Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Rigor-Relevance in AP Economics

Summary: Quadrant D and AP Microeconomics and AP Macroeconomics.

How has globalization affected the way we communicate, work, and learn? Many education reformers have advanced the Rigor-Relevance Model in which Quadrant D activities relate learning to Bloom's Taxonomy, cross-curriculum, and unexpected events.

At Muscatine High School, learning the Rigor-Relevance Model has taken center stage as teaching for the 21st Century. The framework is here.

Our district has begun to include in teacher evaluations rhetoric from this model. Our district administrators want to see more "hands-on" activities used in the classroom. According to our superintendent, Mr. William Decker, 40% of classroom time is spent "coloring, watching videos, and working on worksheets."

Teaching AP Economics is a Quadrant C activity in my opinion. My evaluation for teaching this class is the pass rate of my students. My district wants me to move to Quadrant D developing lesson plans that take days to implement to make instruction relevant.

Let me be clear: I believe that the Rigor-Relevance Model is a model that describes learning and I have worked to include in my AP Economics lessons. For example, I recently showed diminishing marginal returns by using David Anderson's Links lesson plan. I also plan to use the Labels lesson plan to show the direction of trade in macroeconomics. My problem is one of benefit and cost. Should I take a week to show the Phillips Curve in AP Macroeconomics when there might be two multiple-choice questions on the AP exam?

In future blogs, I want to include Quadrant D lesson plans for other AP Economics teachers to use if their district adopts the Rigor-Relevance Model.

Iowa has adopted the Rigor-Relevance Model in their Iowa Core Curriculum. The Iowa Core includes financial literacy and technology.

Comments are welcome.

About the Author: Mike Fladlien is an AP Economics teacher from Muscatine High School in Muscatine, Iowa. He is an author.


Post a Comment

Have thoughts about this post? Want to share your comments about Teaching AP Economics? This is your chance.