[KACT] Re: AP Audits from Bruce

  • From: "Cline, Brad" <bcline@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <kact@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 6 Dec 2006 07:49:03 -0600

Here is an interesting side note in the AP Audit manual for Chemistry.
I have copied this out verbatim.



"The AP Program has embarked on an ambitious effort, funded by the
National Science Foundation to align the AP Chemistry coursed and exam
with introductory courses that research identifies as best facilitation
deep learning.  The AP Program is concerned that the amount of content
included on the AP Chemistry Exam is putting inappropriate pressure on
teachers to sacrifice depth of study to breadth of coverage, and is not
sufficiently fostering inquiry-based science learning.  We anticipate
that changes will be announced in 2007 but not implemented until, at
earliest, the May 2010 AP Chemistry Exam, providing several years for
raising awareness and building an understanding of these changes before
they are implemented."


I guess all the concerns teachers have voiced over the years might be
paying off. 


The truth is, I never teach to an exam... right now we have to give the
ACS exam for Wichita State University in our concurrent enrollment
course (Chemistry II).  My students did pretty well on the ACS exam last
spring and their was an underlying comment from a person at WSU implying
that I must teach to the test.  I didn't and it would have been rather
difficult to teach to the exam since last year was the first time I had
ever given the exam and up to the night before I gave it, I had never
seen it.  I simply teach Chemistry.  I do have the freedom to experiment
different approaches and try different types of lab work.  As long as
the students do learn the subjects with depth (not breadth), they will
be able to figure out most of the things being asked on the exams.  I
found many aspects of the ACS test (minus the free response questions)
to be similar to AP.  It is divided into one semester and I agree that
maybe AP should consider splitting Chemistry into two separate tests as
ACS did on their tests.  Maybe they should split to an AP Chemistry A
and AP Chemistry B to cover Gen. Chem I and II separately like you would
do at the college level.

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