As Henry David Thoreau once famously declared, “In Wildness is the preservation of the World.” (1) But is it?
The more one knows of its peculiar history, the more one realizes that wilderness is not quite what it seems.
AP classes are good preparation for first-year courses, but should not be used as a substitute, he added.
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For many Americans wilderness stands as the last remaining place where civilization, that all too human disease, has not fully infected the earth.
This will seem a heretical claim to many environmentalists, since the idea of wilderness has for decades been a fundamental tenet—indeed, a passion—of the environmental movement, especially in the United States.To assert the unnaturalness of so natural a place will no doubt seem absurd or even perverse to many readers, so let me hasten to add that the nonhuman world we encounter in wilderness is far from being merely our own invention.I celebrate with others who love wilderness the beauty and power of the things it contains.Scores on Advanced Placement (AP) science exams do not translate into success in introductory level college science courses, according to a study by researchers at Harvard and the University of Virginia.Harvard’s Wright senior lecturer on celestial navigation, Philip M. Seen in this way, wilderness presents itself as the best antidote to our human selves, a refuge we must somehow recover if we hope to save the planet. It is an island in the polluted sea of urban-industrial modernity, the one place we can turn for escape from our own too-muchness.Many educators question whether a score of three or above on an AP test should allow a student to bypass introductory level courses, as is the policy at many colleges.At Harvard, by contrast, “AP Biology does not substitute for any concentration requirement in biology”—including the requirement that concentrators must take an introductory course, according to the undergraduate student handbook.Packer also said that Harvard—which issued a press release trumpeting Sadler’s findings—unnecessarily created a controversy based on an unpublished report.“It’s a deliberate attempt to mislead people to think that the claims are accurate.” Packer said.He said that the Harvard officials who issued the press release “should be ashamed.”In response to Packer’s claims, Sadler and Tai said that sample size is not the only important factor in assessing a study’s validity, and that College Board’s own studies are flawed because their sample is not randomly selected.“A highly controlled study with a random sample is much more illuminating than a study with a larger sample size and selected samples,” Sadler said.