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Ap And Ibd Courses Essay

2436 words - 10 pages

In many secondary schools throughout the United States, Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) serve as the programs of choice to meet the needs of high ability or gifted students in the classroom. AP courses were introduced in the 1950s as a way to keep gifted students in their neighborhood high schools rather than transferring to private or parochial schools. AP courses are primarily offered to junior and senior students, although freshmen and sophomores are eligible to take them. In May 2013, over 2.2 million high school students took almost 4 million exams (AP Central, 2013). The International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) is an international, non-profit organization designed to meet the needs of highly motivated students. Unlike AP, which is a collection of individual courses, the IB expects students to complete a comprehensive course of study in six academic areas: first language, second language, social sciences, laboratory sciences, mathematics, and the arts. It also includes a requirement for community service and an individual research project to be completed by the student. A school must go through an extensive application and approval process by IBO in order to be certified to offer the IB program to its students (International Baccalaureate Organization, 2013). While the academic performance of these students is an important element of offering the classes, there have been few studies which have investigated the social and emotional development of students who complete these programs (Tookey, 2000). It is therefore critical to examine student perceptions of the social and emotional advantages and disadvantages to participating in these programs.

Academic Motivation for AP and IB
Neither the AP courses nor the IB program are specifically designed for gifted students, and have many students who do not qualify specifically as gifted participating; however, they are the programs of choice for many secondary schools. This can be attributed to several factors, including readily available curriculum, relatively low cost of implementation, accessibility for teacher training, and benefits for students, including college credit (Kyburg, Hertberg-Davis, & Callahan, 2007). Both students and teachers report a variety of academic benefits for students who participate in AP and IB classes. Teachers of AP and IB classes view their students as self-motivated, successful, and willing to take on a challenge (Hertberg-Davis, Callahan, & Kyburg, Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate Programs: A "Fit" for Gifted Learners?, 2006). The students who are taking these classes frequently report that AP and IB classes are among the most challenging and satisfying classes that students take while they are in high school. Many of these students have previous experience with general education classes and report struggles with feeling bored or unchallenged with the traditional curriculum (Hertberg-Davis, Callahan, & Kyburg,...

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