Thursday, December 11, 2014
Notes from NEASC, Part One
On to Friday.
BTW, I would sometimes describe AP classes as a "tragedy". They are not really college level because a full HS year is not the pacing of a 14+ week semester. A math prof at Johns Hopkins even does a special orientation for students entering calc 3 after taking two years to learn calc 1 and 2 in HS. They are not ready to learn outside the classroom.
It is also tragic to see an proto-engineer with all sorts of gen-ed AP credit but only a semester of calculus which then lies fallow all summer and sometimes in the fall as well if they think they can slack because they are an AP superstar. We've had concurrent enrollment HS students graduate with an AA that includes 4 semesters of calculus and 2 of physics before they get their HS diploma. Try doing that with AP!
BTW, we mostly use our own adjuncts in a HS classroom, but any HS teacher has to meet the MS in the field or equivalent to teach for us. They are "hired" just like adjuncts.
If you have robust data to that effect, you should direct a complaint to the accreditation group for that school, particularly if you suspect that they might not have a fully-qualified college instructor teaching in the HS. This is a known problem. My experience is with students taking those classes on our campus from our regular faculty.
Or maybe your calc 3 class isn't as challenging as ours or the one at Johns Hopkins. Just this semester we have seen students in shock at the challenge of taking both a college calculus 3 class and a college physics class at the same time as freshmen with AP credit. It is sometimes too late to recover when they finally discover the need to do homework.
I've never understood how high schools with their security/surveillance mentality could claim to teach a college course demanding free inquiry, questioning of authority, wide-ranging imagination.
It doesn't matter whether the high school teachers are qualified on paper. They work in a place where students are constantly being forbidden any idea or expression that might upset parents and school boards or administration, and it is the teachers' job, if they intend to keep that job, to enforce a host of petty regulations.
I argued against concurrent enrollment with cc administrators, explaining that some of the books I had students read would not be acceptable in local high schools and that language I allowed in student writing would be inflammatory in a high school setting--and that, therefore, it was a con saying that my class could be taught in a local high school.
Our dean asked if less controversial books couldn't be assigned and if it was really necessary to allow students to use rough language.
I thought the dean's remarks pretty well proved my point, but, you know, this dean was a pretty rigid order muppet....