
Calculus Calculus Math Forum 
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March 13th, 2017, 08:38 AM  #1 
Member Joined: Nov 2016 From: USA Posts: 36 Thanks: 1  College math courses to teach high school AP CALCULUS well?
A very small private high school offers one period of AP Calculus and a handful of students enroll each year. The position pays around minimum wage, and so the private high school does not require a 4year bachelor's math degree, teaching license, or even classroom teaching experience. In the past, they had a 20 yearold community college student to teach not tutor the AP Calculus group of three students because she had done fairly well in Calculus I and Calculus II. Not sure how those three students did on AP exam though. What do you think is the bare minimum math content knowledge needed by an AP Calculus teacher in order to adequately prepare high school students to pass the AP exam? Is content knowledge of college Calculus I and Calculus II all that's really needed? Calculus III? Do any of the upper division college math courses in the 4year BS degree aid an AP Calculus math teacher to prepare the students to pass the AP exam? 
March 13th, 2017, 12:29 PM  #2 
Math Team Joined: Jan 2015 From: Alabama Posts: 3,264 Thanks: 902 
A degree would be nice but a person attempting to teach Calculus should have done well in: All the Calculus courses (of course), basic analysis, differential equations at a minimum. I am not listing algebra, PreCalculus, or other courses preceding Calculus that the person should have taken. And notice that I am not saying it is enough to have taken these courses they must have done well in them. (Isn't this going to cause problems with accreditation?) 
March 13th, 2017, 01:40 PM  #3  
Math Team Joined: Jul 2011 From: Texas Posts: 3,002 Thanks: 1588  Quote:
AP Course Audit  Teacher  
March 13th, 2017, 04:29 PM  #4 
Member Joined: Nov 2016 From: USA Posts: 36 Thanks: 1 
Maybe the course wasn't officially labeled an AP course but the students in the group still learned Calculus (and possibly took the AP exam).

March 13th, 2017, 11:51 PM  #5 
Global Moderator Joined: Dec 2006 Posts: 20,931 Thanks: 2205 
For how long each week are the students being taught this course? Also, do they have access to online resources so that they can read the details of anything they didn't fully understand in class?

March 14th, 2017, 08:39 AM  #6 
Member Joined: Nov 2016 From: USA Posts: 36 Thanks: 1 
Good questions. I was more focused on how indepth the math content knowledge of an instructor needs to be in order to teach high school students well enough to pass the AP Calculus exam. Happy Pi Day 3.14 
March 14th, 2017, 09:12 AM  #7  
Math Team Joined: Jul 2011 From: Texas Posts: 3,002 Thanks: 1588  Quote:
In short, one needs to be strong in algebraic methods, trig, and functional analysis. The calculus is the easy part ... students get lost in the aforementioned areas and require constant remediation as they progress through the course. Additionally, one must be proficient in using a graphing calculator as a teaching tool ... about half the AP exam is calculator active.  

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