AP Comparative Government

AP Comparative Government
Fall 2020

AP Comparative Government and Politics is a semester-long course intended as a introduction to college-level international studies that uses the "comparative method" to engage relative differences between systems of government, economies and civil societies around the world.  This course is a case-study of six nations in particular: Nigeria, Mexico, China, Russia, Iran and the United Kingdom.  We will also be studying non-governmental and supra-governmental organizations like the United Nations, the EU, and the African Union to understand the roles and limitations of international partnership and cooperation among nations more generally.  Our final project in Comparative Government is a Model UN simulations based on a current scenario.  You can learn more about this course and the AP exam by visiting the Course Home Page at AP Central.

I have also created a Google Classroom page for this class that redirects to this page, but in the event of virtual days will also be a place where I will post additional resources and instructions.  The join code is v2m2otx
Course Elements
In addition to the curriculum framework (p. 13) and unit guide (syllabus see p. 23) mandated by the College Board for these courses, students will be required to complete several outside reading assignments, a long-term investigative journalism project, an extended Model UN Security Council simulation as well as a number of in-class simulations related to democratization, authoritarianism, and challenges related to corruption and under-development.

Contact Mr. Jones
I have daily office hours from 7-8 am and again from 2-3 pm.  And, of course, students and parents can reach me most any time by email at [email protected]  If you have any questions about expectations for remote learning, please refer to the guidelines published by Buncombe County Schools.     

Daily Schedule

Please watch this space for updates regarding our day-today schedule, topics and assignments.  But keep in mind that our Google Classroom page will have the most up-to-date information and students are expected to check for postings each day.  

What are “Spongy Terms”?

Rather than a traditional “term identification” style assessment, “spongy term” exams require students to soak up additional context, complexity, and connections in order to apply course concepts to the real world.  Here are the FOUR distinct tasks that students are asked to complete for the term assigned:

  1. Define: Provide a short definition of your term.
  2. Connect: Explain how your term is connected or related to at least two other terms on the list.  Describe the relationship between these terms, how they influence or relate to one another in a manner that showcases some depth of knowledge, not just semantics.
  3. Apply: Explain how this term does or may apply to you, to current events or the present more generally; or you can create a hypothetical scenario to show off what you have learned about how this term applies to the “real world.”
  4. Evaluate: Consider either the pros or cons related to this term, a cost benefit analysis that considers either its benefits or liabilities as a political concept; or you can create an “alternate hypothesis” that argues against conventional wisdom or prevailing values associated with this term.