Orlando Meetings: Presentation Summary

Back to Orlando: Calculus Reform

This is the summary of a presentation given at the Joint Mathematics Meetings, January 10-13, 1996, Orlando, Florida.

Where There is a Strong Will, There is a Way

The Mathematics Department at Cal Poly Pomona consists almost entirely of tenured full professors, comfortable with their teaching styles and suspicious of new ideas described in jargon unfamiliar to them. An instructor who believes in reform could become pessimistic in this atmosphere.

However, the strong desire for change by a small number of faculty within the department has resulted in a four year project to modify calculus instruction through the integration of alternative teaching and learning methods. The experience has shown that it is beneficial to allow faculty to begin working on new methods before working on curriculum goals and objectives. Support, as well as disapproval, of the project, currently in its second year, has led to long-avoided discussions of many facts of the existing calculus program (content, technology, assessment, etc). A top-down style examination of the mathematics curriculum is now conceivable.

Claudia L. Pinter-Lucke, California State Polytech University, Pomona

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