We are currently accepting applications for the first NABT/BSCS AP Biology Leadership Academy. The first Academy is limited to 50 participants. Applications are due by 25 May 2012.
- The supervisor signature form must be received for an application to be considered.
- Participating in the academy requires a two year commitment.
- Direct costs for participants total $375 per year, which includes an annual NABT membership.
- Participant support costs total $2500 per year and can be covered by sponsoring organizations or schools.
AP Biology Leadership Academy Overview
The mission of the Academy is to develop a critical mass of leaders and change agents who truly understand the AP Biology Curriculum Framework and are able to design and teach a course that exemplifies the framework. These leaders will also be able to design non-AP courses that emphasize big ideas and unifying concepts of biology and use the practices of science to help students learn these concepts.
The AP Biology Leadership Academy is designed to inspire teachers to inspire biology learners by meeting the following goals for AP biology teachers:
- Experience the practices of science and be able to translate them into meaningful classroom instruction;
- Understand how to take the ideas from the new framework and apply them to your curriculum materials to emphasize content coherence, focus, and rigor;
- Improve the teaching of AP biology so that students learn more meaningful biology and are more interested in studying biology further;
- Learn to use formative and summative assessment information to analyze teaching and learning;
- Develop and increase leadership capacity and advocacy skills within the AP biology community; and
- Strengthen and grow the NABT biology teacher community.
Key features embedded in the design of the Academy program include the following:
- A multi-year experience that challenges and strengthens teachers’ thinking about content and pedagogy;
- Structured activities that provide teachers with support for redesigning their AP Biology courses, including changing the way the content is experienced and understood by students, the nature of the lab experiences, and the development of a storyline that ties the big ideas to each other and to the related biological ideas; and
- Specific strategies and opportunities to develop the leadership capacity to build a regional AP Biology communities that foster understanding of the framework in other teachers.
Content and Pedagogy
The content and pedagogy of the AP Biology Leadership Academy are developed through five strands:
1. Practices of Science: Participants will engage in inquiry experiences as students and reflect on and develop deeper understandings of inquiry and how practices of science support inquiry.
2. Nature of the Curriculum: Participants will examine in depth the four big ideas identified in the new AP Biology Curriculum Framework, the essential knowledge components of each, and the relationships among and between the components and the big ideas. They will use this understanding to analyze the materials they use in their AP courses.
3. Teaching Practice: Participants will study research about learning and the implications of that research for effective teaching. They will bring their new understanding from each of these first three strands together to align the curriculum materials they are using to the new framework.
4. Assessment: Participants will explore how to effectively use formative assessments to help inform their teaching and provide feedback to students. They will plan courses of action to follow based on student responses to the formative assessments. They will also consider ways to incorporate the practices of science into authentic summative assessments.
5. Leadership: Participants will assess their own strengths and limitations with regard to leading other teachers in centering their instruction on major biological concepts and the practices of science. They will also learn about the change process itself, the challenges that humans experience in adapting to change, and how to support people through change.
The leadership expectations for participants in the Academy include leading one teacher workshop after Summer 1 and leading two teacher workshops after Summer 2. Those completing the optional third year of the program will work in teams to conduct regional versions of the Academy.
Schedule and Commitment
The Leadership Academy is a two-year program, with an optional third year for those selected to lead regional academies. The program begins with a summer institute and continues with participation at the NABT Conference and an online component throughout the school year. This pattern repeats in the second year and optional third year.
June 25-29 or July 9-13, 2012
Colorado Springs, CO
|NABT Professional Development Conference
October 31-November 3, 2012
Dates TBA 2012
Colorado Springs, CO
|NABT Professional Development Conference
November 20-23, 2013
Atlanta, GA 2013
Participation in the first Academy will be limited to 50 participants. Priority will be given to NABT members.
Costs and Sponsorship
The cost for each participant is $375 per year ($750 total) plus an estimated $2500 per year for travel, meals, and lodging ($5000 total).
Participant Direct Costs
$375 each year includes:
- $75 NABT annual membership (if you are already an NABT member, deduct this expense from the annual direct costs for the Academy)
- $200 Academy registration
- $100 NABT Professional Development Conference Registration
Participant Support Cost
$2500 each year (estimate) includes:
- Travel, lodging, and meals for summer institute
- Travel and lodging for NABT conference
Sponsorships for participant support costs will be available to a selected number of applicants for the Academy. Details will be forthcoming. Please indicate on your application if you need assistance in securing sponsorship funding.
AP Biology Curriculum Framework
The revised AP Biology Curriculum Framework specifies a coherent curriculum organized around four big ideas in biology:a
- The process of evolution drives the diversity and unit of life;
- Biological systems utilize free energy and molecular building blocks to grow, to reproduce, and to maintain dynamic homeostasis;
- Living systems store, retrieve, transmit, and respond to information essential to the processes; and
- Biological systems interact, and these systems and their interactions possess complex properties.