I hope you are available for a Math Intensive meeting on Friday, May 6 at 4pm ET, 3pm CT, 2pm MT, 1pm PT.
The zoom link is https://fsw.zoom.us/j/92081393033
Our major discussion will focus on the precalculus position paper that we are developing. Our latest proposal follows.
AMATYC recognizes that there are many concepts that would benefit students as they prepare for study calculus.
Advances in technology have changed the importance of historical topics like graphing polynomials, analyzing rational functions, and evaluating determinants. Furthermore, traditional precalculus topics are rarely studied in context which may explain why so few students see these courses as worthwhile. The research suggests that active learning in the classroom results in much better student outcomes, yet this is very difficult to implement with such a vast set of topics. The modern precalculus curriculum should focus on the ideas that are key to success in future study of calculus, science, economics etc.
Mathematics departments should identify the integral concepts to be the focus of the precalculus courses. Whenever possible, these topics should be studied in context. Assessments at the classroom level, institutional level, and statewide level should focus on the crucial concepts rather than the more peripheral ones.
Possible Questions for us to discuss at Friday's meeting:
- What is the role of review in precalculus?
- What are the most important topics needed for success in calculus?
- How should departmental exams or statewide assessments be used in these courses?
- What is the appropriate role of emerging and existing technology in these courses?
- How much "math in context" or mathematical modeling should be used in these courses?
- Should these courses include new topics that were not traditionally included?