March 08, 2012

Exeter Math

I recently (re)discovered the Exeter Math books. I had seen them once before but apparently didn't think twice about them. Now I can't get seem to get enough of them. I've been obsessed all week.

The books are simply problem sets. Designed to be done in order and more or less completely. No mindless context free pictures. No chapters. No definitions. No glossy pages with theorems. The questions are not even broken up by topic. The books are just filled with math problems.

Exeter runs them under/with their Harkness Philosophy. They describe it better than I can, but it's highly student centered, which in my book makes it worthy of more research if not emulation.

Some of the problems are not unlike word problems in a typical text, some are very tough and some are gems that can be solved half a dozen different ways. My favorite so far is:
This is a modified version I used in a exam, but its the same idea.
Rich Beveridge also describes his solution to the problems below that involved Fibonacci numbers and Phi.

The problem sets appear to be a potential backbone for true continuum of math classes. No more starting off on Chapter 1 of a new book just because its September. Topics truly spiral through the problems sets. No more boring the bejeebers out of the kids by doing 20 problems that are exactly the same. I see so much potential...

Take a look at the books, see what you think.

Update: Glenn Waddell posted a great series on Exeter math. He's got great insight into Exeter's pedagogy and has posted more resources than are available on Exeter's homepage.

1 comment:

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.