Much excitement and trepidation heralded the first look at the new AP Biology Curriculum Guide presented by the College Board this past year. Much of the reaction has been very positive (see Jung Choi's assessment at http://jchoigt.wordpress.com/2010/07/08 new-ap-biology-curriculum-framework//), but there is also concern about how to implement the new curriculum. Many teachers are now wondering if they will have to redo their entire syllabus, or incorporate different material. This is where experienced teachers and The American Biology Teacher can help. Beginning with this November//December issue, selected articles will be identified as ““Recommended for AP Biology”” to help teachers in their AP Biology classes. Experienced teachers can look at the new curriculum and see where it coincides with their own syllabi, see how laboratory investigations can be more open ended and student driven, and see where help may be needed in clarifying certain concepts. They can then share this information with new teachers by publishing AP-oriented articles in ABT.
I know from personal experience that the AP teacher community consists of professionals who are willing to share their expertise through the Electronic Discussion Group (affectionately known as ““the listserve””). From that resource I have gleaned many useful ideas for student work, from how to do reports and rubrics, to labs, to general information. Sharing through ABT allows an even broader audience for these great ideas.
Some possible topics for AP-oriented articles include the following:
•• Cladistics –– how to teach the concept and practice
•• Bioinformatics –– how bioinformatics is used, how to teach it, sources
•• Molecular genetics –– new information, especially the role of RNA and the modular structure of eukaryotic DNA
•• Cell biology –– different methods of performing photosynthesis and respiration labs
•• Ecology –– succession, interrelatedness of organisms
•• Efficient use of class time to maximize student understanding through projects and reports
•• And the list goes on!
So much knowledge and expertise reside within the AP Biology community, and NABT and The American Biology Teacher are just giving us another way to share.