A New Start for Mathematics Curriculum [chapter]

Alan Tucker
1985 New Directions in Two-Year College Mathematics  
Arguing that a major re-thinking of the mathematics curriculum is needed, this paper urges two-year colleges to take the lead in curriculum revision. Section I suggests that the pre-calculus orientation of high school mathematics may be inappropriate, viewing mathematics related to computers and dependent on computers for computation as more widely applicable. In section II, two-year college instructors are urged to take the initiative in developing new curriculum and teaching modes, taking
more » ... ntage of their training, the classroom environment, and the absence of standardized tests. Section III offers principles for the development of a new curriculum, arguing that it should emphasize problem solving, meaningful mathematical topics, practical applications, and proper motivation of mathematics. Two ways of naturally motivating algebra are highlighted: through computer programming and by trying to do problems without using algebra. Section IV focuses on the content of the new curriculum, indicating that it should cover algebra taught in conjunction with computer programming, as well as probability/statistics, logic, and matrices and linear models. Section V provides examples of ways of introducing these new topics. In section VI, concluding remarks urge the Sloan Foundation and National Science Foundation to support two-year college efforts to develop new mathematics curricula and recommend that two-year colleges obtain the backing of the principal transfer institutions of their students. (LAL)
doi:10.1007/978-1-4612-5116-3_3 fatcat:hrzzhkib3rbh5dxq3kqmhtyb3i