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Learning and Understanding: Improving Advanced Study of Mathematics and Science in U.S. High Schools - Report of the Content Panel for Chemistry Institutions awarding AP examination–based course credit or advanced placement should consider doing so only for a grade of 4 or 5, not for a grade of 3. The College Board is currently conducting studies on the validity of a grade of 3 for the awarding of college credit, and the panel applauds this effort. However, until that study is complete, it remains unclear whether students who have earned a score of 3 have achieved sufficient understanding of the subject matter at a level comparable to college courses to merit credit and placement out of the introductory course. The chemistry panel recommends that to be effective, advanced courses in chemistry must reflect recommendations in the areas of content, pedagogy, and assessment contained in the National Science Education Standards (NRC, 1996). FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS REGARDING THOSE WHO TEACH AP AND IB CHEMISTRY COURSES The chemistry panel recommends that to be a qualified AP or IB teacher, the teacher must have a B.S. or B.A. degree in chemistry (which includes a two-semester physical chemistry course sequence with laboratories), and preferably an M.A. or M.S. degree in chemistry. The chemistry panel does not view a B.S. in science education as being adequate preparation for these teachers, nor does the College Board. A qualified advanced study chemistry instructor should have experience with effective current and emerging approaches to chemistry teaching and assessment in the subject and their applications to the AP and IB Chemistry courses. The qualified AP or IB Chemistry teacher should have a working familiarity with teaching technologies (e.g., Web, electronic media, laboratory instrumentation) and their appropriate uses. There should be required periodic, funded professional development opportunities, including content instruction, research participation, and pedagogy workshops, for teachers of advanced courses in chemistry. This recommendation is consonant with the Glenn Commission’s description of what constitutes professional development: “a planned, collaborative educational process of continuous improvement for teachers that helps them to do five things: (1) deepen their knowledge of the subject(s) they are teaching; (2) sharpen their teaching skills in the classroom; (3) keep up with developments in their fields and in education generally; (4) generate and contribute new knowledge to the profession; and (5) increase their ability to monitor students’ work so they can provide constructive feedback to students and appropriately redirect their teaching” (NCMST, 2001, p. 18). Professional development opportunities, such as the experience of teaching courses or laboratories at colleges or universities and undertaking original research in industry, at government laboratories, or in collaboration with college faculty, would be particularly valuable for AP and IB Chemistry teachers. High school–system personnel policies
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Learning and Understanding: Improving Advanced Study of Mathematics and Science in U.S. High Schools - Report of the Content Panel for Chemistry should encourage rather than inhibit such professional development activities during the academic year. AP and IB Chemistry teachers can profit from discussions with each other. School districts and schools should find ways to initiate and sustain such conversations and to share them with a wider audience. Communication about areas of common interest between chemistry faculties in high schools and those teaching general chemistry in institutions of higher education would be extremely helpful for both communities (see also the recommendations under Vision 4 in Transforming Undergraduate Education in Science, Mathematics, Engineering, and Technology [NRC, 1999]). AP and IB Chemistry teachers should be participating members of professional organizations such as the National Science Teachers Association and the American Chemical Society’s Division of Chemical Education. Through such participation, teachers gain a sense of belonging to a community of professionals who are similarly inclined to excel in their teaching. They gain access to colleagues and resources that would have been largely inaccessible without membership.
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Learning and Understanding: Improving Advanced Study of Mathematics and Science in U.S. High Schools - Report of the Content Panel for Chemistry REFERENCES American Chemical Society. (1997). Chemistry in the National Science Education Standards: A Reader and Resource Manual for High School Teachers. Washington, DC: American Chemical Society, Education Division. Blank, R. K. (1992). State Data on Teacher Supply, Equity, and Qualifications, pp. 227-240 in Boe, E.E. and D. M. Gilford (Eds), Teacher Supply, Demand, and Quality: Policy Issues, Models, and Data Bases, Washington, DC: National Academy Press. Bodner G., L. Rickard, and J. Spencer. (1999) Chemistry: Structure and Dynamics, New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. College Entrance Examination Board. (1994). College and University Guide to the Advanced Placement Program. New York: author. College Entrance Examination Board. (1999a). Advanced Placement Program Course Description: Chemistry, May 2000, May 2001 [acorn book]. New York: author. College Entrance Examination Board. (1999b). Released Exam: 1999 AP Chemistry. New York: author. College Entrance Examination Board. (2001a). Advanced Placement Program Course Description: Chemistry, May 2002, May 2003 [acorn book]. New York: author. College Entrance Examination Board. (2001b). Advanced Placement Program National Summary Report: May 2001. New York: author. Commission on the Future of the Advanced Placement Program. (2001). Access to excellence: A report of the Commission on the Future of the Advanced Placement Program. New York: College Entrance Examination Board. Council of Chief State School Officers. (1997) State Indicators of Science and Mathematics Education 1997, Blank, R. F. (ed.). Washington, DC: author. Damji, S. and A. Zipp. (2000a). Diploma Years Programme Teacher Training Workshops: Fall 1999-Spring 2000: Chemistry Book 1, Chemistry and the IB, Examinations, Practical Work. New York: International Baccalaureate North America (IBNA).
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Learning and Understanding: Improving Advanced Study of Mathematics and Science in U.S. High Schools - Report of the Content Panel for Chemistry International Baccalaureate Organisation. (1996). Diploma Programme Guide: Chemistry. Geneva, Switzerland: author. International Baccalaureate Organisation. (1999). Teacher’s Support Material: Experimental Science Internal Assessment. Geneva, Switzerland: author. International Baccalaureate Organisation. (2001). Diploma Programme Guide: Chemistry (for first examinations in 2003). Geneva, Switzerland: author. Landis C. R., and G. E. Peace. (1998). The New Traditions Consortium: Shifting from a Faculty-Centered Paradigm to a Student-Centered Paradigm. Journal of Chemical Education, 75(6), 741-744. Moore B. and B. Spencer. (1999). ChemConnections modules. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Moore J., C. Stanitski, J. Wood, J. C. Kotz, and M. D. Joest. (1998). The Chemical World: Concepts And Applications 2ed. Fort Worth: Saunders College Publishing. Mullins, J. (1994). Teacher’s Guide to the Advanced Placement Course in Chemistry. New York: College Entrance Examination Board and Educational Testing Service, 1994. National Commission on Mathematics and Science Teaching for the 21st Century. (2001). Before It’s Too Late: A Report to the Nation from the National Commission on Mathematics and Science Teaching for the 21st Century. Washington, DC: US Department of Education. National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. (2000). Principles and standards for school mathematics. Reston, VA: Author. National Research Council. (1996). National science education standards. National Committee on Science Education Standards and Assessment. Coordinating Council for Education . Washington, DC: National Academy Press. National Research Council. (1997). Improving Teacher Preparation and Credentialing Consistent with the National Science Education Standards. Washington, DC: National Academy Press. National Research Council. (1999). Transforming undergraduate education in science, mathematics, engineering, and technology. Committee on Undergraduate Science Education. Center for Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Education . Washington, DC: National Academy Press. National Research Council. (2000a). Educating teachers of science, mathematics, and technology: New practices for the new millennium. Committee on Science and Mathematics Teacher Preparation . Washington, DC: National Academy Press. National Research Council. (2000b). How people learn: Brain, mind, experience, and school (Expanded ed.). Committee on Developments in the Science of Learning. J.D.
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