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Re: alg/geo to calculus
Posted:
Feb 21, 1995 10:53 AM


>Let me be perfectly clear  there *is* a place for calculus in the high >school curriculum, for those students for whom it is naturally appropriate > in a large school, surely enough for one or three classes. But not for >*most* college bound students. The goal isn't to stop teaching calculus in >high school, but to have more options, I might add for *all* students.
So what does the Standards say about this? Is there a value for actually _knowing_ calculus when you get out of high school? Or is it better to know other things, like discrete math? Or should we be taking longer on concepts and indepth study so that there's no time to do calculus anyway? And how is your school addressing what the Standards say?
As an irrelevant datapoint in the discussion, I took calculus in high school, but didn't doubleup on anything  my eighth grade math teacher gave me the book the first day of class and told me to go home, look at it, and tell her what I didn't know. Since I knew everything in the book (it was pretty much the same as the seventh grade book), I skipped up to the algebra I class. So I was just a year ahead the rest of the way (and ended up being the only person in the calculus class).
However, when I got to college (a rather prestigious small liberal arts college), and was interested in being a math major, I took calculus over again, with hopes of actually understanding it. While there are no doubt students who really learn calculus in high school, I wasn't one of them  I knew enough of the stuff that I didn't work too hard for an A first semester in college, but I did learn the concepts (and did continue toward a math degree).
Four years later my high school started offering algebra I in eighth grade. Made sense to me, since the eighth grade math really was just a repeat of the seventh grade stuff. Very odd.
Annie
Annie Fetter  The Geometry Forum  Voice: 610 3288225 Project Coordinator  Swarthmore College  800 7567823 annie@forum.swarthmore.edu  Swarthmore PA 19081  Fax: 610 3287824 http://forum.swarthmore.edu/



