Detailed Description

Calculus & Mathematica is a complete, modern calculus course developed recently at the University of Illinois and Ohio State University. The course, which is based on an interactive electronic text written as a series of Mathematica notebooks, fully integrates the numeric, symbolic and graphic capabilities of Mathematica as tools to explore calculus concepts, methods and applications. As such, it differs markedly in content emphasis and organizational style as well as in its underlying pedagogy from "traditional" calculus courses. Calculus & Mathematica (C&M) is a college-level course that is taught at a number universities and high schools throughout the country.

The goal of this module is to familiarize you with the Calculus&Mathematica course as well as how it is taught and the way in which student performance is evaluated.

Because you are a mathematics teacher who is familiar with calculus, the best way to achieve this goal is to have you go through some sample lessons in the course and do some homework from these lessons just as C&M students do. This will not be as boring as it might sound because, as noted above, Calculus & Mathematica presents calculus in a manner that is usually quite different from the way that you and we learned it (or taught it) before. Some of these differences may please you as welcome changes from traditional approaches; others may annoy or worry you. In either case, we think that they will prompt you to rethink and perhaps modify your views of how calculus can and should be taught.

We will also have you look at some sample homework from high school students and then look at how it was graded. That will help you to understand the homework grading philosophy for the course.

After this, we will ask you to grade one "real" homework set for one or our current C&M students.

Although this module was initially developed for high school mathematics teachers who served as local coordinators for the Calculus & Mathematica NetMath Distance Education Program in their schools, we believe that any mathematics teacher will find it to be a good, thought provoking introduction to the content and pedagogy of the C&M course and, more generally, to the recent calculus reform movement.