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Topic: Geometry Textbook Suggestions for Gifted Math Program?
Replies: 9   Last Post: Mar 14, 2005 12:57 PM

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Tim Perry

Posts: 1
From: Berkeley, California
Registered: 3/14/05
Re: Geometry Textbook Suggestions for Gifted Math Program?
Posted: Mar 14, 2005 12:57 PM
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I wish I did. I've been looking for similar materials myself. I had a series of algebra and geometry texts ~1964-66 that were superb. Straightforward, rational pedagogical approach; the yellow paperback (dogeared by May) geometry book(s) in particular presented classical Euclidean geometry from the bottom up, and probably did more than any other course to form my intellectual approach in later life.

My younger son (in a public school independent study program) was asked to use the top-down "investigation/discovery" fad de jour high school books such as Serra's "Discovering Geometry" from Key Curriculum Press (all the major textbook publishers have similar offerings, even Sexton.) The foreword to Serra's first edition boggles the mind, "Formal proof does not appear in this book until the last two chapters... [B}y the time students are asked to write proofs, they have already made conjectures for months, ...have developed visualization skills through drawings ..., and have studied logic, reasoning and the nature of proof. *They are ready for proofs!*" (last bit italicized.) It is a virtue, according to this point of view, that logic, reasoning and proof of theorems are withheld from the student until the last three chapters of the text (14-16)-- which given the typical pace of teaching will never be reached!

I finally bought a JC text (Introductory Geometry, by Gustavson & Frick, Wiley 1991) that approaches the subject traditionally. Even there, a number of basic theorems (e.g., SAS) are given as postulates, but it's a vast improvement.

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