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FLIPPED: The New AP Gov

Photographer | Zac Solomon
Photographer | Zac Solomon

Twelve year AP Government veteran Kris Hizal has announced that his 2014-2015 class will be a flipped course, and has received unwarranted skeptical response.

In efforts to set the record straight, Hizal elaborates that his intention is to make the class more interactive for both him and the students by integrating in-class activities that would otherwise be wishful thinking. In particular, he has plans to go through a network’s list of 64 people who “could have been President but never were”.

“In say October, we’d take the first 16 and defend why your person should move on in the bracket. Do another 16 [every month], and then get to the final four after the AP exam,” Hizal said. “I think that would be engaging and active, kids will be up and moving around.”

However, the flipped class style is still designed to be a  challenge.

“I think that part of being in an AP class is learning to persevere through lecture. Next year, when you’re in college, it’s going to be that. I’m somewhat nervous about trying to make the active classroom completely active because that may not actually get you ready for next year,” he said. “I’m trying to figure out what that balance is going to be. I hope that people will recognize that this is my twelfth year teaching AP Gov; I know the material really well.”

And the proof is in the numbers; the national pass rate for AP Gov is around 50%,  and Hizal’s students have maintained a 94% pass rate for the past two years.

Additionally, Hizal has experience with teaching U.S. History in the virtual environment.

“I taught online back in 1999,” Hizal said. “When we were doing STAR testing then, [my] students had the best scores in the district.”

To address concerns that AP Gov will lose the finesse it has for years, Hizal explains that the course will remain the course that MC students have cherished for over a decade.

“As far as what I’m doing next year, it’s not an online class. Some of the nights will still be readings, some of the nights I’ll record no greater than a 30 minute lecture,”he said.

This said lecture will be accompanied with a set of notes that students can add to, as well as mini FRQs (Free Response Questions) that will tie the lesson together.

Hizal remains hopeful and confidant for the coming school year.

“I know what I’m doing.”

About Marianna McMurdock

Self-described as an "ardent archivist", Marianna is currently the Editor-in-Chief of the Sun. When she is not despairing over her beloved television characters (Underwood and Holmes represent) she enjoys listening to movie scores, Andrew Bird, and Beyonce. She also serves the Sun as Photo Editor, and has been a self-taught photographer for four years. Her personal work is available at www.flickr.com/photos/maridock

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