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Topic: Dolciani and SMSG
Replies: 14   Last Post: Sep 18, 2011 6:08 PM

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Guy Brandenburg

Posts: 83
Registered: 1/30/05
Re: Dolciani and SMSG
Posted: Sep 18, 2011 10:05 AM
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That's what I'm asking you to do: examine and compare several books side by side -- but not just the table of contents. A particular topic or lesson, how are they treated by the various authors or committees?
Obviously, there are textbooks that suck, and there are ones that are OK, and there are particular ones that have their very loud fans. 
What I am asking you to do is not sophistry. It's simply to make a careful comparison between several books and to report what you find.

Otherwise, you are doing stupid stuff like what I'm about to do: report where in each book the topic of congruent triangles comes up, specifically, the congruent triangle theorems and postulates:

A. Euclid, "The elements", ~200 BC? -- not really ever, nothing like what we teach today. (I disagree about proposition 5, btw)
B. Descartes, "Geometrie", 1600's -- not at all
C. Prenowitz & Jordan, "Basic Concepts of Geometry" (college level text) 1965, congr. triangles start on p.301; text ends on p. 338 (89%)
D. Chakerian, Crabill, Stein, "Geometry: A Guided Inquiry" (1985) -- p 79 out of 527 (15%)
E. Jacobs, "Geometry", 2nd ed, 1974 and 1987 -- p 119 out of 640 (19%)
F. Jurgenson, Brown, Jurgenson, "Geometry", 1985, 1988 -- p 105 out of 588 (17%)
G. Serra, "Discovering Geometry: An Inductive Approach", 1989, p. 219 out of 694, but actual proof is deferred until about p 563 (31% or 81%, depending on how you count)
So by your metric, Euclid and Descartes are the worst and D and F are the best.

Dumb, right?

Guy Brandenburg, Washington, DC

From: Domenico Rosa <>
Sent: Saturday, September 17, 2011 11:01 PM
Subject: Re: Dolciani and SMSG

Even if it could be done, comparing "one lesson" would be a completely useless exercise. There is no substitute for actually examining and comparing books side by side, as I have done. For example, if you will actually compare the Euclidean Geometry books that I discussed at the link below, you will find that:

1. My high school textbook contains a 10-page introduction to basic notions and postulates. The next 11 pages cover various constructions and axioms. Congruent triangles and proofs start on page 29.

2. The Jurgensen-Dolciani book forced students to plow
through a 190-page quagmire before congruent triangles come up.

The power of the written word is eternal, and no amount of sophistry--and no amount of flimflam on your part--can deny the fact that the Dolciani series demolished the traditional college preparatory mathematics curriculum in the U.S.

On 17 Sept 2011, Guy Brandenburg wrote:
> You make claims --the same ones over and over-- and
> copy tables of contents. That is not the same as
> providing documentation.
> Recall my challenge: pick any lesson or topic on
> anything you like, and examine fairly and thoroughly
> how four different textbooks -- from any authors you
> like (or hate), any publishers, and any era.
> Then you will have done something useful.
> Guy
> On Sep 17, 2011, at 3:32 PM, Domenico Rosa
> <> wrote:

> > I have in fact spent a considerable amount of time
> documenting how the Dolciani series demolished the
> college preparatory mathematics curriculum. How much
> time have you spent on this grim exercise? To get an
> idea of what happened to Euclidean Geometry see my
> post at:

> >
> >

> ID=482893

> >
> > On 16 Sept 2011, Guy Brandenburg wrote:
> >

> >> Oh my god. The table of contents gives away the
> >> entire evil scheme, eh? I think you need to go
> >> into more detail than that, dom.
> >> In fact, I notice that when trying to enlighten us
> >> hicks to the evil wiles of la Donna Dolciani, you
> >> almost always ONLY mention or quote the TOC.

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