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Topic: My personal list of mysterious difficulties in teaching Math 101
Replies: 11   Last Post: Jan 27, 1999 1:14 PM

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Karen Dee Michalowicz

Posts: 215
Registered: 12/4/04
Re: My personal list of mysterious difficulties in teaching Math 101
Posted: Jan 21, 1999 10:44 PM
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According to Domenico Rosa:
> When I studied Algebra I in 1962-63, our pre-Sputnik textbook had
> about 350 pages. If I remember correctly, there was no FOIL rule, and
> only the first version of this formula was given. After deriving the
> formula, we learned to remember it by recitation: "The square of a
> binomial is equal to the first term squared, plus two times the first
> times the second, plus the second term squared." If a term was
> negative, the negative sign was treated as part of the term when the
> substitution was made.

Well, now I studied Algebra l in l956 in a Catholic Girls
Academy and I learned how to FOIL. In fact my teacher was the
best mathematics teacher I ever had. She was years ahead of
her time in pedagogy. So, I do believe that FOIL was
pre-Sputnik. I'll have to look back at my collection of old
texts to discover when it first appears.

After going through the questions of when two column proofs
appeared and answering that question, and when graphing
equations started appearing (in pictures) in texts, I look
forward to looking for FOIL.


Karen Dee Michalowicz Adjunct Faculty
Upper School Mathematics Chair George Mason University
The Langley School Fairfax, VA
McLean, VA

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