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Topic: Re: Reply to Jerry Rosen
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Posts: 14
Registered: 12/6/04
Re: Reply to Jerry Rosen
Posted: Jun 23, 1997 7:27 AM
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I am appalled at how quickly many professional teachers seem to be dismissing
so many good texts and ideas just because they don't seem to fit some vague
concept of their "perfect text." Harvard has some gaps (all texts do), but
some of what they do is EXCELLENT. I have used Harvard and have supplemented
like crazy. Big deal. We have problems if we allow a text to totally drive
the way we teach. The Harvard text, based on a previous thread, is indeed a
*TEXT*. I was impressed with some of the thoughts in the book and that it
was not the encyclopaedic reference book that many others seemed to be.
Other texts available today are probably improvements, but when it was
initially published, Harvard (and many other reform movements) paved the way
for a fresh look at Calculus and based on conference lecture selections, I
would say that their purpose has been achieved.

Every text has its faults and shortcomings. If you are going to ditch the
Harvard text based solely on this criteria, I suggest you go home and to your
office, clear off your shelves and have a good old "traditional"
book-burning. I realize that this is extreme. I hold many books in my
library that are probably inappropriate as texts and references just for the
ideas that I can glean from them. Harvard should be such a book. Not
appropriate for all topics, but it does a dandy and intriguing job with some.


Chris Harrow
Mathematics Department
The Westminster Schools
1424 W Paces Ferry Road NW
Atlanta, GA 30327

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