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395 ~1 Bendix ~ . Research Agenda for Advanced Studies High School Chemistry The chemistry panel identified a number of topics on which research is needed with respect to advanced studies in high school chemistry: 1. How do students who take advanced courses in high school chemis- try move through their college studies (e.g., choice of major, continued in- terest and enrollment in chemistry), and how well do they succeed com- pared with students who do not take these programs? Longitudinal data are needed to address these questions. 2. What are the actual costs for implementing, sustaining, updating, and upgrading advanced courses in the experimental sciences? Surveys of teach- ers are needed to determine actual costs. 3. Is there a difference in the academic success of students whose school districts spend more money on these programs (e.g., for staff development, materials, and modern equipment and facilities) compared with districts that spend less? 4. How much is information technology being integrated into advanced study courses, and what are the requirements for achieving such integration? 5. To what extent do the Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) courses reflect current approaches to teaching and learn- ing in introductory college courses? 6. How much variation exists in the granting of college credit and place- ment in courses to students who take advanced courses in high school? 7. What are the effects of the current ordering of prerequisite and ad- vanced courses in science? 8. Do advanced programs favor some kinds of students over others? 9. What backgrounds, credentials, and professional experience charac- terize teachers who are involved with these programs? Do these differences translate into how well students learn and achieve in the courses?
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396 CONTENT PANEL REPORT 10. What percentage of students who take AP chemistry take it as their first course in chemistry? How well do these students fare in the course and subsequently in college chemistry courses? 11. What proportion of students who take AP or IB chemistry do not take the examinations? What effect does the resulting lack of information about student learning have on the quality and quality control of the AP program in individual schools and on the AP program overall? 12. Are there advantages to having schools offer clusters of advanced study courses as opposed to isolated courses? What is the impact of not doing so (for example, in small high schools that can support only one or two advanced study courses that may not be connected with each other)? 13. Are there "critical masses" in the number of teachers in a school who teach advanced study courses? In other words, do differences in oppor- tunities for isolated teachers to communicate with colleagues translate into differences in learning and achievement of their students? 14. Are there "critical masses" in the number of students who enroll in advanced study courses? Are students who enroll in such courses either individually (e.g., through distance learning courses) or in small numbers at an advantage or disadvantage relative to students who are enrolled in very large classes? 15. What percentage of schools have prerequisites or other screening procedures for entry into advanced study courses? Do more stringent re- quirements for entry into such courses translate into differences in scores on the respective assessments? 16. What kinds of physical facilities, equipment and instrumentation, and support for laboratories are available to teachers and students in ad- vanced study programs in the experimental sciences? Do differences in the level and availability of such resources have an impact on student learning and performance? 17. Are there differences in student performance on advanced study examinations in districts or states that provide incentives to students to do well as compared with students in districts or states that do not offer these kinds of incentives?