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Dash and a Zero: Advancement in APHG?

Authors: Matthew Wilson*, University of Kentucky
Topics: Geography Education, Higher Education, History of Geography
Keywords: geography education, aphg, college board, teaching, care, attention
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The Fall of 2020 will mark the beginning of the twentieth year of high school human geography courses that culminate in the Advanced Placement® Human Geography (APHG) exam, developed by Educational Testing Systems (ETS) as contracted by College Board. Just over 3,000 exams were first offered in 2001. In 2019, over 230,000 students were given the exam, and nearly 1,000 individuals were brought to ‘the Duke’ in Cincinnati for seven days in June to read the written portion of the exam. In this presentation, I situate the APHG exam within a broader struggle for geographic education, and advocate for increased solidarity between faculty in higher education and secondary education amid the various accumulations and dispossessions that College Board and ETS represent. In doing so, I reflect on my own seven-days of APHG reading in 2018, as one important site in which to evaluate the teaching of geography today, in and out of the AP Human Geography classroom, to understand the conditions and possibilities for the cultivation of care for and about the world.

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