I don't think anything I have said is counter to those observations. I never said that all students of traditional classes are successful. My statement is that almost all students scoring a 5 (which is like 65%-70%) on an AP calculus exam are successful. The reason so many students succeed in traditional classes (or any classes for that matter) yet are not actually successful, is grade inflation. It is just not in our nature to fail a student that has worked hard all year. It's easy if they don't show up or goof off the whole year, but we can't do it if they tried all year. I doubt even I could do it. That is why it is so important to me to see comparisons of high performance on comprehensive exams.
On Jan 25, 2012, at 9:00 AM, John Clement wrote:
> I find this to be a bit funny, because I have seen so many students who have > gone through a first year traditional calculus course and can't use it. > They can't write a simple integral nor a simple algebraic equation. My son > got good grades in calculus, but still didn't seem to understand it. As a > result he couldn't apply it. He could do the mechanics, but not much else. > What is even worse I have seen students who passed calculus, but still > didn't exhibit the ability to do proportional reasoning. And the type of > courses they passed were all traditional using traditional texts. > > They simply did not understand the concepts behind Calculus. They could > sometimes recognize the name of a math principle, but recognizing that they > needed to use it did not seem to happen. > > John M. Clement > Houston, TX > > > And my point is simply that since it isn't a comprehensive > > assessment of Calculus then it cannot be used to compare the > > effectiveness of IE to non IE classes. The only way to make a > > useful comparison between IE and non IE is to use a > > comprehensive exam. There is a lot more to owning calculus > > (or physics) than owning an inventory of basic principles. My > > impression of IE is that it works better in first year > > terminal classes than traditional methods that are geared > > toward full ownership. In other words, if someone is trying > > to be a nurse but has to take calculus (because the college > > says so) as their last ever math class, then IE might be a > > useful alternative to a real calculus class that is geared > > towards students that actually need and use calculus. > > > >
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