Texts for “After Math Literacy”

A recent post here did a brief review of the 3 available Math Literacy textbooks (http://www.devmathrevival.net/?p=2804).

That post quickly led to the natural question:  What about books for courses AFTER math literacy?  (Thanks, Eric!)

Ideally, we would have 3 books for “Algebraic Literacy” … a course designed to replace intermediate algebra.  However, much of the Math Literacy work is still stuck in a pathways approach, where Math Literacy is only used for “non-STEM” students.  I don’t think this pathways emphasis can survive that long (see http://www.devmathrevival.net/?p=2779) In this period, however, most uses of math literacy courses is as an alternative to beginning algebra for those who “don’t need algebra” (as if that was possible or desirable).

To review, here is the New Life vision of basic mathematics courses at colleges & universities:














So far, the reform work in our college curriculum has been limited, with the most systemic work being done at the Math Literacy level.  Many people are holding off on Algebraic Literacy until there is a textbook, and publishers are interested in creating those texts.  We need to achieve a higher level of interest before those “AL” books will be developed and published.  Authors want to write them, publishers are willing to support them … IF the market interest is there.  Lesson:

Always tell publishers that you want to see textbooks for Algebraic Literacy, and that Algebraic Literacy is not an intermediate algebra with a new ‘cover’.

There are colleges who are implementing Math Literacy for all students, replacing beginning algebra in their curriculum (mine, for example).  Most often, this means the use of a typical intermediate algebra book for the course following math literacy … a bit like getting to use an iPhone 7 one semester and then being handed a rotary phone the next semester.  If only there were better options!!  [Some folks use the “Math in Action” materials, which are not Algebraic Literacy at all … they just provide great context and applications.]

Both publishers with good Math Literacy texts (McGraw Hill, Pearson) have considered algebraic literacy books; they may even have them ‘under contract’ (I would not necessarily know about that).  Keep telling them that you really want an algebraic literacy book, and they will develop them.

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