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Topic: Doubling math classes
Replies: 5   Last Post: Feb 21, 1995 6:56 PM

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Posts: 243
Registered: 12/6/04
Re: Doubling math classes
Posted: Feb 20, 1995 10:33 AM
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>Question: Some high schools are recommending that students that do well
>in Algebra I (i.e. A students) double up next year (i.e the sophmore
>year) and take Geometry and Algebra II so that they can take Calculus by their
>senior year. Is this a reasonable thing to recommend?
>I am somewhat dubious about the utility of taking Calculus the senior year,
>but I wonder just what the math classes are like at these schools. I
>would hope that Geometry and Algebra II alone offered sufficient challenge to
>even the best student. Certainly the material that COULD be covered is more
>than sufficient for such a challenge.
>Ed Wall

How well is well? There are some kids so precocious they could take 7 math
coures simultaneously with no problem. I assume we're not talking about
those kids, who are so rare that you don't create a program for them, you
just get out of their way.

Karen Dee Michalowicz reports that some colleges consider calculus as an
advantage for admission. To muddy the waters a bit, let me report that
many folks in post-secondary ed are questioning the wisdom of calculus
being considered a norm for college-bound kids, feeling that most
college-bound kids would be better served by any of a range of courses
(Karen Dee's suggested finite combinatorics, prob/stat, or, the most
frequent suggestion, a good course on functions and graphing). There is
also concern that AP calc is used by some students -- especially women and
minorities -- to avoid taking math in college.

With less of an experience base, I still share Ed's and Karen Dee's
skepticism about the desirability of taking geometry and algebra II
simultaneously. Why do people want to accelerate anyone other than the
kids who naturally accelerate themselves? Do I see pushy parent syndrome


Judy Roitman, Mathematics Department
Univ. of Kansas, Lawrence, KS 66049

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