The purpose of this study was to examine how practices and attitudes of high school teachers vary when comparing Advanced Placement (AP) courses to regular and honors track courses. The sample included science (n = 85) and math (n = 58) teachers who taught both an AP course and either a regular or honors course. These teachers indicated their pedagogical beliefs, the emphasis placed on different learning goals, the frequency of practices, and student autonomy. Unsurprisingly, teachers reported having AP students practice for standardized tests and learn test-taking strategies significantly more often than students in regular or honors track classes. Teachers also emphasized homework more often in AP than regular courses, and they gave students assessments requiring constructed responses to AP students more often than students enrolled in their regular classes. Interestingly, science teachers indicated having significantly less control in determining goals and selecting topics in AP classes compared to regular or honors, while math teachers indicated often having significantly more control in AP than in regular courses. Greatest differences were found between AP and regular math courses. Teachers reported differing goals and practices that imply AP math courses integrate more student engagement, promote greater depth of understanding, and better prepare students for further study. Results also underscore the importance for researchers to understand which students are being considered when teachers participate in research.


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pp. 226-249
Launched on MUSE
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