tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-491174673971804494.post2731027675846515827..comments2024-06-24T05:24:11.452-07:00Comments on Confessions of a College Professor: Why Remedial Students Should Leave CollegeDoomhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/04528555392898760692noreply@blogger.comBlogger9125tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-491174673971804494.post-24862659142980079692014-05-31T05:22:15.465-07:002014-05-31T05:22:15.465-07:00Another tip, whatever you do choose to buy, is to ...Another tip, whatever you do choose to buy, is to check Amazon's used sections. One can find older & sometimes even current editions of various text books for extremely cheap. Also, no need to worry about bloated software CDs & web site codes that don't work - those aren't usually needed to learn the concepts anyway but are yet another money grab for universities & publishers so students can't opt for this viable way cheaper option. Why pay $80 or whatever for a book on how to do basic equations, matrix work, linear programming, graphing, & probability when you can find the same material for a few bucks used? Hell Khan Academy has videos on the stuff for free. See also UMKC's fantastic College Algebra & Calc 1 course series on YouTube - that prof really goes into every detail & explanation needed to learn the material (however the exercise sets you'll need your own sources for).Jesshttps://www.blogger.com/profile/17151299421522255994noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-491174673971804494.post-17679467526170604742014-04-16T20:47:09.998-07:002014-04-16T20:47:09.998-07:00Thank you so much. I just loved this article.Thank you so much. I just loved this article.Anonymoushttps://www.blogger.com/profile/09633465120377296626noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-491174673971804494.post-90305375128169666022014-04-16T20:46:11.200-07:002014-04-16T20:46:11.200-07:00After 4 semesters of not learning Algebra in my Co...After 4 semesters of not learning Algebra in my Community College I have come to the same conclusion. They cannot do it. I am a smart girl, far from stupid for my other grades prove it so. I am going to learn that Algebra with your suggested books and challenge that stupid test that placed me in pre algebra in the first place. It is been a misery. They still have my degree except now they have my student loans. It did not make it any better by giving the poor who did not go to college because they were poor. That worked the best. Now those of us who are not college material are trying to get through college and we are going in debt trying to do it. Anonymoushttps://www.blogger.com/profile/09633465120377296626noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-491174673971804494.post-52329103080763477892014-02-24T20:28:24.046-08:002014-02-24T20:28:24.046-08:00There is no "the proof" of the Pythagore...There is no "the proof" of the Pythagorean theorem--I think somewhere there's a book of 50 distinct proofs of it (although I favor the "classic" proof of inscribing a tilted square inside a square with sides broken up into two parts of different length).<br /><br />I prove it in trig, and in multivariate calculus--the later to demonstrate how little the underlying ideas of creating knowledge have changed from 2000 BC (sort of where the theorem was first proved) to the early 19th century (when multivariate calculus was being developed).Doomhttps://www.blogger.com/profile/04528555392898760692noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-491174673971804494.post-75213403244749396832014-02-24T20:21:03.440-08:002014-02-24T20:21:03.440-08:00One reason people can't prove the Pythagorean ...One reason people can't prove the Pythagorean theorem, at least where I went to school, was that nobody taught it. It was simply presented to us and we were required to accept it. As it turns out, the proof is quite simple, but it requires some basic geometry.<br /><br />Similarly, logarithms are poorly taught as well. We were told that they represent "exponents" (which they do), but were never shown how. Again, it's not a complicated concept but it requires a bit of imagination to grasp.<br />Quarter Wave Verticalhttps://www.blogger.com/profile/03173446011323023116noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-491174673971804494.post-69074257165067755752014-01-01T08:49:48.690-08:002014-01-01T08:49:48.690-08:00From what I've seen, the foundations themselve...From what I've seen, the foundations themselves are utterly lacking -- something also pointed out by more expert observers than myself. Thus students aren't picking up calc not because of the inherent difficulty in calc (though that is there also) but because they lack the requisite algebraic and trig skills, sometimes even arithmetical skills. For example, most students today cannot compute square roots manually -- most teachers cannot, either. Ask someone to calculate the square root of 3 or 7 to three decimal places and they won't be able to do it. As another example, ask a student (or teacher) to prove the Pythagorean theorem -- the very bedrock of trig and analytic geometry -- and they won't be able to. And even worse, their minds often blank out when you try to explain it to them -- all they've acquired from the American school system is terror of the quantitative and learned helplessness. This allows me to segue to a suggestion.<br /><br />It might be an idea to indicate what books people should use. I've already suggested an algebra text. For an even more basic algebra text -- one that I grew up on and that I used with my son -- I'd suggest Hall and Knight's "Elementary Algebra for Schools," which was published in the mid- and late 19th century. For basic geometry I'd suggest "Ruler and Compass," by Andrew Sutton, published by Walker in 2009. And then Avery's "Plane Geometry," published by Allyn and Bacon in the '40s and '50s. The school math books of the last forty years are all garbage.<br /><br />(Earlier comment deleted because of typographical error I couldn't subsequently rectify).AAhttps://www.blogger.com/profile/13242448989166177843noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-491174673971804494.post-56412978850082019362014-01-01T08:47:23.663-08:002014-01-01T08:47:23.663-08:00This comment has been removed by the author.AAhttps://www.blogger.com/profile/13242448989166177843noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-491174673971804494.post-69521399145077393852013-12-31T21:35:01.222-08:002013-12-31T21:35:01.222-08:00I have little choice but to be hard on Math Educat...I have little choice but to be hard on Math Education degree holders...they should know better than to teach college. I acknowledge it's *possible* for a Math Education graduate degree holder to know math, but it's not necessary. Such graduate schools put the whole curriculum online (Concordia has a 1 year Master's program, in fact), so you can see for yourself. Then see for yourself that entrance into the program also requires no knowledge of mathematics.<br /><br />Now, as soon as there's one legitimately accredited school giving such degrees, that means there's no reason to expect anyone holding that degree to actually know what they're teaching. Having seen SO MANY incompetent Math Education degree holders, I guess I just haven' seen any from Minnesota.<br /><br />I don't think the books are that bad, myself...and one advantage to the college textbook scam is you can pick up an "old" (i.e. 2 years) textbook identical to what's being used in college pretty cheap. It's not the best way, I easily concede...but paying for college to learn 6th grade math is flat out insane, especially since it's not taught decently in any event.Doomhttps://www.blogger.com/profile/04528555392898760692noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-491174673971804494.post-3049062864270569492013-12-31T17:22:51.248-08:002013-12-31T17:22:51.248-08:00I've nothing but contempt for education majors...I've nothing but contempt for education majors but think you're being a bit harsh on math education majors. At least in my state (Minnesota) they'll have completed the usual calc sequence, taken combinatorics, at least one algebra course (linear or abstract), one college-level geometry course, college-level stats and probability. Admittedly it's not very much compared to a math major -- no real and complex analysis, no differential geometry, no topology, maybe no diff eqs. But still -- more than 10th grade level.<br /><br />The other thing is: Where is an autodidact supposed to get the books to teach himself with? Have you seen the current crop of algebra, trig, pre-calc, calc, and stats books out there? The quality is abysmal. They are verbose, ill-organised, ill-written. See, it's not just poor teaching that accounts for poor math results in community college -- it's cruddy books as well. It takes quite a bit of experience with math and with math literature to know which books to use and where to get them. For example, if I'm teaching high school algebra (simple equations, simultaneous equations, quadratic equations), the book I'd use would be Peterson's "Intermediate Algebra for College Students" -- which was published back in the mid '50s. The modern texts are no good.AAhttps://www.blogger.com/profile/13242448989166177843noreply@blogger.com