AP® Comparative Government and Politics

This course is designed to give inexperienced and experienced teachers the tools necessary to develop an Advanced Placement Comparative Government    and Politics course in the public or private school setting. Instruction will provide the scope and sequence of this course as designed by the College Board committee; analyze proper textbook and supplementary materials; evaluate course examination requirements; and develop curriculum enrichments in facilitating a college level program. Students will also provide insight into their own educational experiences and speculate on advanced placement has affected their teacher development.

The goals of the four-day session are to assist participants with:

  • Assess the impact of the revised AP Comparative Government and Poetics curriculum on how the course is taught and the format of the test.
    • Review the structure of the course in terms of its major components:
  1. The Comparative Method
  2. Sovereignty, Authority, + Power
  3. Political + Economic Change
  4. Citizens, Society, and the State
  5. Political Institutions
  6. Public Policy
  • Develop a knowledge base that will emphasize the important facts, concepts and theories by understanding typical patterns of the political process, behavior and institutions that are relevant to Comparative Government and Politics.
  • Research the various textbooks and supplementary materials available in an attempt to develop a resource library.
  • Evaluate measurement strategies used by the College Board in developing multiple choice and essay test banks in an attempt to design applicable tools.
  • Analyze effective writing strategies that students will need to employ for successful AP examinations and college-level rigor. 
  • Extract enrichment activities, demonstrations, and best practice devices from classroom interaction and networking.

Participants should bring the following:

  • A favorite activity, demonstration or simulation you have found useful in the classroom
  • A laptop computer or tablet (if possible)
  • A USB drive (if possible)
  • A copy of the textbook you will be using next year to share with others and help them select a textbook

Course Outline (Subject to Change):

Workshop outline (this outline identifies the major topics we will go over.  It is not a day-by day outline of what will be covered.  This will be determined by the interests of the participants and the pace of discussion)

  1. Introductions
  2. AP Course
    1. course purpose
      1. academic
      2. student selection/equality of opportunity
    2. school & administrative issues
    3. material in packet
  3. Syllabi
    1. review content
    2. Dos and Don’ts of putting the course together
    3. Reviewing for the Test:  strategies
  4. Key Concepts and Issues
    1. Comparative Public Policy
    2. Democratization
    3. Corruption
    4. Sovereignty & Globalization
    5. Political Protest
    6. populism
    7. Teaching History
    8. Teaching AP Countries

      V.      Using Data

                 a.    Globalization

                 b.    Good governance

VI.      The Test:  Overview & Writing Questions

a.   Multiple choice

                  b.   Free response:  background

  1. Standard setting
  2. Consistency checks

c.   Fee response:  the questions

VII.      Teaching resources

a.   handouts (this will include updated news articles and journal articles)

b.   AP central

c.   Suggestions


Glenn Hastedt Glenn Hastedt is a long time reader in AP Comparative Politics.  He has served as table leader, question leader, exam leader and most recently as chief reader.  He has served on the test development committee, developed test questions and reviewed course syllabi.   Over the past few summers he has led AP Comparative Politics seminars at several APSIs and has made presentations on teaching comparative politics at APACs.  He received his PhD in political science from Indiana University.  He is chair of the Justice Studies Department at James Madison University and a pas