- Jan 31, 2013
Do you agree with the statement that too often students take calculus to fail algebra?
Read Dr. Peterson's reply.No, that was NOT what you said!
You said "Do you agree with the statement that too often students take calculus to fail algebra?"
That is not the same as "they get lost and fail the algebra part of calculus"!
(Okay, it's probably just a translation problem. In colloquial English, "to do something" would be interpreted as "in order to do something".)
Exactly. You said it better than me.I guess you're saying, "Too often students take calculus, only to fail the algebra aspects of the course". That is surely true.
I've often told students that calculus is where they will finally learn algebra (because they are forced to use it heavily without support); I don't mention the alternative, that they will fail calculus because they didn't put enough effort into the algebra.
Stepping into calculus 1 without knowing algebra well is a big mistake. This is far too common in high schools and colleges. Students confidently walk into a calculus class only to have their spirits crushed by the reality that math has a special way of humbling us all.Read it yourself if you don't understand what I wrote.
Why are you trying to explain this to me? You are the one who asked the question. I was likely teaching calculus before you were born.Stepping into calculus 1 without knowing algebra well is a big mistake. This is far too common in high schools and colleges. Students confidently walk into a calculus class only to have their spirits crushed by the reality that math has a special way of humbling us all.
I am not doing calculus. I am not an algebra expert. I saw a professor on youtube talk about students failing algebra in calculus. This motivated me to ask others here for their point of view.An extremely high percent of students who fail calculus do so because they do not know their algebra. I actually thought I knew algebra well until I took calculus (where I really learned it!)
I always tell students that (for the most part) the calculus part of calculus is actually simple but the algebra part is hard.
Why are you now doing calculus? Have you already mastered your algebra?
I agree 100 percent. If a student takes calculus over and over again, the school loves it because all students are walking dollar bills. I was a walking dollar bill. Of course, I only took one class three times but it was not a math class. I yearned for a better grade in that particular course and achieved my goal. This delayed my graduation by one year.I think that if a student fails calculus because they are deficient in algebra they should not be allowed to retake calculus until they retake algebra (or learn it on their own). Of course this will never happen happen because administration and students would not be happy that a professor is insisting a student retakes a class which they already passed. The outcome is that students take calculus multiple times until they finally get the algebra. In my opinion if you are having trouble with algebra you should not take calculus just like if you are having trouble with history you should not study Spanish (to help you do better in history).