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Discussion: All Topics in Algebra
Topic: Algebra Textbook Recommendation


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Subject:   RE: Algebra Textbook Recommendation
Author: csp
Date: Jul 3 2007
On Jun 15 2007, markovchaney wrote:
> From a transcription of taped public testimony regarding Saxon Math
> before the California Content Review Panel, 7 October 2000, by UC
> Berkeley Professor of Mathematics, H. H Wu, no friend of reform
> math:

"But I think that what perhaps disturbs me the most about
> Saxon is to read through it. I myself do not get the feeling that I
> am reading something that when the children use it they would even
> have a remotely correct impression of what mathematics is about. It
> is extremely good at promoting procedural accuracy. And what David
> [Klein, of Cal State-Northridge] says about building everything up
> in small increments, that's correct, but the great pedagogy is
> devoted, is used, to serve only one purpose, which is to make sure
> that the procedures get memorized, get used correctly. And you would
> get the feeling that - I think of it as a logical analogy - you can
> see the skeleton presented with quite a bit of clarity, but you
> never see any methods, your never see any flesh, nothing - no
> connective tissue, you only see the bare stuff.
A little bit of
> this is okay, but when you read through a whole volume of it, really
> I am very, very, uneasy. . . . When I do this, I want to emphasize
> that I do not single out one or two examples. I am trying to
> describe through one or two examples the overall, the overriding,
> impression that I have. And when that happens, you get the feeling
> that, if my students use this, how could they not get the idea that
> mathematics is just a collection of techniques? If that is the case,
> what happens to them when they go on to middle school, and then to


It appears that Dr. Wu is referring to the use of Saxon Math in elementary
school.  

This discussion we're in is about the use of Saxon Math in middle school or even
high school (algebra and pre-algebra.

the Saxon texts are different and the children are different in middle school.
What about using Saxon math with a subscription to Math Forum, as Cynthia (not
me, a different Cynthia) suggested???





> high school, and after that, God forbid, you might be facing them in
> your freshman calculus classes. And that is a frightening thought."
> I couldn't agree more. Saxon Math would be my last choice for just
> about anyone under any circumstances, other than as a possible
> source of problems. I think that especially coming from someone like
> Dr. Wu, the above is a devastating and accurate critique of Saxon
> Math.
Your mileage may vary, and probably does.

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