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March 13th, 2017, 08:38 AM   #1
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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 4-year bachelor's math degree, teaching license, or even classroom teaching experience. In the past, they had a 20 year-old 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 4-year BS degree aid an AP Calculus math teacher to prepare the students to pass the AP exam?
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March 13th, 2017, 12:29 PM   #2
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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?)
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March 13th, 2017, 01:40 PM   #3
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Quote:
Isn't this going to cause problems with accreditation?
The College Board requires an audit ...

AP Course Audit - Teacher
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March 13th, 2017, 04:29 PM   #4
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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).
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March 13th, 2017, 11:51 PM   #5
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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?
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March 14th, 2017, 08:39 AM   #6
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Good questions. I was more focused on how in-depth 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
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March 14th, 2017, 09:12 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seventy7 View Post
Good questions. I was more focused on how in-depth 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
I earned a Bachelors in Math and was out of academia for over 20 years until I started teaching in a public high school after retiring from the USN. I started teaching Precalculus and Algebra 2 for three years until the current AP Calculus teacher retired. I was asked to take over the position ... took me a good 3-4 years of making many errors & attending College Board sponsored Summer workshops to get half-way proficient in teaching the AP content.

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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