Advanced Placement Program - Are AP Classes Good for Students?
Mar 28, 2011 Other 1973 Views
The purpose of education is very important, and it is also fairly obvious to most people who take the time to stop and think about it: education serves to provide information and training to people, young and old, that will help them throughout the course of their lives. Although this is fairly obvious, in this case as in many others it is very productive to refresh our memories regarding these basic facts so that we can be in a better position to make informed decisions about the best way to make the most out of the educational experience for ourselves and our children.
If the purpose of education is to provide information and valuable skills training to people, and if those people benefit from that information, then it stands to reason that if we can offer those people more in-depth and advanced training, we should do so. This concept, once applied to the high school education experience, means that we should try to give students the most comprehensive and advanced training that they can handle, absorb, and turn into productive work. One program that attempts to make that goal a reality is the Advanced Placement program.
Advanced Placement classes are a way for students to take classes that are even more challenging and demanding than their regular courses. In Advanced Placement classes, or AP classes, students learn college level material on a variety of subjects, including several different English, History, Math, and Foreign Language classes, among others. At the end of the year, those same students have the opportunity to take the AP test that corresponds to the subject they took. If they are able to score high enough on those exams, they are able to earn college credit in that particular subject. That will allow the student to graduate sooner, or to have more time to pursue other classes in the time now freed up by the fact they do not have to take the class they have already earned credit for.
There are obvious advantages for students to taking Advanced Placement courses. They are able to learn about fascinating new topics that are normally reserved for college campuses, plus they are able to get a taste of what they will be exposed once they head to a university. They can exercise their analytical muscles so they will be ready to do their best later in their academic careers. On the other hand, when you push kids to do better, you always run the risk that they will get burnt out. If that happens, they may be soured on the idea of learning, which will be detrimental to them for the rest of their lives.
Higher learning programs like Advanced Placement courses can be wonderful opportunities for high school students. They can be a way for them to experience college life early, and even save time on the academic process down the line. However, any time you have the chance to challenge young people intellectually, there is the possibility of it backfiring. These types of courses should only be used by students who are ready for the burden.