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Saxon Algebra 2, 4th Edition

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The 4th editions of Saxon Algebra 1 and 2 were not published by John Saxon. They were published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, who purchased Saxon Publishers in 2004. These editions are very different from the previous editions written by John Saxon (see the article below). One of the most damaging changes is all the geometry has been removed and placed in a new, Saxon Geometry text. The remaining lessons appear disorganized and confusing. These new editions will not develop the fluency required to excel on college entrance exams. Therefore, Dr. Shormann will not create DIVE video lectures for either of these new editions.

 

Instead, he has published a new curriculum, Shormann Interactive Math.  Based on John Saxon's original teaching methods and enhanced by 21st Century technology, this new curriculum not only prepares students for upper level math courses, they prepare them to excel on the ACT, the new PSAT and SAT, as well as the CLEP College Algebra exam. Read more about Shormann Math at the link above. 

 

Following is an article from the DIVE catalog that has more details on the HMH editions.

  saxon-4th-editions-article-from-2015-catalog.jpg

 

 

 

In 1996, after building Saxon Publishers into a

 

$60 million company, John Saxon passed away

 

unexpectedly. Several years later, the company was

 

sold to Harcourt Achieve, which was then purchased

 

by Houghton Mifflin. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

 

(HMH), owned by an Irish company (Riverdeep),

 

began revising the Saxon Math texts and released

 

new Saxon Algebra 1, 2 and Geometry texts. But are

 

these new editions worthy of the Saxon name? Or

 

do they go against the very principles on which John

 

founded Saxon Publishers?

 

John Saxon was an Air Force

 

test pilot with three engineering

 

degrees. After retiring, he began

 

teaching algebra at the local junior

 

college. Appalled at the skills his

 

students possessed, Saxon began

 

writing lessons to bring his students

 

up to speed. His “incremental

 

method with continual review”

 

produced great results. In 1981

 

he published his first high school

 

algebra book. When he died in

 

1996, Saxon Publishers annual sales were $27 million.

 

Math is the language of science. Just like learning a

 

language, the original Saxon curriculum begins with

 

the fundamentals and provides students ample time

 

to practice these before gently introducing more

 

advanced material. John Saxon created a unique

 

system of incremental development (small bite-sized

 

lessons), continual review and assessment, and the

 

integration of geometry and algebra. Researchers

 

have found

 

these

 

common-sense

 

methods increase long-term retention and fluency,

 

thereby improving standardized test scores. More

 

importantly, students are able to use these skills and

 

creatively apply them to solve real-world problems.

 

The new editions published by HMH significantly

 

reduced the amount of review over previously

 

learned concepts. The lessons do no not make the

 

proper connections between the

 

incremental concepts, making the

 

lessons appear disorganized and

 

confusing.

 

The most disappointing change

 

found in the new editions is that John

 

Saxon’s systematic integration of

 

algebra and geometry is essentially

 

gone. The European and Asian

 

countries that consistently

 

outperform the United States

 

on international math exams

 

integrate the teaching of algebra and geometry.

 

A student who is learning algebra and geometry

 

together will understand all math better , enabling

 

them to apply math in science and engineering fields.

 

While new Common Core standards offer an

 

“integrated pathway” similar to Saxon’s methods, they

 

fail to fully grasp the importance of “incremental

 

development with continual review.” For example, in

 

the new Saxon Geometry, algebra problems simply

 

appear in the homework, with no explanation!

 

NEW SAXON MATH EDITIONS

 

ARE THEY WORTHY OF THE SAXON NAME?

 

Since Saxon Publishers was first sold in 2004, I’ve feared that any new Saxon editions might lose

 

their original methodology that strives to teach mathematics like the language of science, which

 

is the best way to build math fluency. I have often prayed that if that happens, Lord willing, I would

 

be able to stand on the shoulders of giants like John Saxon, Leonard Euler, Isaac Newton, Euclid,

 

and others to build an even better math curriculum. The new Saxon-in-name-only editions were

 

confirmation that it was time to get started. Read about Shormann Math on page 4.

 

 

We have not made a DIVE CD for the new 4th edition of Algebra 2 because we do not believe they adequately prepare students for upper level math or the SAT and ACT exams. Please read the following article for more information. 

After John Saxon died in 1996, Saxon Publishers was sold to Harcourt Achieve Incorporated. In 2007 Houghton Mifflin Publishers purchased Harcourt, acquiring Saxon in the process. Recently, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) released their newly revised 4th editions of Saxon Algebra 1 and 2 as well as a Geometry text. But are these new editions worthy of the Saxon name? Or do they go against the very principles on which John Saxon founded Saxon Publishers?

John Saxon was known for his “Saxonisms”, one of which was, “Results, not methodology, should be the basis of curriculum decisions. Results matter.” A methodology, or way of doing something, does make a difference, but what Saxon meant was that when it comes to educating a child, theory should never trump results. Saxon was an Air Force test pilot with three engineering degrees. After retiring, he began teaching algebra at the local junior college. Appalled at the results he he was seeing, Saxon wrote and published his first algebra book in 1981. His methodology produced good results, so he stuck with it. When he died in 1996, Saxon Publishers annual sales were at $27 million.

Math is the language of science. Just like learning a language, the original Saxon curriculum begins with the fundamentals and provides students ample time to practice these before gently introducing more advanced material. John Saxon created a unique system of incremental development (small bite-sized lessons), continual review and assessment, and the integration of geometry and algebra. Researchers have found John Saxon’s common-sense methods increase long-term retention and recall speed, thereby improving standardized test scores.

However, the new editions published by HMH undermine Saxon’s methodology by significantly reducing the amount of review over previously learned concepts. The lessons do no not make the proper connections between the incremental concepts, making the lessons appear disorganized and confusing.

The most damaging change found in the new editions is that John Saxon’s systematic integration of algebra and geometry is essentially gone. American curriculums commonly teach Algebra and Geometry separately, and, consequently, Asian and European countries (which integrate Geometry and Algebra) consistently outperfom the United States in math exams. It makes sense that a student who is learning algebra and geometry together will understand math better , enabling them to be better prepared to apply it in science and engineering fields. These students will also outperform other students on college admissions tests, because these tests present algebra and geometry together.

Since Saxon Publishers was first sold in 2004, I’ve feared that any new editions might lose their original methodology that strives to teach mathematics like the language of science that it is. I have often prayed that if that happens, Lord willing, I would be able to stand on the shoulders of giants like John Saxon, Leonard Euler, Isaac Newton, Euclid, and others to build an even better math curriculum. These new editions confirm that time has come. Coming soon from DIVE: Shormann Math.

 

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