The Case For Teaching Calculus Early

I remember when I finally had Calculus, my final year of high school. It took a bit of effort to get my head around it, but once I got it I remember the distinct feeling of being pissed off. Pissed off about all the time wasted in Physics class. In Chemistry. And in all the other math classes I’d taken up to that point.

Given calculus I could’ve derived and actually understood all those formulas, instead of just memorizing them. And memorize them I never did - in fact the other time I remember being distinctly pissed off was when I spent the first 30 minutes of the AP Physics exam deriving formulas because I was too stubborn/stupid to memorize them.

Calculus is really not that hard. A good teacher can explain it to an 11 year old. It will take some effort, but it can be done. And once the kid knows calculus, think of how much easier Physics and Chemistry will be.

Anyway, this ramble came about as a result of reading A Gentle Introduction to Learning Calculus.