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David Bressoud


The Strange Role of Calculus in the United States

Abstract: Over the past two decades, the number of U.S. students who study calculus while in high school has more than tripled to around 800,000 each year. It is perceived to be a requirement for admission to any of the top universities, regardless of intended major, with increasing pressure to take it ever earlier in the high school curriculum. This has had profound effects on equity of access to higher education, the nature and pacing of preparation for calculus, the quality of instruction in high school calculus, how universities teach single-variable calculus, and how they deal with those students who need mathematics courses that build on this course. (Click here for article)