Changes to AP Biology- a focus on Big Ideas in Life Science

Advanced Placement Biology plans to implement a revised course for 2012-13. These changes are intended to provide students with a more rigorous conceptual understanding of the big ideas in life science.

See the Course Revisions at a Glance to get a sense of the intent of the revised course. The wording below provides an overview of the changes..

College and university biology professors are seeking students who have developed not just solid knowledge of the facts of biology, but also the ability to put those facts into practice. The revised AP Biology course, which is equivalent to a rigorous college-level introductory course, reflects the need to prepare students for college success. Some key goals of the revision process include the following:

  • Reduce the breadth of content to promote conceptual understanding
  • Provide a comprehensive curriculum framework
  • Emphasize scientific inquiry and student-directed labs
  • Articulate clear learning objectives
Click HERE to see the AP Biology Curriculum Framework- I think it is very interesting to note the Exclusion Statements (those things that should be de-emphasized during instruction). See the example below:
✘ Memorization of the names, molecular structures and specific effects of all plant
hormones are beyond the scope of the course and the AP Exam.
This seems like a positive step to me, however, I also wonder how teachers of AP Biology courses feel about this.

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