What topics will be covered in the VideoText Interactive Geometry Course?
When will the new VideoText Interactive Geometry program be ready?
Modules A, B, C, D, and E (the first five of six modules) may now be ordered. Module F is expected for release in 2013.
Will this course be a two-year course in the same way that the Algebra course is?
You must realize that the only reason the Algebra course could ever be considered a two-year course, is that it is taught as a two-year course in the public domain. Technically, it is a one-year course, just as Geometry is, but, as we all know, it is virtually impossible to cover completely, in one school year, any subject in the public schools. Therefore, 2 credits are given for completing Algebra in two years. Geometry, on the other hand, has never been considered as a two-year course, even though it contains just as much “material” as an Algebra course does. In other words, when a student takes Geometry in a school setting, it is a given that the course will not be completed in one year. There will be some material that will simply not be covered. The only way it will eventually be covered, is for the student to take a course called “Advanced Mathematics”, or “Pre-Calculus”, courses which are now offered to complete anything in Algebra or Geometry that was omitted, in preparation for Calculus. Because that is the way the matter is handled in the formal school setting, you will find it difficult to justify a two-year timeline, resulting in 2 credits. You could, in all probability, complete the course using the additional summer at the end of a school year, in which case, you would have a very strong argument for receiving additional credit for completing the material in a Pre-Calculus course. This, however, will be a judgment call, and we cannot guarantee it.
Will the “significant treatment of Trigonometry” constitute a high school credit in Trigonometry? If not, what more would be needed to make this a two-credit, high school level course in Geometry and Trigonometry?
Currently, there is no such thing as a “credit-worthy” course in Trigonometry. In other words, you cannot receive a high school credit for taking a course, solely on Trigonometry. It simply doesn’t exist. (The remarks in the answer to the question above will give you more detail on that issue.) So, the answer to the second part of the question is to examine what the content of an “Advanced Mathematics” or “Pre-Calculus” course is, in your area, and add the few components not covered in the VideoText Interactive Algebra and Geometry courses (presuming you have taken those courses,) in order to justify a second high school credit. Even then, however, you may have to argue the point with your overseeing credit provider.
What is the rationale behind the traditional sequencing of Algebra and Geometry Courses? In other words, why has Geometry been “sandwiched” between Algebra 1 and Algebra 2?
First, you must understand that, because Algebra is the study of relations, it is the “language” for all of the math courses which follow it. In fact, you can’t really even understand the formal relationships of Arithmetic, until you have studied, and understood, the elements of Algebra. That means you should never take any other upper-level math course (Geometry, Trigonometry, Pre-calculus, Calculus, etc.) until you have exhausted the study of Algebra. A little history is probably appropriate here. Back in the “old days”, we were required to have completed only two credits of math to graduate from high school. For most students, those two courses were Algebra and Geometry, and we taught them in the proper order, Algebra first, then Geometry. Of course, we never “finished the book” in either course, but, we did learn enough to receive an allowable credit in each. Then, the credit requirements were increased to three, and we were faced with the problem of what else was available for us to teach, at the high school level. The answer became rather obvious when we realized that we did not complete the Algebra study. So we decided to teach “Algebra 2, attempting to “pick up where we left off”. You realize, then, that there really are no such things as Algebra 1 and Algebra 2, any more than there would be Geometry 1 and Geometry 2. It is just Algebra. Of course, we then found out that students had forgotten a lot of what they had learned over a year before. That is why you will find that any commercially available Algebra 2 book virtually starts over, at the beginning. This time, however, we would expect the student to move more quickly, since the beginning is “review”, which means we should have some time, at the end to add, as well, the material we didn’t finish in the Geometry course. That’s where Trigonometry, the “measuring of triangles”, comes in. And that is why you will find most Algebra 2 books titled, “Algebra 2, with Trigonometry”. You see, Geometry was never inserted “between” Algebra 1 and Algebra 2 at all. There was simply more Algebra (and additional Geometry) “added on”, because of the additional credit requirement. So, to repeat, a student should never take any formal Geometry course until all of the Algebra has been completed. As an afterthought, if you are just looking to get a student “ready” for Geometry, you might look at “Keys to Geometry” from Key Curriculum Press. This is not at all a high school credit course in Geometry, but it does introduce most of the terms and concepts found in the course, without any formal proof. This would allow the student to prepare well for SAT or ACT testing, and concentrate later on the logic building skills that are introduced in a formal course.