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Re: alg/geo to calculus
Posted:
Feb 22, 1995 1:33 AM


>Judy Roitman sez: >>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.
Gary Martin sez:
>Thot: What is meant by "teaching calculus"? Certainly building ideas of >change and variation should be central in the HS math curriculum. Does this >mean doing a version of the university course which is (with advance >apologies to those to whom this does not apply) quite horrible? Yes, by all >means, let's introduce our students to calculus concepts at a meaningful, >intuitive level. (And, to echo Judy, this should be for *all* students.) >But why subject them to the mindless manipulations of MATH 1xx? They can do >that next year... >
My thoughts:
I do not think that Judy (who I don't even know myself) would disagree with the notion of "building ideas of change and variation" as a central focus of HS math curriculum. By all means, "let's introduce our students to 'calculus concepts' at a meaningful, intuitive level...for *all* students"...but that goal and its realization in practice does not negate the propriety (or lack thereof) of a calculus class at the high school level. Not all high school calculus classes are merely poor imitators of university courses (which probably are also taught shabbily)... as Judy Roitman stipulated, calculus at the high school level is for "those students for whom it is naturally appropriate..."
If you are looking for a high school calculus course that induces the content on a meaningful, intuitive level...I would email Jerry Uhl at the Uniersity of Illinois Mathematics Department. He is operating a distance education program of Calculus & Mathematica with high school students who would not ordinarily have oppportunity for such a meaningful calculus experience. His email address is : juhl@ncsa.uic.edu . Find out what these high schoolers understand about mathematics and calculus and then decide if it is meaningful. I was surprised...bet you will be, too!
Tim Hendrix
***************************************************** Tim Hendrix (hendrix@uxa.cso.uiuc.edu) * Division of Mathematics Education * Department of Curriculum & Instruction * University of Illinois * ***************************************************** 382 Education Building * 1310 South 6th Street * Champaign, Il 61820 * ***************************************************** (217) 3333643 * *****************************************************



