Social Studies

Revised AP Biology Course Coming, But U.S. History Delayed

By Erik W. Robelen — January 31, 2011 1 min read
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The College Board tomorrow is expected to issue a “sweeping revision” to the Advanced Placement course and exam in biology, but has decided to delay similar changes in U.S. history by a year to address concerns expressed by some high school teachers, The New York Times reports.

The newspaper notes that the changes in both subjects are part of a broad revamping of AP courses and exams to reduce memorization and to foster more analytic thinking. For the big picture on that, you may want to check out this information from the College Board website, as well as this separate article in The Times from early January.

Today’s story explains that “while the new biology curriculum is specific about what material needs to be covered, some teachers complained that parts of the history course seemed vague, and the board said it needed more time to clarify what should be studied.”

The biology curriculum will take effect in 2012-13, while the history curriculum will begin the following academic year.

The changes in biology also come as a separate effort is under way to craft new national science standards. My latest intelligence on this initiative is the framework to guide those standards will be out sometime this spring.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Curriculum Matters blog.