International Journal of Education and Psychological Research

(Print and Online Peer Reviewed Journal)

Print - ISSN: 2349 - 0853
e - ISSN: 2279 - 0179


(June 2019)

Evolving Stances in Advanced Placement Summer Institute Teaching

Authors: Joseph Milner

Pages: 96-98


I have been involved in Advanced Placement institutes for over thirty years, not as a bright, hardworking teacher or as a brilliant Advanced Placement Summer Institute (APSI) consultant, but in the near-at-hand and deeply involved role as Director of one of College Board's long standing AP Summer Institutes at Wake Forest University. We began this institute so that very able AP consultants could help bright young teachers understand what AP coursework and exams involved and what were the best ways to help them know how to teach bright students in schools across the region. This would equip their students to score in the 4 to 5 range on the College Board exams and place out of entry courses when they began their college careers. This is, of course, merely a rough version of our mission and more directly practical than most of our AP Teachers would be willing to articulate. We began our institute with a small core of Teacher Consultants many of whom were AP teachers in our LEA, but year by year our reach into more distant school districts led us to work with an ever more widely recognized group of consultants who were earning ever more solid reputations in the world of AP consultants. This brief slab of history brings us to a review of our consultants' pedagogical stances. I wanted to know how five of them sensed where they stood on the question of a shift in their teaching style to a more open pedagogy over the past five years. So I developed five questions about their pedagogy, their sense of how they might have changed over the past five years, their comparison of their change with that of AP colleagues, and the support for that change from school leaders. The responses of five of them confirmed most of my expectations and made me realize that the pedagogy of the consultants had made a turn toward a more transformational or exploratory pedagogy over recent years. Three of the consultants were males and two were females. Three were young teachers with less than twenty years of teaching while two were older with thirty plus years of teaching. Two were math or science teachers and three were humanities or social science teachers. They represented different numbers of years of teaching experience and different disciplines. We hoped to review each of the five consultants' responses to the five pedagogical questions to understand whether significant change occurred or if teaching methods have remained much the same over the past five years.