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« 21st Century Research Smashes Molecular Clock MythsDIVE Earth Science is here! »Weighing the Differences in 3rd and 4th Edition Saxon Algebra 1
Over the past few months, many parents have contacted us, asking if we plan to make a DIVE CD to teach the new Saxon Algebra 1, 4th edition textbook. The short answer is “no”, and the short reason is that we believe the newer Saxon textbooks have strayed too far from John Saxon’s (1923-1996) original, tried and tested vision for teaching mathematics. This new textbook was not published by John Saxon, but by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH). If you would like to know more about our reasons, please read on.
Saxon Algebra 1 4th ed. (left), Saxon Algebra 1 3rd ed. (center), and Leonhard Euler's Elements of Algebra (right), a text that most modern algebra books are based upon.
The 4th edition cover is noticeably different from earlier Saxon editions. For comparison, I have included a copy of Leonhard Euler’s Elements of Algebra, a textbook whose subject matter is the foundation of most modern algebra courses. Euler lived from 1707-1783, and is considered by most scholars to be one of the best, if not the best, mathematician ever. While I am in awe of his ability to write original research at the rate of 800 pages per year for most of his adult life, I am more impressed by his understanding of God. One of my favorite quotes is from his book, Letters to a German Princess:
“It is God, therefore, who places men, every instant, in circumstances the most favourable, and from which, they may derive motives the most powerful, to produce their conversion.”
Euler was a genius, but he was also a humble, Christian family man, and I think his biblical understanding of the world helped him excel at mathematics. Helping students understand the importance of a biblical foundation to their education is one way our DIVE Math lectures differ from instruction found in either new or traditional Saxon textbooks.
When I titled this post “Weighing the Differences”, I meant it, literally! I put the books on a scale, and the 4th edition is quite a monster at 4.75 lbs, a 58.3% increase over the 3rd edition.