June 29, 2011
Teachers from schools throughout Ohio and Kentucky attended the Advanced Placement Summer Institute at Shawnee State University in June.
The institute is subject-specific professional development that provides teachers with the support and training needed to teach AP courses and to utilize Pre-AP teaching strategies. The sessions were from Monday, June 20 through Thursday, June 23.
Workshops included AP English Literature and Composition, AP Biology, AP U.S. History, and AP Spanish Language and Culture.
Experienced AP-approved consultants are brought in to do the training. Isidore Julien from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind. was the AP Biology consultant. He has been a reader for the AP Biology exam for the past 19 years and he has served as a consultant for 15 years.
Participants learned how to start an AP Biology program at their schools including the selection of students, among other things.
"It was a good experience," said Leanne Frazer-Watkins, biology teacher from Hillsboro High School. "It was a nice chance to go through the AP Biology content, and also to share ideas with fellow biology teachers and to collaborate."
Frazer has taught AP Biology for three years and wanted to see the curriculum changes in the program and how they might affect her current curriculum.
John Struck from the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science & Technology in Alexandria, Va. has been teaching AP U.S. History for 25 years and he has served as a consultant for 10 years.
Dr. Janice Neuleib, a professor from Illinois State University in Normal, Ill. taught the English Language and Composition AP course and she has led College Board workshops in the Midwest for the past 20 years.
David Marlow, from Parkersburg High School in West Virginia, a National Board Certified teacher who has taught for more than 30 years, taught the Spanish Language and Culture AP course.
"AP week is intense and the consultants cover an enormous amount of material in a very short amount of time," said Ginnie Moore, director, University Outreach Services that coordinates the AP Institute on the SSU campus.
The teachers worked on developing a syllabus for the AP course. They experienced actual AP course work, reviewed potential textbooks for their AP course, and discussed effective teaching techniques and strategies, while learning more about the AP exam.
This is the first year for Rick Sypert, a biology teacher from Boardman High School in northeast Ohio, to teach AP Biology.
"It was really nice coming down here and learning from other teachers," Sypert said. "I've gotten some good advice and it has taken away some of the fear of teaching AP. I feel a lot better about it now."
The Shawnee State University AP Institute is funded in part by the Scioto Foundation. Through its UCAN initiative, the Scioto Foundation provided scholarships for all Scioto County teachers who participated in the AP Summer Institute.