Date: Feb 16, 2005 9:50 AM
Author: Ross Clement
Subject: How to teach calculus
Hi. I'm curious to ask what methods people use to teach calculus in

school. It has been a long time since I was in school, and hence I

can't remember how I was taught. But, I cannot remember being taught

any way apart from basically rule-based. I.e. if we have an equation

f(x) = x^n then f'(x) = nx^(n-1). Note: my schooling was in New

Zealand.

I've been looking at SOS Math as a resource for CompSci students to

brush up on maths. I must say that for the introductory calculus

section, I really like the way that they teach it, first showing how

you can derive the rules for yourself, and then going onto the product

rule, quotient rule, etc., once the basic process makes sense.

http://www.sosmath.com/calculus/diff/der00/der00.html

Can I ask how calculus is taught in schools these days? Do people start

this way, or is it a matter of just introducing a rule such as the

derivative of x^2 is 2x, and expecting it to be memorised?

PS: I've noted some messages on this group bemoaning students'

attitudes to maths. At university level *some* students realise their

lack of maths is crippling, and do become more motiviated.

Cheers,

Ross-c

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