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AP Capstone Implementation at School of the Nations

School of the Nations is now one of two international schools in Brazil and one of more than 300 schools worldwide to implement AP Capstone™ — an innovative diploma program that allows students to develop the skills that matter most for their future college success: research, collaboration, and communication.

Three Diplomas

In addition to the Brazilian diploma (issued by the Ministry of Education) and the American diploma (accredited by AdvancEd), students can now graduate with a third diploma: the AP Capstone Diploma™. The requirements are that students must complete the AP Seminar and AP Research with scores of 3 or higher, and receive scores of 3 or higher on four AP Exams in subjects of their choosing. Students who earn scores of 3 or higher on the two AP Capstone exams but do not take or earn qualifying scores on four additional AP Exams will receive the AP Seminar and Research Certificate™.

Course Description

The program includes a two-course sequence: AP Seminar and AP Research. The AP Seminar course, which all students take in grade 11, will equip students with the power to explore academic and real-world issues from multiple perspectives.

The first semester of AP Seminar is designed around teaching skills necessary to be successful in tasks they will take part in during the second semester. Our first four units were designed around the student selected theme of innovation. Students will work with scholarly articles and other media to produce a variety of summative products, including research reports, participating in townhall meetings, as well as debates.

AP Research allows students to design, plan, and conduct a yearlong research-based investigation on a topic of individual interest. Through this inquiry and investigation, students demonstrate the ability to apply scholarly understanding to real-world problems and issues. AP Research will launch at Nations in the 2016-2017 school year.

Our AP team is composed of Kieran De Groote (History and Philosophy), Mallory Verick (English) and Rebecca Polak (Social Studies). They participated in professional development organized by the College Board, the not-for-profit organization that is responsible for the PSAT/NMSQT® and SAT®. Teachers spent a week in Tampa, Florida attending workshops, training, cooperating, and planning the implementation and overall organisation of the course at Nations.

"Teaching this course has been a very rewarding experience. Having the space to encourage inquiry thinking and motivating students to investigate topics that interest them will be of great benefit to the students as individuals and help to promote more rigorous aspects to courses at Nations. I found the training to be incredibly valuable in helping us as a department ensure we are supporting our students in their education journey through our school and beyond." - Rebecca Polak


Students are currently working on the skills of multiple perspectives, debating about several themes and their impact on society. They take positions as active stakeholders in a community (politician, entrepreneur, citizen, etc.) and explore their perception towards the issue, theme or situation presented. Students are excited about this new innovative course.

"Our first theme of investigation was GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms). Not only the content, but the class is very interesting and I want to learn more about it." - Cauan Tadeu (11A)

"My first impression when I heard about AP Capstone was: "Why am I taking this class, if I'm not planning to study in the U.S.?" But in my first class, I discovered a new way of thinking. With AP Capstone, I changed my mind and used critical thinking. I did not come to conclusions based on my teacher's opinion, but my own." - Julian Sanseverino (11A)

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