The difference between American government classes


Taylor Noe

Students on their chromebooks learning inside of Ryan Foltz’s classroom.

It’s nearly April, and everyone knows what that means. It’s OST testing season. With American Government being a necessary credit for juniors and the American Government OST being required regardless of government class. This has begged the question of which government class is truly beneficial.

It really depends on what type of learner you are and how much you want to be challenged,” AP Government and Government teacher Janet Wickline said. “All three levels of government offer great content.”

IB stands for International Baccalaureate and AP stands for Advanced Placement. These are the classes that students who are looking for a challenge and something more difficult than usual may choose.

IB differs from AP because it is more of an independent learning class compared to AP which is more lecture-based.

“It’s not that it’s harder than AP Government but the IB programme requires students to work a lot on their own,” IB Government and Government teacher Ryan Foltz said. 

Unlike AP, IB Global Politics learns more about the current events that are happening all around the world and then has detailed discussions over it. It is less about specifically the government but more about contemporary issues. 

Normal government is different from both AP and IB.

“The topics are going to be the same in both [normal and AP] classes, for the most part, the main difference in an AP class is you’re going to go much deeper and examine the topics much more thoroughly,” AP Government and Government teacher Matthew Cribbs said. 

The grading scales for AP and IB are also different, they are weighted differently. The teachers also grade more harshly on assignments in these classes than they would a regular government class.

“Just the standards by which I grade the students is probably even a little more rigorous,” Cribbs said. 

IB global politics is also unique as it requires less memorization and standardized testing,

“IB Global Politics has very few quizzes and tests.  Instead, students have seminars, papers, and presentations,” Foltz said. 

IB is for critical thinkers, and people who enjoy talking and group discussions, rather than taking notes. 

All the teachers teach what they are supposed to based on their class, even if it seems like they’re teaching too much or not enough.

“We follow the Ohio State Standards,” Wickline said. “It’s my goal to challenge students and have them think about their country and how they can be great citizens.” 

Each of the government classes has its own peculiarities and characteristics. Overall, it is fully dependent on the student. It depends on one’s future intentions or whether or not they intend to try.