
RE: [mathlearn] FCI and CCI in China #2
Posted:
Jan 25, 2012 11:34 AM



My observation is not just about some students who have taken calculus, but all students who have taken calculus and then ended up in my class. Indeed some of them had more than just one year of calculus, yet they couldn't write a simple algebraic expression. I do not have any way of knowing if they took AP and got a 5, but surely anyone who had more than a year of college calculus should be able to get a 5 on the AP.
In particular given the picture of a wave, the wavelength, the amplitude, and the period it was like pulling teeth to get them to write down the equation that described the picture. So there is obviously something wrong with the traditional way calculus is taught. They could say it is a sine wave, but then they were stumped as to how to incorporate the other data.
John M. Clement Houston, TX
> > 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. > > Bob Hansen > > 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. > > > > > > > > > > > [Nontext portions of this message have been removed] > > > >  > > Yahoo! Groups Links > > > >

