Procedural Mathematics vs. Conceptual Mathematics


Your textbook and this course emphasize conceptual understanding.You may not like this approach, especially if you havenít been taught this way before.


In the U.S., grade school and even high school mathematics is commonly taught as a series of procedures to mimic.


The amount of memorization required for this approach grows dramatically with the level of the mathematics course.Usually, by the time a student reaches the level of calculus, the amount of memorization required is overwhelming.


Furthermore, when it comes time to actually USE mathematics in science, engineering, or higher mathematics courses, students taught to mimic are unable to perform.Their years of effort have been wasted.


On the other hand, there are surprisingly few concepts underlying all of mathematics.At each stage, if you really understand the ideas at that level, then almost no memorization is required, and extending the understanding to the next level is not difficult.


Furthermore, if you understand the concepts, then you are able to USE mathematics to solve problems in science or engineering or higher mathematics.Your mathematical education is useful.


Please take this to heart and try to keep an open mind about this conceptual approach.