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Topic: AP calculus
Replies: 2   Last Post: Feb 22, 2002 10:43 PM

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Bob Richardson

Posts: 8
Registered: 12/4/04
AP calculus
Posted: Feb 21, 2002 7:28 AM
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After this latest round of AP calc and teacher bashing, I hate to
interject a note of optimism but I feel I must.

We try to educate everyone in an honest fashion. Sometimes we fail.
However, if our teaching and educational system is so bad, why are we
doing (relatively) so well? Certainly our political system has something
to do with this. We bash that too, but I still recall Mr. Honda on an
internationally televised program years ago when asked "What is the up
and coming country of the future to make investments and expansion in"
and the moderator mentioned Brazil and some others. Without a moments
hesitation Mr. Honda said "the USA". When pressed why, he said something
to the affect that it was our open attitude about change and innovation,
which the current discussion certainly reflects.

I know we have some bad teachers. However, having been closely
associated with the public school system for more than 40 years, My gut
feeling is that somewhere close to 95% of our teachers do an OUTSTANDING
job given the tasks they have. At one point I was hired by a fairly
large county in NC to evaluate math teaching. After a year I had found
one bad (6th grade) teacher. Pretty doggone impressive in my opinion.

I don't want to bash anyone and rarely do, however I would like to
relate one incident which fits into this discussion. A friend of mine
recently returned from a lengthy educational assignment in England. He
waxed eloquent about their educational system, which I have no personal
experience with and which I am sure is very good. However, on one
occasion he carried on about our pitiful engineering program and how we
could significantly improve things if we would convert to the English
way of doing things. My only comment was "you would model our
engineering program after a country whose claim to fame is the Jaguar,
the Sterling, etc.?" You should read Consumer's Reports.

Now that I have offended everyone in England, I will end by saying that
everything needs to be kept in perspective. We have in fact done rather
well in many areas with our educational system. We are in the process of
making some dramatic changes with testing and rating courses. This will,
I can assure you, have a dramatic effect. For example, in NC emphasis on
reading and math has caused serious deterioration in the teaching of
science and other subjects which we are now trying to correct.

Are things that bad? I don't think so. Should we be cautious? Something
is responsible for our successes.

Bob Richardson
Appalachian State University



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Date Subject Author
Read AP calculus
Bob Richardson
Read AP calculus
Read Re: AP calculus

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