Navigating Change News

Teachers adapt to new APUSH, AP Physics changes

By Carter Santini ’15
THE ROUNDUP

Brophy science and history teachers say they are easily adapting to teaching toward a new AP test format for 2015.

The College Board changed the AP United States History and Physics B tests in order to better exemplify the goals which college classes strive to reach, according to Brophy AP teachers.

In both cases, this was met by giving the students an in-depth analytical look into the subject and less fact-based memorization.

“I think the changes were made to give teachers a little more freedom with what’s being taught. There’s more of an emphasis on critical thinking skills,” said APUSH teacher Mr. Matt Hooten when asked if he liked the changes.

Mr. Hooten said that he supports the changes in the test and class because the course now teaches students skills a historian actually uses, as well as letting him creatively design the class.

“My class is going to do more of a focus on historical thinking skills in smaller chunks … We’ll still read the textbook, I think that content knowledge is still going to be important,” Mr. Hooten said.

In addition to changing lecture style, Mr. Hooten is also changing the way he quizzes so he can better reflect the type of questions students will be asked.

The AP United States history test has already been administrated to a few Brophy students this past summer, one of whom was Anthony Gutierrez ’15.

“It’s a lot harder now, it requires more elaborate responses.” Gutierrez said.

Gutierrez said that even though the text is now more difficult, it will give students a deeper understanding of the different time periods.

The Physics B test changed more radically; the College Board got rid of it completely and replaced the class with two new classes; AP Physics 1 and 2.

Mr. Micheal Welty ’83 said the change was necessary as Physics B attempted to cover too much content in one year.

Mr. Welty said the science faculty is now trying to stress a deep conceptual understanding of Physics and less of a stress on arithmetic.

The science changes are too new with a completely reformatted test to know how the science department will adapt.

Mr.Welty said they are waiting for more data from this year.