Jump to content

Menu

Complete non-discovery, engineering headed, math (Algebra 2, pre cal)....


Recommended Posts

My oldest does not like discovery style math. By that, I mean one where you work to solve a problem and then that shows you the rule or postulate. He prefers to be told how to solve problems first, and then he solves them. 

 

Well, he just had a problem in Jurgenson's where he had to solve for an inscribed angle. I think it was in 9-4. But, the actual rule for solving for this was not presented until 9-7. I did sit with him to walk him through solving for it. And I admit, I loved doing it, as I am a math lover. BUT, for him, no. He wants it to be straight forward. There is already a rule for solving for this, give him the rule and let him solve. 

 

This way of doing math is perfect for my second son, and for me as I have always been the sort to sit and play with the numbers and everything for a while. But, my oldest, not so much. 

 

I already have Forester's Algebra 2 purchased for the next level up in math for him. Now I am worried this might be a bad decision. In fact, I am feeling like anything I use for first child will not be a fit for second child. They are opposite thinkers. He is advanced in math now, I do not want to pick an easy, watered down program. He plans to go in to computer science, so he will need calculus based physics and several semesters of math at the calculus level when in college. 

 

Thanks in advance for suggestions!

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

While I'm not familiar with Jurgenson's, that is a huge part of Geometry -- having to think and make inferences for your step-by-step proofs… I understand that the "rule" was not presented until later, but often there is more than one way to make a proof, using what you know from before, that it not straight-up following examples exactly, but coming at it from a different angle, so long as you support each step. We used Jacobs' Geometry (2nd ed.), and often our proofs varied from the solution manual, but were valid proofs… Just saying that, as Geometry proofs can be stressful for students who only want ONE way of solving proofs, or can only see it from one way that is similar to the example.

 

re: choice of program for Algebra 2

It might not be a problem -- often students who excel at Algebra struggle with Geometry, and then do great back in Algebra 2… As far as Forester's Algebra 2 -- we did use this, and yes, there are a lot more thinking-to-solve-problems in it, not all solvable by directly modeling the examples, but requiring thinking/applying concepts beyond just what was shown and explained in the teaching portion. But I would not describe that as discovery method. Perhaps look into: Teaching Textbooks, Saxon, or Lial's, which are much more about showing the steps of the algorithm and then practicing. 

 

One last thought: just for future college specialization: some Engineering fields are more problem-solving based, while others are more about applying set standards, so your DS might take a look at the different specialities and see where he feels more comfortable. :)

 

BEST of luck in your higher maths! Warmest regards, Lori D>

Edited by Lori D.
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

FWIW, I would wonder if there was another way to solve the particular problem.  I would not characterize Jurgensen or Foerster as teaching by discovery.

 

Sorry - Engineers have to think and solve problems all the time  - if he can't handle Forester's Algebra 2 then not a good direction.

 

Forester's is an excellent math series for future scientists and engineers!

 

I also wouldn't characterize Foerster's as teaching by discovery.  I think what you already have is probably a good choice unless there's some other reason.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sorry - Engineers have to think and solve problems all the time  - if he can't handle Forester's Algebra 2 then not a good direction.

 

Forester's is an excellent math series for future scientists and engineers!

I did not say he could not handle it. I expressed concern that it could be discovery based, which is not a style I am interested in for him. But based on responses here, it does not sound like it is. And as my husband puts it..most computer engineers are just doing "hacks." But, my husband is a computer engineer so he could just be putting down what he does. But my son plans to follow in his foot steps. The discovery based method of giving a problem and letting the child try to figure it out, and then explaining how it would be solved is not for everyone, but not meshing with that method does not mean a person will not make a good future computer/software engineer. 

Edited by Janeway
  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 The discovery based method of giving a problem and letting the child try to figure it out, and then explaining how it would be solved is not for everyone, but not meshing with that method does not mean a person will not make a good future computer/software engineer. 

 

I totally agree.  My boys are both math/engineering-minded and just wanted text authors to tell them what they were getting at, not make them read their minds about where they were going.  I can see the benefit of exploration, and I loved when we did Singapore primary and explored many ways to solve a problem, but in later years, my boys wanted efficiency. They had too many other hobbies to explore LOL - probably were picking up a few of the same analytical skills when trying to fix their cars or win a hockey game.  Oldest is now a successful petroleum engineer, youngest is a student in computer science, so I don't think it was a fatal flaw.

 

But sorry, no experience with Forester's.  Jacob's Geometry was discovery based and I forced youngest to spend a semester in it, but then I let him off the hook :)

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We aren't to that section in Jurgensen's yet. (Almost! Perhaps 2-3 days...) I haven't found it to be discovery-based so far. I wouldn't have picked it if it was.

I, too, have Foerster's Alg II in the line-up for next year. I have it in hand and it looks like most of the questions are non-discovery-based. There are definitely some questions & sections that are more challenging and require thinking / strategy skills. I want that for her.

 

I am absolutely with you on not wanting a discovery-based math (like AoPS) for my kid(s). My Pre-Calc teacher did things like that and it was absolutely the wrong way for me to learn. I would have given up on math had I not had such a solid foundation, loved math prior to that year, and had a good traditional math teacher for Calculus. (And I'm a professionally licensed mechanical engineer.) 

 

I don't have any been-there-done-that with Foerster yet, though. Sorry.  :o

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We used Foerster's for Algebra 1.  I would not characterize it as discovery based.  What did you use for Algebra 1?

Foerster's for Algebra 1. And really..this example was the first time I saw this, so maybe it was just a one time thing. He could have solved this problem the long way by finding various angles of lines and triangles and such. It just took a while. It would have been way easier to teach the direct route. It's ok. 

 

BTW Sue..I was looking for your posts to remind me of what you used for algebra 2 and beyond?

Edited by Janeway
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...