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AP® Physics is the result of an effort to better serve teachers and students. The textbook focuses on the College Board’s AP® framework concepts and practices.
The AP® Physics curriculum framework outlines the two full-year physics courses AP® Physics 1: Algebra-Based and AP® Physics 2: Algebra-Based. These two courses focus on the big ideas typically included in the first and second semesters of an algebra-based, introductory college-level physics course. They provide students with the essential knowledge and skills required to support future advanced coursework in physics. The AP® Physics 1 curriculum includes mechanics, mechanical waves, sound, and electrostatics. The AP® Physics 2 curriculum focuses on thermodynamics, fluid statics, dynamics, electromagnetism, geometric and physical optics, quantum physics, atomic physics, and nuclear physics. AP® Science Practices emphasize inquiry-based learning and development of critical thinking and reasoning skills. Inquiry-based learning involves exploratory learning as a way to gain new knowledge. Students begin by making an observation regarding a given physics topic. Students then explore that topic using scientific methodology, as opposed to simply being told about it in lecture. In this way, students learn the content through self-discovery rather than memorization.
The AP® framework has identified seven major science practices, which are described using short phrases that include using representations and models to communicate information and solve problems, using mathematics appropriately, engaging in questioning, planning and implementing data collection strategies, analyzing and evaluating data, justifying scientific explanations, and connecting concepts. The AP® framework’s Learning Objectives merge content with one or more of the seven science practices that students should develop as they prepare for the AP® Physics exam. Each chapter of AP® Physics begins with a “Connection for AP® Courses” that explains how the content in the chapter sections align to the Big Ideas, Enduring Understandings, Essential Knowledge, and Learning Objectives of the AP® framework. These sections help students quickly and easily locate where components of the AP® framework are covered in the book, as well as clearly indicate material that, although interesting, exceeds the scope of the AP® framework. Content requirements for AP® Physics are prescribed in the College Board Publication Advanced Placement Course Description: Physics, published by The College Board (http://ritter.tea.state.tx.us/rules/tac/chapter112/ch112d.html#112.64) and (http://ritter.tea.state.tx.us/rules/tac/chapter112/ch112d.html#112.65).