The purpose of this study is to examine the impacts of increased participation by 9th grade students in the AP Human Geography (APHG) course on APHG teaching, APHG learning, and the recruitment for the discipline of geography. In the first part of the study, APHG exam scores were collected from the Texas Education Agency (TEA) and aggregated by grade level to determine whether the scores of 9th grade students were significantly different from those of students in 10-12th grades. Teacher focus groups, administrators' interviews, and students' interviews were conducted to explore the challenges in teaching and learning the APHG course in the 9th grade. In the second part of the study, an on-line survey was conducted to students enrolled at Texas State University. The survey results were used to examine the impact of students taking the APHG course at different grade levels in high school on their choice of major/minor, interest level in geography and taking geography courses, and likelihood of pursuing a career in geography. Follow-up interviews were conducted to survey participants to explain the survey results. The results of the study demonstrated that 9th grade students scored lower on the APHG exam than students in other grades. The reasons behind the low scores of 9th grade students on the APHG exam cited were lack of writing skills, lack of knowledge of the world, lack of maturity, large vocabulary in the course, and lack of study skills. The on-line survey demonstrated that students who took the APHG course in the 9th grade were less likely to major/minor in geography, had a lower level of interest in geography and taking geography courses, and were less likely to pursue a career in geography than students who took the APHG course in 10-12th grades. The results of this study provide valuable information on the appropriate grade level to place the APHG course in the high school curriculum for students, teachers, parents, high school counselors and administrators, university geography instructors, geography organizations such as the National Council on Geographic Education (NCGE), and geography departments.The purpose of this study is to examine the impacts of increased participation by 9th grade students in the AP Human Geography (APHG) course on APHG teaching, APHG learning, and the recruitment for the discipline of geography.
|Title||:||An Analysis of the Performance and Subject Interest of 9th Grade Students Taking the Advanced Placement Course in Human Geography|