NAME OF COURSE: Advanced Placement European History   TEACHER: Mrs. Hepinger   YEAR: 2016-2017

TEXT: Western Civilization, Jackson J. Spielvogel, Thompson-Wadsworth

Course Overview: Advanced Placement European History is a two-semester course designed to provide students with an academic experience equal to a college level survey course in Western History.  The course provides students with an in-depth study of European History from 1450 A.D. to present.  Students will learn about the political, social, economic, religious, intellectual, military, cultural and technological developments throughout this period in history.  The course will be broken down into units, presented in chronological order based on major events and trends.  Students will use the textbook as well as a wide range of primary sources to absorb the material. 

Students will learn to examine evidence and interpretations of historical concepts.  In addition to mastering the historical content, students will learn to analyze and interpret primary sources including letters, speeches, maps, charts, art and documentary materials.  Students will apply critical thinking, and will focus on historical writing.  In addition to thematic essays, students will learn the Document Based Question writing process, and will practice the DBQ in class several times throughout the year.  Students successfully mastering the course material may earn college credit by passing the AP European history exam administered on campus in May; the individual college or university determines how many, or if, any credits will be granted for a passing score. 

Course Format:  The course will be taught primarily as a seminar.  Students will be responsible for completing outside reading, and will be expected to actively participate in class discussions.  As a class, we will discuss outside reading and will interpret the point of view and historical purpose of primary source documents. Each unit will also consist of a series of lectures, to introduce the main concepts of the era. Students will also have the opportunity to debate historical issues, both orally and in silent debates. Students will also work collaboratively with activities such as peer editing of essays and group review of exams.

Assessments:  At the end of each unit, students will take exams that cover material from the textbook, readings, discussion and lectures. The exam will consist of a multiple choice format, short answer questions and an essay component, designed to help students become more comfortable with the testing format of the AP exam. Students will be given key concepts to review before the exam, and a portion of class will be spent reviewing the material prior to the test. Short pop quizzes will also be given throughout the unit to measure students’ understanding of the reading.  At the end of each quarter, students will also take an exam covering all material from the course to that date.  This is also designed to help students prepare for the AP exam.

Writing:  In addition to the writing component on each exam, students will be responsible for writing in-depth essays. The first quarter will be dedicated to teaching students the fundament steps in writing, including: thesis statements, historical setting, point of view, document inclusion, document interpretation, building an effective argument, and general essay construction including body paragraphs and conclusions taking the reader to a wider view. Writing then will be incorporated into each unit of study, and students will complete a minimum of 5 practice Document-based Question Essays and four Long Essay Questions.  Most will be assigned in class and timed. On-demand classroom writing will be the main emphasis to better prepare students for the exam. Additionally, class time will be dedicated to peer review of essays, and discussion on how to improve writing.

Homework and Class Participation: Students will receive a reading calendar of assignments.  Assigned reading will be due the next class period unless otherwise specified.  For each unit, students will also receive a packet of questions and key terms.  Those questions will be due at the end of each chapter. Additional assignments such as writing, supplemental reading and research will be assigned periodically throughout the unit. Homework is graded for both completion and accuracy, with an emphasis on learning and practice. Students are expected to complete all homework assignments as they are essential for understanding the material in class. Students will be marked down 25% for every day an assignment is late.

Active class participation is required. Students may receive points for engaging in dialogue on class topics, participating in oral and silent debates, actively working in cooperative groups, explaining concepts to peers and turning in assigned class work. Students may also earn points by attending review sessions to help prepare for the exam.

Classroom Behavior/Academic Honesty: Students are expected to follow the school’s behavior policy.  All issues of academic honesty and behavior will be dealt with according to the school’s policy. See the student planner for details. The classroom is an environment of MUTUAL RESPECT, meaning that:

  • Students respect the instructor
  • The instructor respects the students
  • Students respect one another

At no time may students use any form of technology without direct permission/direction from the teacher. Cell phones must be turned off during class and must remain in students’ bags or backpacks. They may not be out or used without specific permission from the teacher. During exams, phones, backpacks and all technology must be placed in the front of the classroom. Audio and video recording, and photographing in class without direct teacher permission is prohibited and will result in disciplinary action. Students must use technology during class time for assigned work only. Inappropriate use of technology ON ANY device will result in loss of class technology privileges.

Attendance and Make-Up Work: Regular attendance is essential. Students are allowed to make up work when they have an excused absence. Students have one day to make up the work for each day of an excused absence. Students must make arrangements for make-up work on the day of return. Students are expected to make up all work; however, for unexcused absences credit may not be given. Long term assignments will be expected to be delivered the day the project is due, even if the student is excused for the day due to illness. Students are also expected to make up any lecture notes from class time.

It is the responsibility of the student to make arrangements to make up homework, quizzes, and tests. Make up tests are given during ACE time lunch or before school by arrangement only.  Please contact me during ACE time, break, before school or via e-mail me any time at to arrange all make up assignments.

Tardies: Students are considered tardy if they are not inside the classroom door when the tardy/passing bell rings. A student is considered absent when they are not in the room after the first 15 minutes of class. Any student late to class without a hall pass is considered tardy.  1st-2nd tardy: teacher warning. 3rd-4 tardy: teacher assigned detention. 5-11th tardy: Foothill tardy policy applies.

Suggested Supplies: A college-ruled spiral binder dedicated solely to AP Euro notes (you will occasionally turn them in for points), as well as highlighters, pens and pencils for note-taking.  By the first exam, please have an AP European History Test Prep book (such as Princeton Review, Barron’s or Kaplan), new or used, for a study aid. If you need assistance with this, one can be checked out from me.

Grading: Grading will be based on total points accumulated, and the approximate grade make-up will be as follows:

Quizzes, Tests, SAQs and Exams


Writing and Essays (LEQ, DBQs)


Participation/Class Work/Homework


Organization of Course/Tentative Timetable:

All dates are tentative.  Exact timing may be modified based on the specific needs of the class to ensure mastery of the topics.

Quarter 1

  • Unit 1: Renaissance and Reformation 14 days
  • Unit 2: Exploration and State Building) 14 days
  • Unit 3: Age of Reason 11 days
  • Quarter Review and Exam: Last three days of quarter

Quarter 2

  • Unit 4: 18th Century 8 days
  • Unit 5 French Revolution and Napoleon 11 days
  • Unit 6: Second Industrial Revolution 7 days
  • Unit 7: Nationalism 11 days
  • Review: January 19-25
  • Finals: January 26-28

Quarter 3

  • Unit 8: Imperialism-World War I 15 days
  • Unit 9: Totalitarianism and World War II 13 days
  • Unit 10: Cold War through Today 13 days
  • Review and Exam: March 31-April 1

Quarter 4

  • Unit 11: Course Review/Exam Preparation 18 Days
  • Advanced Placement European History Exam: May 6, 2016
  • Unit 12: APUSH Preparation, Pageant of the Masters
  • Final Exams: June 15-17

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