did it illegally with bootlegging. Interesting contrast of building styles and cutures. The space on the map makes this area what it is. Without San Diego, Tijuana wouldn't be the same and San Diego wouldn't be the same without Tijuana. This area also shows a contrast with the Canadian border. Little or no fences on that border, but here, there are two in some spots, an old onecand a new post 9/11 one. Why here then are there fences? Culture too different? Is it for racial reasons? Is it just the drug trade and cartels that are all over the area the reason? Is it US drug policy that makes the fence necessary? Is it the US policy on immigration that the the fence a necessity? Is it the worse economic conditions in Mexico or the violence that is forcing the people to run across the border? Lots of questions and right now it looks like nobody has any real answers.