Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Math Lit FAQ: Can I teach MLCS as a 4-credit course using Math Lit?

Answer:  Yes

Actually, most schools that use Math Lit use it for a 4-credit hour course.  Illinois has certain requirements that raise the credit hours needed from 4 to 6.  But a 6-credit version of MLCS is not common outside of Illinois.

There is a lot of content in Math Lit to allow schools to choose the topics they want for their 4 credits.  We did some research to find out what topics schools want in their 4-credit versions.  The results showed a large amount of variation in the topics covered.  Some schools want geometry, others want more algebra topics.  Some want more statistics while others want a course that has a lower prerequisite.  So we couldn't remove topics to make the book 4 credits without removing options for schools and states.  We did not want to dictate what this course looks like.  It looks like whatever a schools wants it to.

We built the book with the idea that schools would be picking and choosing topics to meet their local and state requirements.  To allow for that, we marked several sections in the table of contents that could be omitted without a negative impact later in the course.  We have schools using various sections throughout the book while others basically use the first half or the last half.  The most common approach is to use all of Cycle 1 to set the foundation for the course and any necessary sections from the remaining cycles to address the topics of the school's choice.

Additionally, Heather and I work with schools to help them choose which sections to cover.  If you are planning a pilot or have adopted the book and want some ideas for choosing sections, please email us.  We will go through your goals in terms of topics and what courses you want MLCS to feed into to determine what can be deleted or reduced in terms of coverage to meet your goals.  There are a multitude of ways to mold the book to meet your needs.

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