Thank you to all of the teachers who participated in my recent survey regarding the course content of AP European History. This survey is part of a larger evaluation of the course that will appear in this space shortly.
Below are the written comments submitted with the survey:
But as the test is still a big unknown I do not feel comfortable significantly reducing content at this time.
11/12/2015 4:09 PM
The new format multiple choice is the biggest challenge. Available samples are limited, some seem VAGUE and subjective interpretations, others don’t need the given stimulus and/or are too easy. Students are just not sure how to deal, can’t figure out the subtle differences between answer options, and misinterpret the question itself.
11/12/2015 2:41 PM
The amount of specific content in the Framework is reduced, but that does not reduce the amount that needs to be taught. The Framework is broad, but the Exam will expect students to be able to provide specifics within those broad parameters. It would be a big mistake to think otherwise.
11/12/2015 2:14 PM
I like the emphasis on historical thinking skills and the change in the format of the exam. I believe it better reflects the types of assignments that are seen at the collegiate level and gives better insight into what it means to be a historian.
11/12/2015 1:55 PM
Look at the key concepts, the core is still there and all the “grey box” examples seem to mean is that whatever textbook you have is going to work now. In other words, if I teach Wordsworth and you teach Byron that’s fine and the kids won’t see a random specific person on a multiple choice question. Maybe I’m not “getting it”, but I don’t see any easy way to reduce content without losing the story of history.
11/12/2015 1:47 PM
The application of the new curriculum is so vague that that even with the list of test terms and concepts one is not sure what to cover content wise.
11/12/2015 1:44 PM
The new curriculum has changed *how* I cover the content, but not *how much* I cover.
11/12/2015 12:58 PM
Content reduced, but not enough to match the increase in time I have had to spend on skills.
11/12/2015 12:53 PM
I think it is AWESOME that it does!
11/12/2015 12:38 PM
I really feel the college board should give yearly indicators of emphasis. That way as teachers we can more adequately prepare when to go in depth and when to be broad. Alternate it every year to keep us honest and updating our practice.
11/12/2015 12:34 PM
I had already reduced content some to focus on big ideas, so the redesign hasn’t affected my coverage much.
11/12/2015 12:25 PM
It is less history and more skills as a trade off
11/12/2015 12:08 PM
I simply do not get the concept that we would rather have students in a history class learn to think like historians, as opposed to mastering the History of Europe!
11/12/2015 12:04 PM
I think the intent was to make that possible, but there are not enough hours in the day for me to go through my new text to select which sections to include in my reading assignments and which to leave out. When the textbook publishers have had time to process the revision and publish texts that correspond more closely to the learning objectives and the time periods, trimming content may be possible. Until then, I will struggle to pare down content so that we can focus on the historical thinking skills.
11/12/2015 11:38 AM
I find that teaching both AP Euro and AP World gets confusing due to the separate writing rubrics.
11/12/2015 11:12 AM
I have used the key-concept guide to reduce content and have found it’s very helpful
11/12/2015 11:12 AM
I actually feel that I have more content to cover. I eliminated some content, but now have to add in things that were not covered before.
11/12/2015 11:08 AM
It has added skill components, not that I don’t already teach some of them, BUT as far as I can see they just added them to an already crowded curriculum. I am not enamored at all of the new DBQ style, previously I thought it was a much better gauge of their ability to use documents for critical analysis, a skill that can transfer relatively easily to other classes, now it seems more specific and less useful to those students who will never study European history again.
11/12/2015 11:04 AM
I’m going deeper and can include more hands on project paced lessons.
11/12/2015 10:53 AM
Instead of reducing content, I feel that it has forced me to only change the way I deliver the content. I am forced to use a LOT more primary sources
11/12/2015 10:50 AM
Content may be reduced a little but other expectations (like different writing types, new rubrics for those, the themes and the historical thinking skills) require a lot more class time to teach, so I have to cut content-coverage to make sure students are able to understand rubrics, themes and thinking skills. A lot of fun projects are going to the side because of time constraints.
11/12/2015 10:45 AM
In some instances yes, but in others no. I also feel in some cases like I’m not giving my kids enough content.
11/12/2015 10:43 AM
I feel that it has shifted focus. Time must be spent teaching the historical skills, how to write 4 types of essays, and more social history must be taught.
11/12/2015 10:42 AM
It’s the same material, just formatted slightly differently, so the content hasn’t reduced.
11/12/2015 10:40 AM
The format of this course has made it more complicated and cumbersome for student learning.
11/12/2015 10:39 AM
While it appears from redesign that we have more freedom as teachers, the reality is that for students to understand the totality and impact of European history we need to cover the same amount of content.
11/12/2015 10:39 AM
It has helped me prioritize the concepts that are most important
11/12/2015 10:38 AM
I am one of those dinosaurs who believes we should teach history and not teach to the test. As a matter of fact, I am hard pressed to explain why anyone should place out of sophomore history. But I do believe there is real value in studying the history
11/12/2015 12:28 AM
It’s been tough this year; next year will be much better
11/11/2015 9:51 PM
It’s still a lot of material and it goes in depth but the creativity allowed in the illustrative examples is great.
11/11/2015 6:24 PM
I am a first year AP teacher and I know I am not covering enough content because we, as a class are trying to figure out the skills.
11/11/2015 5:43 PM
I feel like I can use fewer examples and go into greater detail. For example, when covering the Enlightenment I focused only on the philosophes specifically mentioned and spent more time in each. As a result, I feel like my students had a much better understanding of them than in the past, when I would try to cover 12-15 different people.
11/11/2015 10:40 AM
I’m basically teaching the same class as before: same book, same content, same reading quizzes, etc. It’s just that the assessments are aligned to reflect skills, concepts, and time periods in a different way than before.
11/11/2015 10:29 AM
I like the framework but our history load has not been reduced in any significant manner
11/11/2015 10:21 AM
So far I like the new rubrics, but I am not sure that I am doing the course and the kids justice. I guess I’ll find out in July how I did.
11/11/2015 10:20 AM
The new Curriculum Framework has reduced some of the pressure to cover everything included in our textbooks and focus instead on key examples and individuals to illustrate each of the key concepts.
11/11/2015 9:29 AM
I like the redesigns focus and new test formate but content has remained at the same level.
11/11/2015 8:55 AM
I feel like I have to cover every single chapter now. I used to skip about 3 and have the students do them on their own. I cannot afford to anymore. While the content questions have been reduced I feel the questions being asked in all formats of the tests require greater context to answer. They can’t answer these style of questions with background info or context.
11/11/2015 8:53 AM
The learning Objectives are so broad that I have increased lecture in class to convey the content efficiently and have had to sideline skills which is supposed to be the focus of the course. They have not provided effective strategies that work in my school district for content acquisition skills, It is always just “It is a college level course, the students have to master content on their own.”
11/11/2015 8:53 AM
Though the Key Concepts clearly identify the what, I do not feel it was a “reduction” in “what” we’re expected to teach: rather the inclusion of skills: writing and TLH have perhaps increased the amount/span of the “what.”
11/11/2015 8:45 AM