Yesterday, I had the grim experience of examining another disgraceful doorstop, which has been adopted by a local high school.
Algebra 1 Holt, Rinehart and Winston (2007) 921 pages, plus 165 additional pages at the end. Authors: Edward B. Burger, David J. Chard, Earlene J. Hall, Paul A. Kennedy, Steven J. Leinwand, Freddie L. Renfro, Dale G. Seymour, Bert K. Waits Also listed are 28 Reviewers, 2 Contributing Authors, and 4 Field Participants I was told that students do not actually use the book. They simply keep it at home for "reference." The teacher distributes photocopies of handouts that come with the doorstop. The fact that these abominable doorstops are being written, published, promoted, and adopted is indicative of the incompetent people who have overrun the education business in the U.S.--and who are primarily responsible for the continuing pseudo-education of American students. To get an idea of how our textbooks have degenerated, compare the above with William G. Shute et al, "Elementary Algebra," American Book Co. (1956). [The 1965 Enlarged Edition, which evidently responded to "market forces," is identical except for some axioms and set theory added at the end of the book.] |
So, who can give their honest opinion about another Algebra 1 "doorstop."
We are still looking for a good Pre-Algebra and Algebra curriculum to replace our UCSMP curriculum and are looking at the McDougal Littell Pre-Algebra and Algebra 1 series written by Larson, Boswell, Kanold, and Stiff. Thanks for any constructive responses! Sincerely, Theresa Detert At 08:25 PM 4/14/2008 EDT, you wrote: >Yesterday, I had the grim experience of examining another disgraceful doorstop, which has been adopted by a local high school. > >Algebra 1 >Holt, Rinehart and Winston (2007) >921 pages, plus 165 additional pages at the end. > >Authors: Edward B. Burger, David J. Chard, Earlene J. Hall, Paul A. Kennedy, Steven J. Leinwand, Freddie L. Renfro, Dale G. Seymour, Bert K. Waits > >Also listed are 28 Reviewers, 2 Contributing Authors, and 4 Field Participants > >I was told that students do not actually use the book. They simply keep it at home for "reference." The teacher distributes photocopies of handouts that come with the doorstop. > >The fact that these abominable doorstops are being written, published, promoted, and adopted is indicative of the incompetent people who have overrun the education business in the U.S.--and who are primarily responsible for the continuing pseudo-education of American students. > >To get an idea of how our textbooks have degenerated, compare the above with William G. Shute et al, "Elementary Algebra," American Book Co. (1956). [The 1965 Enlarged Edition, which evidently responded to "market forces," is identical except for some axioms and set theory added at the end of the book.] > > |
In reply to this post by Domenico Rosa
Domenico Rosa wrote (in part):
http://mathforum.org/kb/thread.jspa?messageID=6178125 > Yesterday, I had the grim experience of examining another > disgraceful doorstop, which has been adopted by a local > high school. > > Algebra 1 > Holt, Rinehart and Winston (2007) > 921 pages, plus 165 additional pages at the end. > > Authors: Edward B. Burger, David J. Chard, Earlene J. Hall, > Paul A. Kennedy, Steven J. Leinwand, Freddie L. Renfro, > Dale G. Seymour, Bert K. Waits No relation to me (that I'm aware of), in case anyone is curious. > To get an idea of how our textbooks have degenerated, > compare the above with William G. Shute et al, "Elementary > Algebra," American Book Co. (1956). [The 1965 Enlarged > Edition, which evidently responded to "market forces," > is identical except for some axioms and set theory > added at the end of the book.] I'm rather partial to the books by Todhunter, Chrystal, and Hall/Knight: http://books.google.com/books?as_q=algebra&as_auth=todhunter http://books.google.com/books?as_q=algebra&as_auth=chrystal http://books.google.com/books?as_q=algebra&as_auth=knight Dave L. Renfro |
In reply to this post by Domenico Rosa
> So, who can give their honest opinion about another
Theresa, here is one bit of positive feedback on the Holt book: a friend uses it at his school. He speaks positively of the video lessons available on their web site, where one of the authors does 2-3 minute demos connected to the examples in each section. My friend says that it is very helpful for students who are absent or who need a second presentation on a topic.
> Algebra 1 "doorstop." > We are still looking for a good Pre-Algebra and > Algebra curriculum to > replace our UCSMP curriculum and are looking at the > McDougal Littell > Pre-Algebra and Algebra 1 series written by Larson, > Boswell, Kanold, and > Stiff. Thanks for any constructive responses! > Sincerely, Theresa Detert > > Richard |
In reply to this post by Theresa Detert
MacDougall Littell has two series (at least) for this sequence and
this one, Concept and Skills, is by far the weakest. Algebra Lite, maybe, but better would be Imitation Algebra. They also have a decent one, the current evolution of the Dolciani series (that Dom objects to!), Structure and Method. They are still doorstops, of course, but at least the content is there. At 06:39 AM 4/15/2008, Theresa Detert wrote: >So, who can give their honest opinion about another Algebra 1 "doorstop." >We are still looking for a good Pre-Algebra and Algebra curriculum to >replace our UCSMP curriculum and are looking at the McDougal Littell >Pre-Algebra and Algebra 1 series written by Larson, Boswell, Kanold, and >Stiff. Thanks for any constructive responses! Sincerely, Theresa Detert > > > >At 08:25 PM 4/14/2008 EDT, you wrote: > >Yesterday, I had the grim experience of examining another disgraceful >doorstop, which has been adopted by a local high school. > > > >Algebra 1 > >Holt, Rinehart and Winston (2007) > >921 pages, plus 165 additional pages at the end. > > > >Authors: Edward B. Burger, David J. Chard, Earlene J. Hall, Paul A. >Kennedy, Steven J. Leinwand, Freddie L. Renfro, Dale G. Seymour, Bert K. Waits > > > >Also listed are 28 Reviewers, 2 Contributing Authors, and 4 Field >Participants > > > >I was told that students do not actually use the book. They simply keep it >at home for "reference." The teacher distributes photocopies of handouts >that come with the doorstop. > > > >The fact that these abominable doorstops are being written, published, >promoted, and adopted is indicative of the incompetent people who have >overrun the education business in the U.S.--and who are primarily >responsible for the continuing pseudo-education of American students. > > > >To get an idea of how our textbooks have degenerated, compare the above >with William G. Shute et al, "Elementary Algebra," American Book Co. >(1956). [The 1965 Enlarged Edition, which evidently responded to "market >forces," is identical except for some axioms and set theory added at the >end of the book.] > > > > > > >-- >No virus found in this incoming message. >Checked by AVG. >Version: 7.5.519 / Virus Database: 269.22.13/1378 - Release Date: >4/15/2008 9:12 AM |
In reply to this post by Domenico Rosa
At 05:25 PM 4/14/2008, Domenico Rosa wrote:
>Yesterday, I had the grim experience of examining another >disgraceful doorstop, which has been adopted by a local high school. > >Algebra 1 >Holt, Rinehart and Winston (2007) >921 pages, plus 165 additional pages at the end. > >Authors: Edward B. Burger, David J. Chard, Earlene J. Hall, Paul A. >Kennedy, Steven J. Leinwand, Freddie L. Renfro, Dale G. Seymour, Bert K. Waits Worse than the number of pages is the list of authors. How much has Waits raked in over the years by foisting calculators off onto innocent children? Dale Seymour (that's what TERC was called in the 1994 California adoptions that drove our revolution!)? Steven Leinwand? Say no more. Please. Your post reminds me of my first Content Review Panel experience after that (honestly) standards-based revolution. I was reviewing the algebra submission of one of the major publishers that did not have nearly 1000 pages (UCSMP Algebra already did) but in the middle of that experience I had an epiphany, interrupted my work, and sent the following to my fellow CRP members. Bagley/Keane is California-speak for of an open meeting law regarding private conversations outside of announced meetings. About the only change I would make is that Thirty is now Forty. One more thing, I commented on the missing concept of proof, that had been so important in the book I was using in the mid-60s, but this was algebra. I had yet to learn - never would've guessed! - that the concept would be dropped from high school geometry as well. Wayne ---------------------------------------------------------------------- What Thirty Years Hath Wrought If this be a violation of the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act, so be it. If so, someone who has contact with Bagley, or Keene, or anyone else who may be able to revise it, should work on fixing it. The intent is not to be publisher specific nor am I looking for any confirmation of my evaluation. It's just that anecdotes of poor students or poor books are so prevalent that they don't mean much and, at the opposite extreme, my eyes roll back when someone talks about the mathematical power of their students, the higher order thinking skills that they are achieving, etc. I always want to say, and often do, "Can you give me an example or two?" That usually ends the conversation and the start of a beautiful friendship. Although the plural of "anecdote" is not "data", sometimes a single example can be data. In that spirit, treat this as data about many publishers' products. California does not approve texts for adoption beyond eighth grade. It may be that the greatest benefit to come out of the decision to include the content of algebra in grade 8, so open to the approval process, is that a small number of mathematically competent but agenda-free people take a hard look at what algebra means to too many of our country's schools. Perhaps we need to follow up this activity, not just with Xxxxx's suggestion of a joint letter, but with a collective look at what might pass as algebra II, geometry - whether as separate books or "integrated" - or even pre-calculus books these days. It should come as no surprise that we are getting - - at least those of us at third rate institutions are getting - students who can not think conceptually nor perform ordinary symbolic mathematics at a minimally competent level. The failure rate on the Entry Level Mathematics exam (the CSU ELM is a system-wide product for you out-of-staters) at my campus is about 80%. For inner-city African American students it exceeds 90%. And these are the top students; ordinary ones don't graduate or go to a community college for repairs instead. A good look at the available textbooks may tell us why the dramatic rise in this failure rate over the last decade has occurred. Even without a formal adoption procedure, our collective statement would carry national import. I started to give this submission a positive, but highly qualified, recommendation but the more I thought about it, the more it became clear that being so generous would have been being part of the problem instead of being part of the solution. In fact, enough of the items of the content of algebra beyond the 7th grade standard are present to warrant qualified approval. The problem, and I finally realized that it is fatal, is that the actual and new algebra content comes so late in the book, and that the rest is so weak, that students, teachers, and schools that adopt it would use it to assert that they are "doing algebra" when in fact they are doing little if anything beyond pre-algebra. Students are more than 80% through the book, P. 470 out of 555 of instruction, before they are asked to be able to multiply (3x)(2x+1) and then with stupid algebra tiles as "Method 1". Example 2 of the same section has students factoring out common factors and the following section multiplying binomials, and trinomials times binomials as well. Students (those classes that get that far into the book at all) but who really needed the 470 pages of preparation to get here will be glad that the year is only days from being over. They will be buried in what is finally the normal symbolic manipulation of algebra. They'll see algebra for a little bit and then their eyes will glaze over. For comparison, I pulled out the algebra 1 book from which I taught high school thirty-some years ago. After a brief introduction of exponents, order of operations, integers, rational, and real numbers, multiplication of monomials was introduced on P. 112 and a reasonable number of coherent exercises followed. The exercise set concluded with the hint "Use the distributive property" and a couple of monomial times binomial examples looking ahead three sections. Interestingly, P. 470 was part of a section entitled "A Final Word on Proof", the content of Algebra 1 had since concluded and the text was taking a more formal look at what had transpired and was looking forward to a proof-based geometry course the following year. This was the last section in a chapter entitled "Another Look at Proof" that reflected on the proofs that had occasionally been presented in the text along with a few new ones. The first paragraph of the chapter concluded with the statement, "In this chapter, we will take another look at proof since the topic is one of far-reaching importance for all of your future work in mathematics. "Proof" is a word not mentioned in the table of contents nor the index of this submission. I assume it is mentioned nowhere. Granted, a sizable portion of the intervening material in that old text, some 100 pages, dealt with linear equations of one and two variables, material that this submission has treated prior to polynomial arithmetic, but that material is all part of the Grade 7 California standard. Thus, we're talking 470 pages of review and 85 pages of new material late in the course and many classes are not even going to get to those last 85 pages. For all intents and purposes, the entire course would then be a review of the seventh grade standards material. Equally as bad as the lack of development of reasonable algebra proficiency in mechanical skills is the lack of proficiency in applications of algebra in standard word problems. Although I'm sure there are more than that, I found exactly 8 that I would put in the category. A student could earn a strong A and never solve a single one. Admittedly, some I didn't count. I counted none of the 4 on P. 268. Why not? This "Math Toolbox" is entitled "Guess and Test" and that is exactly what is encouraged. Don't write a simple algebraic equation to solve an easy word problem; just fool around with your calculator until you find a solution. Exercise 9 and 39, ten pages later, don't count either. Why not? Although they are each problems that are naturally two linear equations in two unknowns, in both cases, both equations are given. Likewise, the "Business" application on P. 282, and the "Vacation" example as well. The title of the next section is "Writing Systems" so perhaps I was premature in my expectations. In it, there are three exercises that are natural candidates. The first is a coin problem that can easily be solved by the valid solution technique of Guess and Test. The second is to find the sides of an isosceles triangle of perimeter 12 where the two sides s are three times as long as the third side t with the figure given, sides identified, and then a three step, a, b, and c, solution strategy to follow so not requiring much student creativity. The third is easy but legitimate, two integers with sum of 1244 and difference of 90. That is the entire set of applications of simultaneous linear equations. You may safely extrapolate to other areas of the text as well. Not that the old algebra book referred to above was particularly rich in such things. Still, and although not touted as being "integrated", following the section on simplifying sums of radicals was (very naturally) a section on the Pythagorean Theorem, including a familiar algebraic proof of it. Exercise 14 had a different one that students themselves were to do. Exercise 13 just before that asked for the length of the hypotenuse of a right triangle in which one leg was half the hypotenuse and the other measured sqrt(6). Although this submission supposedly meets the California Standard regarding the Pythagorean Theorem, it has no exercises more involved than finding the third side of a right triangle given the other two, and it assumes a calculator is there to do the arithmetic. This idiocy must stop. Let California lead the way. Happy Easter, Wayne |
In reply to this post by Domenico Rosa
Wayne Bishop wrote (in part):
http://mathforum.org/kb/message.jspa?messageID=6178958 > "Proof" is a word not mentioned in the table of > contents nor the index of this submission. I assume > it is mentioned nowhere. I just read this and I became curious about whether "proof" is in the index of any of the core plus books that I posted about recently [1]. I went to look. No, it's not. This in spite of the fact that I mentioned the indexes were especially complete. Incidentally, when I was looking in the 4'th year volume index for "proof", I happened to come across the entry "undifferentiable". The reference was to p. 46 (I think), where I didn't see the word but one of the exercises had to do with difference quotients (but not a limit of difference quotients, mind you) for that absolute value of x at x=0. For those who don't get it, "undifferentiable" is not correct usage. Oh, you might find it used occasionally here and there, but the correct term is "not differentiable" (but not "nondifferentiable", which typically means nowhere differentiable and not "fails to be everywhere differentiable"). This is such an obviously poor word choice that I'm frankly extremely unimpressed that none of the dozens of readers and reviewers whose names appear in the front of the books noticed it. And if they did, it's worse, because this would mean reasonable advice wasn't taken. I know this is relatively minor, but red flags go up when I spot something like this in 20 seconds when I'm not even looking for concerns of this nature. [1] http://mathforum.org/kb/thread.jspa?messageID=6153067 Dave L. Renfro |
In reply to this post by Bishop, Wayne
Wouldn't that been "by far the weaker," given that you are discussing
only two books? As you mention, Dom objects (vehemently and frequently) to Dolciani. On the other hand, Greg tells us it's good stuff (or maybe that was some other anti-reform person). You, too, seem positive about Dolciani. What's a mother to do? Which flavor of anti-reform fanatic should one believe? Why, it's enough to give a reasonable person a headache (if a reasonable person didn't realize that no good, constructive advice was going to come from Dom, Wayne, or any of the other knee-jerk responders to anything that smells like reform to them. Then, the reasonable person would look at the books for him/ herself and speak with folks who've actually used them. There's no substitute for experience teaching from a text, and most certainly the sort of biased judgments from those here and elsewhere who need not even SEE a book to "know" it's bad would be the worst possible substitute for informed feedback. On Apr 15, 2008, at 3:40 PM, Wayne Bishop wrote: > MacDougall Littell has two series (at least) for this sequence and > this one, Concept and Skills, is by far the weakest. Algebra Lite, > maybe, but better would be Imitation Algebra. They also have a > decent one, the current evolution of the Dolciani series (that Dom > objects to!), Structure and Method. They are still doorstops, of > course, but at least the content is there. |
In reply to this post by Domenico Rosa
I realize that this is like spitting into the wind, but rather than
listing the authors and offering your usual litany of negative adjectives, how about some useful, detailed analysis of ONE topic in that book? Just one, Dom. Your choice. By the way, I would take Ed Burger as a professor of mathematics over you, Wayne, and any number of other bores in the anti-reform camp. Not that Burger is out there fighting the Math Wars. He's too busy being one of the most popular professors (not just mathematics professors) at Williams. Well, that's three strikes against him right there, I'm sure. On Apr 14, 2008, at 8:25 PM, Domenico Rosa wrote: > Yesterday, I had the grim experience of examining another > disgraceful doorstop, which has been adopted by a local high school. > > Algebra 1 > Holt, Rinehart and Winston (2007) > 921 pages, plus 165 additional pages at the end. > > Authors: Edward B. Burger, David J. Chard, Earlene J. Hall, Paul A. > Kennedy, Steven J. Leinwand, Freddie L. Renfro, Dale G. Seymour, > Bert K. Waits > > Also listed are 28 Reviewers, 2 Contributing Authors, and 4 Field > Participants > > I was told that students do not actually use the book. They simply > keep it at home for "reference." The teacher distributes > photocopies of handouts that come with the doorstop. > > The fact that these abominable doorstops are being written, > published, promoted, and adopted is indicative of the incompetent > people who have overrun the education business in the U.S.--and who > are primarily responsible for the continuing pseudo-education of > American students. > > To get an idea of how our textbooks have degenerated, compare the > above with William G. Shute et al, "Elementary Algebra," American > Book Co. (1956). [The 1965 Enlarged Edition, which evidently > responded to "market forces," is identical except for some axioms > and set theory added at the end of the book.] |
In reply to this post by Domenico Rosa
On 15 Apr 2008, Wayne Bishop wrote:
> > At 05:25 PM 4/14/2008, Domenico Rosa wrote: > > >Yesterday, I had the grim experience of examining > >another disgraceful doorstop, which has been adopted > >by a local high school. > > > >Algebra 1 > >Holt, Rinehart and Winston (2007) > >921 pages, plus 165 additional pages at the end. > > > >Authors: Edward B. Burger, David J. Chard, Earlene > >J. Hall, Paul A. Kennedy, Steven J. Leinwand, > >Freddie L. Renfro, Dale G. Seymour, Bert K. Waits > > Worse than the number of pages is the list of > authors. How much has Waits raked in over the years > by foisting calculators off onto innocent children? > Dale Seymour (that's what TERC was called in the > 1994 California adoptions that drove our > revolution!)? Steven Leinwand? Say no more. Please. I was not surprised to see these "math reform" stalwarts in the list of authors. I was surprised, however, to see Edward B. Burger, a professor of mathematics at Williams College. It must be difficult to resist the very lucrative doorstop-publishing racket! Thanks for attaching "What Thirty Years Hath Wrought." Dom |
In reply to this post by Domenico Rosa
On 15 Apr 2008, Wayne Bishop wrote:
> > MacDougall Littell has two series (at least) for this > sequence and this one, Concept and Skills, is by far > the weakest. Algebra Lite, maybe, but better would > be Imitation Algebra. They also have a decent one, > the current evolution of the Dolciani series (that > Dom objects to!), Structure and Method. They are > still doorstops, of course, but at least the content > is there. I first became aware of the Dolciani books 16 years ago, when my son brough home the sixth edition of Algebra 1: Structure and Method. Quite frankly, I was jolted by the pages of abstractions that saturate the beginning of the book. I was particularly aghast when I read "Open sentences in one variable" in the list of topics. Three years later, my son's so-called honors precalculus class was using, in part, Dolciani's "Modern Introductory Analysis," the first 70 pages of which cover: 1-1 Logical Statement; Sets 1-2 Variables and Quantifiers 1-3 Operations on Sets and Statements 1-4 Conditional Statements and Converses 1-5 Negations 1-6 Complements 1-7 Evaluating Compound Statements; Truth Tables 1-8 Patterns of Inference 2-1 Axioms of Fields 2-2 Proving Theorems 2-3 Indirect Proof 2-4 Axioms of Order 2-5 Absolute Value 2-6 Subsets of R If my Advanced Mathematics textbook, which is described at: http://mathforum.org/kb/thread.jspa?forumID=206&threadID=478525 had started out with this material, most of my classmates and I would have been as completely turned off as most students have been during the past 40+ years. The contrast in the geometry book is even more stark. I stand by my claim: the Dolciani books institutionalized the excessive formalism and abstractions of the SMSG new math, and they demolished the traditional college preparatory curriculum in the U.S. |
In reply to this post by Domenico Rosa
Well, Dom, you still haven't said anything that would specifically
lead to the conclusion that the book isn't wonderful. Burger's name at the front suggests it would be worth looking at even if you and Wayne and a host of bigots came out against it. On Apr 15, 2008, at 9:12 PM, Domenico Rosa wrote: > > > I was not surprised to see these "math reform" stalwarts in the > list of authors. I was surprised, however, to see Edward B. Burger, > a professor of mathematics at Williams College. It must be > difficult to resist the very lucrative doorstop-publishing racket! > > Thanks for attaching "What Thirty Years Hath Wrought." > > Dom |
In reply to this post by Domenico Rosa
Dom, I don't know how to break it to you, but a list of topics
doesn't tell us a thing about the books other than what the authors most generally included or didn't. The table of contents doesn't tell us how well a topic that's included is covered. But that must be news to you. Because I've been pointing that out here for over a decade, yet you keep posting tables of contents as if they comprised a critique. Are your eyes giving you trouble? Am I using words you don't understand? On Apr 15, 2008, at 9:43 PM, Domenico Rosa wrote: > On 15 Apr 2008, Wayne Bishop wrote: >> >> MacDougall Littell has two series (at least) for this >> sequence and this one, Concept and Skills, is by far >> the weakest. Algebra Lite, maybe, but better would >> be Imitation Algebra. They also have a decent one, >> the current evolution of the Dolciani series (that >> Dom objects to!), Structure and Method. They are >> still doorstops, of course, but at least the content >> is there. > > I first became aware of the Dolciani books 16 years ago, when my > son brough home the sixth edition of Algebra 1: Structure and > Method. Quite frankly, I was jolted by the pages of abstractions > that saturate the beginning of the book. I was particularly aghast > when I read "Open sentences in one variable" in the list of topics. > > Three years later, my son's so-called honors precalculus class was > using, in part, Dolciani's "Modern Introductory Analysis," the > first 70 pages of which cover: > > 1-1 Logical Statement; Sets > 1-2 Variables and Quantifiers > 1-3 Operations on Sets and Statements > 1-4 Conditional Statements and Converses > 1-5 Negations > 1-6 Complements > 1-7 Evaluating Compound Statements; Truth Tables > 1-8 Patterns of Inference > > 2-1 Axioms of Fields > 2-2 Proving Theorems > 2-3 Indirect Proof > 2-4 Axioms of Order > 2-5 Absolute Value > 2-6 Subsets of R > > If my Advanced Mathematics textbook, which is described at: > > http://mathforum.org/kb/thread.jspa?forumID=206&threadID=478525 > > had started out with this material, most of my classmates and I > would have been as completely turned off as most students have been > during the past 40+ years. The contrast in the geometry book is > even more stark. > > I stand by my claim: the Dolciani books institutionalized the > excessive formalism and abstractions of the SMSG new math, and they > demolished the traditional college preparatory curriculum in the U.S. |
In reply to this post by Michael Paul Goldenberg
Michael Paul Goldenberg wrote:
> Wouldn't that been "by far the weaker," given that you are discussing > only two books? > > As you mention, Dom objects (vehemently and frequently) to Dolciani. > On the other hand, Greg tells us it's good stuff (or maybe that was > some other anti-reform person). You, too, seem positive about > Dolciani. What's a mother to do? Which flavor of anti-reform fanatic > should one believe? Take your pick, all who have valid criticism of NCTM & NSF style "reform" have some valid things to say. Even Dom would have much less to find fault of were the Dolciani treatment the furthest from his ideal that was being used. My son's copy of Dolciani Algebra I formally introduces proof around page 130, and even has a section that explicitly covers polynomial long division (pg 274). Something you won't find in Mikey's beloved "reform" texts. - -Greg > Why, it's enough to give a reasonable person a headache (if a > reasonable person didn't realize that no good, constructive advice was > going to come from Dom, Wayne, or any of the other knee-jerk > responders to anything that smells like reform to them. Then, the > reasonable person would look at the books for him/herself and speak > with folks who've actually used them. There's no substitute for > experience teaching from a text, and most certainly the sort of biased > judgments from those here and elsewhere who need not even SEE a book > to "know" it's bad would be the worst possible substitute for informed > feedback. > > On Apr 15, 2008, at 3:40 PM, Wayne Bishop wrote: >> MacDougall Littell has two series (at least) for this sequence and >> this one, Concept and Skills, is by far the weakest. Algebra Lite, >> maybe, but better would be Imitation Algebra. They also have a >> decent one, the current evolution of the Dolciani series (that Dom >> objects to!), Structure and Method. They are still doorstops, of >> course, but at least the content is there. |
On Apr 16, 2008, at 8:25 PM, Greg Goodknight wrote: > Michael Paul Goldenberg wrote: >> Wouldn't that been "by far the weaker," given that you are >> discussing only two books? >> >> As you mention, Dom objects (vehemently and frequently) to >> Dolciani. On the other hand, Greg tells us it's good stuff (or >> maybe that was some other anti-reform person). You, too, seem >> positive about Dolciani. What's a mother to do? Which flavor of >> anti-reform fanatic should one believe? > Take your pick, all who have valid criticism of NCTM & NSF style > "reform" have some valid things to say. Even Dom would have much > less to find fault of were the Dolciani treatment the furthest from > his ideal that was being used. Just curious, Greg: are there valid criticisms of traditional texts? Of Saxon Math? Of Singapore Math? Of anything you like or Wayne likes or Dom likes? Also, any good things about the books you folks criticize? You wouldn't know it to read what you folks post. So if I HAD a beloved reform text (please DO tell me which one(s)), would there be any valid reason whatsoever for me to like it? You see, Greg, one of the main reasons I have no use for you folks is that you're completely one-sided. I've criticized things I like overall. I've even found things to like in books or methods I don't generally care for. When I read what passes for analysis of reform books and methods from the keyboards of the anti-reform fanatics, however, everything traditional is always great. Everything new and in any way different is without exception horrid. Bill Quirk's "analysis" of INVESTIGATIONS in light of the Math Panel report would be a (ahem) textbook case in point of such a one-sided critique. I have a hard time not being skeptical of what comes from people who are so clearly going to present only negatives regardless of reality. Aside from the fact that so much of what you (collectively) raise is not necessarily quite as "valid" as you think, the bias that informs the viewing of these materials makes it hard to take completely seriously. And when the people who produce these critiques are similarly unwilling to admit to any flaws in the materials they like, it's pretty clear what's afoot. > > My son's copy of Dolciani Algebra I formally introduces proof > around page 130, and even has a section that explicitly covers > polynomial long division (pg 274). Something you won't find in > Mikey's beloved "reform" texts. > > - -Greg > >> Why, it's enough to give a reasonable person a headache (if a >> reasonable person didn't realize that no good, constructive advice >> was going to come from Dom, Wayne, or any of the other knee-jerk >> responders to anything that smells like reform to them. Then, the >> reasonable person would look at the books for him/herself and >> speak with folks who've actually used them. There's no substitute >> for experience teaching from a text, and most certainly the sort >> of biased judgments from those here and elsewhere who need not >> even SEE a book to "know" it's bad would be the worst possible >> substitute for informed feedback. >> >> On Apr 15, 2008, at 3:40 PM, Wayne Bishop wrote: >>> MacDougall Littell has two series (at least) for this sequence >>> and this one, Concept and Skills, is by far the weakest. Algebra >>> Lite, maybe, but better would be Imitation Algebra. They also >>> have a decent one, the current evolution of the Dolciani series >>> (that Dom objects to!), Structure and Method. They are still >>> doorstops, of course, but at least the content is there. > > |
In reply to this post by Domenico Rosa
Mike, I don't know how to break it to you, but you can actually examine and compare these books on your own, just as I did.
On 16 Apr 2008, MPG wrote: > > Dom, I don't know how to break it to you, but a list > of topics doesn't tell us a thing about the books > other than what the authors most generally included > or didn't. The table of contents doesn't tell > us how well a topic that's included is covered. ... > > ... my son's so-called honors precalculus class was > > using, in part, Dolciani's "Modern Introductory > > Analysis," the first 70 pages of which cover: > > > > 1-1 Logical Statement; Sets > > 1-2 Variables and Quantifiers > > 1-3 Operations on Sets and Statements > > 1-4 Conditional Statements and Converses > > 1-5 Negations > > 1-6 Complements > > 1-7 Evaluating Compound Statements; Truth Tables > > 1-8 Patterns of Inference > > > > 2-1 Axioms of Fields > > 2-2 Proving Theorems > > 2-3 Indirect Proof > > 2-4 Axioms of Order > > 2-5 Absolute Value > > 2-6 Subsets of R > > > > If my Advanced Mathematics textbook, which is > > described at: > > > > http://mathforum.org/kb/thread.jspa?forumID=206&threadID=478525 > > > > had started out with this material, most of my > > classmates and I would have been as completely > > turned off as most students have been > > during the past 40+ years. The contrast in the > > geometry book is even more stark. > > > > I stand by my claim: the Dolciani books > > institutionalized the excessive formalism and > > abstractions of the SMSG new math, and they > > demolished the traditional college preparatory > > curriculum in the U.S. |
No, Dom, I can't. You Have these doorstops (or are you just whining based on the authors' names and/or tables of contents and/or indexes?)
You have the marvelous magic books of yore. I bought one of the latter at your recommendation. But you refused to do a topic by topic analysis with the list, the only reason I bought the book to begin with (FOUNDATIONS OF ADVANCED MATHEMATICS by Kline, Oesterle and Wilson, 1959 ed ). It wasn't a total waste of effort and money, however: yesterday I checked the index of this revered tome for the word "proof." Imagine my shock and dismay at not finding it anywhere! I guess it's just a lighter doorstop or maybe a paperweight. Cost me a little more than I would normally pay for one and it's not very attractive. Maybe if I read the table of contents there will be magic? Michael Paul Goldenberg 6655 Jackson Rd #136 Ann Arbor, MI 48103 734 644-0975 (c) 734 786-8425 (h) "Oh, bother," said Pooh, as he chambered another round. - -----Original Message----- From: Domenico Rosa <[hidden email]> Date: Wed, 16 Apr 2008 20:40:50 To:[hidden email] Subject: Re: Junk Algebra 1 Doorstops Mike, I don't know how to break it to you, but you can actually examine and compare these books on your own, just as I did. On 16 Apr 2008, MPG wrote: > > Dom, I don't know how to break it to you, but a list > of topics doesn't tell us a thing about the books > other than what the authors most generally included > or didn't. The table of contents doesn't tell > us how well a topic that's included is covered. ... > > ... my son's so-called honors precalculus class was > > using, in part, Dolciani's "Modern Introductory > > Analysis," the first 70 pages of which cover: > > > > 1-1 Logical Statement; Sets > > 1-2 Variables and Quantifiers > > 1-3 Operations on Sets and Statements > > 1-4 Conditional Statements and Converses > > 1-5 Negations > > 1-6 Complements > > 1-7 Evaluating Compound Statements; Truth Tables > > 1-8 Patterns of Inference > > > > 2-1 Axioms of Fields > > 2-2 Proving Theorems > > 2-3 Indirect Proof > > 2-4 Axioms of Order > > 2-5 Absolute Value > > 2-6 Subsets of R > > > > If my Advanced Mathematics textbook, which is > > described at: > > > > http://mathforum.org/kb/thread.jspa?forumID=206&threadID=478525 > > > > had started out with this material, most of my > > classmates and I would have been as completely > > turned off as most students have been > > during the past 40+ years. The contrast in the > > geometry book is even more stark. > > > > I stand by my claim: the Dolciani books > > institutionalized the excessive formalism and > > abstractions of the SMSG new math, and they > > demolished the traditional college preparatory > > curriculum in the U.S. |
In reply to this post by Domenico Rosa
Dave L. Renfro wrote (in part):
http://mathforum.org/kb/message.jspa?messageID=6179108 > I just read this and I became curious about whether > "proof" is in the index of any of the core plus books > that I posted about recently [1]. I went to look. > No, it's not. This in spite of the fact that I > mentioned the indexes were especially complete. Michael Paul Goldenberg made a couple of points in an e-mail to me that, in fairness with the comments I made, should be mentioned. First, several other school math texts he looked at did not list the word "proof" in their indexes. To be honest, the absence of "proof" in the index of the Core Plus books didn't really concern me very much -- I was mostly just curious. However, I should have looked through some other books to see where "the bar was". I suppose it did surprise me just a tiny bit, though because the indexes in the Core Plus books are so good. (Except "undifferentiable" should not have been there. Instead, the term "not differentiable" should have been one of several words/terms listed under an entry for "derivative".) Second, the word "proof" *is* in the index for the 3rd year books. As I mentioned in my first post about these books [1], I don't have access to the 3rd year books. I should have been more complete with my comments yesterday and mentioned this. [1] http://mathforum.org/kb/thread.jspa?messageID=6153067 Nonetheless, I stand by the comments I made earlier (see [1]), especially in the hands of teachers whose background knowledge doesn't allow them to distinguish between the trees (leaves and needles, in fact) and the forest. Dave L. Renfro |
In reply to this post by Michael Paul Goldenberg
At 05:02 PM 4/16/2008, Michael Paul Goldenberg wrote: > Bill Quirk's "analysis" of INVESTIGATIONS in light of the >Math Panel report would be a (ahem) textbook case... Ahem, indeed. For those who missed this important work: http://www.wgquirk.com/TERC2008.html Wayne |
In reply to this post by Domenico Rosa
So you agree that it's a classic example of the sort of biased, empty "critique" that you folks pretend is critical analysis? I plan to offer a critique of Mr, Bill's "work" in the near-future.
- ------Original Message------ From: Wayne Bishop To: Michael Paul Goldenberg Cc: Greg Goodknight Cc: Math-teach Teach Sent: Apr 18, 2008 4:08 PM Subject: Re: Junk Algebra 1 Doorstops At 05:02 PM 4/16/2008, Michael Paul Goldenberg wrote: > Bill Quirk's "analysis" of INVESTIGATIONS in light of the >Math Panel report would be a (ahem) textbook case... Ahem, indeed. For those who missed this important work: http://www.wgquirk.com/TERC2008.html Wayne Michael Paul Goldenberg 6655 Jackson Rd #136 Ann Arbor, MI 48103 734 644-0975 (c) 734 786-8425 (h) "Oh, bother," said Pooh, as he chambered another round. |
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