Curriculum could be changing for high school

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Curriculum could be changing for high school

AP Music Theory, one of many classes to use AP Classroom, prepares for another day of class.

AP Music Theory, one of many classes to use AP Classroom, prepares for another day of class.

Sanjiv Iyer

AP Music Theory, one of many classes to use AP Classroom, prepares for another day of class.

Sanjiv Iyer

Sanjiv Iyer

AP Music Theory, one of many classes to use AP Classroom, prepares for another day of class.

Sanjiv Iyer, Photo Manager

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Curriculum for many classes is beginning to change into a standardized format, which could inhibit instructional freedom for many teachers.

Curriculum taught in a class is commonly thought to be up to what the teacher has prepared. The teacher is responsible for teaching material that is important to learn the core concepts of that class. They also make sure the students understand the topics to an acceptable level.

However, in standardized classes such as AP, students are being prepared for an exam that students across the country take. Teachers are expected to prepare students for these tests at the end of the year so the students can receive a good score.

Freedom in curriculum is a pressing issue in these classes as teachers are expected to cover a certain amount of material before the exam. Having too much instructional freedom in the class could allow for an excellent learning environment, but the class may not prepare students for taking the AP test. 

Associate Principal, Adam Pagett gave his perspective on the issue. “I believe the nature of AP courses requires a high degree of standardization. Unfortunately, this strict curriculum limits the educator in their instructional freedom of the course” he said.

These stricter curriculum changes are not merely a distant future. In this academic year, signing up for AP Classroom was mandated by the school for all AP classes. AP Classroom is primarily used by the school to sign up for AP test.They also contain a full year syllabus that provides teachers with tests and progress checks. 

Senior Mitchell Strobbe utilized the resources of AP classroom this year. “The things that AP classroom offers are beneficial because it gives students an idea about the kind of questions on the AP test, but it also makes the class too focused on AP and not always about learning the whole subject.”

While not all teachers are required to use these resources, they could be mandatory in the future.  Nearby school districts, such as Davenport, have much stricter guidelines which teachers are required to follow. While small changes have just begun to occur at PV in AP classes, they could be a sign for what is to come in all classes.

Pagett voiced his solution to the problem. “I believe the ideal scenario is for the teacher to use their knowledge and experience to find ways to supplement the AP curriculum with their own unique educational pedagogy as time provides.”