Teaching precalculus in 2008-2009

This year I will be teaching precalculus via correspondence to two homeschool students. Don’t ask how this happened, it’s a long story, but I’m excited! It will be fun for me to gain more experience teaching and writing, and to experiment a bit with the curriculum in ways that I think will make it more current. I’ve taught precalculus once before, at a public high school in Washington, DC, and ever since that experience I’ve had some strong opinions about ways that the curriculum should be different. Perhaps I’ll write more on that rant later.

At any rate, the point is that I’ll be making a number of my materials available online under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial license (the same license that applies to all the content on this blog). There are already a couple assignments posted, along with a basic LaTeX tutorial and a syllabus. Feel free to use it for learning, teaching, or whatever. I imagine that the weekly assignments could be profitably used for enrichment, extra credit, or even straight-up assignments as part of other classes at various levels. I’m also making the LaTeX source available so you can even make your own modifications, or just use individual exercises, paragraphs, or whatever, as long as you cite me as the source. I won’t be making solutions available, for hopefully obvious reasons, but if there is enough demand and I have time I might be able to write up some solutions and have them available for distribution to teachers by request, so let me know if you’d be interested.

I’ll probably occasionally write something here when I’ve posted some new materials, but if you’re particularly interested to know each time I’ve posted something new, let me know and I could perhaps set up some sort of automated notification system.

About Brent

Associate Professor of Computer Science at Hendrix College. Functional programmer, mathematician, teacher, pianist, follower of Jesus.
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6 Responses to Teaching precalculus in 2008-2009

  1. Brent says:

    Sorry if I was not clear. I certainly have a notification system for this blog. But I am not going to write something on this blog every time I post some new teaching materials on that site I linked to. What I was proposing is to set up a separate notification system for that website.

  2. A says:

    Your courses are awesome – I just read “to infinity… and beyond!” after my Calculus teacher exploded my brain by mentioning, in passing, a “bigger infinity”. We covered none of the stuff on that page in precalculus… You explain things well, and you have an odd sense of humor that I like. Thank you!

  3. Brent says:

    Hi A,

    You’re welcome, I’m very glad to hear that you enjoyed it! It’s not a topic that is usually talked about in precalculus, so I’m not surprised that you hadn’t seen it before.

  4. Victoria says:

    Would you be interested in selling your materials to an online school or allowing an online teacher to use your materials in their online “classroom”?

  5. Brent says:

    Hi Victoria,

    Since I have licensed all the materials under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/us/), it would be totally fine to use the materials in the following circumstances:

    * the online school is not-for-profit, or
    * the teacher only wanted to use one or two of the lessons (I would consider this to fall under “fair use”).

    I would also be happy to discuss licensing terms in the case that a for-profit online school wanted to make more substantial use of the materials.

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