College Board cuts AP World History curriculum


World Maps Online

Sam Marks

The College Board removed 9,000 years from the AP World History curriculum for the upcoming 2019-2020 school year. The course will begin in 1200 A.D. and end in present day.

The curriculum currently covers six time periods, starting before recorded history with hunter-gatherers and ending with the challenges of globalization in the 21st Century. The College Board initially planned to limit the 2019-2020 course to three time periods, starting in the year 1450 A.D., in order to make the class more in-depth.

In response to the change, “there was a pretty big outcry from AP teachers across the country,” said social studies teacher Patrick Cassidy. “Teachers said that that important information had been left out of the curriculum and they petitioned the college board to reconsider.” Teachers worried this would make for a more European-centered unit, since it would start by focusing on colonisation in the Americas and European medieval kingdoms, opposed to earlier African, Chinese, and Indian empires.

Compromising with AP World History teachers, College Board decided the AP curriculum will start at 1200 A.D. adding part of the Arab Abbasid empire and pre-Mongol conquests.

The AP World History curriculum was shortened mostly due to the enormous amount of ground the AP class had to cover.  Wilson social studies teacher David Heckler welcomes the changes, saying the old curriculum covered, “too much material.  It’s not intended to be a comprehensive history, it’s mostly a survey course.”

Heckler notes that the College Board contemplated a Pre-AP World History course to try and cover some of the lost ground but decided against it. Instead, College Board is trying to make a new history class, called “AP World History: Ancient” to cover the empires before 1200 AD.