On Thu, 04 May 2000 07:41:52 Karen Michalowicz wrote: > Really, it doesn't matter what text a teacher uses. > What matters is that the teacher knows what must be > taught in algebra. I've never seen a text that I love. I'm > using my old red Dolcani with very healthy doses of the > graphing calculator with my Algebra 1 seventh graders. > It works because I know what is important to teach in algebra. > It works because I use a more contemporary text for "real > world" problems. It works because I believe it will work.
Overall, I believe this is true if you can provide sufficient individual help where it is needed. I like Harold Jacobs' old text and I like Margaret Lial's books for Intermediate Algebra and Precalculus. I haven't seen her Algebra book though but I assume that they would be as good as her other books. I believe that these books are aimed at the college market and that they generally aren't used in high schools for that reason.
What a good text can do, though, is provide students with help when they are doing their homework, and interesting connections to other disciplines. Jacobs' book has a lot of tidbits (comics, stories of mathematicians, puzzles) that students may find interesting. There is no technology used as the book was written in the days of the slide rule.
> With my 8th graders I use a book that AAAS did not recommend. > I think the text is OK. And, frankly, a friend who was involved > in the AAAS study liked it. However, I teach the chapters in > a different order that the book presents. And, I use my Dolcani > to support some of the topics.
I think that they focused on what schools purchase for use. I've looked at a lot of algebra and algebra 2 books and the only ones that I liked are mentioned above. I have not seen the Dolciani texts that have been mentioned here though.
> So, to me the issue is not textbooks (although I hate to see all > the monies spent), it is teacher education, teacher inservice, > teacher mentoring, and teacher support.