A fresh start for collegiate mathematics: rethinking the courses below calculus

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Mathematical Association of America, 2006 - Mathematics - 396 pages
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Each year, over 1,000,000 students take college-level courses below calculus such as precalculus, college algebra and others that fulfill general education requirements. Most college algebra courses, and certainly all precalculus courses, were originally intended to prepare students for calculus. Most are still offered in this spirit, even though only a small percentage of students have any intention of taking calculus. This volume examines how the courses below calculus might be refocused to provide better mathematical experiences for all students. This initiative involves a greater emphasis on conceptual understanding with a de-emphasizing on rote manipulation. It encourages the use of realistic applications, math modeling and data analysis that reflect the ways mathematics is used in other disciplines. It promotes the use of active learning approaches, including group work, exploratory activities and projects. It emphasizes communication skills: reading, writing, presenting and listening. It endorses the appropriate use of technology to enhance conceptual understanding, visualization, and to enable students to tackle real-world problems.The 49 papers in this volume seek to focus attention on the problems and needs of the courses and to provide guidance to the mathematics community. Major themes include: new visions for introductory collegiate mathematics, transition from high school to college, needs of other disciplines, research on student learning, implementation issues, and ideas and projects that work.

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Contents

Introduction
1
Background
13
New Visions for Introductory Collegiate Mathematics
55
Copyright

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