> If I am mistaken on this point, I would be very pleased indeed to be corrected. But if I am right, however, then C&M is just one more example of technology in education, about which the very best we can say is that it does no harm. Although, for the less able, less motivated, less prepared students, I doubt we can say that about C&M or any other such effort to teach with technology. > > Haim > Shovel ready? What shovel ready? > >
The late Jerry Uhl left a proud legacy, I'm sure in many directions I don't know about. One in particular though was through his curriculum, which is still loaded on servers and serving Mathematica.
I met one of the University of Illinois teachers still using that technology, at a meeting in Sebastopol (Sonoma County, CA) this last spring. Some of his followers have architected some fancy way of serving Mathematica without need for a client other than a web browser, and have licensed the rights to supply classrooms with that setup.
However, this doesn't really answer your question I realize, as I'm talking about a business model, a way of teaching calculus, not attrition rates. The guy behind the initiative, Scott Gray, is completely into DIY hands-on learning, meaning he's highly suspicious of anything passive, like watching Youtubes (ala Khan Academy), or tests that just depend on rote memory (anything multiple choice).
If you haven't actually engaged in problem solving, you haven't been using his "Maker Cube" [tm] technology. I caught his talk at the most recent OSCON. He was also at this same meeting.
Yes, that sounds newfangled but Scott is among the first to admit he's talking about the apprenticeship model, where the newbie (noob) learns the tools of the trade. When learning calculus, that tends to include Mathematica these days, though some prefer MathCad or whatever.
Another question is what do we do with all those people who hate calculus or just don't want to go there? Do we lose them from STEM completely? Not necessarily. Enter Digital Mathematics (DM) to help pick up the slack. A win-win.
I think it's fine to have high attrition rates in many professions. It's like a dating service and you don't want people unhappy in their jobs (relationships). Would that we had a better safety net, many in the police forces would see their way clear to happier careers (for them) while those loving the job could lavish their attention on willing noobs, ready for the latest in cop science (just to pick one example I've written about in the past **).
""" I spent much of the morning browsing Norm Stamper's Breaking Rank, his autobiographical insider analysis of policing in turn-of-the-century Gotham (e.g. Seattle, San Diego). He gives the unions some heat for shielding incompetence. If our society had a stronger homeschooling and community college safety net, i.e. if job loss weren't such a threat to basic survival, then it'd be easier to let go of those most in need of a new profession (many politicians included). A lot of people end up in jobs for which they're ill suited, and society pays a high price for that. I expect it'd be worth the collective costs to purge ranks in many walks of life -- think of it as a vast student exchange program. Unions would be more like professional guilds of old, upholding high standards and keeping their reputations for excellence well deserved. """