Dad wrote the book

In Riverview, Michigan an engineer father started out helping his sons with their math, then rewrote their textbook and finally wrote a series of math textbook that are being used by schools and parents. The Detroit News reports Nicholas Aggor’s books are catching on:

Riverview Community School District teachers liked the books so much they started using them in classes last year, and district officials in June made it part of the curriculum for elementary and middle school starting in fall.

. . . Interest in the series has multiplied exponentially among Metro Detroit districts. Administrators in Wyandotte, Taylor and other districts asked teachers to review the series. In nearby River Rouge, curriculum director Paula Daniels said she wants copies by September for parents as a tutoring guide.

The “MathMaster Series” hasn’t yet been published: Aggor copies the books himself and hands them out for free.

Teachers and parents like the books’ step-by-step instructions, the blend of basics and concepts, easy-to-understand examples and the close match with the state’s content standards.

Aggor, an immigrant from Ghana, wored as an automotive engineer before devoting himself to the books. His wife as a school principal in Ghana.

Via Education Gadfly.

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  1. I’m a HS math teacher and would very much like to get a copy of his textbook. I’m always looking for new ways to teach Alegbra and Geometry and hope this will help me get those other students who struggle with their math.

  2. You might want to try googling “open source textbooks”. Also Wikipedia has a pretty extensive entry for open source textbooks.

  3. Why are we still writing math textbooks? Shouldn’t this have been done in, oh, about 1935, as a WPA project? The math hasn’t changed, after all.

  4. People are still designing new bicyles too,(a 100 year old design). It is a way to make money and a lot of people think the texts can be better than they are. On the other hand: Translations of Euclid’s Elements were still in use early in the 20th century.

  5. Bicycles are different: there are always new materials and new technology to include. Grammar school math, on the other hand, is basically unchanged since Euclid. All we need is for one team to write the definitive book and we’re done. Forever.

    My intent was to sarcastically point out that there is obviously a reason that we’re still writing those textbooks. A) There is good money to be made in textbooks and B) There are people who spend their careers coming up with new and different ways to teach things – not necessarily better ways, but new and different.

    I don’t mind people trying to come up with new and different ways to teach things, but I’d like a rule in place that you can’t switch to a new plan until it has been proven better than the old one in a peer-reviewed study.