ERIC Number: ED253261
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Jul
Reference Count: 0
Style versus Content: Forces Shaping the Evolution of Textbooks and Courseware.
Renz, Peter L.
Written from the perspective of a textbook editor, this paper reviews the limitations on curricular reform in mathematics. In the first section, an argument is presented that the style and manner of the presentation of educational materials are more important than the content presented. This section also raises objections to the current push to make discrete mathematics, rather than continuous mathematics, central to the college curriculum. In the next section, course development is compared to the evolution of a new species, and the role of the publishing industry in anticipating and shaping curricular developments is discussed. Next, the paper explains why large technical texts for large markets show little variability, indicating that large scale innovative textbook publishing only becomes attractive to publishers when much of the costs are carried by others. Finally, the paper discusses the role of computer technology in the development of new curricular material, foreseeing an unprecedented flowering of innovative and experimental course materials and arguing that the style and execution of the materials produced will have a greater effect on curriculum development than the exact content of the materials. (LAL)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Sloan Foundation Conference on New Directions in Two-Year College Mathematics (Atherton, CA, July 11-14, 1984).