Next month, the [College] Board, the nonprofit organization that owns the A.P. exams as well as the SAT, will release a wholesale revamping of A.P. biology as well as United States history — with 387,000 test-takers the most popular A.P. subject. A preview of the changes shows that the board will slash the amount of material students need to know for the tests and provide, for the first time, a curriculum framework for what courses should look like. The goal is to clear students’ minds to focus on bigger concepts and stimulate more analytic thinking. In biology, a host of more creative, hands-on experiments are intended to help students think more like scientists.
I find it interesting that the College Board could be leading the way toward putting the brakes on the mile wide/inch deep curriculum trend. I wonder how these changes in the AP courses and tests will translate (if at all) to the NJ state biology test (and other planned end-of-course tests) that are currently being revised because students performed so poorly. It will also be interesting to see how teachers will need to adapt their styles, etc., to the new curriculum.
In Ridgewood, our teachers completed an update of AP curriculum a few years ago. It looks like there will be new work to be done to revise our Biology and History curriculum again, to align with the AP courses and tests.
Click here for the full article in the NY Times.