Preparing Students for Advanced Placement Government & Politics: United States

AP 537.100 Maria Schmidt

This course provides teachers with an overview of the basic structure and content necessary for an AP course in Government and Politics: United States. The instructor will focus on the development of learning activities and teaching strategies for use with each of the big ideas, learning objectives, essential knowledge, disciplinary practices and reasoning processes included in the redesigned curriculum framework. Emphasis will be placed on the use of multiple resources in the teaching of the course as well as preparing students for the redesigned AP examination format. An analysis of AP examination questions will be included as well as a review of the standards for the grading of the exam. A major portion of the course is devoted to the development of units for an AP U.S. Government and Politics course by participants, including the learning activities and resources necessary for the implementation of such a course. This course is suitable for teachers new to AP U. S. Government and Politics as well as those experienced in the teaching of the course. The course will include a “best practices” sharing session and participants are encouraged to bring a copy of a favorite lesson/activity/strategy they have used in, or that could be adapted to, an AP U.S. Government and Politics course. If participants already are teaching the course or know the textbook and/or any other books they will be using, they should bring these as well.


Maria Schmidt

Maria Schmidt

Maria Schmidt was the Supervisor of Social Studies K-12 for the Westfield Public Schools in Westfield, N.J. She taught social studies at Westfield High School and authored the curriculum and initiated the law-related education courses and AP United States Government and Politics course there. She is an attorney, former adjunct professor of education at Seton Hall University, former trustee of the NJ State Bar Foundation and member of its Law-Related Education Committee. Dr. Schmidt has served as a Reader, Table Leader, and Question Leader at the annual scoring of the AP Government and Politics examination and currently serves as a consultant for the College Board, leading AP workshops and summer institutes throughout the United States. She authored the first edition of the College Board’s Teacher’s Guide for Courses in AP United States Government and Politics and edited the fourth and fifth editions of the D & S Marketing Multiple-Choice and Free-Response Questions in Preparation for the AP United States Government and Politics Examination along with the accompanying teacher’s manual. Over the past several years, she has worked with various publishers in reviewing AP US Government and Politics test preparation materials and with college textbook publishers in developing AP U.S. Government and Politics teaching ancillaries for use with their U.S. Government textbooks.