Why Another Math Book
Many mathematics textbooks begin with the assertion that they deliver a new or unique approach to learning. This book is different, at least in that regard, in that the authors concede there is really nothing new in our approach. What follows is a presentation of learning that already happens in mathematics classrooms worldwide — students actively engaged in the learning process: experimenting, observing, discovering and applying.
Current technology in education software is used mostly in the assessment of homework. On the other hand, reading material in the form of an e-book is relatively static — it is an electronic version of the text that remains a passive reading experience for the student. The result is that students often skip the reading altogether and go directly to the homework section where they hope to learn their skills through repetition or by “reverse engineering” the solutions. While homework remains a key aspect in student learning, it is currently used at the “back end” of the learning process. Research shows that an active, discovery-based approach in knowledge development, the “front end” of learning, contributes to longer knowledge retention and is linked to a deeper understanding of the material.
Therefore with this book, we hope that the active learning process used so well in college classrooms can be brought to the reading experience. This is nothing new to mathematics, though perhaps it is somewhat new to the textbook.