Key Ingredients of a Stimulating, Rigorous AP U.S. History Survey Course

 Consistent emphasis on history as interpretation
 Continuous attention to the critical skills of identifying historical interpretation and then evaluating it on the basis of evidence
 Consistent attention to the use and interpretation of primary sources, in and of themselves and in relation to DBQs
 Employment of a wide variety of different instructional techniques (e.g., discussion, lecture, debate, modified brainstorming, video, audio, Web-based)
 Striking of an effective balance between teaching an interesting survey of U.S. History and preparing for the AP exam
 Consistent attention in connection with all major issues to race, class and gender
 Repeated discussion of the question of whether Britain's North American colonies and, later, the United States were or were not a "land of opportunity"
 In conjunction with the previous question, continual raising of the question "For whom?"
 Clear, sharp and continuous focus on defining one's terms
 Close attention to chronology
 Devoting of considerable attention to the analysis of essay prompts
 Devoting of considerable attention to formulation of a thesis in response to an essay prompt
 Selective attention where needed to dealing with the complexity of important issues
 Striking of a balance between creative and analytical writing assignments
 Selective use of DBQs and FRQs from past AP exams as instructional materials
 Close and continuous attention to the principles allegedly fought for during the American Revolution and the way in which the understanding and implementation of those principles change after 1776
 Continuous attention to the key theme of federalism, the division of power and authority between the central government, on the one hand, and the state and local governments, on the other
 Repeated revisiting of the key issue of the relationship between government and economic activity, especially the hotly debated issue of the extent to which the federal government should attempt to stimulate and/or regulate economic activity
 Consistent attention to the United States Constitution, its origins, content and interpretation
 Consistent attention to the evolution of political parties and their role in the political process
 Consistent attention to the business cycle of prosperity, recession, and depression and its impact on the political process and different social groups
 Consistent attention to the formulation and implementation of U.S. foreign policy and to the changing role of the U.S. in the world