Such students typically have considerable difficulty later on as they proceed further into the subject matter.

MAA and NCTM recommend that all students taking calculus in secondary school who are performing satisfactorily in the course should expect to place out of the comparable college calculus course. Therefore, to verify appropriate placement upon entrance to college, students should either take one of the Advanced Placement (AP) Calculus Examinations of the College Board, or take a locally-administered college placement examination in calculus. Satisfactory performance on an AP examination carries with it college credit at most universities.

The second problem concerns preparation for the calculus course. MAA and NCTM recommend that students who enroll in a calculus course in secondary school should have demonstrated mastery of algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and coordinate geometry. This means that students should have at least four full years of mathematical preparation beginning with the first course in algebra. The advanced topics in algebra, trigonometry, analytic geometry, complex numbers, and elementary functions studied in depth during the fourth year of preparation are critically important for students' latter courses in mathematics.

It is important to note that at present many well prepared students take calculus in the 12th grade, place out of the comparable course in college, and do well in succeeding college courses. Currently, the two most common methods for preparing students for a college-level calculus course in the 12th grade are to begin the first algebra course in the 8th grade or to require students to take second year algebra and geometry concurrently. Students beginning with algebra in the 9th grade, who take only one mathematics course each year in secondary school, should not expect to take calculus in the 12th grade. Instead, they should use the 12th grade to prepare themselves fully for calculus as freshmen in college.

We offer these recommendations in an attempt to strengthen the calculus program in secondary schools. They are not meant to discourage the teaching of college-level calculus in the 12th grade to strongly prepared students.

LYNN ARTHUR STEEN

President, Mathematical Association of America

JOHN A. DOSSEY

President, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics



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OCR for page 51
Learning and Understanding: Improving Advanced Study of Mathematics and Science in U.S. High Schools - Report of the Content Panel for Mathematics Such students typically have considerable difficulty later on as they proceed further into the subject matter. MAA and NCTM recommend that all students taking calculus in secondary school who are performing satisfactorily in the course should expect to place out of the comparable college calculus course. Therefore, to verify appropriate placement upon entrance to college, students should either take one of the Advanced Placement (AP) Calculus Examinations of the College Board, or take a locally-administered college placement examination in calculus. Satisfactory performance on an AP examination carries with it college credit at most universities. The second problem concerns preparation for the calculus course. MAA and NCTM recommend that students who enroll in a calculus course in secondary school should have demonstrated mastery of algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and coordinate geometry. This means that students should have at least four full years of mathematical preparation beginning with the first course in algebra. The advanced topics in algebra, trigonometry, analytic geometry, complex numbers, and elementary functions studied in depth during the fourth year of preparation are critically important for students' latter courses in mathematics. It is important to note that at present many well prepared students take calculus in the 12th grade, place out of the comparable course in college, and do well in succeeding college courses. Currently, the two most common methods for preparing students for a college-level calculus course in the 12th grade are to begin the first algebra course in the 8th grade or to require students to take second year algebra and geometry concurrently. Students beginning with algebra in the 9th grade, who take only one mathematics course each year in secondary school, should not expect to take calculus in the 12th grade. Instead, they should use the 12th grade to prepare themselves fully for calculus as freshmen in college. We offer these recommendations in an attempt to strengthen the calculus program in secondary schools. They are not meant to discourage the teaching of college-level calculus in the 12th grade to strongly prepared students. LYNN ARTHUR STEEN President, Mathematical Association of America JOHN A. DOSSEY President, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics

OCR for page 51
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