The redesigning of the Advanced Placement Program is heading in the right direction. The changes which are to take effect in the 2012-2013 school year, are part of major redesign of the entire A.P. program. Currently there is a new A.P. Biology and United States History curriculum being implemented within select schools nationwide. What do the changes look like? The college board has reduced the amount of material the student has to know for the tests, and for the first time has supplied a curriculum framework for what courses should look like. The main objective of the change is to clear students’ minds to focus on bigger concepts (the big ideas), and stimulate more analytic thinking. This change will allow for more opportunities for A.P. teachers to design and deliver classroom instruction and lab experiences that help to develop and strengthen critical thinking skills. Critical thinking skills are essential for success in college and in the “real-world.” Good bye to the traditional 12 standard A.P. “Cookbook” labs, and say hello to an A.P. program that promotes inquiry. For more information about the reforms taking place in Advanced Placement courses see the following New York Times article 01/07/2011, by Christopher Drew.
Archive for January, 2011
PBS Teacher Line has introduced an online course developed at Purdue University for elementary teachers specifically to strengthen their teaching strategies in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) content. The Inspire Elementary Students with Engineering shares teaching strategies to provide students with an early foundation in engineering through standards-based science and math curriculum and to develop students’ critical-thinking and problem-solving skills. For more information see the following article by Dian Schaffhauser in the journal 01/05/2011.