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Preparing Students for Elementary Statistics or Math for Liberal Arts. Mary Parker Austin Community College www.austincc.edu/mparker/jmm10/ January 14, 2010. Purpose of the Course.
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Austin Community College
January 14, 2010
MATD 0385, Developing Mathematical Thinking, is designed to give students practice in the appropriate habits of mind to help them succeed in college-level mathematics courses.
It does not include enough algebra to be appropriate for students preparing for College Algebra.
To give you ideas about how to find / adapt materials to offer an alternative course to Intermediate Algebra, if you wish to do so.
Most of the students who enroll in MATD 0385, Developing Mathematical Thinking, at ACC are students who made C’s in Elementary Algebra and/or who have failed Intermediate Algebra (often multiple times.)
(Students can qualify to go on to Elementary Statistics, Math for Liberal Arts, or Math for Measurement with an Assessment Test score equivalent to approximately the end of Elementary Algebra. )
Most students in the class
None of the courses for which we are preparing these students are organized in a way that a “rote” learning method is going to be very successful.
We believe it is essential to get these students into better “habits of mind” before they go into college-level math.
While we did make an initial topic list before we started looking at possible texts, we were most interested in finding materials which supported teaching in a less “rote” manner than typical algebra classes.
Example: Suppose the bacteria population grew by 35% in two hours, growing from 100 to 135. Let f be the growth factor from one hour to the next.
Solve the equation for f
The growth factor is 1.162 so our formula for the bacteria population, p(n), after n hours is
We did not have time to do these:
Most of the students and I thought the class was a success.
(It remains to be seen how they will do in the later classes.)
They have met their requirement for developmental math and will not be “churning around” in that system any longer. That is a success in several ways.
“Are students better-prepared for the college-level course by succeeding in Intermediate Algebra than by this course? “
That’s not the right question!
Here’s what we think:
Is there a population of students whose success will be improved by attempting this course more than by attempting Intermediate Algebra?
All of these are interesting.