Quantitative Reasoning: An Interdisciplinary, Technology Infused Approach pp. 111-118By David Jabon
Current Practices in Quantitative Literacy
Online ISBN: 9780883859780
Chapter DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5948/UPO9780883859780.018
The Quantitative Reasoning course at DePaul University grew out of a major reexamination of the general education program for undergraduates in 1995–96. Like many universities in the 1990s, DePaul University wished to strengthen the mathematics skills of its graduates and was willing to add additional mathematics requirements for its students. The question that the faculty had to address was, what mathematical skills should an undergraduate who is not majoring in Mathematics, Science, or Business have?
Universities across the country came up with a variety of solutions. A simple and sometimes adequate approach is to require college algebra and one or more semesters of pre-calculus. While this is the easiest approach to implement, the pre-calculus material may not be very useful if one does not go on to calculus. A perhaps more common approach is to require one course from a smorgasbord of math-related courses, for example, statistics, discrete math, calculus, logic, probability. These courses might possess a special catalog designation, often a “Q”; so all students might be required to take a Q course. There are many excellent programs of this nature across the country, some with exemplary mathematics-related courses. An advantage of such an approach is that specialists often teach the courses and bring both expertise and dynamism to the classroom, but a disadvantage is that all students not take the same course and the quantitative skills of a graduate will vary dramatically depending on which Q course he or she took.
Quantitative Reasoning: An Interdisciplinary, Technology Infused Approach: