Algebra and Trigonometry, 4th Edition
Book Preface
As a mathematics professor, I would hear my students say, “I understand you in class, but when I get home I am lost.” When I would probe further, students would continue with “I can’t read the book.” As a mathematician, I always found mathematics textbooks quite easy to read—and then it dawned on me: Don’t look at this book through a mathematician’s eyes; look at it through the eyes of students who might not view mathematics the same way that I do. What I found was that the books were not at all like my class. Students understood me in class, but when they got home they couldn’t understand the book.
It was then that the folks at Wiley lured me into writing. My goal was to write a book that is seamless with how we teach and is an ally (not an adversary) to student learning. I wanted to give students a book they could read without sacrificing the rigor needed for conceptual understanding. The following quote comes from a reviewer when asked about the rigor of the book:
I would say that this text comes across as a little less rigorous than other texts, but I think that stems from how easy it is to read and how clear the author is. When one actually looks closely at the material, the level of rigor is high.
DISTINGUISHING FEATURES
Four key features distinguish this book from others, and they came directly from my classroom.
ARALLEL WORDS AND MATH
Have you ever looked at your students’ notes? I found that my students were only scribbling down the mathematics that I would write—never the words that I would say in class. I started passing out handouts that had two columns: one column for math and one column for words. Each example would have one or the other; either the words were there and students had to fill in the math or the math was there and students had to fill in the words. If you look at the examples in this book, you will see that the words (your voice) are on the left and the mathematics is on the right. In most math books, when the author illustrates an example, the mathematics is usually down the center of the page, and if the students don’t know what mathematical operation was performed, they will look to the right for some brief statement of help. That’s not how we teach; we don’t write out an example on the board and then say, “Class, guess what I just did!” Instead we lead our students, telling them what step is coming and then performing that mathematical step together—and reading naturally from left to right. Student reviewers have said that the examples in this book are easy to read; that’s because your voice is right there with them, working through problems together.
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