I just finished a five-week series on issues on inclusivity and accessibility in AP* English Literature. When I speak of inclusivity I refer to representation of both students and authors in this course. In accessibility, I discuss issues of gatekeeping, differentiation, and workload for AP® students. Here is a recap of the five blog posts in case you missed them.
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This blog posts presents four simple ways to determine if a book is considered rigorous enough for AP® Lit. While showcasing challenging texts, it still embraces works that are engaging and not too high-brow.
This post presents a more practical presentation of my lessons from the first few weeks of AP® English Lit. In it I explain how I establish rigor, build engagement, and lay the foundation for our work ahead.
This post shares 12 engaging but unconventional books for using in AP® Lit. These books are perfect for reaching noncommittal, picky, or slow readers with rich and unconventional plots. While these may be more approachable than traditional “canon” books, each is rigorous enough to analyze in a high-scoring essay.
This blog posts discusses strategies and ideas for reducing the classic heavy workloads in AP® English. Our students struggle with higher than ever levels of mental illness and anxiety, compounded with being involved in almost everything. These strategies will reduce busywork, help streamline student and teacher work, and ultimately create a better work environment for you and your students.
In this final blog post, I share fellow teachers’ opinions on the issues I’ve been discussing over the previous weeks. The survey data shows a decrease in gatekeeping, resulting in broader and more diverse student representation in AP® classes. Furthermore, teachers share strategies for incorporating strategies of differentiation, diversity, and decreasing the workloads of our students.
As I look back on these posts on inclusivity and accessibility, I’m grateful for the opportunity to research and share some of these ideas and strategies for improving AP® courses. However, I have learned a great deal myself. I have learned to be more considerate in selecting classroom texts. I’m beginning to move on from a lot of my “classic” curriculum and I’m reading newer and more diverse authors and perspectives. I’m hoping my voracious reading will begin a ripple effect in my students to pick up something new, something different, or something challenging.