This is an extract from an interview with two Dulwich Teachers, Lee Mckelvey and Martin Crozier (2nd in Mathematics and Head of Mathematics respectively) , who have co-authored a Mathematics Text book. This book has already been published on 6th September and will be available in China around mid October.
One of the most impressive things is that Cambridge University Press are publishing the book. They are without doubt one of the finest and most respected academic publishers in the world. How did you end up working with Cambridge University Press?
"I was in Nanjing and went to a book fair and met a representative of Cambridge University Press. They showed great interest in the project and put me in touch an editor that there head office. A year later we were given the green light to start the book!"
So what is special about this book?
"What makes this book special is that the syllabus has been around for approximately 20 years and this is the first time that a dedicated self-contained book has been written for it. This is a very important and special book for students. The reason I started work on the book in the first place was that there weren’t any books available. Which made it much more difficult for teachers to teach the course."
"Other publishers have split the course into four sub sections and are publishing individual books on each, which results in a much wider range of authors with diverse writing styles. In contrast, our book is entirely self-contained and stylistically consistent. This is primarily do the close working relationship that we have. Unlike many other textbooks, our book is by teachers that still teach in the classroom on a day-to-day basis with direct experience of life on the 'chalk face'. "
Because of their classroom experience, Lee and Martin also have a unique understanding of the requirements of a textbook aimed at Chinese students. Because Martin and Lee are used to living and working in China, the language used is abundantly clear, designed for students whose first language isn’t English. The book was Lee's brainchild initially, but Martin joined the project to help him finish it with his comprehensive knowledge of statistics. In addition to the textbook, Lee and Martin are also in negotiations with CUP to provide a Teacher Resource Book in order to help teachers deliver further math’s courses effectively. The book is beautifully designed, user friendly with an excellent layout, formatting and color coding throughout and weighs in at a hefty 700
How Widely Adopted do you think the book will be when it's released?
"That's an interesting question. With this being a single book, rather than four separate books (which is the format that the other publishers are taking) and because of the lower cost, we think it will be very popular and widely adopted in China. We are passionate about Math’s education and want ensure that the next generation understand how to use math’s properly with true understanding. Our Philosophy here is that we are preparing students for life generally, not just to pass an exam."
How long did it take?
"I effectively started writing the book in 2012 with a full set of notes, that I shared with my fellow teachers. I then started writing my own version of the textbook. So it has taken about five years from start to finish."
It must be lovely to see the book in front of you after all this time?
"Yes it is a truly wonderful feeling and has opened up opportunities for further writing."
So does this mean that there are other projects?
"Yes, in fact we are both writing for the new Edexcel Pearson International A Level that our students here study. I have just finished writing the Decision Mathematics 1 book which will be published later in October, Statistics 2 and Statistics 3 will be published next year.Lee is writing the new Pure Mathematics 4 and Mechanics 3 books. These form 5 of the 14 books for the new series."