July 9, 2010
High School English, U.S. History, and Calculus teachers participated in the annual Advanced Placement Institue at The College of Wooster earlier this summer.
WOOSTER, Ohio - Even the best teachers can benefit from some occasional tutoring. Just ask the 58 high school educators who made their way to Wooster last month for the College's annual Advanced Placement (AP) Institute.
Directed by Jim Hartman, professor of mathematics and computer science at Wooster, the AP Institute aims to provide teachers with opportunities to sharpen their skills so they can better prepare students for the rigors of college courses.
"AP Institutes help teachers learn the philosophy and objectives of the Advanced Placement subjects they will be teaching," said Hartman. "Through the summer institutes, teachers can make connections with other teachers who have more experience in their subjects, learn about skills necessary for students to be successful on the advanced placement exams, and get new ideas and techniques for teaching."
Endorsed by the College Board, College of Wooster faculty co-teach with high school educators in the areas of English, U.S. History, and Calculus. Within the sessions, teachers become students once more as they sit in college classrooms and lecture halls with eyes fixed on those instructing them. They receive AP workbooks, and the class is conducted in the traditional lecture/discussion format.
Included among this year's participants was Cindy Burroughs, an English teacher from Fremont, Ohio, who said that the group work was highly beneficial because "you can compare and contrast notes in order to see what works based on the experiences of others." She also said that the presentations were useful because they demonstrated how to make AP a well-rounded college-oriented course, not just teaching for a test.
Mike Mundy, an English teacher from East Canton High School where he is hoping to start an AP course in composition, talked about the sheer volume of data. "When you're dealing with AP, you're dealing with massive amounts of information," he said. "It is a challenge to process it all."
And with that challenge, the teachers attending the institute explored the complex cycle of learning how to learn in order to learn how to teach.
[Story written by Libby Fackler '13; photo taken by Quentin Fisher '13]
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