Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Teaching aids

Gapminder World has long been one of my favorite resources for teaching about specific topics. I never fail to learn something from it.

Hans Rosling, creator of Gapminder
The dynamic charts you can produce with Gapminder are wonderful and wonderous.

There are hundreds of factors (environmental, health, energy, education… ) that you can choose to display on the Gapminder World graph and look for relationships between the factors.

Countries are displayed on the graph by circles whose size is dependent upon population and whose color is determined by location. You can choose to display all countries or just selected ones.

You can choose to see comparisons for nearly any year in the past two centuries (or more in some cases).

If you or your students have the hardware, set them to work evaluating hypotheses they make or describing changing relationships over time.

Many Gapminder demonstrations are available at YouTube as well.

Gapminder World


Gapminder For Teachers
Featured examples of Gapminder in education:
  • Gapminder and Worldmapper
  • Gapminder course at the NYC iSchool
  • Gapminder World
  • Gapminder World Offline
  • Teacher’s guide: Lesson on 200 years that changed the world
  • Life Expectancy PowerPoint
  • Teacher’s guide: Quiz about Global Development
  • Human Development Trends 2005
  • Gapminder’s card game


Gapminder Answers
A fact-based worldview starts with getting the big picture right. Each of these videos answer a common fact-question about global proportions and macro trends, in less than 90 seconds. We've left out any distracting details in order to make the big picture as clear as possible and easy to remember. Enjoy!

  • How Did The World Population Change?
  • How Did Babies per Woman Change in the World?
  • How Reliable is the World Population Forecast?
  • How Did Babies per Woman Change in Different Regions?
  • How Does Income Relate to Life Expectancy?
  • Will Saving Poor Children Lead to Overpopulation?
  • How Can the World Population Forecasts Be So Good?
  • How Many are Rich and How Many are Poor?
  • What Makes the World Population Continue to Grow?
  • Where Do People Live?
  • The Rapid Growth of the World Population, When Will it Slow Down?

Teaching Comparative blog entries are indexed. Use the search box to look for country names or concept labels attached to each entry.

The Comparative Government and Politics Review Checklist.



Two pages summarizing the course requirements to help you review and study for the final and for the big exam in May. It contains a description of comparative methods, a list of commonly used theories, a list of vital concepts, thumbnail descriptions of the AP6, and a description of the AP exam format. $2.00. Order HERE.

Just The Facts! 2nd edition is a concise guide to concepts, terminology, and examples that will appear on May's exam.


Just The Facts! is available. Order HERE.

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What You Need to Know 7th edition is ready to help.


Order the book HERE
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What You Need to Know: Teaching Tools, the original version and v2.0 are available to help curriculum planning.











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