Learning List has reviewed two National Geographic Learning/Cengage Learning calculus products written by the team of authors led by James Stewart: Calculus: Early Transcendentals and Single Variable Calculus: Early Transcendentals. Both texts use the early transcendental approach to calculus instruction and are appropriate for instruction in Advanced Placement (AP) Calculus AB and BC courses. Although Learning List’s review is limited to eBooks, both resources are available in print and eBook formats.
Calculus: Early Transcendentals addresses content for single and multivariable calculus in 17 chapters. As its title suggests, Single Variable Calculus: Early Transcendentals is limited to single-variable instruction. It presents the same content as that of Calculus: Early Transcendentals Chapters 1-11. Instruction in both courses emphasizes inquiry-based learning and the application of calculus to solve real-world problems.
Both texts begin with a set of short diagnostic tests and a “Preview of Calculus” introduction. The diagnostic tests allow students to quickly evaluate their knowledge of algebra, analytic geometry, functions and trigonometry. The first chapter (i.e., “Functions and Models”) in each text establishes the courses’ approach to representing functions and solving problems. The chapter explains that functions may be represented verbally, visually (i.e., graphically), numerically, and algebraically, and it sets forth a four-step problem-solving process adapted from the principles of George Polya: (1) Understand the Problem, (2) Think of a Plan, (3) Carry Out the Plan, and (4) Look Back (e.g., identify mistakes).
Chapters open with a short overview of content, a vivid photograph (e.g., a screw worm fly), and a short explanation that clarifies the relationship between the photograph and chapter content (e.g., “In Exercise 7.4.67 you will evaluate an integral that relates the female insect population to time”). Most chapters incorporate one or more inquiry-based projects, and each chapter includes ample sets of practice exercises. An icon indicates when problems require the use of a technology, such as a graphing calculator or a computer algebra system (e.g., Maple). eBook review problems with a pencil button are linked to a “Homework Tutor” video tutorial that provides narrated whiteboard presentations of step-by-step solutions. eBooks have a set of icons that cue students to additional learning resources, including “Lecture Videos,” “Explore It” mini lessons, video tutorials, and videos supporting example problems.
About National Geographic Learning/Cengage Learning*
National Geographic Learning, a part of Cengage Learning, is a leading educational publisher of school, higher education, English Language Teaching, library and reference materials. At National Geographic Learning, we believe that an engaged and motivated learner will be a successful one, and we design our materials to motivate. We believe that learning can be exciting, inspiring, and transformational.
Through our learning programs, we want learners to experience the excitement and joy of learning that National Geographic explorers, scientists, writers and photographers experience. We share real stories from National Geographic that increase learners’ knowledge of the world and everything in it. We illustrate these materials with stunning National Geographic photography, video, and illustrations that bring the world to the classroom and the classroom to life.
At National Geographic Learning, we have a responsibility to future generations to provide strong educational skills and an awareness of their role as caretakers of the planet.
*The content in this section is provided by or adapted from National Geographic Learning.
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