Iowa Core: Mathematics, Part 1

The Iowa Core list of the essential characteristics of a world-class mathematics curriculum is as follows:

• Teaching for Understanding

• Problem-Based Instructional Tasks

• Distributed Practice that is Meaningful and Purposeful

• Mathematical Modeling (secondary school emphasis)

• Deep Conceptual and Procedural Knowledge

• Rigor and Relevance

• Effective Use of Technology

• Connected and Coherent Content

Conspicuously absent is any mention of college preparation.  (Note that any mention of ensuring mastery of the material is also missing from the list).  Should a “world-class mathematics curriculum” prepare students for college level mathematics coursework?  I think the answer is obvious.  Does the Iowa Core Mathematics Curriculum focus on mathematics topics that will prepare students for college level mathematics coursework?  One way to begin to answer this question is to examine what the University of Iowa has to say about preparation for college math:

Many college majors require math beyond what you learn in high school.  To make good progress in college, you need to be ready for the recommended first course in your major.  Being ready in math is also an important part of being ready in science, engineering, nursing, computer science, and statistics, or even in the economics you’ll need for business. Math matters in lots of majors.

The following majors require students to be prepared to start with 22M:25 Calculus I or 22M:31 Engineering Math 1: Single Variable Calculus.  These courses require mastery of the work in first year algebra, second year algebra, trigonometry, and pre-calculus.

  • Actuarial Science B.S.
  • Astronomy B.A. or B.S.
  • Biochemistry B.A. or B.S.
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Chemical and Biochemical Engineering B.S.E.
  • Chemistry B.A. or B.S.
  • Civil and Environmental Engineering B.S.E.
  • Computer Science B.A. or B.S.
  • Economics B.S.
  • Electrical and Computer Engineering B.S.E.
  • Environmental Science B.S.
  • Geoscience B.S.
  • Industrial Engineering B.S.E.
  • Mathematics B.A. or B.S.
  • Mechanical Engineering B.S.E.
  • Physics B.A. or B.S.
  • Sociology B.S.

The following majors require students to be prepared to start with an applied calculus course (22M:17 Calculus and Matrix for Business; 22M:16 Calculus for the Biological Sciences).  These courses require mastery of the work in first year algebra, second year algebra, and pre-calculus.

  • Accounting B.B.A.
  • Biology B.A. or B.S.
  • Economics B.B.A.
  • Finance B.B.A.
  • Informatics B.A. or B.S.
  • Integrative Physiology (Exercise Science) B.S.
  • Management B.B.A.
  • Management Information Systems B.B.A.
  • Marketing B.B.A.
  • Microbiology B.S.
  • Political Science B.A. or B.S.
  • Psychology B.S.

The following majors require students to be prepared to start with 22M:15 Math for Biological Sciences.  This course requires mastery of the work in first year algebra and second year algebra.

  • Clinical Laboratory Sciences B.S,
  • Geography B.S.
  • Radiation Sciences B.S.
  • Speech and Hearing Science B.A.

The following majors require students to be prepared to start with an applied statistics course (22S:25 Elementary Statistics and Inference).  This course requires mastery of the work in first year algebra and second year algebra.

  • Athletic Training B.S.
  • Geography B.A.
  • Health and Sport Studies B.A.
  • Leisure Studies: Therapeutic Recreation B.S.
  • Nursing B.S.N.
  • Psychology B.A.

The following majors require students to be prepared to start with 22M:9 Elementary Functions.  This course requires mastery of the work in first year algebra, second year algebra, and trigonometry.

  • Nuclear Medicine Technology B.S.
  • Sociology B.A.

The following majors require students to be prepared to start with 22M:6 Logic of Arithmetic or 22M: Theory of Arithmetic.  Logic of Arithmetic requires mastery of the work in first year algebra.  Theory of Arithmetic requires mastery of the work in first year algebra, second year algebra, and pre-calculus.

  • Elementary Education B.A. or B.S.

The following majors require no specific mathematics or statistics courses.

  • African American Studies B.A.
  • American Studies B.A.
  • Ancient Civilization B.A.
  • Anthropology B.A.
  • Art B.A. or B.F.A.
  • Art History B.A.
  • Asian Languages and Literature B.A.
  • Cinema B.A.
  • Classical Languages B.A.
  • Communications Studies B.A.
  • Comparative Literature B.A.
  • Dance B.A. or B.F.A.
  • English B.A.
  • French B.A.
  • German B.A.
  • History B.A.
  • International Studies B.A.
  • Italian B.A.
  • Journalism and Mass Communications B.A.
  • Linguistics B.A.
  • Music B.A. or B.M.
  • Philosophy B.A.
  • Portuguese B.A.
  • Religious Studies B.A.
  • Russian B.A.
  • Social Work B.A.
  • Spanish B.A.
  • Theatre Arts B.A.
  • Women Studies B.A.
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