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Re: AP
Posted:
Sep 21, 2004 11:26 AM


Jerry Uhl is right in saying when we put in new technology we need to put in new problems.
If, for instance, we gave people a graphing calculator and allowed them to use it to find solutions to all the equations they came across, they would learn one easy thing (how to find where a graph crosses an axis) but are probably no longer learning a lot of harder things (about solving various kinds of equations) that made them think.
All that thinking they would have done in learning to solve lots of kinds of equations needs to be replaced by some other important kind of thinking.
I'm not familiar enough with AP calculus to know whether they are guilty of not replacing the thinking, but if they are it's a bad thing. I have seen some texts, e.g. for college algebra, which I believe are guilty of that.
Neil Stahl
 Begin Original Message 
At 11:56 PM 1/30/96 0600, John A Benson wrote: .........There are many teachers who were >reluctant to use graphing calculators until AP said they were required. >Many of those teachers have become believers in the new technology. Many >schools ahve begun to require graphing calculators in algebra and trig >because it is on the AP test....................
Agreed. But when technology comes in, it is natural that new courses and new problems come in to reflect the technology. By and large this has not happened. In fact, the new AP calculator based questions are really no different from the old hand questions. As a result the AP encourages the simple expedient of just cutting technology into the old course possibly degrading it.
The real advantage of technology is its potential to be used to get at new ideas. None of the available calculatorbased courses have progressed to this point. Jerry Uhl
 Jerry Uhl juhl@ncsa.uiuc.edu Professor of Mathematics 1409 West Green Street University of Illinois Urbana,Illinois 61801 Calculus&Mathematica Development Team http://wwwcm.math.uiuc.edu
"Calculus, as currently taught, is full of inert material..." Peter Lax



