Course Description

AP Human Geography (APHG) is an introductory college course in human geography. Students will be introduced to a systematic study of patterns and processes that have shaped human’s understanding, use, and alteration of Earth’s surface. They will look spatially at Earth to analyze human’s organization of space and the environmental, social and political consequences of these decisions. Students will look at patterns across the cultural landscape, identifying trends and anticipate future phenomena.

They will use different methods and tools geographers use in their science and practice. This class is designed to meet AP standards and requirements (these can be found on the AP College Board website). The class will prepare students to take the cumulative AP Human Geography test at the end of the school year.

The goal for AP Human Geography students is “to become more geoliterate, more engaged in contemporary global issues, and informed about multicultural viewpoints” (College Board 2019).

They will develop skills in approaching problems geographically, using maps and geospatial technologies, thinking critically about texts and graphic images, interpreting cultural landscapes, and applying geographic concepts such as scale, region, diffusion, interdependence, and spatial interaction, among others. Students will see geography as a discipline relevant to the world in which they live. The content is presented thematically rather than regionally and is organized around the discipline’s main subfields: economic, cultural, and urban geography.  

Course Details

AP Human Geography

Ninth Grade
Tenth Grade Eleventh Grade Twelfth Grade

Each unit will expose students to “Big Ideas” and how they spiral across the units, in order that students encounter and improve their knowledge, skills, and understanding as the big ideas become more complex. The “Big Ideas” are: Patterns and Spatial Organization (PSO); Impacts and Interactions (IMP); and Spatial Processes and Societal Change (SPS). 

● Big Idea 1: PSO- Spatial patterns and organization of human society are arranged according to political, historical, cultural and economic factors; 
● Big Idea 2: IMP- Complex relationships of cause and effect exist among people, their environments, and historical and contemporary actions; 
● Big Idea 3: SPS- A spatial perspective allows for a focus on the way phenomena are related to one another in particular places, which in turn allows for the examination of human organization and the environmental consequences. 

We will be covering the following 7 units. 
1. Thinking Geographically
2. Population & Migration Patterns and Processes
3. Cultural Patterns and Processes
4. Political Patterns and Processes
5. Agriculture & Rural Land Use Patterns and Processes
6. Cities & Urban Land Use Patterns and Processes
7. Industrial and Economic Development Patterns and Processes
Hildebrandt, Barbara, et al. Human Geography for the AP Course. 1st ed. BFW Publishing, 2021.

ISBN-10: 1-319-19224-6
ISBN-13: 978-1-319-19224-2

Ms. Caroline McNiven

Caroline is a Londoner born and raised with Irish, Welsh, Scottish, and South African heritage which has influenced her love of learning about different cultures, History, Geography, and Religion. She has taught in middle and high school for over 10 years and enjoys teaching about the interrelationships between these subjects.

Caroline loves the magic that happens in the classroom when both teacher and student work together to understand truths and loves seeing the pure joy on students’ faces when they have that light bulb moment or share their passions, dreams, and successes. She has been a Head of Year for the last 7 years nurturing students beyond their academic capabilities and encouraging them to live by one of her life mottos “Aspire beyond your fears”.

Outside the classroom, Caroline enjoys spending time with family and friends and has started to get into family history. She loves to go to the theatre in the West End, as well as read, hike, and cycle. She is also a keen traveler! She shared, “I always say yes to travel opportunities that have led me on some breath-taking adventures such as hiking the Inca trail to Machu Picchu, climbing over a volcano in Iceland, and personally driving a rickshaw across India. Throughout all of my travels, it is clear to see that everything has an eternal purpose, that God is an artist, and what an amazing world we live in and get to share/learn about together!” Caroline is excited to be on this wonderful learning journey with the students at AHS.