Challenges in Teaching the AP Human Geography Course to 9th Graders

Authors: Michael Scholz*, Winona State University, Ruojing Scholz, Texas State University
Topics: Geography Education
Keywords: AP Human Geography, Teaching, Exam Scores
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/10/2018
Start / End Time: 4:40 PM / 6:20 PM
Room: Astor Ballroom II, Astor, 2nd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Participation in the AP Human Geography (APHG) course has been increasing every year since its inception in 2001. In Fact, the percentage increase in participation has been higher than almost all other AP courses. As participation has increased, exams scores have decreased especially when you compare the scores on the exams from the first five years of the course to now. Much of the increase in participation on the APHG exam can be attributed to offering the course in the 9th grade. In some school districts where 9th grade participation has been encouraged, scores have been very low. Three focus groups were conducted at APHG summer workshops to determine what the challenges are teaching the APHG course to ninth graders. Insight into the challenges help explain why ninth grade students scores have been lower than other grade levels. Also, the information collected from the focus groups could be useful for school districts determining whether to teach the APHG course to ninth graders, and to teachers teaching the course to ninth graders.

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