Gordon - A Fresh Start for Collegiate Mathematics:...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–13. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
A Fresh Start for Collegiate Mathematics: Rethinking the Courses below Calculus gordonsp@farmingdale.edu fgordon@nyit.edu
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
College Algebra and Precalculus Each year, more than 1,000,000 students take college algebra, precalculus, and related courses.
Background image of page 2
The Focus in these Courses Most college algebra courses and certainly all precalculus courses were originally intended and designed to prepare students for calculus. Most of them are still offered in that spirit. But only a small percentage of the students have any intention of going on to calculus!
Background image of page 3

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Enrollment Flows Based on several studies of enrollment flows into calculus: Less than 5% of the students who start college algebra courses ever start Calculus I Virtually none of the students who pass college algebra courses ever start Calculus III Perhaps 30-40% of the students who pass precalculus courses ever start Calculus I Only about 10% of students in college algebra are in majors that require calculus.
Background image of page 4
Why Students Take These Courses Required by other departments Satisfy general education requirements To prepare for calculus For the love of mathematics
Background image of page 5

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
What the Majority of Students Need Conceptual Understanding, not rote manipulation Realistic applications and mathematical modeling that reflect the way mathematics is used in other disciplines Fitting functions to data Recursion and difference equations – the mathematical language of spreadsheets
Background image of page 6
The Link to Calculus
Background image of page 7

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Calculus and Related Enrollments In 2000, about 676,000 students took Calculus, Differential Equations, Linear Algebra, and Discrete Mathematics (This is up 6% from 1995) Over the same time period, however, calculus enrollment in college has been steady, at best.
Background image of page 8
Calculus and Related Enrollments In comparison, in 2000, 171,400 students took one of the two AP Calculus exams – either AB or BC. (This is up 40% from 1995) In 2004, 225,000 students took AP Calculus exams In 2005, about 240,000 took AP Calculus exams Reportedly, about twice as many students take calculus in high school, but do not take an AP exam.
Background image of page 9

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Some Implications Today more students take calculus in high school than in college And, as ever more students take more mathematics, especially calculus, in high school, we should expect: Fewer students taking these courses in college The overall quality of the students who take these courses in college will decrease.
Background image of page 10
Another Conclusion We should anticipate the day, in the not too distant future, when college calculus , like college algebra , becomes a semi-remedial course. (Several elite colleges already have stopped giving credit for Calculus I.)
Background image of page 11

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Based on the enrollment figures, the students who take college algebra and related courses are not going to become mathematics majors. They are not going to be majors in
Background image of page 12
Image of page 13
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Page1 / 99

Gordon - A Fresh Start for Collegiate Mathematics:...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 13. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online