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The Atlantic: Success in High School Doesn’t Mean Good Grades in College.

Instead, the pair thinks that if high schools want to prepare students for college, they should focus less on specific content and more on critical thinking and reasoning.” I agree. My experience in AP classes revealed a great variation in curriculum compared to what was expected on the test; I felt ill-prepared when facing those questions. But my experience was umpteen decades ago.

The selection of ‘advanced’ students was even more wobbly, in my view. Such programs tend to look for students whose performance is improving beyond baseline; this is an inaccurate metric in isolation. Using myself as an example: I wanted to attend AP English. But I was bored, having already read through the assigned reading materials, so my performance was declining out of lack of mental stimulation. I didn’t make it. So I took an elective in “Journalism” instead.

Ultimately, on my first day in college, I was asked to write a paper. I’d already skimmed the table of contents of the assigned “English textbook”, so I gave them everything the book covered, and much more. Within minutes of arriving at my very second class in “college English”, the instructor marched me down to the Department head and she waived all English requirements for my degree, clearing me for anything I wanted to take, including electives.

Here’s the question: Would the AP course have made me any better? I wonder.

High school is not college. And I don’t think there’s any way to approximate the experience in a high school setting. It’s more than just the classes and curricula. You are challenged in multifarious ways, this often being the first time a child is truly ‘on their own’, eliciting different responses in different kids. So yes, critical thinking and reasoning.

07/26/16 • 08:24 AM • ChildhoodPersonalScholarly • No Comments
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