Lisa Kreisler: Strong Mathematical Foundation Crucial to Success in Calculus
As many high school educators are discovering, students who take calculus courses in an effort to pursue higher education in science, technology, engineering or math are often ill prepared. As an experienced math teacher, Lisa Kreisler expands on the
New York, New York (I-Newswire) September 18, 2012 - For students that wish to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering or math (STEM), it is essential to build a strong foundation of mathematical understanding in order to become successful. A recent article from The Washington Post reveals that many students pursue AP Calculus courses in order to get accepted into a relevant university program and are often at a disadvantage because of their resulting test scores. The article adds that a disconnect between college and high school educators is often to blame for the reasons behind a student’s lack of preparation or thorough understanding of calculus—a subject necessary to succeed in most STEM professions. As a math instructor, Lisa Kreisler weighs in on this debate, noting that it is imperative to form strong bases for students to build their mathematical education upon.
The article reveals that many students accepted into a STEM-relevant college program, are often forced to “retake college calculus, or even pre-calculus,” which causes many to “flee to the humanities.” Lisa Kreisler notes that this trend is one worth assessing, as STEM professionals are valuable innovators of modern society—while these individuals are required to have a thorough understanding of math subjects, such as calculus, the rigorous educational requirements that are placed on these students should not be the reason they become discouraged.
In the article, David M. Bressoud, former president of the Mathematical Association of America, explains, “Too many students are being accelerated, short-changing their preparation in the areas of knowledge including: algebra, geometry, trigonometry and other pre-calculus topics. Too many students experience a secondary-school calculus course that drills on the techniques and procedure that will enable them to successfully answer standard problems but are never challenged to encounter and understand the conceptual foundations of calculus.” As a solution to this rising problem, some educators suggest that a student’s readiness for calculus should be assessed before determining what the best course of education is. Bressoud suggests that students may need a different course that introduces them to the conceptual implications of calculus; however, high schools and universities must be in agreement with this type of education, so that students can smoothly transition into higher education.
Lisa Kreisler notes that math is a subject, not unlike a building; each level must be developed and constructed carefully, before the student moves on to the next subject area, or else that foundation may crumble. Lisa Kreisler concludes, “I am a strong promoter of a full four years of some type of math. Calculus is a course that is crucial for students attempting to further their studies in technology and sciences. Is it for everyone? No, of course not. Educators across the country need to unite and focus more on the foundation of the skills, and then build upon that foundation for success.”
Lisa Kreisler is an educator from New York, currently teaching mathematics. Before working as a teacher, she enjoyed a successful career as an IT professional. Kreisler is also a seasoned business owner, with a wealth of managerial experience.
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Published On:September 18, 2012
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