History Department Introduces AP Human Geography

Natalie Naylor, Staff Writer

Why are we here? Rhetorical questions like this could lead to a long list of indefinite answers. This debate has formed the fundamental curriculum in the new AP Human Geography class. This class provokes student conversation, questions, and debate. In this course, students learn both world history and current movements that have developed and evolved humanity. 

This is the first history AP course that is offered to sophomores at Scituate High School. By learning about human interaction and migration, students build a solid understanding of our world’s history. Human Geography does not revolve around a specific time period. SHS history teacher Richard Kermond describes the class as “how we can separate things from the age in which they develop to peel back the layers and see how they connect.”

  AP Human Geography was introduced for the first time this fall at Scituate High School. The class quickly gained popularity among students. The history department elected Kermond, who also teaches U.S. History II, to teach the course. Sophomore Jane Ryan is now taking the class and said Kermond “could not be a better fit.”

 The class tackles an important question: “Why do we live there and why do we care?” Kermond has been happy to facilitate debate over this question in his classes. Though grades 10, 11, and 12 can enroll, he sees most numbers from sophomores and is ecstatic to take more grade levels. Human Geography is gaining in popularity nationally. In 2005, only 14,000 students took the AP exam; in 2021, 240,000 students took the exam. 

The course is vigorous and challenging. Ryan describes it as “mostly discussion based,” but it also requires a conceptualization of diverse societal aspects. According to Kermond, the class uncovers history untraditionally, addressing “ethnicity, why people live somewhere, why they act like that, and how that affects everything around them.” The history department is excited to see how this class positively impacts students and expands history education at Scituate High School.