Posted by & filed under Emerging Adulthood, Human Development, Motivation-Emotion, Student Success.

Description: Do you know what Advanced Placement exams are? High school students can study or take courses on advanced (beyond high school) topics and then, in May, write an exam in their chosen topic area and if they score high enough they can be granted an advanced standing that most colleges and universities will redeem for credit for a post-secondary course so the students can move to higher level courses quicker and perhaps graduate more quickly as well. In addition, beyond the leg-up in their chosen AP course subject area, students who take AP courses my also obtain a boost in their developmental readiness and their academic preparedness for their coming transitions to post-secondary lives and endeavors. So with this background information in mind do you think that particular AP courses or course topics might do a better job in these areas of post-secondary readiness and preparedness? Well, the College Board is an organization that works with all post-secondary education institutions. It maintains and administers all AP courses and exams and it also manages the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) and related selection tests. Because the College Board is supported by its affiliations with post-secondary education institutions it can, and does, amass huge amounts of longitudinal data looking at things like SAT scores, who takes which AP courses/exams AND how well do they all do once they engage in post-secondary studies? So, the College Board asked the question about which AP courses/exams most contributed to post-secondary success and what do you think those two courses/exams were focused on? Well, have a guess or two and then read the article linked below to find out what the data says. Oh, and do not get captured by the American context of College Boards analysis of their data. Instead, think about what the results might suggest if they are viewed within a more general context that the United States

Source: The Two Codes Your Kids Need to Know, Thomas L. Friedman, The New York Times.

Date: February 12, 2019

Photo Credit: Sarah Blesener for the New York Times

Article Link:

A large part of what makes the world and the future that students are looking towards as they make their post-secondary transitions are the complexities and uncertainties associated with the challenge of figuring out what to do, where to get and how to get there. What the AP courses that the College Board data suggests are of most assistance in the process of post-secondary transition share is that they shed some light on the complexities and they offer means to address some of the uncertainties associated with the emerging adults’ challenge of charting their own path in to the future these days. It is not so much the “codes” themselves that are of value but, rather, the understanding of what the codes do and how they came about that are of value. So understanding how building an app linked to an area of personal interest, curiosity, and creativity could provide a clearer view on the future through the informational/virtual realities we are moving towards could certainly be encouraging and empowering. As well, understanding the need for more, complex rather than fewer, simpler social engagements as students try and figure out what their own and their communities’ futures will be like could also be very helpful. So now all we have to do is to figure out how to provide these sorts of experiences to ALL high school students in ways that are more general and pervasive that American AP courses and exams.


Questions for Discussion:

  1. Why might learning how to code and develop App relevant to your own interests and curiosities be good for you?
  2. How might we generalize what focusing on the development of the US constitution can provide to high school students and emerging adults beyond the American Constitution?
  3. AP courses are typically viewed as something that academically “high flying” students do. How might we approach what the linked article suggests more generally in order to provide something of the suggested experience to most rather than just to a relative few students?

References (Read Further):

Côté, J. E. (2002). The role of identity capital in the transition to adulthood: The individualization thesis examined. Journal of youth studies, 5(2), 117-134.

Johnson, E. A., & Nozick, K. J. (2011). Personality, adjustment, and identity style influences on stability in identity and self-concept during the transition to university. Identity: An International Journal of Theory and Research, 11(1), 25-46.

Berzonsky, M. D., & Kuk, L. S. (2000). Identity status, identity processing style, and the transition to university. Journal of adolescent research, 15(1), 81-98.

Phillips, T. M., & Pittman, J. F. (2007). Adolescent psychological well-being by identity style. Journal of Adolescence, 30(6), 1021-1034.