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.

Establishing a Departmental Consensus for Reform

In order to have a truly reformed calculus sequence, the text or course materials must fully reflect the reform philosophy. Yet departmental adoption of a text (and/or technology) can be a politically charged decision. Furthermore, a decade of shrinking travel budgets have made it difficult for all faculty to be fully aware of the history, philosophy, and extent of calculus reform. Consequently, the move toward reform can be anything but routine. Some faculty are very tradition bound, and at small schools experimental sections may be impractical. This presentation describes efforts to move Clarion University toward a fully reformed calculus sequence with appropriate materials and technology. These efforts focus on the following.
  • Creating interest in reform: Samples of reform-type problems and projects that have been used in my own sections and have generated the most interest when dissemated to other faculty will be discussed.

  • Establishing a need to re-examine and reform the calculus sequence: Various influences will be discussed, such as changes in the AP Calculus curriculum and exam, NCTM syandards, Actuarial Exam 100 revisions, curricular consolidation of fragmented calculus offerings, and serving client departments.

  • Assuring skill development: Experiences with and samples of Gateway exams form the basis of this discussion.

William E. Fenton, Bellarmine College


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