Monday, April 11, 2011

Re: Question About AP

Some blog followers might be interested in discussion-list post “Re: Question About AP” [Hake (2011)].

The abstract reads:

ABSTRACT: EDDRA2’s Susan Ohanian wrote: “Someone asked me for research questioning Advanced Placement.” I suggest Susan check out AP: A Critical Examination of the Advanced Placement Program [Sadler et al. (2010).]

In his review of that book Scott Jaschik wrote (paraphrasing): “Coeditor Sadler summed up by stating ‘Advanced Placement courses offer students an opportunity to study a subject in a very rigorous and demanding fashion [and] college admissions officers are correct to assume that success in the courses is a meaningful measure of academic achievements.’ ”

But if it’s so rigorous and such a good gauge of achievement why are “Force Concept Inventory” average pretest scores so abysmally low for university students entering introductory courses, many of whom have taken AP-Physics?

An older resource relevant to AP courses is the NRC’s Learning and Understanding: Improving Advanced Study of Mathematics and Science in U.S. High Schools [Gollub et al. (2002)].

BTW -Susan Ohanian wages unrelenting battle with the “Standardistas” at

To access the complete 13 kB post please click on

Richard Hake, Emeritus Professor of Physics, Indiana University
Honorary Member, Curmudgeon Lodge of Deventer, The Netherlands
President, PEdants for Definitive Academic References which
Recognize the Invention of the Internet (PEDARRII)

“The committee found that existing programs for advanced study are frequently inconsistent with the results of the research on cognition and learning. This report describes how program developers, schools, and educators can remedy this situation by considering all components of educational programs: curriculum, instruction, ongoing and end-of-course assessments, and teacher preparation and professional development.”
Gollub et al. (2002)

REFERENCES [All URL's accessed on 11 April 2011 and shortened by]

Gollub, J.P., M.W. Bertenthal, J.B. Labov, and P.C. Curtis. 2002. Learning and Understanding: Improving Advanced Study of Mathematics and Science in U.S. High Schools, National Academies Press, online at

Hake, R.R. 2011. “Re: Question About AP” online on the OPEN! AERA-L archives at Post of 11 Apr 2011 16:43:01 -0700 to AERA-L and Net-Gold. The abstract and link to the complete post are being distributed to various discussion lists.

Sadler, P.M., G. Sonnert, R.H. Tai, and K. Klopfenstein, eds. 2010. AP: A Critical Examination of the Advanced Placement Program. Harvard Education Press, publisher's information at information at

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