This work delves into the potential benefits and criticism of Advanced Placement (AP) courses, with a specific focus on the necessity of cultural capital to address disparities in access and success. The researcher argues that the broad content coverage in AP courses often leads to conventional lecture-based instruction that does not value cultural capital and limits student engagement and outcomes. To rectify this, recommendations are made to incorporate pedagogical approaches like culturally relevant teaching and providing teacher feedback and support that allows for the successful implementation of these practices. Numerous studies indicate that participation in AP courses predicts success in college retention, GPA, and other areas, with the strongest links being for students who earn qualified exam scores of 3 or higher. However, historically marginalized populations, including Black, Hispanic, and low-income students, are less likely to participate in AP courses and less likely to earn qualifying exam scores. By focusing on the development of cultural and social capital among historically marginalized students through teacher behaviors and pedagogy, their chances of earning qualifying exam scores can be improved. This research emphasizes the potential of AP courses to support historically excluded populations in their pursuit of academic and career success, ultimately leading to an enhanced quality of life. This study aimed to address this shift by investigating the relationship between teacher support and feedback, the college-going environment, enrollment, and the percentage of students from low socioeconomic households in 20 comprehensive high schools through multiple regression and Lasso regression techniques. The results highlight that teacher feedback and support exhibited the strongest relationship among the variables considered; however, contrary to existing literature, this correlation was associated with lower qualified AP exam scores. These findings indicate the need for further research to better understand the specific nature of teacher feedback and support that may correlate with an increase in qualified AP exam scores.
Date of publication
Christopher L. Thomas Ph.D., Michael Odell, Ph.D., Yanira Oliveras, Ph.D.
Doctor of Education in School Improvement
Ricks, Kolbe, "The Role of Cultural Capital in Improving Advanced Placement Outcomes" (2023). Education Theses and Dissertations. Paper 1.