SAS Curriculum Pathways and Advanced Placement: Feeding the Monster

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The College Board recently reported that the number of U.S. public school students taking Advanced Placement classes nearly doubled over the last decade. No doubt that growth has impacted schools, resources, and--in particular--AP teachers.

As a new Advanced Placement teacher, I remember needing strong lessons and resources, and lots of them. With the required rigor of the AP curriculum, I was unlikely, during the first year or two, to create particularly good lessons on my own. To be honest, simply mastering the curriculum was a full-time job.

Fortunately, the Talent Identification Program at Duke University sponsored a summer workshop for AP European History teachers. Without the focus, ideas, and materials gained from that program, I’m not sure how I would have taught the course with any level of success that first year.

Advanced Placement courses are challenging for teachers in just the same manner as they are challenging for students. Developing and implementing high-quality, rigorous materials is hard, even for experienced AP instructors.

SAS Curriculum Pathways was not specifically designed as a direct support for Advanced Placement courses. Our resources are aligned with individual state and Common Core standards. However, in each of the core disciplines (English language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, and Spanish), we offer numerous resources that teachers have found valuable for their AP curricula, which are often in sore need of new and engaging interactive experiences.

In social studies courses such as AP U.S. History, for example, primary-source document analysis is a core skill. SAS Curriculum Pathways Interactive Tools, such as African Americans and the New Deal, provide innovative and interactive instruction in document analysis within historical frameworks across U.S. and world history.

The Spanish Writing Tablet and corresponding Tool-based Lessons provide additional examples of how SAS Curriculum Pathways resources can directly support and build AP student skills and knowledge. And our Writing Navigator Series—which includes Writing Planner, Writing Drafter, and Writing Reviser—is a valuable addition to any Advanced Placement humanities course.

In future posts, we will look at resources from across the core disciplines and how they can add interactive, engaging student experiences to the existing rigor of the Advanced Placement classroom.

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About Author

Ralph Moore

Ralph Moore coordinates and conducts professional development for Curriculum Pathways. He works with schools and organizations around the country and has presented at conferences for organizations such as the National Council for the Social Studies and the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. A former army officer and social studies teacher, he spent 10 years on the Curriculum Pathways humanities team creating new digital curriculum products.

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