The History workshop held over the weekend of 21st-22nd October at Yangzhou High School was coordinated by the History Subject Leader Peter Rawlins. It focused on the presentation and discussion of the teaching methodologies for the three History courses: on Saturday the Senior Two pre-AP World History and Senior Three non-AP Modern History “Honors” courses, on Sunday the AP World History course. The materials used came from last October’s AP Summit in Shanghai and the online professional development modules from the AP College Board World History web page.
(Left to Right): CAO Dr. Ken Smith (Nanjing); Eric Kappaz (Suzhou); Caitlin Hannigan (Jinan); Peter Rawlins (Yangzhou); Katie Leach (Yangzhou); Gary & Marcella Mieczkowski (Jinan); Erica Yuan Shuhua (Yangzhou); Vincent Perroud (Jinan); Principal Kevin Dai (Nanjing)
The six sessions on Saturday afternoon looked at the phases of a lesson plan, with reference to the successive chronological units: (1) EFL techniques; (2) key themes and concepts; (3) graphic organizers and writing frameworks; (4) group work; (5) assessment; (6) presentations. The three sessions on Sunday morning focused on the various AP assessment methods: multiple choice items and short-answer questions; document-based questions; and long essay questions.
The consensus of the History teachers was that much more time needed to be given to History on school weekly schedules at the expense of ‘Test Prep’: six 45-minute periods for Senior Two, four to six periods for Senior Three “Honors” classes, seven to eight periods for AP World History.
The accommodation at the Ibis budget hotel was modern and clean, while the Rosmarino restaurant provided good Italian cuisine for the Saturday evening meal (see photo above). These should set standards for any Ambright orientation and training workshops. Budget allowances should be given in advance.
This was a long way for teachers from Jinan to travel, and the conclusion should be that meetings are best held in Nanjing, without changes to schedule plans. Attendance for all teachers at their subject workshops should be compulsory and all online professional development modules should be fully completed.
Special thanks are owed to the head of Yangzhou High School’s International Department, Amelia Xu Qinhong, for ensuring video facilities and rooms were available; to Erica Yuan Shuhua for organizing the food and drinks; and to Katie Leach for meeting and accompanying teachers from Zhenjiangnan railway station, and being a guide to the night life of Yangzhou!