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Topic: alg/geo combo
Replies: 2   Last Post: Feb 22, 1995 1:20 AM

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Marsha Landau

Posts: 9
Registered: 12/6/04
Re: alg/geo combo
Posted: Feb 21, 1995 8:50 PM
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Joan Reinthaler wrote:
>The urge to accelerate kids to calculus in high school carrys with it all
>sorts of dangers, among which is that a lot of important math is usually
>skipped along the way (data analysis, vectors, matrices, TIME to absorb
>the idea of limits, polar functions, parametric functions etc) and kids
>can easily find themselves accelerated to beyond their maturity level -
>to beyond their ability to abstract.

[snipped some here about college admissions]
>Meanwhile, the college math people (read the Reform Calculus bulletin
>board) are deploring the fact that the students they get don't know
>enough ALGEBRA.
> Joan Reinthaler
> Sidwell Friends School
> e-mail

I would like to add my $ .02:

The rush to calculus is one of the stated reasons for the rush to have
middle school students take formal algebra courses in grade 7 or 8. Never
mind that the middle school math teacher may not be well prepared to teach
the subject, there are few materials available that enable one to teach a
developmentally appropriate Algebra I course to seventh- or eighth-graders,
or the fact that few of the students actually go on to the successful
completion of AP Calculus in high school.

Whenever a school district asks for my "expertise" on teaching a formal,
year-long algebra course in middle school, I ask them to check the
historical record to see whether this offering has produced the intended
results down the road.

Marsha Landau

Marsha Landau
Associate Professor, Mathematics Education
National-Louis University
2840 Sheridan Rd
Evanston, IL 60201

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