News of the WeekU.S. SCIENCE EDUCATION

Revisions to AP Courses Expected to Have Domino Effect

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Science  18 Sep 2009:
Vol. 325, Issue 5947, pp. 1488-1489
DOI: 10.1126/science.325_1488

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Summary

In July, the College Board unveiled the first piece of a major revision of the science syllabi for the Advanced Placement (AP) program, a suite of high school courses intended to mirror an introductory college course that students can receive college credit for passing. The new courses will emphasize conceptual knowledge, updated regularly and learned by doing, along with teaching how scientists ask and answer important questions. And this week, the board released a related document, called Standards for College Success, that suggests how science should be taught throughout secondary (middle and high) school. Biology is the first of the AP science courses being revised, and there's a consensus that it's also the course most in need of drastic changes.