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ERIC Number: EJ824497
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2003-Nov
Pages: 11
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 36
ISSN: ISSN-0018-2745
Eastern European Elites: Teaching about Aristocrats in the AP Curriculum
Wasson, Ellis Archer
History Teacher, v37 n1 p39-49 Nov 2003
Free response question (FRQ) #5 in the 2002 Advanced Placement (AP) European history exam read as follows: "In what ways and to what extent did absolutism affect the power and status of the European nobility in the period 1650 to 1750. Use examples from at least 2 countries." This question, which is aimed at encouraging a comparative approach and which focused on a period during which aristocracies receive the maximum attention in textbooks, produced mostly inadequate responses from the students who took the exams. In this article, the author explains why students and teachers are not knowledgeable about aristocracies in the early period and about the roles they played in shaping the economic, social, political, and cultural structures of their societies. He advocates that one of the best ways to incorporate more Eastern European history into AP courses is to apply the comparative approach modeled by Question #5 to a discussion of the nobility. Such an approach has the dual advantage of making students' experiences more comprehensive and correcting imbalances that lead to inaccurate perceptions of the past. He also offers suggestions about how teachers can incorporate more material about landed elites into their courses. (Contains 16 notes.)
Society for History Education. California State University, Long Beach, 1250 Bellflower Boulevard, Long Beach, CA 90840-1601. Tel: 562-985-2573; Fax: 562-985-5431; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Europe