Thursday, May 10, 2007

Crash course in AP

Another segment of the road of AP courses. In the last segment, the College Board, who administers annual AP courses required for potential AP teachers to send their syllabus for evaluation in order to determine if it meets college requirements. Now, the College Board offered teachers necessary workshops on how to develop AP courses and curriculum. However, there were mixed feelings after the workshops. Some of the indicated that they enjoyed the workshops and hoped that the lessons would give their students a good, all-purpose tool in education. But they were also worried that they could be setting up students to fail by moving so fast. In an AP course, the teacher and students have to move through the curriculum at a much rapid pace than what is demonstrated in a regular classroom because the annual exams are given during the month of May.

AP courses, tough and easily compared across jurisdictions, are often used as a measure of how much a school is challenging its students. The teachers in the class backed their expansion, saying it would allow talented students to take tough courses no matter where in the county they went to school. Some students take advantage of AP classes in order to determine if they are ready for college. I am one of those people. I took AP Biology during my senior year because I wanted a challenge plus I ran out of required science classes that were given at my local high school. I did well in the class even though it was challenging. However, I did not perform very well on the annual AP exam so I did not get any course credit for biology. But, I felt that I knew what I should expect from a college class in biology. The very first midterm, I received a low B, which in my mind is a job well done.

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