R. Wright mentioned

this text,

*Calculus in Context*, in the comments at

dy/dan's. I had a copy of this book shortly after it came out, and I didn't know what to do with it. I think it might be great, but I couldn't use it back then.

I remember wanting to use groups and projects, and not knowing how. Maybe I'm a particularly slow learner, but I think most people have deeply imprinted on the classes they were students in, and use those as models for their teaching.

I'd like to try to get a print copy and see if I can use it now. Does anyone here have any experience with this text? What do you think?

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I posted this too soon. I'm reading the pdf, and I'm so intrigued. This text uses a radically different organization than the standard course, so I don't know if I could use it at my school. But I definitely want to read the whole thing now.

Here's a quote from the Handbook for Instructors:

If you ask typical students what mathematics is about, they are likely to deny that it is about anything. They perceive mathematics as existing in a world of its own, with its own rules, having little to do with any questions they might be interested in. The so-called “applications” that are provided, almost always after the mathematics has been completely worked out, are often transparently artificial and do little to convince skeptical students that mathematics has anything to say about the world in which they live. We feel much of the low regard the general public currently has for mathematics arises from treating mathematics as a strictly technical discipline, responsive only to its own internal logic and structure.

Historically, though, much of calculus arose as a tool to explore questions in the sciences—including, of course, other branches of mathematics. Our students need to see this connection throughout as they learn the material, not just as an optional afterthought appended to the mathematics.