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alg/geo combo
Posted:
Feb 20, 1995 5:38 PM


The urge to accelerate kids to calculus in high school carrys with it all sorts of dangers, among which is that a lot of important math is usually skipped along the way (data analysis, vectors, matrices, TIME to absorb the idea of limits, polar functions, parametric functions etc) and kids can easily find themselves accelerated to beyond their maturity level  to beyond their ability to abstract. There are kids (very few) who ought to move just as fast as we can move them, but  and this is important  the college voices we hear extolling the virtues of kids who have had calculus in high school are NOT, by and large, the math faculty. Those voices are the voices of the college admissions staff, and how much math do you suppose that the average admissions officer knows? They like kids to have accelerated because they think that this makes their jobs easier. They don't have to really look at who the kid is, they can just skim off the AP kids. Meanwhile, the college math people (read the Reform Calculus bulletin board) are deploring the fact that the students they get don't know enough ALGEBRA. Joan Reinthaler Sidwell Friends School email joanr@umd5.umd.edu



