Monday, November 5, 2007

New courses?

Today was the deadline at my school to propose a new course for next year. I have proposed a few courses in the past and some of them have been accepted. This year I am putting my most ambitious proposal out there. I am proposing a course in mathematical modeling. This course would hopefully be able to handle students who have had Calculus AB or BC, or possibly even for students who are interested in waiting a year to take calculus. I think that there might be a lot to gain for the students who have not had calculus yet. I would help them have sense of the "why" of calculus before they learned the "how".

One of the biggest hurdles I see right now is how to get around the current course that we offer after Calculus BC, which is Multivariable Calculus. The major reason I can see for offering this course would be to reinforce the calculus skills that students have already learned. It would seem that the students would have retake this course in college if they are going to continue in mathematics. Taking a course over is not a great idea in my opinion. It definitely has to be course with enough meat to it, to be presented in a significantly different way. I am not sure that Multivariable Calculus meets that.

So we will see how my math department colleagues feel about this. I am not sure what they would think.

Also, I am looking at trying to build part of a one week course on global warming for middle schoolers. If anyone has good resources, please let me know.

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