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 the Law-Related Education Committee of the NJ State Bar Foundation. 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 Teacher’s Guide for Courses in AP United States Government and Politics edited the fourth and fifth editions of Multiple-Choice and Free-Response Questions in Preparation for the AP United States Government and Politics Examination and 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.


APSI – US Government and Politics Redesigned

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 the course using the redesigned curriculum framework as well as the development of learning activities and teaching strategies for use with each of the big ideas, learning objectives and essential knowledge included in the redesigned 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 sample 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.
Course Objectives:

At the conclusion of this course participants will be able to:
• Design and implement an AP U.S. Government and Politics course.
• Develop activities and assessments to build students’ proficiencies in the disciplinary practices and reasoning processes.
• Implement strategies to prepare students for the AP Exam.
• Devise or revise a syllabus to align with course requirements.
• Make equitable access a guiding principle in designing instruction.
Day 1
·       Introductory Activity:  The Growth Mindset
·       Introduction to Curricular Requirements and Syllabus Development
·       Equity and Access
·       The Practice of Political Science
·       Understanding the Course Framework
·       The Redesigned Exam Format
·       Disciplinary Practices in the FRQs
·       Integrating the Required Documents
·       Introduction to Planning and Development of Unit Guides
Day 2
·       Selection of Texts and Materials for AP Courses in U. S. Government and Politics
·       The National Constitution Center’s Interactive Constitution
·       Reading and Analyzing Required Documents
·       Analyzing and interpreting Qualitative Visuals
·       Planning Your Course
·       Tour of Instructional Approaches
·       Planning and Developing Unit Guides
Day 3
·       Analyzing and Comparing Supreme Court Cases
·       Analyzing Quantitative Data
·       Connect and Apply Concepts
·       Writing an Argument Essay Like a Political Scientist
·       Valuable Classroom Simulations and Activities
·       Planning and Developing Unit Guides (continued)
Day 4
·       Applied Learning
·       Planning and Developing Unit Guides (continued)
·       Participant Sharing Session of Unit Guides for Units 1 - 5
·       Debriefing/Evaluations