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Topic: How to teach calculus
Replies: 1   Last Post: Feb 16, 2005 11:23 PM

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Jim Sprigs

Posts: 1,040
Registered: 1/31/05
Re: How to teach calculus
Posted: Feb 16, 2005 11:23 PM
  Click to see the message monospaced in plain text Plain Text   Click to reply to this topic Reply wrote:
> Hi. I'm curious to ask what methods people use to teach calculus in
> school. It has been a long time since I was in school, and hence I
> can't remember how I was taught. But, I cannot remember being taught
> any way apart from basically rule-based. I.e. if we have an equation
> f(x) = x^n then f'(x) = nx^(n-1).

Yuk, why learn "if f(x) = x^n then f'(x) = nx^(n-1)" without having some
reason to want to calculate f'? Start with problems such as "What is
the area under the curve?" or "What is the acceleration of the vehicle?"

> Can I ask how calculus is taught in schools these days? Do people start
> this way, or is it a matter of just introducing a rule such as the
> derivative of x^2 is 2x, and expecting it to be memorised?

Since there is no reason to memorize such a thing, why should it be

> PS: I've noted some messages on this group bemoaning students'
> attitudes to maths.

Excellent! Blame the students for the failings of their teachers!

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